HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht (HU) was founded in 1995, the result of a merger of several independent institutions. The HU is one of the largest further education colleges in the Netherlands and is funded by the state. It has over 35,000 students with more than one hundred different nationalities. And yet, the students still experience HU’s educational environment as small-scale and personal. This is thanks to the numerous locations where the courses are housed according to discipline and the high quality of the teaching staff, who place great emphasis on personal supervision.
The former Hogeschool Utrecht (HU) portal was built using Microsoft’s CMS. Within four years, the content had grown enormously, which resulted in an unorganized, messy structure. In addition, Hogeschool Utrecht wanted to build a web site that would also cater to their international presence.
Working with Sitecore partner, Evident Interactive, HU wanted to design and build an international website to better represent the school. The main goals were to be able to inform site visitors about the school, and to attract potential students from around the world.
Working with Sitecore partner, Evident Interactive, Hogeschool Utrecht decided build their new site using Sitecore, for the following reasons:
Evident interactive integrated Sitecore’s CMS, and the site was live in less than three months. Sitecore was integrated with a combination of Microsoft Virtual Earth and Silverlight, to create an interactive map that allows site visitors and international students to interactively experience Utrecht.
The International site was chosen as a pilot for Sitecore. This year, Evident Interactive migrated HU’s complete web-environment to Sitecore, which resulted in a portal solution with 23 websites, covering all of the international target groups of HU.
According to Marijcke de Groot, project manager, Evident Interactive, “Sitecore is a great solution for HU. Its flexible architecture makes it possible to re-use templates and content across multiple sites. It is very easy to set up a new subsite within the brand of the school, but with its own appearance, appealing to the specific target group.”
Today, the Hogeschool Utrecht’s site has an international presence that allows students and their parents to virtually tour the school and learn more about it before they commit to a visit. The website provides a great representation of the school’s atmosphere – including studying at the Hogeschool Utrecht, as well as life in the city of Utrecht. The site is visually appealing, with photography, flash animation and integrated videos.
Moving forward, the site will include the ability for site visitors to create a virtual walking tour of the surrounding city with images of various interesting places that have been recommended by existing students of the HU.
"We are especially proud of our new international website,” says Ingmar Volmer, Program Manager Marketing, Hogeschool Utrecht. “Site visitors have increased and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. International students visiting our site are able to get a good understanding of the school, and our website has become a very important marketing vehicle for us.
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