Last year, a few colleges, and quite a few universities, asked us for materials that they could use to let their students know about the Ultimate Steal offer (Office Ultimate 2007 for £38.95). And universities and colleges including Bristol, Kent, Stirling, Queens University Belfast, Salford, QMU Edinburgh, Bradford, Middlesex, Loughborough, Homerton College and Derby put up announcements last year on their student portal, or on their VLEs. This year, with staff also being eligible, we’ve already started to get queries from people asking for materials.

Promoting on your college’s student VLE or website

Banner_uk468x60

To make it easier for you, we’ve created a range of graphics banners (all looking like the above) which you can download and use. They are all on my SkyDrive folder, or you can download them using the links below – the numbers represent the width x height:

160 x 600 - Right click to download

250 x 250 - Right click to download

300 x 250 - Right click to download

468 x 60 - Right click to download

728 x 90 - Right click to download

Grabitbanner

And if white’s really not your colour, then how about the “Grab It” banner above?

640 x 164 “Grab It” banner - Right click to download

Promoting by email to your students

Many colleges didn’t want their students to miss out on the offer and emailed them to let them know about it. If you want to take this option, there’s a standard email template to get you started

Email template - Right click to download

“But, why would we want to promote Microsoft’s offer?”

And that’s a good question (Of course, I would say that, because I just wrote it!).

Here are some of the reasons that universities have told me that they’ve wanted to tell their students:

  • Save their students money (because the “Home and Student” version in the shops costs more, and does less)
  • Being seen to be offering their students a better service
  • Make their life easier (eg if you have students with older, ropey copies of Office coming to you for support)
  • Improve the service from their Student Helpdesk
  • Help students improve the quality of their work, and collaborate with things like Groove
  • Reduce the number of dodgey DVD copies of software circulating around college, which brings with it virus risks etc

Last year, the buzz about The Ultimate Steal made its way around universities pretty quickly, but it���s fair to say that many college students didn’t know about it until it had ended. This year, perhaps we can work better with you to make sure that none of your students pay too much for their copy of Office when they buy it!