Recruiting Intelligence

The Wait is Over—Get to “Know Your Neighborhood,” Today!

Given the dramatic changes in today’s political and economic climate, we know there is one question weighing heavily on your mind—how will this affect my international student recruitment?

Last year, 40,000+ prospective international students told us what they thought, and now we are ready to share their insight with you. Along with some concrete marketing recommendations.

This week, we are excited to announce the release of our latest research, compiling all of the insights gained in our 2016 Know Your Neighborhood survey launched in partnership with FPPEDUMedia.  

By now, you may have heard one of our key insights—60% of the 40,000 students said they would be less likely to study in the U.S. under a Trump presidency. News outlets took notice. Our research was cited in The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times and on NPR’s Marketplace, among other publications —but have you read about our other findings?

We uncovered valuable insights about the impact of economic factors including currency exchange rates, personal finances, and scholarship availability. What does this information mean for your enrollment marketing strategies? Only one way to find out—read on to explore these factors in detail and download the full report.

40,000+ prospective studentsthat's a lot of intelligent minds—aren’t you curious? We were. 

Our Know Your Neighborhood 2017 report is written and designed specifically for enrollment marketing teams. Use our insights into student influencers, motivators, goals, and behaviors to tailor your international enrollment marketing and improve yield. 

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So, How Do We Market US Higher Ed to the World Now?

There is a new political landscape here in the US and in the UK. International student recruiting is facing some new, unexpected challenges.

Brace yourself, this is a long post and an incredibly important topic to all of us. We've tried to give some real food for thought and grist for action. As always, at Intead we try to give you the facts and figures in a concrete way. Strategic thinking that gets you to a tactical plan of action. 

I'm betting there are at least a few other people at your institution you will want to forward this post to if you dive into it. 

So, to get right into it, earlier this year we surveyed more than one million prospective international students thanks to FPPEDUMedia's powerful student database. More than 40,000 students responded immediately - that's some incredible engagement right there.

We asked them how current global, economic and political events are impacting their plans to study abroad. No surprise, our somewhat controversial question around international students' desire to study in the US based on the outcome of the presidential election has suddenly become a hot topic. For a variety of reasons, we didn't really expect to be in this place.

Now that we are, we have some new thinking to do. While the student responses we received were speculative (If someone wins, would you be more or less inclined to...), the responses were dramatically telling, nonetheless.

In case you missed it, 60% of 40,000+ responses said they were less likely to study in the US if Donald Trump were to win the election. That number rises to 80% when you look specifically at responses from Mexico. Now we have your attention, right?

So, how does our messaging to international students’ change now? How can we recruit international students who are wary of US travel and their safety here? How can we make our campuses feel inclusive and welcoming for our current (and future) international students? What about parents?

In the past week, we have discussed these topics with reporters at the New York Times, Chronicle of Higher Education, Hechinger Report, The Pie News, EL Gazette and others. There are many angles to consider.

In an effort to help this thinking, this conversation, move forward with all of our colleagues in academia, we are hosting a webinar later today (Wed., November 16) at 3pm Eastern Time to consider the angles in our new, post-election landscape. We will discuss what all this means for your recruitment and marketing plans. The webinar is complimentary, but limited to 75 seats. By the time you read this, we are likely already full to capacity, so we are looking into hosting another one. Register here to be put on our waiting list.

Dive into this topic in a more substantial way: Meet Us in Miami or San Diego

We will be sharing our global digital marketing insights and discussing ways to move forward in our new political landscape at some upcoming conferences. In December, we will be presenting at the ICEF and AIRC conferences in Miami. In January, we will be hosting the first annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp (2016 theme: What Works Where) presented in partnership with CGACC. Let us know if you’ll be at any of these conferences–we’d love to chat.

Read on for perspective on how we do that global recruitment thing given the new political landscape…

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International Student Recruiting in Egypt

It won’t come as a surprise to you that education is important in Egypt, the home of one of the oldest continuous running universities in the world, Al-Azhar University (photo above). But, after the political unrest of the past few years, you might be surprised to know that slowly and steadily Egypt is seeing growth in two essential areas.

Economic growth hasn’t been startling but it has been stable. In addition, increasing internet usage is linking young Egyptians to the global community more than ever before. This might be your signal to look past the Egypt of the Arab Spring and start looking toward the future of its young population. Students are interested in finding education abroad, especially if your institution has competitively low tuition rates and provides financial aid or scholarship opportunities to international students. A subset of our readers, for sure, but that is what marketing differentiation is all about. Promote your strengths where there is less competition.

Bottom Line: Interest in study abroad for Egyptian students is high but low government support makes financing these studies an issue. While the number of students from Egypt studying in the U.S. may be modest, the desire and the growth are not. The US saw a 5% increase in Egyptian students between the 2013/14 school year and the 2014/15 school year according to 2015 IIE Open Doors data. Tackling issues of finance will be key, but there won’t be a shortage of effort on the part of Egyptian students. Many young Egyptians have a good grasp on the English language and programs that help students hone these skills are essential in the region. And, if economic predictions for the future come true, starting in Egypt now will be a pay off in the future.

Meet Us in Miami or San Diego!

We will be sharing all our global digital marketing experience at workshops and other presentations at the AIRC conference, the ICEF Workshop and our latest effort to share knowledge: The First Annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp (2016 theme: What Works Where) presented in partnership with CGACC. Let us know if we can schedule a coffee date at any of these venues. 

Read on for more insights into recruiting students from Egypt.

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International Student Recruiting in a Turbulent World

What a summer it has been! No one could have imagined the dramatic and troubling international events that are now having an impact on our international student recruiting plans.

  • Turkey: A coup attempt and university closings
  • UK: Brexit (need we say more?)
  • Vietnam: Regulatory changes to how agencies operate
  • Canada & US: Regulatory changes to conditional admissions requirements
  • Brazil: Significant currency fluctuations

And that's not all! Our point: International students' motivations and plans to study in one location or another are certainly changing. Domestically, fewer US students will be choosing the for profit college option (ITT we're looking at you).

Bottom line: We have a whole host of international student recruiting trends to write about this fall and beyond.  

Our goal now, and always, is to keep you informed and competitive as you make some tough decisions about where the most valuable student recruiting sources are. You have a limited recruitment budget, let's help you spend it wisely. [read on...]

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Chat Us, Snap Us or App Us: Connecting to International Students with Messaging Apps

In the international student recruitment landscape, we all know the importance of the Internet, digital marketing and connecting to your target audience (at least, we hope you do!). Part of the awe of the Internet is its ability to connect people from all over the world. And now, with more and more messaging apps, that connection can be fostered in real time.

In last week’s blog post, we discussed the importance of using social media as a virtual community. Determining which social media platforms are used in your target countries is important to reaching the students you want to recruit. The same is true for messaging apps, which can be an even quicker way to keep up with correspondence.

In today’s blog, Emily will share valuable information about these messaging apps (think WhatsApp, WeChat and others). And for a side-by-side comparison of these apps, download the worksheet below.

By the way—are you going to NAFSA in Denver? We will be presenting our latest research on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad—you don’t want to miss this! And schedule a time to chat with us while you’re there!

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Are Facebook Users Really 3X Smarter Than Instagram Users?

We have another valuable digital marketing tool available to help you with your international student recruitment plans. Some of the statistics might be a little surprising on the surface. And we all know that statistics, on the surface, are not always what they seem.

For instance, did you know that based on Hootsuite user data, 74% of Facebook’s user base has some level of higher education while only 24% of Instagram’s user base claims that? Think about that for a second or two. How could that possibly be the case?

Our conclusion: Instagram users don’t feel the need to report their university level on their profiles. It’s just not that kind of platform. So while the statistic remains accurate, the story the data tells requires a bit more thought. Instagram users are not less intelligent. Seriously, some of our best friends are Instagram users. And we think they are quite smart! (Shhhh, we have to say that. They subscribe to this blog 😉).

With today’s blog, Emily used a Hootsuite report to develop a comparison of some of the global social media platforms by age of users, education level and global location among other key stats. The information is both thought provoking and helpful as you roll out your student recruitment social media/digital marketing strategy in key regions.

Be sure to tune in next week as well. We will share more information on virtual communities focusing on messaging apps like WeChat, WhatsApp, and even SnapChat.

Meet Us in Denver @NAFSA 2016: Learn from our latest research on how current global economic and political events impact students’ plans to study abroad. Schedule a time to chat with us during the conference.

Please read on for the link to our downloadable Virtual Communities Worksheet…

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Know Your Neighborhood

eBook 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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