Recruiting Intelligence

NAFSA Does It Again—This is Good.

Each week we strive to bring unique insights in the field of international student recruitment directly to your inbox. This week we are excited to announce the release of a key industry publication.

This month, NAFSA has released the 3rd Edition of the best-selling book, NAFSA’s Guide to International Student Recruitment. This cutting-edge work brings together insights from key leaders in the field and covers topics ranging from overcoming human resource constraints, to effective use of strategic marketing and recruitment travel, to measuring return on investment in international recruitment.

Editor Jessica B. Sandberg, Director of International Admissions at Temple University, whose editorial skill and leadership brought together the insights of major industry experts into one cohesive publication, contributes her own essential insights in Chapter 12: Recruiting International Students at U.S. High Schools.

Read on to purchase your copy from NAFSA.

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Iranian Students Seek Graduate Study Opportunities in U.S.

A lot of big news has come out of Iran this past year. With the finalization of a nuclear weapons agreement, U.S. and European sanctions have been lifted in Iran and political relations are improving, meaning there is more opportunity for recruiting international students from Iran. The numbers are looking promising for U.S. institutions.

Bottom Line: Iran’s number of university students is growing. But the number of slots available in Iranian universities is extremely limited. Resourceful Iranian students are looking beyond their borders in growing numbers. Iranian institutions want to ensure their smartest students devote their talents to Iranian ventures at home rather than abroad. There is a move to foster university partnerships where students receive only part of their education abroad. European institutions have been quick to jump on this trend and you might want to consider doing the same. But, if you are going to break into this market, you’ll want to focus on graduate level STEM programs and you’ll want to get to know the culture before you devote your resources.

Meet Us In Newport & Miami: Heading to the NAFSA Region XI conference in Newport, RI next week?  We’ll be presenting our latest recruiting insights. We'll also be in Miami this December at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with digital marketing presentations and workshops. We’d love to meet you and discuss the challenges you face in your work. Please be in touch if you'll be at any of these events--we'd love to meet you!

Read on for more perspective and some interesting stats about international student recruiting in Iran…

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6 Ways to Use Your International Faculty to Help You Recruit

There are tons of articles across the web about using faculty to help meet recruitment goals. One of the key points that many of these articles make is that it’s essential to choose the right faculty.

An article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education explains that it’s best for institutions to choose faculty members that are more “professionally qualified” than “academically qualified” to represent their brand publicly, and to find people who are award winning or even well-known. In the world of international student recruitment, these can be great tips, but what can be even more successful is faculty who have a connection to the region where you want to recruit. Bonus points if they are actually from the region you are targeting.

Bottom Line: It is a great idea to reach out to some of your international and traveling faculty to talk about recruiting. They are an invaluable resource that you should be taking full advantage of if they are game and have a knack for this. This blog post focuses on how to pick your team and how to train them. We're betting someone on your staff can use this post and help you make progress. 

Meet Us In Newport & Miami: Heading to the NAFSA Region XI conference in Newport, RI (Oct. 18-20)?  We’ll be presenting our latest recruiting insights. And in December we will be in Miami at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with digital marketing presentations and workshops. We’d love to meet you and discuss the challenges you face in your work. We can help. And we are REALLY good at buying coffee for our friends. 

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Surprise Intead Blog Post!


Look everyone! A surprise blog post from Intead!

Even though our blog is on summer break right now, we just missed you too much to stay away for long! We're looking forward to posting again in September, and we wanted to give you the opportunity to tell us what to write about when we return.

Take our quick reader survey and tell us what kind of research will help you do your job. All things international student recruitment. Many thanks to all of our faithful readers who have already given us their ideas.

We hope you are enjoying your summer! 

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Motivations of the Highly Motivated: Marketing to International Graduate Students

Did you know that in the United States, first time graduate enrollment grew by 3.5% between fall 2013 and fall 2014? The Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) report Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2004 to 2014 provides tons of information on graduate study trends. According to the report, “from 2004 to 2014, international students accounted for over two-thirds of the growth in first-time enrollment headcounts at U.S. graduate institutions.” And that first time enrollment figure is 11.2%. So lots of new international students and the vast majority of them at the grad level. Good news for international recruiters, right? We think so!  

Bottom Line: Graduate students are an important segment of international students to target with your digital marketing and their needs are different than their younger counterparts. Their motivations to study, the programs of interest and the influences for them to choose one program over another all vary. Mostly, they want to know they will get a job with a degree from your program. Similar to undergrad motivations but perhaps iwth a finer point on it.

Importantly, even if your institution is lesser known, you can still market the strengths of a top-tier program to these highly motivated students. They pay attention to that kind of thing within their area of interest. If your marketing efforts to international graduate students are limited in time and budget (whose aren't?), you would do well to focus on these two things: your career outcomes and your highly acclaimed departments and professors. Make sure you are capturing your target audience's attention with messaging they’ll react to.

NAFSA is right around the corner! We will be co-presenting new research with FPPEDUMedia on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad. So, while you are building your schedule for the conference, pencil us in for Wednesday, June 1 at 10AM and schedule a time to chat with us! Actually, use a pen, you really won’t want to miss this one. Trust us!

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International Student Employability: How Do U.S. Universities Stack Up?

 

It’s that time of year again—graduation! But amidst the accomplishments and excitement there is one thing weighing heavily on your students’ minds: what happens next!?

They have put in the time and effort, secured their degree and are now looking for the next step: a job. But just because graduation only happens once a year, doesn’t mean that’s the only time you should be thinking about your university’s employability data.

Bottom Line: While your website, social media pages, brochures and emails surely highlight all of the best things about your location, campus, programs, professors and activities, are you factoring in your employability data? Students (and their families) are really looking for that bit of security.

So, how exactly does the U.S. stack up in terms of placing students in jobs post-grad? Turns out, pretty well. The U.S. is the most desirable destination for international students. Its’ universities are dominating employability rankings and it has a comparatively low youth unemployment rate. This is the kind of data that can benefit your marketing efforts, whether or not your school is highlighted in the data.

Side Note: Are you going to the NAFSA Conference in Denver? We will be co-presenting with FPPEDUMedia and sharing 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! Set up a time to chat with us while you’re there, we’d love to meet you in person.

Please read on. Emily will share our perspective on employability data and international student recruitment...

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Work Experience as a Recruiting Tool: Erasmus+

“I can’t get a job without experience. I can’t get experience without a job.” If you know students who have graduated recently, you’ve probably heard them say this. It’s a cycle that every recent grad is terrified of falling into. Programs like European Region Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students called, Erasmus+ recognized this issue and the program is making it possible for students to gain experience while studying. It's all about making students' futures look a little brighter. And, guess what? It’s working.

Erasmus+, created by the European Union, supports education, training, youth and sport in Europe. The program financially supports opportunities for European students to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.

Bottom Line: According to an ICEF Monitor article published in February 2016, Erasmus+ had more than doubled their number of students in 2014. Yes, you read right. Doubled! It is now sending 500,000 students abroad through their programs each year.

Students are jumping at the chance to go because, here is the kicker, mobility increases employability. And that is good news for your international student recruiting efforts. Students are already seeing the benefits of heading abroad. Now, your job is to show them how you can support their needs.

Our NAFSA presentation on the morning of Wednesday, June 1st is going to address why students seek international study options and how they weigh economic and political factors at home and abroad. We are analyzing 40,000+ completed international student surveys as we write this blog! The results will amaze you and guide your marketing plans. We can't wait to share this stuff with you! We hope you will be in touch to schedule a meeting in Denver.

Read on to learn more about how the lessons of Erasumus+ can inform your global marketing...

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Get The Most Out of Student Recruitment Travel

You know the saying: you can do anything, but not everything. It applies to all aspects of life and work. And it really applies to those in the international student recruitment industry who travel.

Traveling for recruitment is a whirlwind. There is advance planning, the many activities, meetings, fairs and visits that you have scheduled for your trip. Did we mention the long days on your feet at the booth while struggling with jet lag? Best not to mention that part, right?

And then, of course, the most important part of recruitment travel: following up with leads. Wasn't the whole point of the trip to find prospective students and ultimately enroll them?

It is quite a lot to take on. And last time we checked, you only had two hands, one brain, and 24 hours in a day.

Of course you can do it, but not all at once. We know the challenges you face while traveling, we’ve talked to your peers in the industry and we hear you. So, to help with that most important part--the lead follow up--we’ve created a “Getting The Most Out Of Travel” worksheet for you to, quite literally, keep in your back pocket. 

The Bottom Line: making sure you are converting those student leads, which is really why you are spending those budget dollars on recruitment travel to begin with.

Setting up a plan is key. To effectively market your institution while traveling, you have to have a clear strategy in mind and a step-by-step process to reach your end goal. This downloadable worksheet might be just the thing to share with your team as a helpful checklist as you fly forward...

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Recruit International Students in Your Own Backyard

What if recruiting international students was as easy as looking in your own backyard? OK, maybe not literally in your backyard. But, there is certainly a lesser-tapped market that is closer than you might think. (And we found this beautiful photo of a typical American front yard and really wanted to use it  ;-)

In 2014, the Institute of International Education reported that 73,019 international students were enrolled in secondary schools in the United States. And of those students, 67% were seeking their secondary diploma. Exchange students, as well as domestically-based international students, are an important target group. They have knowledge of the culture, language and education system in the U.S. and they are easily accessible in the high schools just down the road from you!

Bottom Line: There is plenty of potential for recruiting international students from within the U.S. secondary school system. These students typically have a much easier time adjusting to post-secondary education in the U.S. at a university. But, recruiting them is different than the process your recruiting team might use when attracting domestic students. If you are using your domestic student marketing approach with the international students in your backyard, you are not reaching this target market effectively. Emily can add to your perspective here and share a few tips you might want to pass along to your domestic recruitment team.

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Are Saudi Students Key to Your Recruitment Goals?

How many mobile devices do you have? You got your cell phone, your tablet… Turns out in Saudi Arabia, a heck of a lot of people have more than one mobile device, too. We Are Social reports that the number of mobile subscriptions as a percent of total population = 173%.

Yes, More mobile subscriptions than there are people! So, we’ll ask you again, as we have in so many of our posts, is your international student recruitment content mobile friendly?

Let’s get to the point of this post: Saudi student recruitment. In the last few years, students from Saudi Arabia have certainly left their mark on international higher education. With the growth of government sponsored scholarship programs, such as the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program (KASP), the number of students from Saudi Arabia studying in the U.S. for the 2014/2015 school year jumped to just about 60,000. That's an 11.2% increase from the previous year, according to the International Institute of Education (IIE). With numbers like these, you should be paying close attention to this market.

And most of you are. Paying attention that is. In our conversations with our colleagues at many institutions, we hear concern. A strong reliance on Saudi Arabian students to help meet recruitment targets might be leaving institutions vulnerable. Not unlike the reliance many schools have on Chinese or Korean students. When the political or economic winds blow, it affects a significant swath of your international student population.

You are not alone in this vulnerability. So we asked Emily, our international blogger, to dig into the international student recruitment scene in the land of Saud and let us know where and how to focus our recruitment efforts. As usual, she did a great job and found some really interesting research.

BOTTOM LINE: Potential changes being enforced by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), are affecting how many Saudi students are studying abroad and the funding available. However, many Saudi students are able to pay their way, independently. When recruiting in this particular market, it will be essential to brush up on your Saudi cultural knowledge and reach out to prospective students online. Mobile phone apps, YouTube content and targeted landing pages will put you ahead of the competition and help you meet your recruitment goals. There's a lot of information in this post, read on...

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


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