students in classroom

Beautiful Drupal Experiences in Higher Ed

Did you know that more than 70% of higher education institutions’ websites are built on Drupal? The reason Drupal earns top marks is its inherent flexibility. 

Think about this: a college or university’s website is a hub of information for a host of audiences, including professors, students, alumni, administrators, parents, prospective students and many more. And each department has its own needs and demands for what the website accomplishes: the Admissions Office needs a site for accepting applications; the Science department wants to feature new research by its professors; the Athletics department needs to share team schedules, and the Office of Advancement wants to keep alumni and donors engaged in the community. The list goes on.

Higher ed institutions rely on Drupal to support all of these needs and build the right experiences for their many end users. As we saw in the previous blog in this series, Drupal’s flexibility offers more than just function -- it often leads to creativity. Below, check out three examples of beautiful higher ed Drupal experiences.

Brown University

Brown university wepage

Brown and Drupal are both built upon the idea of openness. As one of the oldest higher education institutions in the country, Brown is renowned for its innovative, flexible approach to education with its Open Curriculum that gives students the opportunity to personalize their own course of study. But the Brown website offers more than information on academics. The University’s cutting-edge research, diverse community and scenic Providence campus all play leading roles on the website to bring to life the distinct experience offered at Brown -- often, with lively animations and videos on screen!

Brown webpage

California State University, Long Beach

calstate

Known just as “The Beach,” Cal State Long Beach is an urban campus located just three miles from the Pacific Ocean.

California State webpage

While it would be easy to rely on picturesque images of waves crashing into the shore to draw in prospective students, Cal State Long Beach instead spotlights its achievements in the academic world on its website to attract new students and their parents, and garner ongoing support from alumni and donors. To engage the greater Long Beach community, The Beach highlights its vibrant art culture, on-campus events and sustainability efforts.

Rice University

rice university

Not only does the Rice University website feature stunning videos and photos of the tree-lined campus at dusk, but it also acts as an extension of the university’s Houston campus, sharing content with students, parents, faculty, alumni, donors and other users through more than 300 Drupal websites. Rice draws in site visitors by demonstrating two of its key values prominently: community and excellence. Featured front and center are notable accomplishments by the Rice community to instill pride amongst fellow Owls and give prospective students something they can aspire to.

rice webpage

It's been said that the collegiate experience is whatever you make it, and when it comes to higher ed institutions’ digital experiences, that rings true. With so many different users responsible for creating a higher ed institution’s digital experiences for its numerous and diverse audience groups, it’s no wonder Drupal has become the industry’s CMS of choice. Drupal’s flexibility means the experience can be tailored to meet any need -- whether that be inspiring prospective students to enroll or bringing alumni back to campus for the big homecoming game.

Sylvie Tse

Sylvie Tse

Senior Editorial Manager Acquia

Sylvie Tse is senior editorial manager at Acquia, overseeing global content strategy and development. She has more than a decade of experience in the marketing and communications field, working with both B2B and B2C brands. Sylvie is a Boston native, having grown up in the area and earned her bachelor's degree from Boston University.