Lancaster University

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Video Conferencing Used To Interview International Students

08/01/2003 10:41:10

Lancaster University was the first UK University to pilot a new form of international student recruitment when video conferencing was used for the first time as a tool for interviewing prospective students from India. A live link up was set up to by the International Office to enable academics from the departments of Environmental Science, Politics and International Relations and Law to talk to students applying to their departments 'face-to-face'. Sessions for students were held on Thursday July 17th in Delhi and on Friday July 25th in Mumbai (formerly Bombay).

The applicants had already gone through the selection process in India and taken part in interviews with local liaison officers. Video conferencing, however, meant that they had personal contact with the university prior to arriving in the UK, and were thus more likely to take up a place at Lancaster. It also meant that academic members of staff unable to travel to conduct interviews students could take a more active part in the selection of students, as well as providing a significant saving in terms of travel costs and resources.

Mark McGrath, of Lancaster's International Office said, 'The interviews went really well. The only problem was that some students did not get there on time due to extremely bad weather in the area. However, we will be looking at conducting interviews in this way again as it allows a much better level of contact between the applicants and academics at Lancaster'.

Staff from the International Office will be monitoring the results of the pilot closely to explore the possibility of using this technology more widely in the future.