Put simply, peer recruitment is the concept of using current students to drive the recruitment of new students. Today this concept describes the way in which universities use their current students online, as a discrete strategy within their broader approach to student recruitment and marketing.
Academic research has consistently demonstrated that the influence of peers is one of the most significant factors affecting the decision making of prospective students. People have and continue to be mistrustful of institutional messaging. They want to find out from people like them what something is really like. Today, in a digital and globalised world, people increasingly look to online sources to provide them with reliable information. This is no different for a young person who is deciding where they want to live and study.
Drawing on the power of student-to-student conversations, user-generated content, and friendly, no-nonsense answers peer recruitment offers universities the opportunity to engage with prospective students in a genuinely new way; one which is not limited by traditional boundaries of language, culture, and geography. Thinking of peer recruitment as student recruitment redefines the way in which universities engage with young people, regardless of where they are in the world. This brings with it huge opportunities across the student recruitment cycle, from awareness to conversion and beyond.