2019 OMHE Online Media in Higher Education

On Tuesday 21 May 2019, I attended my second OMHE (Online Media in Higher Education) event, hosted by Erasmus University Rotterdam. OMHE is a collaboration between the universities of Leiden, Delft and Rotterdam but all are welcome. I went on behalf of The Hague University of Applied Sciences.

For the opening keynote, Jonathan Tinnacher from Unibuddy gave the presentation about a “Sense of Belonging and Peer-to-Peer”. I was aware of systems like Unibuddy that make it easier to attract and convert potential students but didn’t know much, so it was interesting to hear Jonathan’s insights here.

The description of this presentation from the OMHE website:

How to harness peer-to-peer thought the student journey

Research shows that speaking to other students has the most influence on a prospect’s university choice. With over 20 years’ experience in marketing and student recruitment, Jonathan Tinnacher will discuss how peer-to-peer engagement allows you to harness the authentic voice of your ambassadors – and the impact on your digital marketing strategy, all supported with data insights from the 500,000+ conversations that Unibuddy has facilitated so far. Colleagues from Erasmus University will discuss their experiences and guide you through how digital peer-to-peer connections can transform the student journey, inform your marketing strategy and reinforce your brand.

Connect. Belong. Succeed. Unibuddy helps students thrive through sharing their experiences, effortless technology and the smart application of data. Together, the platform and student ambassadors provide an outlet for an institution’s authentic voice, a ready stream of content, and a deeper insight into the market’s motivations. Working with 120+ institutions across the world, Unibuddy’s partners have seen the platform optimise conversion throughout the student application cycle, from lead generation all the way through to enrolment.


It’s no surprise that students (like everyone!) are seeking a sense of belonging and Unibuddy is a practical way to facilitate and implement that while potential students are searching for a place to study.

In the break out session, I was incredibly impressed by the Community for Learning & Innovation. Kris Stabel and Mirjam van de Woerdt showed us their wonderful facility, where they support lecturers with both the practical and technical sides of recording online lessons. My Master’s thesis was on the topic of Blended and Online Learning and it was really helpful to have Kris and Mirjam share their experiences of how they overcame challenges to get this started.

I really enjoyed the activity where they teamed us all up with someone we didn’t know and gave us just a matter of minutes to prepare and record a video in their amazing studio. Veronica Norvaisaite and I felt a little nervous but I think we did a great job! It was strange but also very cool to see ourselves go almost immediately from green screen to “big screen”, in a professional formal. We were also emailed the video afterwards, and shown some tips and ideas about recording video for students – an area that I believe is crucial that higher education focus on.

I also really enjoyed the student panel who talked about their preferences in communication styles. Though I talk to students most days, it was useful to have this focussed discussion. They shared their favourite apps and tools, along with some insights.

The second keynote was from Sarah Bacom, Growth Tribe about Growth Hacking. I found this really interesting. I’ve heard a lot about both Growth Tribe and Growth Hacking recently, it keeps popping up in my LinkedIn feed for example and I spoke to someone not long about who joined the team there. It was good to have the opportunity to learn more.

The OMHE description:

Sarah Bacom – Growth Hacking Trainer at Growth Tribe

Utilising her background in research methodologies and sociological studies, Sarah has spent the past five years working with NGOs, start ups and social enterprises using these techniques to produce striking awareness and acquisition experiments that have been picked up by organisations such as the BBC. With her insight into the struggles socially responsible startups face, she works to showcase how growth hacking can be used as a force for good, and continuously looks for ways in which she can help turn people’s ideas into experiments.

Growth Hacking – Power Session

Building products isn’t enough. Marketing channels are saturated. Rapid Experimentation and Growth Marketing skills help you beat the competition and keep growing! Growth comes from a mix of behavioural psychology, coding, creative marketing and data analysis. Having spent the last couple of years building, coaching and training regiments of growth teams and growth marketers, in this talk I’ll run you through some of the latest stories, learnings and tricks we’ve learned along the way. A brief but information-packed power session covering the process, mindset and tools that will help you on your journey towards a more consumer centric, experiment- and data-driven organisation.


Finally Maud Wilms gave a musical wrap up, a really clever musical summary of the day:

My own photos are here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/VzrxhMDfZvRZvMkUA

A huge thanks to the organisers for another interesting and useful event:

  • Lotte van Klaveren
  • Rose Korver
  • Fedde van der Spoel
  • Aleksandra Stuip

See you next year! For more information:


Renee 🙂

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