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Recruiting Intelligence

New Global Research: 2019 Edition


Intead’s Research Advisory Board has been guiding our latest work to help inform you of your next student recruiting moves. You can thank them as you pass them in the Nafsa convention hall this week. Meet them HERE.

The data, the infographics, the student insights…so much to consider, evaluate. Our ultimate goal: figure out how it all informs the marketing and recruiting plans of our clients.

I was just in New York City with Unibuddy (Nafsa booth 433) for their well-attended mini-summit. This peer-to-peer student conversation platform is really taking off and proving itself valuable as a recruiting tool. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a report on our findings from an analysis of 200,000 student conversations. Great insights about powerful messaging by region.

For those of you here at Nafsa this week, I’ll be presenting alongside Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University at 2:30 on Wed, 5/29 in WCC Room 207A. Seen the promo video? It will bring you a smile in just 45 seconds…


Below, we share our insights on what kind of market research we think is most valuable at this point in global recruiting, given all of the many headwinds impacting our work. Intead Plus members have access to all of it.

With budget cycles coming to a close for 2019 and just firing up for 2020, now might be a good time to consider the value of the investment in Intead Plus.

[Read on…]

As we consider where to focus our market research energy each year, we take cues from you and our Research Advisory Board. What challenges are you facing? Are they the same ones we’ve had in the past or is there something new that could use data to support a smart decision?

We also consider who might be a reliable partner with great data at their fingertips. IIE (Nafsa booth 1620) is a wonderful resource we all turn to. At the same time, their data is a bit historical in nature by the time we get it. Other sources like College Board give us great insights, as does the reporting from Times Higher Ed (Nafsa Booth 323) and Inside Higher Ed (Nafsa Booth 2101). And of course, there is the reporting by Chronicle of Higher Ed (Nafsa Booth 1757) and The PIE News (Nafsa Booth 2125).

We also find insights from IDP (Nafsa booth 1830) and QS (Nafsa booth 607). And we hear Terra Dotta (Nafsa booth P1001) is doing an interesting session on OPT data they have gleaned.

But there is so much more out there. The global agent network is a great source of on the ground intel in any given region. So important to have that ear to the ground for up to the minute reality checks on your recruiting plans. Talk to AIRC (Nafsa Booth 221) and ICEF (Nafsa Booth P1201) for help there.

And when we want massive data sets that can give us the level of detail we want by region, age group, or academic program, we need to go beyond these sources. We need to get creative. Here’s a taste of what is to come and will be fully available to our Intead Plus members.

Not to worry, we’ll blog about this stuff too and let others in on the concepts and approaches. Our clients and Intead Plus members get a heck of a lot more. We hope you’ll join that group soon and access the resources.

New Research from Intead Headed Your Way Soon

So, again, we review the global markets and look at where there are gaps in the information out there. We think about what the student trends are and what we want to learn more about. And we think about what data would help us make better decisions. And then we go out there and find it.

Here is a summary of what you can expect next from the Intead Research Team.

  1. Peer-to-Peer Student Engagement Platforms: with our partner, Unibuddy (Nafsa booth 433), we will publish a report on 200,000 student conversations and detailed responses from 200 international students who used the Unibuddy platform as part of their evaluation of where to study at the graduate and undergraduate levels. This report will be available this summer.
  1. The Power of STEM Programs: With our partner FPPEDUMedia (Nafsa Booth P907) and as part of our “Know Your Neighborhood” series, we wanted to know if STEM focused students make their choices any differently than those seeking non-STEM degrees. Why would we want to know? It’s all about audience segmentation and targeted messaging. If you want more students to engage with your institution, you need content that stands out. Our Know Your Neighborhood market research helps get you there. We plan to co-publish this research in early fall.
  1. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/Predictive Modeling: We just held (3/28/19) an Intead Plus webinar with iSchoolConnect (Nafsa Booth 1553) about all things AI. Our guest, CEO Ashish Fernando, joined me in our Intead living room which became a TV studio. I felt like I was on the set of Good Morning America – very fun (thanks Patricia!). iSchoolConnect has more than 180K online interactions between students and their AI chatbot. Analysis of this data will produce some really valuable insights about the use of AI with student populations. We’re really eager to dive into this one – there is so little research on this that is accessible to those of us working in the academic field. This co-published report should be ready in late November.
  1. High School International Student Recruitment/Admissions: We held a meeting in our Intead offices last month with the president of TABS, Pete Upham and others from his team. Private high schools are a terrific source of talented international students already adjusted to American culture and academic demands. We expect to co-publish a report with TABS late this year or in early 2020.
  1. Recruiting from African Countries: This area is next on our list and has high interest value within the academic community. There are more opportunities than many realize. And we always advocate that institutions diversify their recruiting regions as a way to hedge your bets (it’s not ALL about China and India today). We are still identifying data sources for this research. If you have any suggestions, we welcome your feedback.

You can see we are a busy bunch. We’re so glad you are along for the ride. We DO want your input on all of this. And we DO hope you see the value of engaging with us as an Intead Plus member. The opportunities for success are out there. Data will point the way.