Posted: Saturday, October 30, 2021. 6:08 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Galen University has a record enrollment for the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year.
For the opening or fall Semester, Galen has 546 students enrolled. Of that number, 206 are new students and 336 returning students. Prior to this semester, Galen’s highest enrollment had been 477 for the 2020 Spring Semester. That’s the second semester of the academic year.
Cynthia Eve Aird, Provost at Galen University, credits the record enrollment to Galen’s quality education, the use of virtual media, student discounts, and tailor-made payment plans.
“All of our marketing because of the pandemic was done virtually,” said Aird crediting the enrollment success of the 2020-21 academic year and the present year to virtual marketing. “It was particularly successful this year, I think, because of the way we were able to use the virtual environment to attract students, as well as the fact that we gave a 20 percent tuition discount this year because of the pandemic, and we revamped our Student Financial Services Program (SFSP).
The program is tailor-made to each student’s peculiar circumstances. We have payment plans available to them and we also have student loans. These are negotiated between each student and his or her finance officer.” Aird said that under the SFSP, students pay as they can, weekly, monthly, or by semesters.
Galen University also posted their audio-visual program, the Galen Hour, also referred to as the Eagle Hour, on social media. “In our Eagle Hours over the summer we actually had students speaking on what the Galen education has done for them,” Aird said. Aird considers that testimonials from present students and graduates helped a lot in boosting Galen’s enrollment.
“We have students for example who were actually in school in Taiwan on scholarship who joined us and talked about how the Galen program prepared them for what they are doing. Students who are working at NICH, who are working in the field of archaeology and anthropology, people who are working in various places, in education and so on, spoke about what we do for them and how this helps them to succeed in their jobs”
Director of Marketing and Admissions Deanna Gomez Peyrefitte, who created the Galen virtual campaign, says that they have flooded their media portals, including Breaking Belize News (BBN) with Galen material. “We really utilize social media,” Gomez Peyrefitte said.
“We featured Galen a lot on social media. I think our social media have actually grown immensely in the amount of followers. If you look at our Facebook since March and April, every day we use Galen activities. We found out that worked really well. The featuring of the students worked absolutely very well. The message that they sent was so strong and loud. They represented us so well.”
“We actually used our Galen Hour so much because it’s a good recruitment tool for us because it showcases Galen University from a different perspective,” Gomez Peyrefitte added.
“I think a lot of the numbers that we had, had to do with the fact that we showcased our Galen Eagles and how excellent they are.”
But Galen did not forgo the traditional recruiting. Gomez Peyrefitte said that they did recruitment at different high schools and sixth forms and that it also worked really well.
But the people at Galen are not sitting on their laurels. They are boosting their recruiting activities for upcoming semesters.
“We are going live [on social media] with our recruitment activities. While we do invites, you can join the Zoom or you can view it live on social media,” she said.
Provost Aird said that notwithstanding the virtual campaign, student discounts and payment plans, what really makes Galen stand out, is the people that work at Galen.
“We talk about the quality of the programs that Galen offers but the quality of the programs that they offer, our success with marketing really has to do with the quality of the people who work here,” she noted.
“We have a very small full-time faculty and staff. We don’t differentiate between who is me, and who is provost. We all work together. It’s as a complete team effort. The people that work here are carefully selected because of what they have to offer, the particular skills they have to offer, and their ability to work as part of a team that makes this dream of Galen work.”
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