Africa’s higher education sector is thriving. Oven 10 million students are enrolled in post-secondary education as compared to just 200,000 students in 1970. According to the 2016 Times Higher Education rankings, universities in Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, South Africa, and Uganda are shining examples from the continent.
South Africa itself has over 35 accredited private universities. However, marketing and selling higher education courses can be quite challenging. It’s because higher education often needs a lot of planning and financial aid for students.
As a higher education institution, you need to ensure that you are focusing your efforts in the right places to generate leads for your higher education institution. The simplest way is to go where your students spend their time digitally!
Students and their parent’s research higher education courses and colleges on education boards, career portals, and news websites. You can amplify your student lead generation strategy by listing yourself and running targeted ads on these websites.
15 websites to generate quality higher education leads in South Africa
Students often log on to and register themselves on college board websites. They are great to learn more about universities and compare them. These websites also provide financial consultations, making higher education more accessible.
You need to enroll your institute on the college board to generate high-intent student leads. Often these services operate simply as data aggregators. In other cases, they act as a complete application and admission portal.
1. SCImago Institution Rankings
SCImago is a website that ranks institutions globally based on their academic and research-related performance. It uses Scopus as its data source, a service that has extensive citations and an abstract database of publications.
Students who wish to enter the scientific or academic domain usually research for colleges on SCImago. And it’s quite popular for those looking for Ph.D. or post-doctoral opportunities, who compare colleges based on institution rankings on SCImago. To get improve their rankings on SCImago, institutes focus on increasing their contribution toward scientific journals.
CollegeStats hosts a database of over three thousand institutions. Unlike most other websites, CollegeStats do not have any form of reviews since, often, they can be fake. Instead, the website focuses on providing statistics, quantifiable data, and facts. College Stats also helps with information regarding the location and financial aid details, admission rates, demographics, and any other hard data about institutions.
CollegeStats makes use of publicly available data gathered by the U.S. Department of Education. The National Center of Education Statistics provided most of the data that is displayed on the College Stats website. They also supplement this information with their research.
Universities need to get registered with the U.S. Department of Education to get enlisted in CollegeStats since the DoE is their primary data source. CollegeStats use the same data for its ranking methodology.
Bonus: Students can look up multiple metrics, such as admission rates, and sort colleges according to their preference.
uniRank is a top international directory and search engine for higher education. They provide ratings and reviews for more than 14,000 officially recognized universities and colleges across 200 nations.
uniRank has a strict listing policy for considering and ranking the universities. National or regional entities, such as Ministries of Higher Education or government-recognized accrediting organizations, should grant the institutions official recognition, authorization, and/or accreditation. The institutions must have the legal right to award undergraduate degrees (Bachelor’s degrees) and/or graduate degrees (Master’s and Doctoral degrees) lasting at least four years. Also, the universities mostly offer higher education programs through on-site facilities using a traditional face-to-face classroom method.
uniRank allows advertising on its platform where universities and colleges can showcase their offerings.
Bonus: uniRank is an extremely credible source for university rankings. Students can even search for universities based on spoken language, country, or continent.
Universities.com was founded in 1996 to assist students to find the right colleges. Millions of aspiring college students have used Universities.com to choose the best colleges.
The website uses multiple metrics such as acceptance rate, standardized testing, diversity of student body, first-year retention rate, graduation rate, student-faculty ratio, and more to rank institutions. It uses data from IPEDS and College Scorecard.
Universities.com accepts business inquiries right from their contact form. This allows higher education institutions to directly engage with them.
Bonus: The website provides all the information a student may need, including information for an online degree, financial aid, career advice, or just general college information.
5. QS Top Universities
The goal of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, the world’s top provider of services, analytics, and insight into the higher education industry, is to empower driven individuals everywhere in the globe to realize their potential via academic success, global mobility, and professional advancement. Since its launch in 2004, the QS World University Rankings portfolio has expanded to become the most widely used repository of comparative information on university performance.
QS Top Universities allows direct partnerships and advertisements. Universities and colleges can get in touch with them for advertisements, collaborative events, and more.
Bonus: Over 94,000 media articles on or mentioning QS were published by media outlets worldwide in 2019. Their main website, www.TopUniversities.com, which houses their rankings, received almost 149 million visits in 2019.
CollegeData is a college database website that also provides financial literacy services. Offered by, 1st Financial Bank USA (1FBUSA), it’s been a free online college advising service for almost 25 years. The new mobile app from CollegeData gives users access to over eight hundred thousand awards through their Scholarship Finder as well as crucial deadlines for college applications and exams.
Bonus: Students can use the new app’s tools and resources to prepare for college, apply, and pay for it. Applicants can search and compare more than two thousand college profiles.
CollegeSimply is an advanced search engine for colleges. The website contains a database of over 3500 colleges. Using powerful search tools, students can filter, sort, and compare colleges. The platform uses The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS), College Scorecard Data, and Peterson’s Data as its primary sources. Universities and colleges looking to get enlisted should report their data to these sources.
Bonus: Students can search for colleges location, and even GPA, ACT, or SAT scores. One can start creating a college list with the search results right away. Once they have begun compiling a list of potential colleges, the website will make additional recommendations based on CollegeSimply’s extensive, private database of institutions that students frequently examine together.
CollegeXpress was established in 1995 to assist students in finding the best colleges. Numerous students use their websites, periodicals, and services to find their colleges each year, both domestically and abroad. Their user-friendly college profiles, lists, and scholarship search tools assist students in locating their ideal school and a means to finance their education.
Colleges and universities can directly contact CollegeXpress with their course and scholarship offerings via their contact form. The platform makes use of The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) for its data.
Bonus: Students, parents, and counselors may navigate the college search process, student life, and much more with the aid of their blogs, articles, and other resources.
Scholly is a start-up that allows students to discover scholarships for higher education. It is one of the most popular scholarship apps in the world that has assisted students in winning more than $100 million. Scholly operates through an app where the student completes their profile and is matched with scholarships. Scholly also has an extensive blog that allows students to learn more about finances while they are in school.
Bonus: Scholly is a one-of-its-kind search engine for scholarships. Both students and parents who seek financial aid can browse this website for details about colleges and scholarship programs.
Career portals are great for advertisements for colleges or universities. Often people who are working on a job may want to pursue a college education. Institutes that offer executive, masters, online or part-time courses can enlist themselves on career portals. Unlike college boards, career portals are more advertiser-friendly, and have more banner and search result advertisements.
StudyMe is a platform that brings together universities and students. Students and universities can sign up to create their profiles. Students can create a profile with a course and career of their choice. The universities can discover their profiles to get in touch with them. Universities can inform students about what they have to offer, including alternative courses or part-time degrees. Universities and colleges must register through the dedicated portal to start getting leads.
Bonus: StudyMe allows students to discover courses that were otherwise difficult to find through simple web searches.
11. Africa Universities
Africa universities is a forum for anyone who has a connection to or an interest in university life in Africa. The forum is for lecturers, postgraduate students, postdoctoral fellows, pre-university school leavers, and other like-minded people from universities all around Africa.
Universities and colleges can advertise on the website and engage with other users in the forum. This can help the institutions capture high-quality leads.
Bonus: The key purpose of this forum is to dispel myths about education in Africa, respond to inquiries about problems related to university life, and offer some light on the challenges faced by university students.
News websites often have a career section. While news websites may not be quite popular amongst school students, parents and students who seek post-graduation degrees frequent news websites. Since a lot of news websites are ad-supported, it makes sense to focus your education marketing efforts on such websites.
12. University World News
University World News was founded 15 years ago by a group of higher education specialist editors and international correspondents based all over the world. It is an open-source website with 1.5 million unique visits and 4.7 million page views annually. University leaders, students, administrators, and policymakers are the target audience of University World News.
The website allows sponsor articles, partnerships, and creative services for advertising for higher education organizations can use.
UGWIRE is a news and media website based out of Uganda that primarily focuses on news from Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and other regions. The website covers the education sector as well as business, technology, and legal. UGWIRE provides bite-sized content that readers can easily gloss over. Colleges and universities can share their achievements, courses offered, and prospects for the future by partnering up with the website.
14. New Vision
New Vision is one of the most popular news websites in Uganda. New Vision started with printed media, releasing newspapers, and now even has an online version. This makes New Vision a great option to promote your educational institute via display ads and banners on the website.
Eafinder.com is an educational site where students can learn about and obtain excellent updates on the top Universities & Colleges in Africa and Beyond, as well as information on travel, scholarships, and visa requirements. Universities and colleges can use EAfinder for both advertising and to publish sponsored content.
Converting student leads to admissions
While the list helps you find the sources to generate highly-qualified student leads, the goal for education institutions is to convert them into admissions. LeadSquared’s Higher-Education CRM helps institutions capture leads from different websites automatically.
It also helps higher education institutes:
1. Manage student applications and enquiries
2. Map the student journey throughout the enrollment process
3. Build and automate advanced marketing workflows
4. Track, monitor, and report the sales and marketing efforts
If you’re looking for end-to-end higher education CRM software to achieve the above, ensure accurate student lead capture, understand intent, and more, check out LeadSquared’s Higher Education CRM!