Universities aren’t just manning phonelines for clearing – as a way of appealing to text-happy, talk‑phobic students, they’re also opening up social media channels

Clearing day used to be about spending hours on the phone – often on hold or in a queue. And although clearing hotlines are still a big part of the process, universities are realising that if they are going to reach the text-happy generation, it makes sense to open up social media, live chat and text to start the application process and even make offers.

“Speaking on the phone is not something many students do in their everyday lives,” says Charlotte Renwick, associate director of customer marketing at Leeds Beckett University. “We want to make it as easy as possible for students to talk to us comfortably. Of course we will still have lots of people on the phone lines, but we will also have provision for people to text in, use live chat and message through Facebook and Twitter – and the teams on all those channels are trained to make offers.”

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