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London UK, 24th July 2012: The University of Northampton has announced the launch of its new Facebook platform community – in conjunction with Toluna, the world’s leading online panel and survey technology provider – to better engage and communicate with its students.

The University is home to more than 14,000 students and is the first UK university to adopt this innovative technology, which will be a key part of its future student recruitment research strategy.

Using Toluna’s revolutionary solution, the new platform is designed to serve as the primary communication channel for students, providing them with essential information that would have, until now, only been available on the University website or noticeboard. The platform will allow users to participate in surveys and discussions to generate invaluable feedback for the university.

Facebook is also one of the primary methods used in the university admissions process, so will inevitably form a central part of the University’s strategy going forward.

Delia Heneghan, Director of Marketing at the University said: “Changes to top-up fees has meant the higher education market has become increasingly competitive. Meanwhile, the Government’s recent Higher Education White Paper emphasises the need to put students first and at the heart of the system, which is something we already strive to do at Northampton.”

“With a growing reliance on communication via social media rather than through more traditional means, we needed a way to engage and gather feedback from current students as well as attract prospective candidates. Crucially it will also establish a new channel of communication with parents, advisors and alumni.”

Toluna’s Director of Product Technology, Mark Hallums, comments: “We are delighted that the University of Northampton selected Toluna as its partner in this project. Using the platform, the University will now be now able to target members directly from its Facebook fan page, ensuring it can compete effectively on the world stage.”

There are also plans to extend the portal outside of Facebook to engage with international students – a key group for the University’s recruitment team.

For more information on Toluna’s PanelPortal solution, visit http://www.toluna-group.com/custom-panels/what-is-panelportal-connect/.

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About Toluna
Toluna is the world’s leading independent online panel and survey technology provider to market research agencies, communications agencies and brands, operating from 17 offices in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Toluna has a unique online community approach to the management of its panels. In 2003, the company created the world’s first social voting community site – Toluna.com – which focuses on maximising panelist engagement and increasing survey responsiveness and data reliability, delivered via web-based 2.0 technology.

Toluna’s community of four million active, highly engaged and responsive panelists collects more than one million poll votes and opinions a day across 39 countries, enabling its clients to gain reliable customer insight quickly and cost effectively. Panelists are encouraged to interact by generating their own polls and discussions, which they can post to blogs and social networking sites. This not only increases engagement and response rates, but reduces project turnaround times and provides clients with better quality data. It also introduces a wider pool of respondents to Toluna and encourages people to join an online panel.

In addition to its online sample capabilities, Toluna develops innovative world-class technology to enable its clients to create surveys, manage panels and build online communities. Toluna’s core products include:

• TolunaQuick, a self-service survey engine
• PanelPortal, an easy-to-use platform that enables clients to build and manage online panel communities
• Brand Spector, which monitors and measures the effectiveness of advertising campaigns by tracking online behaviour.

In 2011, Toluna was placed 27th in the Sunday Times’ Microsoft Tech Track Awards. For further information, please visit www.toluna-group.com.

About the University of Northampton
The University of Northampton is a higher education establishment situated in the heart of England and offers subjects at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

As part of the University's new strategy of being distinctive, forward-thinking and responsible, it is working towards being the top university in the UK for social enterprise by 2015.

It is the only university taking an institutional and holistic approach to social enterprise. Fully integrating social enterprise into the student experience, into teaching, learning and research, together with collaborations with local authorities, businesses and the wider community will deliver results regionally, nationally and internationally.

For more information, please visit www.northampton.ac.uk.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Hazel Johnstone, GingerMay Marketing & PR
Email: hazel@gingermaymarketing.com
Tel: 01892 785676

Published on: 10:21AM on 24th July 2012