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 by Chris Mullen, Penny Dunne and Rebecca Barritt
, posted On 17 Dec '20
 Education Liaison Officers at Edge Hill University

A school and college guide to effectively building links with a university

You’ve got an idea for a careers programme and you want University X to be part of it. You’ve not contacted them before, so where should you start? Here we’ll provide a few tips on the process.

Initial contact

Firstly, identify who is the most relevant person to contact. You may already receive communications from a university, so that can always be a good starting point. If the institution is a UniTasterDays member, that will make finding a contact and contacting them much easier too.

When approaching institutions directly, instead of sending a blanket email to several teams at the university, it is always worth a quick look at the university website which will provide details of the student recruitment team, or a variation of that name (schools and colleges or education liaison for example).

Each team will either have a generic email, where your enquiry will be forwarded onto the relevant contact, or a specific contact for your region.

At some universities, each faculty may have their own recruitment members of staff rather than a centralised team. Always make sure you sign up to any newsletters, comms or follow teams on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and events!

University colleagues regularly travel the various motorways of the UK and, after initial contact, always enjoy meeting you face to face or virtually to discuss how we can build the relationship with you.

We find it extremely important to know what you want from us, rather than what we can offer you, as we value building these relationships just as highly

Maintaining contact

It is important to regularly keep in touch with university contacts during the academic year, especially to provide staff updates and new contact details so we can ensure you continue to get the most relevant information.

Letting us know about events as early as possible always helps our diary too, especially during busier periods (Sept/Nov and June/July), even if it is just a save the date!

We can help put you in touch with the wider university as well, providing you with departmental contacts or signposting you to the correct support team, for example. At Edge Hill, we receive regular phone calls and emails from teachers and advisers asking anything from an admissions query to advice about a careers event!

Keep an eye out for teachers’ panels, teachers’ and advisers’ conferences, surveys etc where you can provide feedback to help us ensure we are supporting your students as much as we can too! Developing and maintaining two-way relationships with several universities, both locally and nationally, can provide you with a wealth of extra contacts, resources and information, to benefit the students you are working with and other staff within your school and college. This will enhance your university guidance offering and we are only a call or an enquiry away.

Teachers, careers colleagues and support staff: request your FREE UniTasterDays Teachers' Guide to University brochure.

The Teachers’ Guide has been produced by in collaboration with HELOA - to support the university guidance that is provided in secondary schools and colleges.

Editorial has been provided by over 30 colleagues at universities throughout the UK, on topics including booking online university events, the Gatsby benchmarks, university CPD opportunities, arranging subject specific events and more.

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