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Recruiting Intelligence

Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q1 2022

The first quarter of 2022 dealt its fair share of surprises, and then some. The pandemic loosened its grip (for the time being). Northern Europe was thrust into a war. These events are deeply personal and deeply tied to our everyday work in higher education. And then there were the everyday surprises courtesy of another enrollment and budget planning season. Still, the world kept turning and we kept acting on the opportunities we see for improvement in everything we are able to touch.

In the midst of all this, you may have missed a few of our top posts. No matter! We’re here to point you in the right direction. Read on for our quarterly recap of the most valuable stuff from Q1 2022 and the Intead resources available to you.

And, if you’ll be attending the NAFSA 2022 in Denver (May 31-June 3), be in touch so we can set aside time for a coffee and exchange of ideas. We’ll have 4 NAFSA presentations all covering different aspects of global recruiting. One of them has been selected by NAFSA for live-stream to give more folks access to the amazing panel that includes Benedict College, Clark University, and CIEE. More on that in the coming weeks.

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Quick Hit Regional Insights for Student Recruitment

You won’t reach students in China using the same tactics you use to reach students in Brazil. Or Nigeria. Seems obvious to those recruiting students internationally, but you’d be surprised by what some marketers out there are pushing. It takes more than a tweak in ad copy to woo prospects from different countries. It requires a good deal of nuanced cultural insight.

Yes, you have Google Analytics and enrollment data to tell you which sending countries show interest in your institution (you’re using those, right?). But it’s deeper than this, as you well know. That’s why we’ve updated one of our most popular tools: the Country Comparison Cheat Sheet.

This easy-to-read spreadsheet breaks down key stats on the top 16 countries sending students to US institutions. We sourced the latest data from IIE, IBISWorld, InterNations, WorldAtlas, XE, and more to offer insights into each country.

The numbers we share represent data you could gather on your own, but we did the work for you. And we are connecting dots that don’t often get connected - though they should be.

Read on to download this free tool for you and your team.

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A 2022 Must-Read -- AIEA's Handbook of International Higher Education

In the age of snack-size content, The Handbook of International Higher Education, 2nd Edition is for a hungrier reader.

This deep-dive resource, thoughtfully delivered to all of us by AIEA, provides exceptional context for many of the issues we are all facing now and offers a glimpse of what lies ahead.

The book explores the evolution of student mobility, commercialization of academia, higher ed-tech, the student experience, and more. Collectively we’ve spurred so much change since the handbook first published just a decade ago. Not to mention the issues that have changed us (immigration, social justice, COVID, technology).

Side note: if you’ll be attending the 2022 AIEA conference in New Orleans (Feb 20-23), be in touch and we’ll find time for a coffee and an exchange of ideas.

There’s little doubt that we are in the midst of profound transformation. How we move forward must be informed by where we’ve been. Our colleagues agree international education is vital to an increasingly interconnected world. Yet, even this bedrock is evolving. Once driven by societal cooperation, contribution, and service, there is an undeniable shift toward competition and marketization in higher education. Perceptions and approaches vary depending on where you are in the world and the primary sources of your institution’s funding (i.e., government vs. private).

Read on for our quick summary of what the handbook offers us from a student recruitment point of view. A piece of the higher ed puzzle that is evolving with quickening speed.

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US vs China: One Chinese Student’s Journey Through the Pandemic

Two years into the pandemic and we are still wondering what this elusive “new normal” is going to be. While the authorities and virus hash it out, your job is to help students navigate the shifting winds so they can more confidently enroll for the next semester. (We’re looking at you international admissions teams.)

What we know for sure: international students are eager to get on with their lives after waiting for Covid to pass. But, we know it’s not so simple.

Visa wait times, continued, sporadic travel restrictions, and challenges in accessing and validating US-approved vaccinations are causing delays and headaches.

There is wisdom in listening to real stories from real students studying through this very real pandemic. Today, I encourage you to read this tale of two countries by Intead Marketing Data Analyst and PhD aspirant Sally Zhu. Sally is another outstanding example of the value of the US OPT policies. We are so pleased to see this program recently expanding the definition of STEM and the 3-year work option in the US.

Side note: if you’ll be attending the 2022 AIEA conference in New Orleans (Feb 20-23), be in touch and we’ll find time for a coffee and an exchange of ideas.

Read on as Sally shares her dual experience of living in the US and China these past two years. It offers student enrollment managers and recruiters insights into messaging and approaches to pandemic-related communications. As marketers, topics that are important to our audiences are also important to us, right?

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Intead’s Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021

Enrollment professionals around the world tapped and clicked throughout 2021 looking for insight. They found it here on the Intead blog and now you can see what resonated most. Presenting, our Top 10 Blog Posts of 2021.

It was a tough year with far too much ambiguity. Intead’s global network kept readers abreast of what students and parents are thinking and how marketing messages can reach them.

Would you like a cup of coffee in New Orleans with us at AIEA? We’ll be there and look forward to a busy schedule. Be in touch if you’d like to connect. We have a few amazing restaurant recommendations we can share, assuming that kind of gathering is safe and comfortable by the time the event rolls around.

Read on for our Top Posts of 2021 (links included). Great for sharing with your team to help them think creatively about their respective roles and assignments.

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An OPT Reflection: Starting Points and Destinations

The student journey from one place to another has common elements. It starts with an intense desire to learn and explore. Why else would someone spend so much time, energy, money?

OPT is an essential tool that benefits us all. There is no question. Occasionally, we need to be reminded.

  • As a follow on to the 2021 AIRC conference just completed which is all about creating great learning experiences for students around the world,
  • As our final post for the year (we will take a break and return on January 5, 2022),

Please drink in this optimistic view of how everyone in our field contributes to making the world more connected, stronger, and safer.

Xi Chen held a very important role at Intead almost a decade ago as the company was in the early stages of making a name for itself. She helped us set our course with a fierce dedication and rare level of talent that set a bar for our future international student interns. We asked her to reflect on what her OPT experience at Intead meant to her. We know how much it meant to us!

In writing about her OPT experience, Xi sent us this quote: "Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another."  ~ John Dewey

Read on to get a first-hand look beautifully shared by Xi Chen. This is all about what you are setting your students up to achieve, personally, and for the world all around us.

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Meet Your Strategic Enrollment Advisors

As an education professional, you know deeply the power of a knowledgeable guide to expand your mind, challenge your beliefs, and push you to new heights.

Whether this guide takes the form of a favorite professor, dean, mentor, colleague (or a favorite blog), even the most experienced leaders among us can benefit from a little outside perspective and wisdom from time to time (read: always).

For Intead, that source of wisdom is our recently expanded Intead Research Advisory Board, a veritable who’s who of education industry leaders who guide our student recruitment and enrollment research on both domestic and international approaches.  

Don’t worry, we’re not just here today to sing their praises (although we could do that all day) or talk about how they help us look smart (although they do). ;)

The truth is, the Intead Research Advisory Board isn’t really for Intead. They’re here to serve you. With their expertise, we are able to provide you with fresh and deeply knowledgeable perspectives and new research and insights on topics that drive our industry and your institution forward. We’re ever grateful for their valuable work.

Read on to learn more about this powerful line-up, how their wealth of experience can help to power your institution, and the market intelligence we are working on and presenting soon.

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Your Students. Your Programs. In China — Event Tomorrow

Struggling to define strategies that will bring back your enrollment from China? You’re not alone.

But there’s good news: Clark University met the needs of their Chinese students this past year with an innovative and quickly installed remote campus in Shanghai. Their story is full of instructive lessons. And our webinar tomorrow will enlighten (see link below). 

And there is even more good news: Chinese parents are still eager to provide a US-style education for their child, with 97% of parent respondents in our latest market research citing the US as their first-choice destination for their child’s education.

The short of it: opportunity for your institution is still out there. Chinese parents and students are ready and waiting for your message despite current travel restrictions, if only you could reach them…

As you plan your strategy for next year, consider this: CIEE has created a powerful option that has proven successful at helping US institutions meet their Chinese students where they are. And it is not just about enrollment. It is so much more, thankfully. 

We’re talking long-term partnership building in one of your key markets and a new pipeline that will foster both student success and help you reach your enrollment goals. We’re talking International Campus Opportunities with your programs and your students — in China. Clark University was one of ten US institutions that acted fast and benefited from this innovative approach last year. Now, they will be sharing their story with you. 

Join us tomorrow, Thursday, April 15th at 11am Eastern for a webinar event with CIEE and Clark to discuss the state of the Chinese market, the international campus experience, and the steps necessary to make this opportunity work for fall 2021 at your institution

Register Now

This event is for academic institutions only (.edu email addresses and other academic institutions).

Moderated by Ben Waxman, Intead CEO, the expert panel of your colleagues with a wealth of experience in higher ed and China will include:

  • John LaBrie, Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Associate Provost for Professional Education, Clark University
  • Jill Zhang, China-based Admissions Counselor, Graduate Admissions, Clark University 
  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Brad Farnsworth, Principal, Fox Hollow Advisory, Former Vice President for Global Engagement at American Council on Education

Read on for a preview of the valuable topics to be discussed and how to continue leveraging your presence and academic programs in this challenging time. 

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Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q1 2021

Pro tip: If you read only one of our blog posts every few months, make it this one.

Between application reviews and a little thing called budget season, we know you may not have kept up with the weekly posts and resources that we’ve shared here on the Recruiting Intelligence blog over the past few months. And we can’t blame you!

From hosting webinar events in partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education, CIEE, and iSchoolConnect, to publishing a market research report on the new Chinese mindset on US schools, we’ve been pretty busy ourselves.

So, we’ve created the Recruiting Intel Digest, a quarterly roundup post of the resources, downloads, and top insights we’ve published in the last three months which you can view, share, and download all in the span of your next coffee break.

All this with our signature focus on helping you produce stronger enrollment results based on trend data and marketing industry insights. You are so very welcome.

Read on for the latest Intead resources available to you — all in one place. Plus, a preview of what’s coming next…

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Chinese Students, We Are Listening

Your Asian student communities are hurting right now.

Nearly 3,800 hate incidents against AAPI individuals were reported from March 19th, 2020 through February 28th, 2021 according to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center. Nearly a third of Asian Americans report having experienced racial slurs or racist jokes since the beginning of the pandemic, this from a recent Pew Research Center survey. Then the killings in Atlanta last week.

As global leaders responsible for the safety, growth, and development of diverse student populations, what institutions say and do at this moment matters. And hashtags and statements of solidarity are not enough (they never are).

We, as a higher education community, do what we do because we believe in the power of cross-cultural communication and diverse student populations to move the world forward.

As the Intead team, that often means making space for those student populations (and their parents) to speak and be heard. We know how crucial understanding and listening to those thoughts, fears, and needs are to fostering a student-first ethos on your campus. It is this work that allows you to more effectively support all of your student populations, especially those most vulnerable to systems of racism and xenophobia, as well as the disturbing hate and violence that occurs as a result.

In early 2021, with this terrifying climate of rising anti-Asian sentiment in the US and views of the US among global allies reaching its lowest point in nearly two decades of Pew Research polling, we set out to understand how Chinese parents specifically are feeling now about sending their students to American institutions.

In partnership with WholeRen Education, an AIRC-certified agency and a trusted advisor for tens of thousands of Chinese students and families since 2010, we surveyed over 20,000 Chinese parents, the vast majority of whom currently have undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in US institutions, as well as parents of current high school students considering higher education. With a better than 5% response rate, we had more than 1,000 responses to analyze. We then followed up with a focus group to dive a bit deeper into our questions. We conducted all of this work in Chinese.

Some of the findings will likely surprise you. As academic leaders we see the news, we talk to our students, and we hold an entirely justifiable anxiety for our current Chinese students as well as the recruitment path to bring new Chinese students to our campuses.

The information we’ve gathered is incredibly important to your work. But more importantly, it points the way forward for your institution in how to help parents and students feel confident and safe in their decision to study in the US.

Read on to download your free copy of our new market research report, Is There a New Chinese Mindset on US Schools?

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