A British university is opting for a more modern way to communicate with potential students: through Snapchat.
The school is Staffordshire University. They usually make contact with incoming students by telephone. For those who don’t remember, the telephone was an audio telegram device once used to communicate through the dark cloud of ignorance that obscured the pre-internet world.
But now, with the falling popularity of phone usage, organizations are turning to less traditional methods of communication to conduct official business. And why not?
After all, who uses a smartphone as a phone anymore? One in four Britons with smartphones can’t be bothered. There are dozens of instantaneous ways to communicate that are easier and more fun.
It seems that at this point, if you’re conducting your life by phone, you might as well be wearing a stovepipe hat and playing Atari on a woolly mammoth.
Millennials avoid the phone for its inefficiency and potential for confrontation. And the 16-22 year-olds of Gen-Z are even less enthused about the phone than millennials–by about 11 percent.
— Staffordshire Uni (@StaffsUni) August 3, 2017
Results Day Approaches
British students are awaiting Results Day on August 17th. That’s when they’ll find out their A Level test scores, which will determine their eligibility for university placement. If their results come back disappointing, they may not be able to get into the course program they wanted.
However, they can still apply for unfilled seats in other programs using Britain’s clearing system. The clearing system helps universities fill program vacancies. It also helps students find a course of study even when their A Levels didn’t go as hoped.
“We understand that you may be worried about speaking to us over the phone, or that our hotlines may be busy,” says Laura Allen, Staffordshire’s social media coordinator.
“So, from Results Day, you can direct message us your results on Snapchat, Facebook, and Twitter. Our team will then be able to process your results to find out if you could study at Staffordshire University. They’ll give you an offer on principle, or any extra support and advice if needed.”
Is Snapchat the Future of University Communications?
Normally, students would call a university advisor to initiate placement through the clearing system. But who wants to make that call?
Now all students have to do is search ‘staffsuni’ on Snapchat, and they can direct message the admissions team. From there, students will field questions about their basic info and test scores, after which the university may offer them a position.
To some, Snapchat may seem too informal a communication channel for a university placement. But others are congratulating Staffordshire for taking a step into the future.
As a self proclaimed “digital university,” they are sympathetic to the younger generation’s preference for communicating through Snapchat and other social media channels. They already provide many services over social media channels beyond Snapchat, such as live streamed campus tours.
And for those who insist upon tradition, fear Snapchat, or have an unusual fetish for antiquated technology, the phone lines are still open–for now.