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Recruiting Intelligence

Ben Waxman & Cathryn Andrews

Key Factors in a Changing Environment – Insights from NAFSA

This week, we are proud to share with you an article from our friends over at NAFSA (with their blessing, of course).

We were struck by the insightful way that this short section in International Educator's September/October 2018 edition captured today's market challenges in a realistic, unflinching light. Rather than emphasizing one factor impacting higher education (politics being a popular choice), this section takes a wider look at the many diverse conditions affecting overall enrollment.

This brief summary is evidence that many of our day-to-day concerns are not limited to international recruitment, and now is not the time to back away from building your brand internationally. As competition grows, both domestically and internationally, you want to be in a strong position to continue attracting students and maintaining your enrollment. We've all faced periods of enrollment challenge before. Shrinking away was not the answer then and it is not the answer now.

In that vein, we invite you to join our session at NACAC on Saturday 9/29 at 10:30 AM for our Presentation: International Alumni Relations: The Neglected Tool in Your Student Recruitment Arsenal?  Earlier this year, in partnership with Academic Assembly we surveyed over 1,000 US institutions on their international alumni engagement practices and needs. At this session, we will present and interpret the findings of this research and offer practical ways you can leverage your international alumni network to strengthen your recruitment and development efforts. 

We have another great collection of Intead research and insights coming out next week. You don't want to miss our Webinar: Agent Commission Structures and how to maximize your recruiting agent partnerships on Thursday, 10/4 at 10 AM EST. Register here. All registrants will receive a copy of the full report following the webinar. 

Intead works with our institution clients to help them determine the best regions and channels for their strategic enrollment plans. Our proprietary research and the custom research we do for our clients makes all the difference.

As you consider your recruitment channels, we recommend you refer to Nafsa's excellent summary of the factors we all must weigh as we adjust our enrollment plans to the current global geo-political environment...

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Canada and Saudi Arabia: Strategies to Support These Students

Unless you’ve been avoiding the international student news for the last few weeks (we almost wouldn’t blame you), it’s likely that something about the Saudi Arabia/Canada debacle has crossed your screen. But, you may be like many people scratching your head still thinking “wait what happened?” or maybe you’ve moved to, “is there anything I can do about this?”

Intead’s team has been supporting our clients as the international student sands have shifted over the past few weeks. We are helping them make valuable connections that can support some 15,000 Saudi students who are caught in the middle of this political dust up.

And, we are thankful for some on-the-ground news from our friend in the field, Nelson Padron. Some of you may recall Nelson was one of our faculty at our first International Student Recruitment Bootcamp. His international career has him traveling extensively and with his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, he sent us some valuable perspective we wanted to share with you.

Let’s take a little time to dissect the problem and identify next steps that your institution could take to support the thousands of students displaced by this political scuffle. We all want them to maintain their studies with as little interruption as possible.

Before we dive into that, a reminder that we will be presenting at NACAC in Salt Lake City in a couple weeks. Drop us a note if you'd like to meet (info@intead.com). 

Read on for Saudi student tips... 

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Student Recruitment Mistakes of the Desperate: Part 2

This week we are continuing our two part series on the all-too-common mistakes that happen when recruitment professionals are caught between increasing strain on limited budget and rising enrollment demands. Didn't get the chance to read part one? You can do so here.

As you read this series, you might think, "yep, I've been there..." or "hey, I would never do that!" ...Either way, we would love to hear from you! Want to discuss your recruitment strategies and how to avoid these pitfalls, or learn about strategies for how your institution can continue to excel? We would love to meet with you. 

We are currently setting up meetings for NACAC Sept 27-29. Ben will be in G block on September 29th at 11:30 am, presenting along with Daniel Spadafore from Michigan State and Gretchen Dobson from Academic Assembly: International Alumni Relations: The Neglected Tool in Your Strategic Recruiting Arsenal?  Beyond that, our meeting schedule is fairly open. Ben, Patricia and Elaine will all be there learning and meeting.

Have you captured our e-book: Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions: State of the Field 2017 In it we discuss our survey of over 1,000 US institutions on international alumni engagement practices and needs. At this session, you will learn how we interpret the findings and some practical ways you can leverage your international alumni network to strengthen your recruitment and development efforts

Alright, that's enough, huh? Let's get into it -- Part 2 of Desperate Recruitment Mistakes... 

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Working with Education Agents: What Now?

This week, we are taking a look back at one of the more controversial topics (still!) in international recruitment – the use of agents. 

Originally, we 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…the debate wasn't quite over, for some.

We’ve all heard the education agent debate—how do I find and sustain ethical and productive 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? (Because we all know there are some bad actors out there).

This week we are taking a look at the regulations and a few of the underlying arguments and the evidence on either side.  

In September of 2016, 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.

Then, in April of 2017, 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. That objection eventually died on the vine.

Add to that the changes 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) recently released a 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 in 2017 identified that 50% of international students find education agents helpful as they evaluate their options. And our sample size? More than 1M students surveyed resulted in 57,000+ student responses from 65 countries! (Find the link to our slides below). Those results are some of the most substantial and reliable in our industry.

Bottom Line: While the use of education agents by U.S. institutions is on the rise (considerably!), 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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What Do You Want to Learn? Vote for the Next Intead Webinar

Please, share your ideas with us! 

Every day we spend time lovingly crafting content to help you and your team build a stronger approach to international recruitment. 

This week we simply want to know: What do you need most?  What would you like us to research?

As we continue to expand the offerings available as part of Intead Plus, we want to ensure that we are creating content that fills your needs and effectively supports your recruitment team. With so many facets of the recruitment process, there are so many possibilities! That's why we ask you, our loyal readers, to let us know what you need, right now.

Please take 30 seconds to fill out a one-question survey and let us know what you think!  

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Innovations in Recruitment Technology

Have you heard all the buzz about all the latest tech solutions in international recruitment? Honestly, we'd be shocked if you hadn't – the buzz seems to be everywhere. 

This week we're taking a look at emerging trends in recruitment technologies (starting with a quick look at critical changes to the WeChat platform). PIE News recently released the nominees for the PIEoneer of the Year award for Digital Innovation in technology and we wanted to call attention to a couple of our favorite nominees – as well as a couple of other recent innovations. 

As you look critically at each of the tools we are considering this week, you'll want to ask, "How well would my internal team adopt this technology? How would my target audience respond?" All tech solutions must work in concert with your institution's unique marketing strategy and key messages and then there's the human factor.

If your messaging and your processes are not well developed – that's where you start. We can help (info@intead.com).

It's important to note: we're not in the business of promoting or selling any of these tools. We are simply keeping our ear to the ground and listening for emerging trends in the market. And right now, a number of interesting technology solutions seem to be springing up! 

Let's see what they have to offer...

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A Round of Applause for Our Faculty

Have you been to some of the big industry conferences and left feeling a bit flat in terms of truly learning how to drive recruitment?

Every year, we love to celebrate the great minds that come together to share experience, ideas and insights at our annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp – especially our faculty! This is a small team focused on sharing best practices in a workshop environment. A rare opportunity.

Did you miss our  Bootcamp Wrap Up Blog Post last week? Click that link to a post that was shared by your colleagues on social channels with gusto.

  • We think you'll want to bookmark that one and
  • Share it with your staff executing that global recruitment plan.

We are so proud to call our Bootcamp faculty friends and to give you the opportunity to learn from their invaluable, tested-in-the-field experience. This event brings hope and a sense of optimism into an industry that is currently flooded with so much turbulence and concern. We are thrilled to say that this year our faculty really did a brilliant job helping our Bootcamp attendees "navigate through chaos."

We invite you to read on to learn more about our faculty and the roles they play at their institutions. These are people to keep your eye on in the years ahead movers and shakers you might say. You can count on us to bring you the talent and perspective to drive your institution forward at all of our presentations and events. 

Ben will be in Moscow next week presenting at the Forum on International Education about digital marketing techniques to reach the global student market. 

If you want to stay in the loop for next year's bootcamp, Click Here to be among the first to know about the speakers, dates and more! 

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International Student Recruiting with Limited Resources (and NAFSA 2017!)

This is it – NAFSA is only one week away! As we prepare to travel and present our latest research, we find ourselves reflecting on how you do all that you do. The limited resources and hectic schedules as you meet with students from around the world. As always, we’re looking for ways to help. 

This week we are considering – how can you do more, with less?  We all wish we had more – more time in a day, a bigger budget, a larger team – the list goes on. As you know too well, in international student recruiting, the ideal strategy is often out of reach due the many distractions of running a complex office, limited funding and supersized expectations from above. Not to mention the fact that the rest of the campus seems to never understand your role.

We hear this a lot from international recruitment professionals. In fact, it was one of most cited “pain points” from a recent survey we conducted with our blog readers. So, if you find yourself facing these challenges, you’re not alone.

Any solace there? Maybe a bit. Better yet, let’s look at how to proactively make your situation better and your results stronger.

Read on for recruiting tips and a list of how/where to get the best data available to guide your global recruiting program…

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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 piqued 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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