5.1 How to communicate towards different types of student

Within universities and university-colleges, students stand as unique constellations of backgrounds, aspirations and needs. Ensuring their success, satisfaction ànd engagements within our institutions requires a three-fold strategy: designing inclusive communication methods, emphasising the essence of student engagement and devising robust onboarding procedures for newcomers. Effective student support doesn’t just guide students through their student journey; it embraces diversity, fosters deep connections, and empowers them to be active participants in the educational and social process. This exploration will delve into these three pivotal dimensions, shedding light on how institutions can holistically support and elevate their student communities.

  1. Designing inclusive communication strategies 

    Effective communication transcends simple verbal exchanges; it’s about crafting a message that resonates with its intended audience. For student support staff, it’s vital to design a communication strategy tailored to the diverse student body. Start by understanding the unique backgrounds, cultures, and languages of the student groups you’re targeting. Visuals are a powerful tool in bridging language barriers. Ensure that your visuals—whether infographics, photos, or videos—are diverse and reflective of the student population. Moreover, use clear, jargon-free language, and consider translating key materials into multiple languages to ensure accessibility for all. Remember, an inclusive strategy doesn’t just deliver a message—it makes everyone feel seen and valued. 
  1. The significance of student engagement (SE) 

    Student engagement is more than participation; it’s the deep connection students form with their educational journey, directly influencing academic outcomes and personal growth. To convey the importance of SE to various student groups, it’s essential to contextualize its benefits for each group. For first-year students, SE can mean smoother transitions and establishing connections. For international students, it can signify cultural immersion and community building. Meanwhile, for postgraduate students, SE might translate to networking opportunities and professional growth. Ensure every student understands that active engagement isn’t just about enhancing their educational experience but also setting the stage for future success, both personally and professionally. 
  1. Onboarding and empowering new students 

    New students often arrive filled with a mix of excitement and apprehension. Turning these emotions into motivation and empowerment is the cornerstone of effective student support. Begin by creating welcoming onboarding programs that introduce them to the campus, facilities, and resources available. Mentorship programs, where seasoned students guide newcomers, can be invaluable. Such initiatives not only help new students navigate their early days but also instil a sense of belonging. Encourage their participation in clubs, societies, and events, highlighting the skills they can acquire and the memories they’ll create. By making them feel part of a larger community, you not only motivate them but also give them the tools to shape their own academic journey. 

Taking action

Take a look at the Communication Strategy Template via this link: https://www.kas.de/documents/286528/0/Communication+Strategy+Template+.pdf/9e917f94-39b9-9da1-8656-c050e6733d60?t=1652853010015 

This template can be used to develop a Programme/Project or an institution’s communications strategy. Whether you communicate to external or internal audiences or both, this will help ensure that all key elements of a communications strategy are captured. 

We now invite you to check out the following resources:

Guidelines for the Development of a Communication Strategy  

This guide has been created by students from Worcester Polytechnic Institute that spent 14 weeks designing and implementing a communication strategy for the New Horizon Centre. This document contains information to understand what a communication strategy is, why it is important and how to develop a communication strategy.   



9-Step Communication Strategy  

Communication plans are similar to a business plan: the difference is in the disciplines applied to its execution. A classic communication strategy plan can be built based on this 9-point roadmap. The amount of detail applied to the plan can vary depending on the scope and timeframe of the project using Smartsheet templates.  


Communication Strategies Used by High School English Language Learners in Multilingual Classrooms   

A Master dissertation.