Recruiting Intelligence

Integration vs. Inclusion & Cross-Cultural Competency on Campus

So, you have international students on campus. . . now what? We all know that the work doesn’t stop there. Your colleagues must have the tools and resources available to help students adjust both socially and culturally into campus life. 

As educators, we always strive to promote global awareness and perspective, but sometimes it can be difficult to foster this development on our own campuses. Questions that need to be asked every year—do we give students opportunities to interact across social and cultural backgrounds in all aspects of campus life? In the classroom, are there ways to foster greater inclusion with curricula and team assignments? In the end, are we producing alumni who are culturally literate and effective in a global workforce?

Achieving long-term institutional success through internationalization requires organizing on-campus resources to facilitate the types of interactions that open minds and build cross-cultural competencies. With supply chains, basic communication and daily business interactions in all industries going global, graduates entering the workforce need cross cultural perspective and skills. They need to be comfortable working with and managing a diverse set of colleagues. The universities that "get" this will produce more effective and powerful alumni.

This is a topic that has been discussed for years at NAFSA, AIEA and other higher education forums, so we wanted to highlight some of the best practical solutions that we have heard, read and discussed with higher education experts. As we take our regular summer hiatus from posting to this blog, we thought this discussion on integration and inclusion would send us off on a positive note. We hope that you will take the opportunity to join us at the NACAC conference in Boston this September or at NAFSA Regional in Princeton, New Jersey this October! We will be offering up some great new research on international student trends and the digital tools that help you reach them.

Read on for a selection of innovative tips & techniques for achieving inclusion on campus and fostering cross-cultural competency...

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Working with Education Agents: What Now?

We kinda thought this discussion was done when NACAC agreed that there was, in fact, an ethical way to engage agents to support your international student recruiting. Well…not so fast, for some.

We’ve all heard the education agent debate—how do I find and sustain ethical relationships that benefit both my institution and my prospective students? How do I know whether I am working with the right agents? And ultimately—is using agents worth the risk? This week we are taking a look at new regulations and a few of the underlying arguments and the evidence on either side.  

Last September, the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC) amended two parts in their guidance to U.S. educators on using education agents. This code of ethics, titled Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP), was originally adopted in 2014. This document lays out the code of ethics and standards for the association and its members.

And more recently, in April, the U.S.-based Middle States Commission on Higher Education proposed new policy languages that would prohibit use of incentive-based compensation for international student recruitment.

Add to that the changes that are taking place in China and Vietnam around how these countries have recently relaxed regulations for recruiting agencies so that almost anyone can raise their hand and announce they are now a student recruiting shop.

Yet, the American Council on Education (ACE) just released their latest report on internationalization efforts by U.S. institutions and they shared this: In 2011, 17% of respondents were engaged with education agents compared with 45% in 2016. Hello!

Our own recent research with FPP EDU Media that we presented at NAFSA found that 50% of international students find education agents helpful as they evaluate their options. And our sample size? 57,000+ student responses from 65 countries! (Find the link to our slides below).

Bottom Line: While the use of education agents by U.S. institutions is on the rise, concerns about unethical practices are being addressed. Have you figured out where the best and most reliable agents are around the world? Is your institution too fearful of the downside? If so, you are probably not relying on THE recruiting channel that pretty much all institutions with any significant increase in international student population are using. And they use agents successfully. If your goal is to increase international student enrollment, ignore this recruiting channel at your own peril.

Read on to get some of the details of recent regulatory challenges and our insights into using agents to support your international student recruiting. This channel cannot be ignored. The risks are really only in whether you put the right processes in place to select and manage your recruiting team.

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Know Your Neighborhood

35,000 International Students responded to our survey in 2 DAYS! That’s engagement!

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88 Ways to Recruit
International Students

A compendium of the many ways your peers are innovating to increase and improve their international student recruiting.


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