Northumbria University

NU World: The disruptive digital platform showcasing Northumbria University on a global level

The choice to attend university is one of the most important decisions an individual can make and will have a lasting impact on their future. On-site visits are key to making this decision, but during a time with covid travel restrictions, this was just not possible. So, we switched up the traditional open day experience, and created an immersive online platform, one which students from all over the world could explore.


NU World needed to substitute the physical open day and provide an effective and efficient way of engaging with and converting prospective students. For that, we had to feature all that Northumbria University has to offer through a globally accessible virtual channel.


Our audience insight revealed that those who attended an on-campus open day were more likely to apply and enrol for study. So, we needed to create an immersive online experience that mirrored the physical event, where prospective students could take a deep dive into everything Northumbria University offers.

We built a unique digital platform that ties content and marketing data together, whilst driving enrollment conversion. The platform creates ‘in the moment’ experiences to ensure individuals are influenced at the most opportune point of the journey, and in the most impactful way. To do this, we delivered dynamic content based on the user’s interaction and a series of profiling questions, creating an experience that is unique and personal to them – just as the real-life experience would be. 

To meet the wide-ranging interests of prospective students, we carefully crafted hundreds of content pages, focusing only on the most interesting, compelling and important elements. This included: 

  • 150 staff, student and project videos for 17 subject areas.
  • Photography and video galleries of key facilities, the city and student accommodation. 
  • 120+ clubs and societies' information and user-generated content.
  • 3D visualisation and editable interactive maps of the campus, buildings and the city. 

To connect with our audience, live events can be hosted virtually (over 400 have been delivered over the last two years). These events allow for two-way interaction, with live panels, talks from academics, and live chat for students to engage. We made sure that this was stress-free for event hosts with functionality to manage attendee registration, feedback, countdowns, and set iCalendar reminders across multiple time zones.


NU World is able to virtualise university learning, life, experience, and communities, as a vital substitute for physical engagements. The platform is now a core part of Northumbria University’s student recruitment and is an incredibly cost-effective acquisition and conversion tool, allowing them to interact with and enrol thousands of students year after year. 

Over 60,000 unique visitors have been to the site so far since it was launched, viewing over half a million pages. 

In comparison to Northumbria University’s corporate website, average users view 150% more pages of content and spend 3 times as long on the NU World website. 

Importantly, on average, 55% of students who attended a virtual event on NU World went on to choose Northumbria University as their first choice university. This contributed to over 6,500 students enrolling in an undergraduate or postgraduate course by October 2022, and becoming a valued student at Northumbria University.