If you haven’t had an opportunity to read our recent LATAM recruiting series posts, check out Brazil and Colombia. Today in our series, a look at Ecuador. Not the typical place for universities to invest in international student recruiting, but a valuable consideration as you think about diversifying your source countries.
The US and Ecuador maintain consistent and strong economic ties. On July 1, 2021, Ecuador received 1 million COVID-19 vaccines from the US, with another shipment due to arrive three weeks later. With a population of almost 18 million people, Ecuador’s vaccination rate is close to 25% for the first of two COVID-19 doses.
According to the most recent SEVIS data from March 2021, the US had 3,025 active students from Ecuador. Of these students, 41% are seeking an undergraduate degree. Currently, student visa processing for requests to study in the US are experiencing the same frustrating backlogs and delays as other parts of the world. Getting recruiting processes back to pre-COVID smooth is going to take quite a bit of time.
With that as an introduction, let’s take a look at Ecuador and the top five student influencers for studying in the US.
Read on for our recruiting insights and a handy (and cool) COVID-19 vaccination rate tracking tool from Reuters — you’ll want to check this as you plan your global recruitment travel as funding and travel restrictions permit.
First, the tracking tool you may want to bookmark: Reuter’s COVID-19 vaccination tracking tool. Spin the globe and pick Ecuador and then take a look at the other countries you are considering as top international student recruitment targets.
From Intead’s 2019 Emerging Markets Report, you will find an analysis of 687 student responses from Ecuador, (along with responses from students in ten other Latin American countries). Our analysis showed students using Facebook and WhatsApp. 93% of respondents indicated that they used the social media platform WhatsApp at least once a week. Other popular channels with Ecuadorian students are YouTube (83%), and Instagram (78%).
According to the SEVIS data, roughly 13% of Ecuadorian students are enrolled in language learning programs. Compare that to Colombian students at closer to 25% and you’ll have some insight into which programs you want to push in which country.
Among top concerns, Ecuadorian students identify obtaining visas and securing work post-graduation. And considering those job opportunities, our findings showed that 71% of students seek non-STEM-based degree programs — business and management, humanities, health professions, fine and applied arts, and others.
A recent search on GlassDoor revealed the greatest number of job postings in Ecuador are seeking skills in the areas of information technology followed by accounting, legal, and business support services.
Considering topics more influencing students as they consider their study options, of the students Intead surveyed, affordability ranked highest at 68%, student services availability and reputation of the degree came in tied at 64%, the overall institution reputation received 62% and was just beat out with 63% expressing a desire for cutting edge technology and resources.
With all of these influential factors hovering at roughly the same place, you're going to need a bit of perspective from your current students. Share some pizza with them some afternoon and get their take on why they chose you.
We share this kind of information because it, along with your historical enrollment data and your Google Analytics data guide your content strategy for attraction ads, landing pages, download offers, and lead nurture emails. (If you don’t have time to put all that together, you know how to reach us).
Next week in our LATAM Recruiting Series: Mexico