Recruiting Intelligence

Peru: Student Recruiting Challenges and Opportunities

As our global political and economic climate continues to shift, we are always looking for new areas of growth for U.S. international student recruitment. Recently we’ve written about recruiting in Chile and Colombia, so it is of particular interest to us that the Peruvian middle class outspends both countries on education—and the market is showing signs of growth.

Did you know that the new Peruvian government, elected in 2016, has committed to becoming a bilingual country? While opening opportunities through bilingual education, the Peruvian government is also offering scholarships to help students break down the financial barriers to international study.

Bottom Line: As with any country, recruiting in Peru has its challenges—both cultural and economic, but last year alone, the number of students coming to the U.S. from Peru grew faster than any other country in Central or South America. The students are increasingly bilingual and have access to government-funded scholarship opportunities. The interest is there. It is now the job of U.S. institutions to step-up student recruitment efforts in the face of strengthening ties between Peru and the EU, as well as other Latin American nations.

Have we peaked your interest? Read on for recommendations for recruiting international students from Peru…

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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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Challenges for Recruiting International Students from Mexico

A little while back (after the U.S. election), we shared a blog post titled “So, How Do We Market U.S. Higher Ed to the World Now?” One of the most staggering facts we mention is the number of students from Mexico who stated they would be less likely to study in the U.S. in the case of a Donald Trump presidency. This number was 80% of those surveyed! 

With responses like that, many of us in this field are left wondering what the recruiting climate in Mexico looks like now. How can we address the ambivalence, insecurity or downright dislike many Mexican students and their families feel about studying in the U.S.?

Bottom Line: Political situations always impact recruitment efforts. In the aftermath of the U.S. election, you can expect some negative repercussions for student recruitment in Mexico. Be prepared to reassure prospective students in Mexico. Continue to focus the points that make your institution’s culture different than anywhere else, but add extra emphasis to the topic of safety and the welcoming environment your institution offers. For graduate students, remember to talk about how your institution can help them further their career. Use your current students as authentic representatives. Don’t ignore the significant issues but emphasize the success stories.

The results of our 2016 Know Your Neighborhood: Economic and Political Pressures on International Students Report will be released next month. The report is based on the results of the FPPEDUMedia and Intead 2016 survey to 1.2 Million international students. To be sure you receive your free copy, sign up HERE .

Read on to learn more about the recruiting landscape in Mexico and ways you can reach these prospective students.

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Campus Diversity, Cultural Competency and International Students

Dr. Carlos Cortés has had an amazing career and tells a great story. He was one of our keynote speakers at our International Student Recruitment Bootcamp back in January and we’ve captured the best parts of his talk here in an 18-minute podcast.

Along with a great talk and discussion over dinner, everyone who attended received a signed copy of his book Rose Hill: An Intermarriage Before Its Time. This was a treat. And now we can share it with all of you.

Dr. Cortés addressed campus diversity and cultural competency issues from a unique perspective. And he asked us all to consider some provocative questions that are hot issues on campus today. How do we evaluate our desire for freedom of speech when students are fighting to squelch offensive speech? And what does this mean for the integration of international students who are learning English as a second language?

Take a listen to his fascinating talk. You’ll be glad you did.

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Turbulence in Turkey: Opportunity for Student Recruitment

Turkey has been in the news a lot recently, and not for the best reasons. Political uncertainty plagues the country and the country’s foreign relations. From an international student recruiting point of view, this is a market where parents truly value education. And, Turkish students continue to seek English language courses and education abroad. Is your marketing approach able to adapt to this changing market niche?

Bottom Line: Stay flexible in uncertain times. As political climates begin to shift and foreign relations appear unstable, it is essential to focus on your relationships with agents and reassure your markets. In particular, in Turkey, local networks are vital to success. Creating strong bonds with agents and other student recruiting channels in the country can help your institution connect directly with the whole family.

Read on for a more perspective on current events and a few tips on recruiting options that might work for your institution in Turkey.

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Consider Niche Chinese Markets for International Student Recruiting

We all know there is no “one-size-fits-all” marketing (that would be too easy). You adjust your approach by country, right?

But in the US, would you market your institution the same way in Southern California and Texas? How about in Brooklyn?

Turns out, China is a big country too (surprise). And in a huge market like China, there can be a temptation to lower your strategic standards and provide the same marketing material to every prospective Chinese student. We’ve talked about segmentation often. To get the right students to your campus, you have to focus on niche markets with the right messaging.

Segmentation is especially important to small institutions with no brand recognition abroad. So, today we are talking about China’s second and third tier cities, and how you can leverage your brand in these harder to get to places. (Actually, many of them are on high speed rail and have reasonable flight schedules now.)

Bottom Line: Segmentation ensures that the right information gets to the right audience. In China, the criteria for a destination country varies depending on student academic interest. Additionally, a student’s academic level impacts the type of information they desire. Finding the right Chinese students for your campus involves tailoring information to targets and strengthening your relationship with agents. Agent management systems that reward success are essential to finding the right students and maintaining your institution’s reputation.

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AIEA Conference Slides Available: Harnessing the Power of Language Schools as University Pathways

 

A couple of weeks ago, we were at AIEA talking about language schools as university pathways for international students. We had the honor of presenting with David Silva, Provost of Salem State University, and Deborah Curtis, Director of the Niagara University Center for Language, Culture and Leadership. 

With the global changes we are witnessing and the political landscape here in the US, this turbulent time is taking a toll on language school enrollments. These programs act as early indicators of trends in international recruiting, and we can see that many of them are starting to face challenges. These challenges are likely going to spread to international student enrollment more broadly over the coming months.

Yet, any significant enrollment declines we see coming will likely be limited to specific regions (think Middle East, Mexico, perhaps India) . This will be harsh enough for everyone in our industry. And still, there will be bright spots where students are less concerned and student interest in the US may, in fact, increase (think Russia).

Time will tell, and our market research is helpful as you develop your marketing/recruiting plans. We work hard to make your planning targeted and effective in each region. Your use of language programs is just one tool among many to draw students to your campus and your programs.

Read on to see what our language school research uncovered and to download our AIEA presentation slides.

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Resource Tip: ICEF Agent Barometer = Expert International Student Intel

Here at Intead, we are always on the hunt for reliable resources and information to help our clients, and favorite blog readers  make better decisions about their recruiting and marketing plans. While the ICEF Monitor Agent Barometer is not new (it’s been published annually since 2007!), it is a great resource of information from people on the ground, working directly with student every day–agents! They can be extremely helpful and reliable sources.

Considering the amount of change in the air here in the U.S., in the U.K. and frankly, a whole lot of other important student-focused regions, having a strong agent network is like having your ear to the ground in all of these regions. Without in-country partners, you are relying on international news sources to tell you what the cultural sentiments are and how economic conditions are changing. Good agents are a great source of current intel.

Bottom Line: The 2016 Agent Barometer survey gathered responses from 1,111 agents in 108 countries. The survey suggests that the U.S. is losing ground as an attractive destination for international students. Finance is less of a concern for students, while the responsiveness of universities is still essential for getting students to your campus.

Another helpful resource to be on the lookout for is "NAFSA's Guide to International Student Recruitment: 3rd Edition" about all things international recruiting coming out in May 2017, and featuring an Intead-written chapter "Effective Marketing Practices for International Student Recruitment: Simplifying the Complexity of Academic Global Branding" on digital marketing strategy and tactics.

Read on for details and links to valuable information sources and our agency evaluation form to support your recruitment plans. You’ll have to read to the end to get all the good stuff! Don’t forget to share it with your team.

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Engaging Parents of International Students on Social Media

In many countries where you are currently recruiting, parents and families are an important part of the study abroad decision-making process. In some European and Asian countries, parents play an especially vital role in helping their children decide where to study - especially at the boarding high school and undergraduate levels. And they play a pretty influential role at the graduate level as well (though the students would have you believe otherwise).

Though it may be a bit more challenging to reach parents with your marketing, this influencing audience is so important. Facebook, live chats and online forums are great places to engage parents and bring them into the decision-making process. Of course, China needs a different approach. China always needs a different approach!

Bottom Line: We discuss segmentation a lot. By demographics, geographics, programs of interest. Academic marketers segment their student audience in many ways. Parents are another segment of your overall recruiting plan that you should be considering. They need specific messaging about safety, quality of academic programs, job prospects (outcomes) and other factors when deciding to send their child abroad. And, Pro Tip 1: they like institutions that are close to large international airports with major metropolis shopping nearby. Pro Tip 2: local language (nuf said!).

Finding online communities where parents are active is a great way to make sure your influential messaging gets to them.

Meet us in D.C.! Intead is off again to AIEA in Washington, D.C., next week from February 20-22. We’ll be participating in a presentation on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at 5pm: Harnessing Language Schools as University Pathways. Niagra University and Salem State University will share their plans to take their language instruction programs to the next level and we will offer our perspective on how to align global marketing plans with language program recruiting efforts. We would love a chance to speak with you one-on-one! Let us know if you will be there.

Read on for tips on how to engage international parents online...

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The Value of Living Life Abroad: A Student’s Perspective

This week, we turn directly to the voice of the international student–specifically, to our international student intern, Maartje Sebek (pictured above while traveling in Budapest), who has been working in our office since September and concluded her internship last week. (We seriously miss her already!)

Keeping the international student in mind as you create your marketing content is so important. Below, Maartje share's her perspectives on living and working abroad, why she decided to come to the US, and how her experience will benefit her future studies and career goals. Maartje’s motivations for this international experience and her decision-making process identify a few tools you should consider and point to valuable messages you might incorporate into your student marketing.

Among Maartje's many projects at Intead, she helped us pull off our first annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp, presented in partnership with CGACC. The theme was What Works Where and our conversations, workshops and presentations all focused on building recruiting and digital marketing strategies for the year ahead with a mind toward best practices, metrics and engaging the right audiences.

In the weeks ahead (starting next week) Intead's Recruiting Intelligence Blog will share some of the helpful worksheets from the conference.

Now, let's have Maartje tell her story: Hello blog readers, I’m Maartje, a 23-year old Dutch student who just returned home to the Netherlands after living abroad in the US. Currently, I’m studying at the Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen, in the Small Business and Retail Management program. As part of my third year at my university, I had to complete a six-month internship. This is my story about how I chose my internship abroad and the value of international work experience.

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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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