Google Analytics for Higher Education


The opportunity to measure and understand user behaviour across multiple devices is one of the major changes now available with Universal Analytics. For example, if a user logs on to your website from a computer and accesses your mobile app from a smartphone, then you have the ability to understand and analyse their movement across your touch points. There is now an opportunity for using Google Analytics for higher education to understand how current and prospective students engage. This includes online touch points, but can also include offline touch points. Students who undertake activities like attending information sessions, meeting with careers advisors and even visits to open days can be tracked.

Loves Data surveyed Australia's top 20 Universities to see how they were using Google Analytics. The results show that while 95% of Universities are using Google Analytics, only 35% are using Universal Analytics and of those it is likely that only a small portion, if any are taking advantage of the cross-device measurement opportunity.

On average universities had 1.5 pieces of Google Analytics tracking code implemented on their website, with the majority using a single code and others using up to 4 codes. Looking at all the tracking codes installed on the websites we can see that the majority of tracking code being used is the Asynchronous code.

Google Analytics Usage by Top Australian Universities:

Google Analytics Usage

The survey reveals that 6.7% of the tracking code currently being used is legacy (or out-of-date) code that should be updated.

For anybody looking to upgrade to Universal Analytics, including universities it is a great opportunity to review current measurement and analysis requirements and also implement a system to manage your tracking codes. Our survey shows that only 25% of Australian universities have taken advantage of streamlined tag management using Google Tag Manager (which can save you time, while also making your analytics implementation more agile).

Google Tag Manager Usage by Top Australian Universities:

Google Tag Manager Usage

Universal Analytics presents an opportunity to grasp a better understanding of current and prospective students’ needs and motivations. Often in marketing we are left with a patchwork of information. We may know the outcome but we struggle to fill in the process. As students weave between their offline and online worlds, Universal Analytics can help bridge the gap between what we know and what we want to know.

New to Universal Analytics?Read our posts about upgrading to Universal Analytics and our guide to getting started with Google Tag Manager.