Blog to solve student shortage

   Umeå University has had problems recruiting students to study IT in recent years. Now, hoping to encourage more applications, they have come up with an unusual recruitment method: a blog.

The departments of Informatics, Physics and Electronics are behind the blog, called VadSkaDuBli VadSkDuBli (What will you become?), which is scheduled to run until April 15 – the deadline for applications.

The idea is that students already attending the university might be able to convince prospective students to apply by airing their thoughts and experiences of Umeå University’s IT programmes.

“The computer is a natural part of young people’s lives and the blog is home territory,” said Mikael Söderström at the Institute for Informatics.

“So it was natural to create a forum where the students themselves could show what it means to take Umeå University’s IT course.”

Each day a different student is responsible for blogging all the site’s material. With the support of the department, the bloggers are encouraged to include text and pictures as well as film clips.

“This is light years from our traditional recruitment practices with information days, brochures, promotional films and advertisements,” said Håkan Gulliksson at the Institute for Applied Physics and Electronics.

“We must have the courage to think in new ways. To create interest we need to be involved on equal terms with young people’s daily lives.”

The Department of Informatics was recently evaluated by the National Agency for Higher Education who declared it to be Sweden’s joint best department for Informatics.

Sources: Computer Sweden, Informatik