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Recruiting Intelligence

EdTech: Coursera’s Role in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Move over, American Inventor Eli Whitney, we’ve come a long way since the cotton gin. We are in the midst of the booming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Just in case it has been a while since you’ve been in a history classroom, here’s a tiny refresher:

  • First Industrial Revolution—mechanization
  • Second Industrial Revolution—mass production
  • Third Industrial Revolution—automation
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution—cyber systems and networks

If you need to brush up on your history, there’s a course for that on Coursera—the newest EdTech unicorn in the revolution.

Valuable Side Note: boosting conversion rates & measuring communications effectiveness. Our NAFSA session is coming up and we'll be discussing how to improve your digital connections with international prospects. Intead and NEU offer up best practices. Check it out our fun 49 second promo...

NAFSA Conference


But why is Coursera such a big deal in this modern revolution? Read on...

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Chinese EdTech Growth Is an Opportunity for You

Beijing is famous for many things: roast duck, Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, The Temple of Heaven, and most recently, EdTech.

Beijing has the highest concentration of EdTech startups in the world, with a whopping 3,000 companies. Not only is there a staggering number of these businesses, but many have a remarkable earning capability, contributing to a multi-billion-dollar national industry.

Chinese EdTech is something to think about as we head toward the international event that is Nafsa in DC this year. If you are going, please let us know (info@intead.com). We have some brand new industry research about student-to-student counseling to share and it is pretty significant. Be in touch and you'll be the first to know! 

And come to our Nafsa session on digital marketing best practices (we're talking about micro-conversions with one of our favorite stars Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University - see below). With Ben and Hillary presenting, there's always a great mix of practical information and entertainment value. This will not be a snoozer ppt-show. 

So why is Chinese EdTech important to you? Seems distant and inaccessible, right?

The swift rise of Chinese EdTech could serve as a blueprint for growing global digital learning, but there are some unique secrets to China’s success. And there are some university promotion and recruiting opportunities that only the savvy will leverage. Interested? Read on...

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Getting Ahead of the Boom: Collegiate Virtual Reality

Last February, we talked about the intense and growing competition within the EdTech industry and new ways of delivering educational content, like the immersive learning experiences of augmented reality and virtual reality. These simulative experiences as of 2017 garnered $3.1 billion in investments, and those numbers are set to grow.

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Begin With Assessment

You are tasked with so many competing priorities. When do you take the time to step back and confirm your plans are aligned with your goals? When do you take the time to develop new plans to achieve new goals?

Sure, you carve out something you are calling a "retreat" to address these ideas with your colleagues, but if you are like most, you go into those retreats feeling a bit less prepared than you'd like to be. And do you have the data to back up the decisions you need to make?

Important note: You're going to want to share this one with your team. Great tips follow.

Begin with Assessment

We understand. And Intead is often called in to wrangle a bunch of data to the ground and identify the insights that are right there waiting for you, if you had time to analyze and reflect.

Each institution we work with is data challenged. You are not alone. However, there is a lot that your institution collects, though it is probably kept in different silos.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have that all pulled together, reviewed by knowledgeable experts and have the hard-hitting report that filters out the noise, focuses on the opportunities, and helps you make smart decisions…backed by data?

Read on...

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Going It Alone? You’ll Want A Library

Budget year is wrapping up and once again, you’ve been informed that you won’t get the level of funding you said you needed to truly move the needle. We get it. We’ve been there. Resources are always scarce. And yes, it can be extremely frustrating.

But you are a professional and you know how this goes. You do your moment of Zen and break out your trusty strategic planning process that you keep tucked away in that part of your brain. What are your true priorities? Where can you use your limited resources to push hard and fast? The goal! Keep the real business goal in mind.

And don’t forget to bring the positive energy to your team along with the plan. We all need that spirited lift that brings the team together and makes everyone feel the common purpose.

And there’s one more thing you’re going to want to have with you: a deep and powerful resource library that guides your strategy and execution when the inevitable obstacles arise along the way.

We got you covered. Read on...

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An International Community (College) Pipeline

Community colleges are, traditionally, locally-minded places (hey, it’s right there in the name).  But two-year campuses have as much to gain from cultivating a diverse and global student body as any other educational institution—and international students have much to gain from considering this non-traditional avenue to an American diploma.

Our Enrollment management friends at 4-year institutions have long looked to community colleges as a valuable pathway for recruiting international students already studying here in the US. With roughly 95,000 international students studying at US community colleges (thanks for tracking this IIE), this makes a nice pipeline for 4-year institutions seeking students who have already succeeded at acquiring a US visa. 

Another recruitment channel where international students already have acquired a US visa: US private high schools with more than 80,000 international students. We'll be talking to the private high school community at the TABS Global Symposium on April 30 in Newport, RI. Join us there and build important relationships to become more effective with this valuable recruitment pipeline.

Do you work at a 2-year institution? Are you at a 4-year institution interested in a quality recruitment stream? This topic matters to all of us. Keep reading.

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The Role of Translation in International Student Recruitment

“Why should we translate our materials if prospective students need to have strong English skills to perform well in our classes?”

It’s a valid discussion. We have always been vocal advocates for translating marketing materials into the local language of your target audience. This week: our perspective on translation, some of the most effective places to use it, and most importantly, why.

This post is important for your team producing the materials and your higher ups who are questioning the rationale. Our goal: making you more capable, powerful, successful. Share away.

Important to remember that translation is just one piece of the larger content customization process and that the content you share with your US audience will not resonate with your international audiences, whether you translate It or not. Each of your audiences are unique and will respond to different messages.

Here's the thing you already know: marketing differentiation is all about speaking to your audience segments with the information that resonates. Seems obvious, but not many institutions take the time to do it. Instead, they blast the same stuff to every lead.

And yet...they all complain and wring their hands about declining numbers and yield. There are solutions right there in front of you that do take more time and more investment. Take advantage of them sooner than later!

To read more about developing audience personas and audience segmentation, see our post on Persona Development: 101 here. 

The Intead team does this targeted content strategy and writing for our clients to improve application flow and yield. Let's get to work together. 

A note on adding Google Translate to your site: not better than nothing. The nuance and specifics of your differentiators that your marketing department worked so hard to craft are absolutely butchered with Google Translate. Your target audience scans (not reads) pages translated via Google. They get the high level gist of it and move on quickly. There is no absorption of content because everyone knows you are losing a lot of accuracy. You'll understand more about all you are losing by taking this awful shortcut as you read on.

So, about the rationale and the process for translation, let's dive in...

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Email Marketing for International Recruitment: Part II

This week, we are picking up part two of our discussion on email marketing for international student recruitment. If you haven’t done so already, you can read part one here.

There is so much discussion around whether email is ‘dying’ and whether it is even a viable channel for student recruitment marketing. Our answer is an unwavering yes - until something else supplants it. But that hasn't actually happened yet, despite the yammering. It's all about where and how you use this channel to influence the student decision-making. A strategic approach is important and knowing when and where to use email is essential. 

What we know: don't use email marketing lists as your first touch.

An important reminder: We'll be presenting about all this stuff at the NAFSA conference in May in DC along side Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University. Check out the link below to our session and hit the like and favorite icons if you'll be joining us! You'll get an inside look at some of our latest research.

NAFSA Conference


The email marketing that we conduct and recommend is not “first touch” marketing through list purchases and email blasts, but rather, nurturing campaigns to draw existing leads down through your recruitment funnel. Once built, a carefully crafted and automated email nurturing campaign can move leads to the point of application, without placing additional burdens on your admissions team. They have enough to do, right? 

Let’s jump into how you can implement an effective student recruitment email marketing strategy.

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Email Marketing for International Recruitment: Part 1

Whether you refer to it as a series of engagement streams, workflows or nurturing campaigns, we all know that email is still one of the key channels to stay connected with prospective students throughout their decision-making process. If they have demonstrated interest in you, they will read your emails. And the opposite is also true: If they have not demonstrated interest in you, they will not read your emails.

With our client work, we focus on the quality of the leads over the quantity. You should too.

Important Note: If you are reading this blog when delivered, this morning is the last chance to register for our Intead Plus Webinar: Artificial Intelligence for Higher Ed Explained. March 28 at 1pm EDT. Ben and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect, will discuss online behavior and technology trends, as well as case studies that will help you understand the role AI can play in optimizing student recruitment and retention

Register For The Webinar

Intead Plus subscribers will have exclusive access to the webinar recording after the fact (so you can share it with colleagues who are unable to attend).

But let's get back to email marketing.

If you’re like many academic institutions, you may have long standing email workflows with hundreds of automated emails structured to go out to unique audiences on a weekly basis. Many other admissions teams do not have the resources to establish this system. Either way, maybe it’s time to ask: could your email marketing program use a refresh? We’re betting the answer is yes.

If that seems insurmountable, bear with us. We will be giving some quick tips throughout that you can use to make some small, effective changes to your current workflows. You can move beyond having just one or two email nurturing campaigns that go out to everyone, regardless of their interests or geographic location. You can segment your audience effectively. 

On the other hand, if you’re a one-person team or a small office looking to implement an effective email marketing strategy, you will have your work cut out for you… but that’s why you’re here! We will give you an overview of key concepts to consider and walk you through the process, step by step (we'll do it over 2 blog posts so as not to overwhelm -- and by now, your should be entertaining the thought, "Who else on my team should I be forwarding this blog post to...?" We encourage that thinking.)

Email marketing at the institutional level can be complex, to say the least. But this week we will help you break it down into a few key principles that will help you write (or edit) emails quickly and efficiently, while ensuring that the content will stand a strong chance of resonating with your desired audience.

Let’s get started.

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Getting Smart about Edtech: Learning Management and Social Learning Platforms


OK, let's stay focused people!

So there are a few bad eggs out there doing admissions really, really wrong. You are not doing it wrong. We are not doing it wrong. We've got work to do, so let's ignore the headlines and get back to doing our jobs.

Just a few weeks back, we wrote about the growth and growing competition in the world of “edtech:” a broad term for the array of technologies designed to enhance learning, streamline the administration of educational programs, and improve student outcomes (find the post HERE). 

Current thinking divides the area of edtech into 8 segments and we will be discussing each of them in more depth this year. Our next Can't Miss Event is a webinar on Artificial Intelligence and its relationship to Machine Learning and Predictive Modeling. What does all this mean for international and domestic student recruitment and retention? 

Join Ben and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect for an exclusive Intead Plus webinar on March 28 at 1 PM EDT: Artificial Intelligence for Higher Ed Explained.

We’ll be sharing valuable data about online behavior and technology trends, as well as case studies that will help you understand the role AI can play in optimizing your own student recruitment and retention plans. 

Register for the Webinar

Let's put it this way: It's a heck of a lot more than filtered lists and chat bots. And we are afraid that many others in the field are not thinking broadly enough about how this all works and what it truly involved. And of course, the consideration of what is affordable for the value.

Join us live—or if you can’t make it, heads up that Intead Plus subscribers will have exclusive access to the webinar recording (trust us: this is one you’ll want to refer back to and share with colleagues).

In our blog today, we are not about artificial intelligence. Instead we are focusing on edtech’s potential for better connecting students to resources and each other. Ensuring that students can easily connect with enriching materials and their fellow learners is a pretty basic goal of every educational institution...and yet, one that can be surprisingly difficult to do efficiently and well. And while technology can’t solve every problem...it sure can help a lot.

Read on for our review of 2 primary buckets of helpful edtech tools: learning management and social learning. What do these terms mean? How can they be helpful? And if your institution is already using these kinds of edtech tools, how can you know if they’re working?

Good questions—let’s get going.

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