University of Canberra makes significant inroads in Chinese student recruitment 

A young university with a fierce ambition, the University of Canberra (UC) has been going from strength to strength. UC has been named in the top one per cent of universities worldwide, placed in the 193rd position of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020, and is ranked 34 in the world’s top 100 young universities by the 2019 Times Higher Education Young University Rankings.

With China representing one of the university’s biggest growth markets, UC was looking to grow Chinese international student numbers, but found they did not have the in-house expertise required to go after this market effectively. UC’s associate director of marketing, Renee Ryan, spoke to us about how Sinorbis helped UC overcome this hurdle.

Challenge: to grow Chinese international student numbers as quickly and effectively as possible

The China market was an important part of UC’s growth strategy, but, as Ryan found, the in-house marketing team simply did not have the international expertise specific to this market to grow Chinese international student numbers effectively. “We were very confused about the different digital landscape they have in China, in terms of the digital social channels, the firewall access and whatnot, and really needed some expert advice that we could lean on to get us in market as quickly and effectively as possible,” she says.

UC wanted a solution that they could implement quickly, without requiring a huge investment in resources, and they also wanted the ability to gather data and formulate insights rapidly, so they could build on their successes.

Enter Sinorbis.


Solution: a platform that is quick to implement, easy to use, and light on resources

With a Chinese website an important cornerstone of their China strategy, getting this set up as quickly as possible was a key priority for UC.


Working with Sinorbis to get the website live was extremely easy. They were very clear about the project timeline upfront, delivered on time and on budget, and whenever we had a question, they were very helpful in coming forward with a solution for us,” says Ryan.

And the results have been remarkable: “We’ve been really impressed with the results of our Chinese website so far; specifically, it acts as a really good partner for our Chinese social channels. It definitely allows our followers from WeChat and Weibo, and Douyin as well, to directly get onto the Chinese website and seek that deeper information about studying at the University of Canberra. The traffic levels so far have really blown our minds.”

Sinorbis’ platform has also delivered key campaign insights, giving UC unprecedented visibility over where their Chinese traffic is coming from and allowing them to optimise their campaigns further. “It’s a really easy-to-use platform,” says UC’s advertising and insights manager, Clare O’Leary. 


 “I can pull the data I need quickly and in a really simple format, and share with others as needed. Prior to using Sinorbis, we weren’t really able to see what channels were giving us the most leverage in the market, but now we can go in and see which channels are performing well for us, and look to increase our presence on those channels,” says O'Leary

In short, the Sinorbis platform has ticked all the boxes for UC: “One of the reasons that we picked the Sinorbis platform was because it was really easy to use; we wanted something we could pick up and implement in our business quite quickly without having to invest a great deal of resources in it. So far, the results have been exactly that: it’s been very easy to use, to update and to add new pages to,” says Ryan.

But Sinorbis have not simply implemented a Chinese website and left it at that. Sinorbis has also been a key partner for UC, providing insights and advice throughout the process. “For me personally, the education pieces Sinorbis provided were invaluable,” says Ryan. “Between the seminars that we attended, the webinars that they put on, and the online reading resources, they have been a huge help in getting us up and running in that market and achieving the results we have so far.”

If, like UC, you’re unsure about the Chinese market, and want some expertise to guide you along the way, Sinorbis can help. “Sinorbis is great to talk to if you’re getting started on your Chinese strategy and you want somebody who has the best advice, and also if you’re looking for a quick solution to get in place without too much disruption to your resources,” says Ryan.


A quick-to-implement, easy-to-update Chinese website that effectively supports Chinese social media channels such as WeChat, Weibo and Douyin

Impressive traffic levels

Powerful analytics that allows UC to optimise their campaigns

Ready to talk?