UNE cracks new Chinese student recruitment channels with Sinorbis

Responsible for international marketing at the University of New England, Chris Daly, Marketing Manager – UNE International (UNEI), identified early that China was a strategic focus for growth. Ingrid Elliston – UNEI Director encouraged new methods to break into a highly competitive market. And with UNE’s strength in Business, Law and IT, a large Chinese community plus a family campus feel, the International team knew UNE had all the ingredients making it an attractive option for Chinese students wanting a study experience outside a major city. 


The challenge: Reaching Chinese students in a unique digital ecosystem

But how to influence prospective Chinese students most effectively?

UNE traditionally recruited Chinese students through pathway partners. UNE International, recognised the key to growth was attracting direct Chinese applications by raising UNE's profile and building trust with local Chinese agents. This required creating a digital presence and conversation within China.

Initially UNE’s team tried to set up Chinese websites and social media accounts by themselves but in Daly’s words, “these attempts kept falling over.

“We tried to set up our own Chinese website, but ended up faltering at the last hurdle. It simply wasn’t visible in China.”

Applying for a verified WeChat Official account also turned out to be a confusing process. “We were told we needed a local address inside China and we weren't willing to set up an office there, so for the WeChat part we didn’t even get to application stage on our own”, says Daly.

“So given all these roadblocks, we decided that we needed a reliable partner to support our China marketing plans.”


“ We received applications from Chinese students who first learned about UNE through our new website within the first year of launching. That’s much sooner than we would have expected. ”

Solution: Easy-to-use software and a reliable partner

Within weeks, Sinorbis had created a Chinese website that met local user preferences and could be loaded fast behind The Great Firewall. And UNE’s digital presence in China soon started to trigger the first results.

Plus, The internal feedback has been nothing short of amazing. “We have shown the platform and our site to the business school and a member of the marketing faculty and to see something as practical and effective as Sinorbis, it blew them away.”

An accessible user interface and the ability to unlock the Chinese marketplace with the help of the Sinorbis team has made Daly’s life easier. As a Tencent partner, Sinorbis was also able to help UNE to apply for verified WeChat Universal account. “Working with the Sinorbis team on this has made the process a whole lot smoother. Without them, I am sure we would have missed something or things would have got lost in translation.”

Looking forward, UNE plans to capitalise on their solid new Chinese digital marketing foundations. They are looking to embark on partner advertising and add more content to their website, while starting to build their WeChat presence to engage and recruit more students once their account application has been approved. 


First student applications triggered by new Chinese website

Quick, simple implementation, Fast to market.

WeChat account set up and promoting content to a local Chinese community

Ready to talk?