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Recruiting Intelligence

Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q4 2021

Wrapping up 2021 was no easy feat. We’ve seen student enrollment numbers fall, rise, and flatten with the evolving worldwide pandemic that is COVID-19. More than a few in our field are burned out and trying hard to muster the energy to figure out how to bring their students the best experience possible.

We’re right there with you, wherever you are. Time to turn our focus to what we’ve learned from our recent experiences. Settle in for a Q4 wrap up of the info that can help you shape your 2022-23 plans. From strategy to tactics like chatbots and student recruitment platforms we know all of this will be up your ally.

Read on for our quarterly recap of Intead resources available to you — Q4, all in one place.
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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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Offering Up Inspiration for DEI

When Vice President Harris said, “Your nation is SO proud of you,” to a group of 20 Frederick Douglass Global Fellows, you could not have found more inspired university students anywhere. Absolutely anywhere. Their eyes said it all.

International education speaks deeply to all of us. And yet it remains inaccessible to so many. What we know is that roughly 6% of US students participating in study abroad are Black. How to make this privilege and opportunity available to many, many more?

Intead’s international team has been deeply honored to work alongside our colleagues at CIEE on an inspired and inspiring project – a concerted effort to bring the opportunity of international education, experiential education, to more BIPOC students. In just a few months, we’ve watched this effort draw pledges from dozens of university presidents who have matched CIEE’s scholarship funding to allow more students to experience the power of international education.

As the Frederick Douglass Global Fellowship barrels forward with applications for 2022 now open, we bring you this bottle of inspiration — a 5 minute film featuring the perspectives and experiences of the 2021 cohort. This will lift your spirits and get you thinking.

To hear Dr. Roslyn Clark Artis, president of Benedict College tell it, this program offers a lot and demands just as much back from the students who participate. Frederick Douglass Global Fellows and Scholars have a responsibility to share what they’ve learned as they become leaders in their chosen fields. To be, as one Frederick Douglass Global Fellow put it, “the first of many.”

We are gratified to see university presidents not just encouraging, but taking real action — signing up to catalyze their DEI initiatives in a valuable and visible way through this program. Will your institution be next? 

Read on to watch the film and hear from these future change-makers. 

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10 Ways To Develop Strategic Advantage For Enrollment

The student recruitment landscape has been in a state of flux that was forced upon all of us. Institutions have adapted in obvious ways (ramping up online education) and subtler ways that vary by institution.

Looking a bit over the horizon, we recognize that there is always the potential for unanticipated disruptions in addition to the challenging factors we see very clearly. As we consider what is next, the lever that has the greatest value is flexibility. The ability to ramp up or down with relative ease. The avoidance of plans that lock us into something long-term constricting our ability to adapt as circumstances change.

Building Flexibility Into the System

With that in mind, we offer up a quick comparison of 10 ways to develop strategic advantage for enrollment and their relative flexibility. In this case, we measure flexibility by two factors:

  • Time: Investment of administrative/staff time into making it happen and sustaining it
  • Money: Investment of capital (cash out) to make it happen

When we consider time, we also think about commitment – alliances and partnerships come with contracts that may or may not be easy to modify or escape from as factors on the ground change.

All in all, we see the largest value in those options that offer the greatest flexibility – least amount of effort (time), least amount of financial investment (money), and ability to ramp up or down on short notice (flexible contracts).

This week, Brad Farnsworth, formerly at ACE and now running Fox Hollow Advisory, will be joining me to present at the CIEE Summit 2021. We will be discussing some of the options raised in this blog post and how they relate to institutional initiatives that deepen internationalization efforts.

Read on for more on those strategic advantages.

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Our NAFSA 2021 Slides Now Available

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Are You Ready to Think Big? NAFSA 2021

At the very least, we bet you have some great stories to share.

That’s not much of a silver lining from this past unnerving year. But it’s a start.

Let’s talk about opportunities to learn from each other and think bigger.

In the past year, our education community has collectively navigated some uncharted and very choppy waters. You may have emerged better for it, with new processes and contingency plans in place, cross-functional partnerships strengthened, remote work and learning infrastructure upgraded, and a renewed outlook on your institution’s long-term strategy.

Given this year of rapid activity and transformational growth, we’re more excited than ever to gather (virtually) with leaders and change-makers from over 100 countries at this year’s NAFSA conference from June 1-4th. 

Intead has been attending and presenting at NAFSA for more than a decade, and every year we are energized by the idea-sharing that takes place and inspired by the power of our global community.

This year’s NAFSA is all about thinking big about the future of international education — the latest innovations, strategies, and best practices shared from your peers across the field as we build for the next generation. Intead is honored to be presenting two sessions this year in partnership with our esteemed colleagues from leading academic institutions and global partners on forward-looking global strategies:

  • Achieving Global Agility: The Flexibility of Global Campus Options
    A discussion on the challenges and opportunities of delivering your academic programs at turnkey remote campuses around the world. First-hand experiences will be shared by Ita Duron, Executive Director of Global Strategies and International Programs at Massachusetts College of Health and Pharmacy Sciences, an institution that has already put this global approach into practice (and reaped the benefits).

    Also joining the conversation will be Seamus Harreys, Vice President of Global Enrollment at CIEE sharing how CIEE’s global campus models in Shanghai, Seoul, Legon, and many other cities around the world have helped institutions navigate student mobility challenges. Lots of info about how to adopt the global campus approach at your own institution. Tune in: June 4th at 9am EDT
  • Going from 0-60: Internationalization
    We’ll be talking all things internationalization with David DiMaria, Associate Vice Provost, International Education at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, focusing on how to build leadership buy-in and navigate typically slow-moving internal processes for rapid results.

    You’ll learn valuable team management and partnership strategies as well as how to establish global recruitment marketing programs that produce measurable enrollment results. This topic is a frequent discussion area on the NAFSA Enrollment and Leadership listserv forums. Join us for this as a Tune In Anytime event.

Read on to for a few preview tips on how these sessions can help move your global strategy forward.

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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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Your Students. Your Programs. In China — Register Today

The course of Chinese student recruitment never did run smooth.  

And in the last year, your institution’s road to recruiting, enrolling, and retaining students from one of the most complex international markets was bumpier than ever. Can we get our visa offices back, please?

Miraculously, despite the setbacks of the pandemic year, Chinese demand for a US education remains. Our upcoming market research with WholeRen Education (surveying 20,000+ Chinese parents) will shed some light on how the US brand identity is enduring and where your institution needs to focus to succeed in today’s Chinese enrollment market. 

Perhaps allow yourself a brief sigh of relief—but it’s not time to rest. (It rarely is).

There’s still work to be done to keep your institution strong in this new, more flexible, post-pandemic reality. And later this month, you’ll hear from those leading the charge (and learn from their successes) at our webinar event: Your Students. Your Programs. In China: Creating US-Style Classrooms for Your Chinese Students. 

Register Now

Your event pre-registration will also pre-register you for a copy of our upcoming Chinese Market research. 

At the event (date coming soon), we'll be interviewing several amazing resources for you about strategy, market insights, and powerful new program options to help your institution shore up both near-term and long-term enrollment in the Chinese market. We'll be talking about how 10 different universities managed their fall 2020 Chinese student enrollment and what they are doing to continue their success in 2021 and beyond.

 Speakers will include:

  • Brad Farnsworth, former Vice President for Global Engagement at the American Council on Education (and a member of the Intead Research Advisory Board)
  • Seamus Harreys, CIEE Vice President for Global Engagement 

More than 2,100 Chinese students studied in US-style classrooms in China during fall 2020 and spring 2021. The CIEE team helped each of them make it happen. Now, many institutions are working toward a longer term vision building a bridge between China and their US campuses. You can learn from their experience.

Read on for a preview of the valuable perspectives to be shared in the webinar.

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Chinese Students Want to Hear from You

You and your team have been navigating the China recruitment challenges for years with some notable successes. Taking those long-haul flights and testing out the student fair operators. Building a reliable agent network despite the risks (thanks, AIRC). Learning WeChat and leveraging an entirely new digital marketing landscape. Developing meaningful global partnerships.

And then the visas and flights stopped.

As if China were not already the most complex marketing challenge for international student recruitment, along came COVID-19.

At this writing, the first F-1 visa appointments at US consulates in China are tentatively available as of August 12, notes WholeRen Education Chief Learning Officer Andrew Chen. Right now, it is unclear why any US institution might believe their Chinese students currently in China will be coming to their US campus this fall. Logistically, it seems entirely unlikely if not impossible.

Fortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, despite all the setbacks, Chinese demand for a US education is strong.

How do we know? Two proof points:

  • Market research we performed with WholeRen Education surveying 20,000+ Chinese parents just last month.
  • 2,000+ Chinese students voting with their feet and attending classes run by Syracuse, Rutgers, Clark, Babson, Penn State, Tulane, and others in US-style classrooms in China run by CIEE.

At the link below, you can pre-register for the release of our latest research for student enrollment professionals interested in succeeding in China based on current conditions and what will follow.

Pre-register Now

Your pre-registration for the latest research will also grant you access to our upcoming webinar interviewing three experts on the Chinese student experience. You’ll hear from one university on how they managed fall 2020 Chinese student enrollment and what the institution is doing to continue their success.

Read on for insights and practical tips to reach the Chinese market in the current climate and beyond.

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Fall 2021 International Student Retention Strategies – Register Now

Today’s international enrollment challenges demand innovative solutions.

However, those innovative solutions are often easier said than done and more resource-intensive than you expect. But not always.

Enter: CIEE’s custom global programs.

We’re talking your curriculum and educational experience delivered in major international student hubs such as Shanghai and Seoul to students that can’t physically be with you on campus. And with CIEE’s robust infrastructure to support both academic and student life already in place in cities across the world, all that’s needed is you.

Intrigued? Join CIEE’s “Fall 2021 International Student Retention Strategies” webinar discussion tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 25th at 12pm Eastern to discover how institutions across the US are already using CIEE’s global programs to attract and retain international students.

Specifically, you’ll hear from Penn State and how they created a custom, cohort-based international student program with CIEE for fall 2020 and spring 2021 in Shanghai. The result: innovative and proactive efforts that retained tuition revenue and the student relationships that will result in continued retention.

Register Now

(Note: the webinar is open to anyone working for an academic institution)

Clear Benefits and Opportunities

While student retention was a driving factor for the institutions that set up these programs in 2020, they also found surprising growth in:

  • Parent engagement - word of mouth promotion from parents who were thankful the institution was responding to the pandemic with strong and thoughtful student-first efforts.
  • Increased brand awareness - as students and parents excitedly talked up their ability to study in an American-style classroom despite travel restrictions.
  • New enrollments - from new prospective students who heard about the programs and wanted to take part in this experience rather than study from home online in China.

Fast acting and well equipped to deliver student experiences, CIEE leadership worked with institutions such as Tulane, Babson, Clark, and Syracuse during 2020 and 2021, serving more than 2,100 students in custom programs in China and South Korea.

And there’s still time for your institution to join this trailblazing pack for fall 2021 if you sign up by May 1st.

When student mobility isn’t a given and competition for international students is fiercer than ever before, you must take your student-first philosophies to the next level if you want to stand out and continue to deliver on your institution’s educational mission (and preserve your revenue streams).

This is how you do that.

Read on to learn more about this flexible, innovative solution to shore up your international enrollment this fall and beyond. This is far more than just a quick band-aid solution.

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