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Recruiting Intelligence

The best-kept secrets in international student recruitment?

International student recruitment is hard work. So, when there’s help to be had, it’s silly not to take advantage... right? 

No, we’re not talking about hiring Intead to help you craft the perfect marketing plan (although...).

What we’re talking about right now is affordable, in-country support that not enough universities are using. We describe these options (and so much more) in our updated 88 Ways to Recruit International Students.  

That's right! The SECOND edition of our seminal ebook is now available as part of the Intead Plus membership. Fun fact: more than 8,000 of your global colleagues downloaded the first edition. And as part of the package, you'll have access to our exclusive webinar with Karin Fischer where we will reveal our latest findings about Indian and Chinese parents' perspectives. Gain a few new insights into what these important decision makers are thinking about a U.S. education for their children. Sign up now for the June 26 webinar.

The best-kept secrets we’re diving into in today's blog post are US government resources that can make a big impact on your recruitment efforts—and are accessible even if you’re on a budget. Please read on...

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Where International and Non-Traditional Meet

Where International & Non-Traditional Meet

Dr. David L. Di Maria, Associate Vice Provost for International Education, University of Maryland Baltimore County, is a renowned expert on international education. Dr. Di Maria previously served as the President of the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) and Chair of NAFSA’s International Enrollment Management Knowledge Community. We’re delighted to have him as a guest writer here on the Intead Intelligence blog.

Before you dive into Dr. Di Maria's wisdom, we need to share the opportunity to gain wisdom from one of our other industry's leaders: Karin Fischer, veteran education industry reporter whose stories appear in the Chronicle of Higher Education and the The New York Times will team up with Intead CEO Ben Waxman to explore current political perspectives coming out of China and India. 

Upcoming Intead Webinar: What's Politics Got To Do With It? Depends on Whom You Ask.

This post below is adapted from Dr. Di Maria’s recent piece for The EvoLLLution: How to Make International Learning Opportunities More Accessible to Non-Traditional Learners.


It’s simple: non-traditional students are changing the landscape of higher ed in the U.S.

The typical “traditional” college student is 18-to-24-years-old, living on campus, and financially supported by parents. That archetype is fading into history. More and more, students are…

  • Embarking on degrees while juggling careers, kids, or parents who they support
  • Living off-campus
  • Completing their education online
  • Taking courses part-time

These students are rapidly becoming the new traditional. And yet, they are too often left out of the global learning community.

How do we fix it?

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Understanding Your Global Landscape With SEVIS Data ...and Our NAFSA Slides!

Isn’t it nice when someone just makes things easy?

At home, we love it when our partners empty the dishwasher, the kids trot off to bed without a fuss, the cable guy shows up when he’s supposed to, or the DVR remembers to record our favorite show even when we mere humans have forgotten. Everybody loves it when someone takes care of the work, leaving you to sit back and relax!

At Intead, we get that same sense of “wow, thanks!” when someone serves us up quality data that is organized clearly. It’s nerdy, we know—but if you’re reading this blog, we bet you share the same appreciation for easy-to-interpret info.

So we want to share one of our favorite datasets with you: Mapping SEVIS by the Numbers, provided by the Department of Homeland Security. And yes, we are actually saying “thank you” to SEVIS. We’re as surprised by this as you are ;-)

Read on to learn about how available SEVIS data can provide some great insights into your global recruiting efforts. This stuff can tell you a whole lot about which countries might work best for your recruiting for specific programs. It can also give you insight into your efforts to attract transfer students – international students already studying here in the US.

Below, you also will find a link to our NAFSA presentation slides about aligning your internal stakeholders and gaining the support you need to recruit. The stories shared by Jon Stauff (Monmouth University) and Martyn Miller (Temple University) gave some real world, in the trenches perspective. The slides really don’t capture all that was shared.

Please be in touch if you’d like to learn more (info@intead.com). Better yet, sign up for our new Intead Plus membership and get a continuous stream of helpful data, tools, and a Google Analytics review that can put you in a great position to strengthen your recruiting game.

Read on…

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The Hard Truth About International Student Recruitment

So we are here at Nafsa 2018 and it is the usual exhilarating whirlwind. We will present later today with power hitters Jon Stauff (Monmouth University) and Martyn Miller (Temple University). We’ll share our slides soon. And we have something really exciting to share right now, with this post. Keep reading…

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Is Your System GDPR Ready? International Recruitment Edition

It has been all over the news (and likely all over your inbox) – the new General Data Protection Regulations are coming into effect this week on May 25th. Are your data systems ready? Are you? 

The new regulations will require affirmative consent or opt-in from all leads gathered from the European Union. You may already know that your institution has taken the appropriate measures to comply, but have you read your new privacy policy in-depth? Do you understand the real implications on the day-to-day use of your CRM and your interactions with students? 

One last shameless plug, if you're going to be at NAFSA next week, let us know! We would love to meet you. Our session with Monmouth and Temple Universities on building internal alignment for international recruiting is on Wednesday at 1 pm. We promise a good show with real learning. Connect with us at info@intead.com.

Now, a high level review of what we should all understand about the GDPR and your role in protecting prospective students' data. We look at the regulations and the consent processes in a positive way: This is a form of pre-screening your inquiry list. A far greater percentage of the leads you capture will have a high level of interest in your institution.

Read on to find out why...

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China's Success in International Student Recruitment

By the end of 2017 China had become the most popular destination for international students in Asia. What factors are contributing to this rise? What does it mean for your institution? Let's look at the data...

In 2017, 57K international students told us whether recent events were prompting them to change their desired study abroad location. Interested? We published our findings in our latest Know Your Neighborhood report produced with FPPEDUMedia. Props to FPP's database of more than 1.8M international students choosing a study destination!

Students interested in changing their minds told us that the top reason was not enough scholarships (31%). And, 88% of respondents said they would be less likely to study in the US if the government restricted work opportunities for foreigners. Frankly, all of the data points to career opportunities as a primary motivator. Always surprises us that this is not a core message in so many universities' marketing. But we digress.

Understanding the importance of these two factors, scholarships and work oppotunities, let's look at how China's "One Road One Belt" policy (see image above) is a significant factor in creating a supportive economic loop among many Eurasian countries (see explanation below).

Before we dive into all of that, we hope you will be joining us at NAFSA where we can show you how to garner internal support for your global recruitment initiatives! We will be presenting "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment" with with  Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm.  

We hope to see your smiling faces in the audience! And please, ask us any questions! We love an engaged audience. The challenge of building on-campus support for your plans and budget is common across all of the universities we talk to. Let us know if you'll be there (info@intead.com).

Read on to explore China's successful approach to international student recruitment...

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List Purchase vs. Lead Generation

So many international student lead generators….so few real conversions. The challenging truth is that there are no simple fixes to global marketing, though many companies pitch them.

List providers and university search sites offer an understandable allure to over-worked and under-resourced student recruitment professionals: thousands of leads, obtained with the swipe of an institutional credit card. But like everything else that sounds too good to be true, there’s a catch. Kind of a big one.

Give this week's post a read and consider the value of unique lead generation campaigns – and then attend our session at NAFSA to learn how you can pitch the idea and build internal support for all of your international recruitment efforts. Join us at our session: "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment" on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm with  Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University. 

Valuable information follows. Read on...

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It's the Little Things...

Choosing to study at an international university is a BIG decision for students and parents. So it makes sense that they care a lot about big-picture issues: Is tuition affordable? Will a degree from this school set the student up for a good career? How strong is the institution in my academic area? Is the campus safe?

But “little” things matter, too—more than universities or even students themselves often realize. This stuff comes into play a little later in the student decision making process, or as marketers call it: further down the recruitment funnel.

Prospective students and their families will judge your university not just on the practicalities, but on their emotional response to the institution and the overall perception of the campus environment. Understanding your unique audience segments will give you valuable insights into small improvements in your processes that will make a major impact.

Creating the welcoming environment at your institution has a lot to do with getting broader stakeholder buy-in. Translated, that means when an international student interacts with or arrives on campus, the overall experience is one of warmth and welcome at a very uncertain and anxious time. You've been there yourself: entering an unfamiliar place where you feel just a bit unsteady, not your usual confident self. 

At those times, the one or two smiling, welcoming faces brought back that feeling of, "Oh, this is going to be ok." Better yet is conveying the sense that this will be GREAT!

We will be discussing these very common university challenges at NAFSA this year on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm along with Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University. It will be a lively and valuable discussion. We hope you can join us: "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment." 

You can email Elaine to schedule a meeting with us at Nafsa.

So, what little things may not be so little after all? Read on...

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Streamline Your Global Partnerships

How many cooks are in your international-marketing-kitchen? Many universities work with a dizzying array of partners in their efforts to reach international prospects—an endless stream of specialized contractors all working in separate silos and in different regions.

We’ve seen universities that have hired many vendors under separate contracts:

  • A partner to build their international microsites
  • A freelancer to write the blog copy on that microsite
  • A partner to run a Facebook ad campaign in India
  • A partner to run a Weibo account in China
  • A partner to run webinars in Vietnam
  • A videographer to shoot student testimonials
  • A graphic design firm to design brochures
  • A social media manager to run their WeChat account
  • A market research company to provide yearly research reports
  • An SEO specialist to help with paid search

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…sorry, we dozed off there. It makes us tired just to write out this list. And we didn't even include the many agent contracts most universities sign in their primary target countries.

Does international student recruitment have to be this distracting and exhausting ?

Read on for our advice on streamlining and helping you get back to your real job...

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Student Recruiting, #DeleteFacebook, and You

It’s been a crazy few months of press coverage for Facebook, a giant in the world of digital marketing platforms. The company’s data crisis involving Cambridge Analytica has embroiled them in government scrutiny, heightened international political tensions, and angered individual users and advertisers alike.

Reactions like the #DeleteFacebook campaign may have you wondering: is Facebook advertising still an avenue for international student marketing?

Our money’s on “yes.”

Read on for our usual dose of valuable perspective.

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