Competition Steps up for Undergrads

Fierce competition for school leavers sees unis innovate their recruitment.
Apr 27, 2022
Unis need to catch prospective students' eyes

Ambitious, career minded and discerning about the kind of university experience she wants, Skye Walsh, who will graduate from Mentone Girls Grammar this year, is a good example of the type of students that universities are competing for.

Unis are souping up their tech strategies, providing giveaways and even generous cash prizes to win their share of the year’s high school grads.

Skye has put in a lot of thought and effort into where she wants her career to go, starting the process in Year 11, and sees herself working in corporate law. Travelling with her father’s job during her childhood has given Skye a global perspective and she wants travel to be part of her future work life.

“Throughout my journey in high school I have trialled many different subjects and both business and law quickly became two of my favourite subjects. I am hoping that in university I will be able to go into a double degree of either business and law or commerce and law.

“When I was in Year 11 last year I actually participated in the Swinburne Early Leaders Program, which was around a year long, and helped the participants of the program research the transition into university from high school as well as investigate career options as an elective.

“During this program all the Swinburne students that I met with as well as the coordinators were so lovely and I had such a great experience in the program. Swinburne University has built a tight knit community and their courses look spectacular. A particular thing that stands out to me about their offerings is that they offer actual work placements built into the course to develop experience.”  

Skye doesn’t intend to take a year off before university and if she were it would be busy and focussed.

“I think if I were to go on a gap year I would split it between working and saving up money for university and travelling to new places and learning about new cultures. Currently I plan to jump straight into university after graduating high school and hopefully taking time to travel after I have finished university.  

“In terms of travel, I would want my career to be able to allow me to explore the world and travel. Since I was born, my family moved across the globe until I was around 8 when we settled in Australia due to my dad’s job and it provided me with such a global and cultural outlook and many opportunities. Travel has become such a big part of my life.”

Skye is narrowing down exactly what she wants from courses and universities’ study abroad programs are front of mind.

“I have had the help of my school’s careers councilor who has been a massive help in looking into entry requirements, researching campuses and more.” 

Swintopia, Swinburne’s virtual campus experience, spearheads its recruitment process. Visitors can choose an avatar, jump in, and explore the world of Swinburne, chat to Swinburne students, staff and local legends, tour the campus and surrounds, gather course info, complete missions, win valuable prizes and fill a virtual tote bag with goodies.

Part of the offering this year is a very generous $20k travel voucher, entry is gamified, visitors look for a teleportal that needs help (eek, it’s glitching!), complete the quest, and will then be in the running to win a $20k travel voucher to be spent any way they choose. 

There are also monthly prizes on offer through a gamified orientation process on the platform. A smart speaker – it looks like a pigeon and has that clever voice assistant technology, so you talk to the pigeon – is one.

A solar backpack and  a Memobottle – invented by one of Swinburne's students, which is memo-book-shaped to fit perfectly in a bag, are other prizes to be won through the Swintopia platform.

See Swintopia