27 May 2020Share
ACU has now moved all 2020 Open Days to three events in a virtual format. These will be supplemented by smaller campus tours and university experience events later in the year, subject to the easing of public health restrictions.
This decision will allow ACU to service the needs of our prospective students while making best use of our planning, time and budget, and to apply the Universities Australia principles around COVID-19 – which stipulate that open days and campus tours should be held online until further notice.
Taking Open Days online means we are no longer constrained by location. Therefore, this year we will condense our Open Day season from seven campus-based events to three national virtual events. The program for these events can be filtered by campus and by discipline, meaning that prospective students also have more options to find a date that suits them.
Virtual Open Days will be held on:
By commencing these events at the end of August, we now have the lead time we need to develop the significant amount of content required, and to build and test the platform.
We’ve undertaken extensive user experience research to inform our approach. While students will have access to the same information they normally get at a physical Open Day, the way they access and navigate it will be different.
We’ll have a combination of pre-recorded informational videos on our disciplines and study areas, live webinar-style sessions with accompanying chat, and additional chatroom features for prospective students to ask questions and access support. We will also tour our campuses and facilities through video and imagery, and showcase our Catholic identity, support services, international opportunities and other vital areas of the university.
The pre-recorded videos on our disciplines and study areas will be an important part of each event, and Marketing and External Relations (MER) will be working with academics to ensure they are engaging and useful for prospective students – and that the process is as streamlined as possible for staff.
Students will be able to choose their location on the event platform, and thus filter their experience and information to a specific campus. Our existing extensive library of video, images and stories means we have plenty of material to help display the uniqueness of each campus.
MER is working closely with Faculty Marketing Managers and those areas which would traditionally have a strong physical presence at our Open Days to co-create our virtual events.
While these events will be virtual, we will still require the physical presence of some staff on campus to deliver the live sessions and chat support. However, this will be over three weekends rather than the usual seven.
While restrictions will ease, it is extremely unlikely that universities would be able to run large-scale events, with many thousands of people, by August/September. We are looking at ways we can introduce smaller physical events later in the year to give prospective students the chance to experience our campuses in person.
Further information will become available in coming weeks, or you can contact your local Future Students team if you have immediate questions or concerns.