Recruiting Intelligence

Consider Retention from the Point of Offer

Let's start with a Happy Diwali to all our friends who celebrate! We share wishes for prosperity, wisdom and peace to all. And with those well wishes, we want to consider ideas about student retention this week.

When do you start thinking about student retention? Have you looked at your retention data lately? Our thought: we all need to think about retention from the get go, from the point of the admissions offer.

This week's post offers perspective on the advantages of this approach and some tips you'll want to consider as part of your communications plan. If your retention stats are not where they should be, and those stats will vary by type of institution and program, this post is for you. Frankly, even if your retention stats are where you want them to be, this post is probably still a good one for you.

Want to learn more from us? Intead will be at NAFSA Region X in Princeton, NJ, October 23-25. Two presentations with our latest recruitment insights:

  • International Recruiting…From Your Backyard with Bill Mena, Director of Boarding and International Admissions at Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland, and
  • Know Your Chinese Audience: Using Personas to Guide Your Marketing with Ita Hemouet, Director of Admissions, International Research & Strategy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Boston.

...or set up a time to meet us for coffee! We can always use an excuse for that extra cup of joe! 

Not heading to Princeton this month? How about Florida in December? Our team will be at AIRC (Dec. 6-9) and ICEF (Dec. 11-13). And of course there is AIEA in DC (Feb 18-21). So many opportunities to meet and discuss our latest research (4 new e-books heading your way in the coming months - Shhhh! We are keeping that quiet right now).

But if you REALLY want to learn from the best of the best, check out our faculty at the 2nd Annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp in San Diego (Feb 11-13). This small, hands on workshop format is for a select set of institutions making a real commitment to improving their international student recruitment program.

Meanwhile, in this week's blog we are considering retention. Retention starts with the offer of acceptance to your institution. That might seem like a bold statement – a shift in perspective, but we like to think that it should be intuitive. When you offer a student a place at your institution, you are committing to the entire process of maintaining that relationship until the point of graduation and beyond.

While it might seem hard to believe that extra effort focused on retention this early in their university process will impact your prospective students’ decisions down the road – we assure you that it can. Build your relationships early and often. Let’s take it from the beginning. Read on...

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Calculating Return On Investment

There is so much happening here at Intead this week! We are so excited to share it with you.

First, we are dedicating this week’s blog post to our team member Jen Thayer, (you may know her as the long time manager of this blog), who will be moving on to pursue a new career opportunity at Tufts Health Plan this week. We are so proud of everything Jen has contributed to the growth of this company. She is a very dear colleague and friend, and we know that she will continue to share her positive energy and enthusiasm with the world. Best of luck Jen – we are all cheering you on! 

Next, we are excited to be presenting a webinar: “A Game of Finders Keepers: Finding and keeping the good agents” in partnership with AIRC and Angel Ahmed of GNET-Global Network, Inc. this afternoon, Wednesday September 27th at 1:00 p.m. EST. 

We all know that finding a good international recruitment agent has its challenges, and maintaining the partner relationship isn’t any easier! How do you do it well when faced with different time zones, language barriers, and the need to stand out among the other schools in an agency’s portfolio? We will address these questions and more! Click here to register.

And finally, this week we are considering return on investment in the international recruitment process – how well are you able to track ROI? Good data helps you improve your recruitment, it helps you prove to your campus leadership that your recruitment efforts are worth it, and it shows you where you can improve. 

Finding the right formula for your university can help you answer questions about where you should be focusing your recruiting budget, and where you should be backing away. Read on to see where your institution can make key improvements in measuring ROI…

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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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Intead AIRC and ICEF 2015 Slides Now Available!

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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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