The higher education market in Geneva is highly competitive, with a number of schools vying to attract students from both Switzerland and across the world. At the local campus of Webster University, a non-profit university based in the United States, HEM Education Marketing Solutions is playing a vital role in helping to boost enrolment.
“Webster University in Geneva offers a fully fledged American-style campus with a local Swiss flavor,” says Mark Hatton, Director of Admissions and Marketing in Geneva.
“Thanks to HEM’s digital marketing expertise and the hard work of our dedicated admissions team, we had the biggest intake in eight years in Fall 2023,” says Hatton, who is responsible for admissions, recruitment and strategic marketing.
The number of incoming students jumped by 30 percent that semester.
“HEM is arguably, the world leader in digital marketing for education and we are pleased to work with them to achieve our goals,” he says.
The school distinguishes itself from its for-profit competitors by offering more than a semester abroad. Students can enroll at any two Webster campuses during their degree program and enjoy a seamless transition, with no interruption in classes or credits.
“The amazing benefit of studying at Webster is that as soon as you are admitted to the Geneva campus, you are accepted into the entire network,” Hatton says.
In addition to the campus in Switzerland, Webster University has locations in Greece, the Netherlands, Georgia, Austria, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and China with other new launches on the horizon. The main campus is in St. Louis, Missouri.
Webster University has approximately 400 students at its Geneva campus, with 80 percent coming from overseas. It attracts students from 90 countries – which creates great diversity and prepares students to work with a wide range of people from various backgrounds.
Business, finance and economics are the most popular majors at the Swiss campus, making up about two-thirds of students. In addition, psychology, computer science and international relations are Webster Geneva specialties. “We take advantage of our location near the United Nations and the large number of non-governmental organizations to arrange student visits and invite guest speakers,” Hatton says.
Reaching prospective students across the globe can be a marketing challenge. Since joining Webster Geneva four years ago, Hatton has been collaborating with HEM to engage potential students.
“Working with HEM, we have seen a substantial increase in the number of qualified leads from prospective students,” Hatton says. “HEM’s response time to queries is very rapid and that’s helped to cement our relationship and build trust.”
And he credits the Webster Geneva’s seven-person admissions and student recruitment team with doing an outstanding job in converting those leads into enrolments.
“Switzerland is a very competitive market,” he notes. “In our advertising and social media posts, we work hard to distinguish ourselves from the for-profit schools in the region. That has been very successful.”
Hatton plans to continue Webster Geneva’s strong relationship with HEM. “We are looking to further use their services to achieve our goals, including the application of AI for student recruitment,” he says.