QUT enhances Chinese student recruitment with powerful new website

Ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia, the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has been welcoming Chinese international students for well over 20 years, and has seen significant growth in this market for the last 5–6 years. Yet the international team at QUT noticed that this important market was being underserved by QUT’s digital assets. QUT’s international communications manager, Peter Geale, spoke to us about how QUT, with the help of Sinorbis, met this challenge head on.

Challenge: to better engage Chinese international students and their influencers

A few years ago, QUT set up a very basic two- to three-page Chinese website, but this was largely inadequate when it came to addressing the complex needs of this market. And while many Chinese international students had a good-enough understanding of English to be able to get the information they needed from the English-language website, important influencers who did not have a strong proficiency in English, namely parents and education agents, were being cut out of the conversation.

In order to properly communicate QUT’s strong reputation, as well as the many benefits of Brisbane as a study destination, to Chinese students and their influencers, QUT wanted to develop a culturally appropriate website that:

• was hosted in an environment that allowed for fast loading time within mainland China

• was mobile-friendly, due to the heavy use of mobiles in this market

• provided information specific to the market, such as updates about events in the region

• gave Chinese-speaking students and influencers the ability to communicate directly with QUT staff in their native language

This website would be a cornerstone to QUT’s broader marketing strategy for reaching the Chinese market.


Solution: a powerful website that is easy – and cost-effective – to manage in-house

One option for QUT was to develop a Chinese-language website in-house. After thoroughly exploring their options, however, they found Sinorbis ticked some important boxes. Websites built and hosted on the Sinorbis platform could be loaded fast in mainland China without the need for an ICP filing since the content management system is built specifically for the Chinese digital environment. The latter was particularly key, as it means QUT saves tens of thousands of dollars a year by not having to adapt the backend for their English-language website to their Chinese website, making it “good value for money”, says Geale.

Sinorbis developed the website on spec, fulfilling every requirement outlined by QUT, and delivering beyond expectations.

“If you look at the wireframe and what was delivered, it was 99.5% exactly the same, and the other half a per cent was enhancements that Sinorbis thought should be made. That is truly amazing. I’ve never seen it, and I’ve been involved with websites since before the web existed almost,” says Geale.

Updating the website using Sinorbis’ drag-and-drop platform has also proved a breeze – text can easily be copied and pasted in without even needing to adjust the font, images can easily be added, and event pages and landing pages can be created with just a few clicks.


I’ve used WordPress, Drupal, and many other open-source and proprietary content management systems, and Sinorbis is as good as they come. I'm actually quite amazed by the extent of it."

But one of the most crucial benefits was the platform’s reporting capabilities. QUT’s international team can easily generate reports from the backend, giving them a very clear overview of the site’s performance so they can continue to optimise.

“The favourite feature from my point of view as a manager is the web analytics. It's quite strong. We saw it at the beta stage before it was officially released, and quite frankly it exceeded my expectations of what it was actually going to do,” says Geale.

QUT’s website has already proven a key addition to their China marketing strategy. Not only has it allowed parents and agents, as well as students, to communicate directly with the university in Mandarin, it has also supported their video marketing campaigns via Youku, as well as their direct marketing campaigns.

QUT is now looking firmly to the future, with plans to further develop their search engine marketing (which of course would not have been possible without a well-developed website) as well as to implement a QR code plan, a recent initiative of Sinorbis’.


10,000 visitors in the space of 9 months

9% conversion rate for their "Contact us' page - far above industry standards

Bigger scope to enhance QUT's reputation and extend QUT's marketing strategy within the Chinese market

Ready to talk?