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Recruiting Intelligence

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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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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Is Flexible Incrementalism the Answer to Student Enrollment Growth?

According to Moody’s reports on the financial pain 4-year institutions are facing, higher ed administrators are managing a host of escalating challenges.

What we know: cutting your way to success has never worked for any institution.

What we want: strategic, incremental investments that pay off.

But which ones will lead to predictable enrollment growth and revenue? Oh, and student success?

There is a guiding light, a process to achieving this kind of success.

With technology playing an increasingly critical role in every aspect of our lives, especially now, academic institutions have recognized the need to accelerate the adoption and development of digitally oriented enrollment processes and education delivery. These moves can reverse enrollment declines and support the quality of education that students and families expect. A new partnership between Intead, iSchoolConnect, and Google addresses these needs with a smart, agile, and modular approach.

Framed as a modern and flexible model, incremental investments in technology for marketing and student success can align university leadership, administrators and importantly, faculty. CFOs take note, this is a plan for predictable enrollment and revenue streams.

The team delivering on this approach brings deep skills in marketing, enrollment management, and technology to support academic institutions through transformative initiatives carried out incrementally.

The goal is to produce an enrollment management transformation and a re-imagined approach to student success. Affordable marketing and AI-powered technology investments, each with clear transactional wins (think ROI) that justify the process, move the institution through a series of system improvements and enhancements toward the envisioned state. 

We’ve been here before, and we know that transformation is tough at large institutions. Bold and expensive strokes often fail to build the necessary stakeholder buy-in. The result: limited successes, far less than envisioned. 

Incrementalism recognizes that there are common modules every institution will want to address (recruitment, enrollment management, alumni relations, student and career services, etc.). Each institution is different in how and when each valued area blends into the transformation effort.

Read on to view our latest webinar in which I am joined by Ashish Fernando, iSchoolConnect CEO, and a panel of excellent guest speakers from Dartmouth, Babson, Northeastern, and Google to discuss how this new approach can pave the way to predictable, affordable, and transformative enrollment results. 

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The End of False Promises

Tracking the macro indicators of market growth and decline is where we were at the start of our journey more than a decade ago. The Intead team defined the global market opportunity for student enrollment in ways we felt others were not seeing. And we published our findings and ideas.

While we in higher education are no strangers to global enrollment shocks, there’s no getting around the reality that the year 2020 and the seismic health, political, and economic shifts have challenged our collective efforts to achieve institutional growth. The student enrollment declines being reported are very real and so many of us are feeling them and anticipating more declines in the near term.

Just this week IIE and the National Student Clearinghouse are providing new data showing how the student market has changed for the worse. These numbers are absolutely worth watching and it all makes for good headlines.

Yet, the team here has moved far beyond those headlines and numbers you are seeing. As we approach each new client engagement, we are focused on where specifically the opportunities lie. Which micro demographic? Age range? Region? Academic program interest? Which market differentiators will be attractive and where? Specifically. Globally and locally.

A wealth of data available to make really smart decisions

Today, there is so much data to analyze to help define the real market opportunities for each institution. Given the harsh market conditions, decisions today will determine which institutions will thrive going forward. In some cases, it is about which ones will simply maintain, forget about thrive. Many are trying to predict the future and with investment in the right tools, that is possible.

"Really?" You ask. "Yes," we reply.

The reality: Your bottom line is more important than ever. Your budget? Smaller than ever. Your enrollment goals? More challenging than ever. Your students? Struggling to succeed.

With so much of this past year being entirely unpredictable, a little confidence in the future would be truly welcome.

Luckily, there is an achievable path forward to predictable and sustainable enrollment growth. We’re talking long-term transformational growth here — those “Aha!” moments that transform your institutional practices and reality for years to come. Interested?

Today we are talking to all of you big picture thinkers.

Enter: Predictive analytics.

We know what some of you may be thinking. Long a buzzword in higher education, predictive analytics strategies often come with a “proceed with caution” label and (valid) concerns about budget, staffing, and implementation.

But we’re here to change all that with our new eBook — The End of False Promises: A Guide to Real Predictive Analytics Success.

In this newest Intead publication, we discuss predictive analytics, past, present, and future, including our vision for a manageable, affordable path to incorporating data- and Artificial Intelligence-powered (AI) solutions throughout the student journey at your institution.

To bring this new reality of actionable predictive analytics services to life, we have partnered with iSchoolConnect, a growing leader in advanced EdTech artificial intelligence (AI) tools, to create a new model for marketing, communications, and analytics for academia. Bonus: as one of the world’s few official Google Cloud partners, this new tie-up has access to data insights and resources others only dream of!

The successful approach we are talking about relies on flexible, incremental investments that produce clear returns. With a trusted partner guiding your institution forward on this journey, the transactional successes add up to transform your entire system for enrollment management and student success.

Read on for a quick-hit predictive analytics crash course and to download your free copy of the new eBook. Plus, a closer look at the new Intead + iSchoolConnect approach.

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Webinar: Predicting Revenue, Enrollment & Student Success

There's one important thing institutions should do to reverse enrollment declines. Most won’t do it.

What you need to succeed: the knowledge that each incremental investment provides a near-term win, a return on investment, while advancing your institution towards a transformative state for long-term growth. 

On Monday, November 16th at 12pm (EST), we will be joined by an amazing line up of experts to discuss how predictive analytics and flexible, modular investments in technology can transform both enrollment management and student success.

With so many institutions experiencing enrollment declines and budgetary challenges, strategic investments are essential. No institution has ever cut its way to success. 

Join us for this intriguing discussion about predictive analytics powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). Following our webinar, attendees will receive an advance copy of our newest eBook on how to customize this modular approach for your institution. And we will be making a big announcement about how Intead is changing, significantly, to take advantage of the opportunities we see ahead.

Register Now

During the webinar, I will be joined by my co-host, Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect, and together we will get some amazing strategic insights from:

  • Lisa Adams, MD: Associate Dean for Global Health, Director of the Center for Global Health Equity, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
  • Jesus Trujillo Gomez: Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud
  • Kerry Salerno: CMO, Babson College
  • Hillary Dostal: Economics Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Northeastern University and Endicott College
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The New Student Enrollment Playbook is Here

We’d like to think that your Wednesday ritual includes reading our latest Recruiting Intelligence blog release over your morning coffee, but we know that you’ve had a lot on your plate recently, and we don’t mean breakfast.

What a difference a week makes? Last week everyone was reacting to the ICE guidance that if U.S. classes were online only, international students had to head for the exits. Now, 7 days later, that order is rescinded and international students may stay in the U.S. and study online.

While this is welcome news, if anyone thinks this is the end of the headaches, confusion and policy level chaos on this topic, they've not been paying attention for the past few years.

Throughout the rise of COVID-19 we’ve been offering quick-hit, actionable advice weekly on this blog, advising on how to weather this storm, salvage your enrollment, and pivot your digital marketing strategy in response to this unprecedented global crisis.

This Not So Fun Fact from UNESCO still boggles our minds: By the first week of April, 190 countries closed kindergartens to higher education institutions simultaneously affecting 1.6 billion learners, 90% of total enrolled learners globally.

If you’ve missed any of our valuable insights these past few months, or if you just need a refresher — we know, there’s a lot to keep track of right now—you’re in luck. Our latest eBook, The New Student Enrollment Playbook: COVID-19 Edition is now available to download for free.

Consider it your one-stop-shop for all things COVID-19, and not to worry, we disinfect the download button following each click ; -)

From advice on crisis contingency planning to a review of the best online learning resources, The New Student Enrollment Playbook will help you and your leadership navigate this new normal and emerge stronger for it. Read on to download your copy.

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NACAC, Our Latest E-Book and Today’s Enrollment Trends

Last week, Intead presented at the NACAC conference—what an exciting whirlwind! We met so many wonderful experts in the field of recruitment and were able to share our insights with many of your colleagues during our session on international recruitment, hosted with our friends Sundar Kumarasamy (Northeastern University) and Steven Bloom (ACE). We are so thrilled that so many of you made it out to our early morning session!

If you were not able to attend, as our loyal readers, we would like to extend the invitation to register to receive our latest e-book, Quality.Cost.Convenience: Beating the competition for today’s “non-traditional” students before it is released to the public. Read on to secure your copy.

Since the conference, we have been thinking a lot about today’s political environment (isn’t everyone?) and the impact it is having on recent enrollment trends. While we were in Boston, we had so many great conversations about the latest 2017 enrollment data, marketing strategies to combat dips in enrollment and what the future holds. So, this week, we are taking a brief look at research around enrollment trends in the U.S. and U.K., post-Brexit and U.S. presidential election.

Please read on for key data and industry insights (and to register for the new e-book ;-)

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The Intead Index - Book of Lists Has Arrived!

Hot off the digital presses: It's the Intead Index: Book of Lists.

Our expert researchers have gathered the information we wish we had when we were working in admissions offices.

We've spent time evaluating, comparing and then compiling the results. We do this to help you make informed decisions as you scale your international student enrollment.

  • Social media tools to help you manage a multi-country campaign
  • Tour provider comparisons
  • International educator associations listed
  • Lead generators compared
  • Linked In groups listed

All of these, and more. We are comparing the tools used by some of the most successful institutions. We've gathered information from many sources including administrators who have traveled this path and expanded their international student populations by 100% or more.

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