A new technology platform has been adopted by the University of Cumbria in a bid to attract more students.

Uni bosses have signed up to The Access Platform as part of efforts to change the way it recruits to both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Jay Walton, the university’s UK student recruitment officer, said: “We were sending out communication, but it was impersonal and hard to connect with, and that was a problem.

“However since we started to use The Access Platform, we have seen a huge difference in the way we are able to build relationships and interact with potential students.

“It is quite common for us to come across them at recruitment events and they recognise us from our conversations and interaction via TAP which is great because we then have something to build on.

"In terms of how the university positively interacts with students, this has been influential.”

The platform allows those considering an application for a course in Cumbria to interact with existing students and members of the student recruitment team.

They are able to ask questions about life on campus and individual courses from those who are already experiencing it first hand.

Student ambassadors can reply with the answers moderated through the platform to maintain safe and secure two-way communication.

Nik Higgins, co-founder at The Access Platform, explained the technology allowed the university to provide prospective students with a more authentic experience that was simply not possible to replicate in a prospectus.

“Times are changing,” he said.

“Recruitment in higher education was once centred around open days and prospectuses. Now students want to engage with a university in a more meaningful way.

“Our technology allows them to get the information they are looking for from their peers through their preferred method of communication.

“Our research has found three quarters of students who have engaged with a university through The Access Platform are more likely to submit an application to study there in the future.”

Nik added: “It’s great to know The Access Platform technology is already helping to boost recruitment for the University of Cumbria while giving prospective students a more authentic and personal experience with the universities recruitment team and students.”