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Recruiting Intelligence

In Case of Emergency Break Glass

You all see the enrollment storm we are heading into, right?

Now is the ‘Break Glass’ moment. If you act smart, fast, and right now, your fall enrollment is still salvageable, sort of. And your class of 2021 can remain within reach.

So, that travel budget you won’t be spending on travel? It’s time to determine how you will re-allocate it to make the greatest impact. And yes, you will need ALL of it (and more) to try to make things work out for your institution.

Sound overly dire? If you are thinking that, we fear you have not played this out far enough. Two key points to consider:

  • China, 3 months ahead of the rest of the world on the whole COVID-19 thing, has yet to open any of its universities as of April 1.
  • Last week, the US recorded 3.3M new jobless claims, the largest one-week spike ever. By a factor of 6x. And if that weren't bad enough, the next weekly figure is projected to exceed last week's. By alot. 

Yes, you will need a strong marketing budget to withstand the storm ahead.

Our primary message right now: gather the team you trust around you. There are SO many offers from vendors (like us) seeking your limited budget dollars and offering to take your classes and faculty online and do so much more for you. Some institutions are making snap judgments they are going to regret in 3 to 6 months. Go with the team you know and trust to have deep industry experience and a nimble approach.

Why? Because the situation is going to continue to be fluid for quite a while. This is not a time to partner up with folks you are unsure of.

One more reality to consider: 

  • Assuming the world's visa process is turned back on for international travelers, are you going to allow international students to join you on campus this fall without a quarantine period? Will you make decisions based on where they are from? Wuhan? Seoul? But wait, what about an admitted student from Seattle or NYC? How will you communicate the safety of your campus environment to your students and their parents?

This situation will remain fluid for quite some time. Processes will need to adapt. Having nimble and trusted partners allows you to move forward with as much confidence as possible, knowing your team can adapt quickly and never questioning their motives. Our team truly has your best interests in mind.

The constant in the student journey

Students start their discovery process by asking a number of key questions. It starts with a, “What if?” exploration. There is a level of excitement for possibilities. It quickly turns to more concrete questions of:

  1. Do you have programs in my areas of interest? and
  2. Can I afford it?

The answers to these questions have ALL changed in just a few short weeks.

Our digital Town Hall meetings over the past few weeks have been invaluable sources of insight in navigating this unprecedented situation. The two resource and tip guides that accompanied them have been gobbled up. Fortunately, they are digital so we can make more of them instantly ; -)

You can access these valuable Resources and Tips PDFs, as well as recordings of both Town Hall meetings, at the end of this post. Read on. 

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Convene and Deliver the Plans

Hoping all of you are well and looking out at the horizon (physically and metaphorically).

Right now, there are so many angles to consider. From delivering on our education missions to providing safety to our student and our colleagues, there is just a lot to think about.

The participants at our first Town Hall last week asked for more. So we must deliver! A GREAT BIG SHOUT OUT to last week's amazing panelists – see photos above and list below.

And Now, "The New Abnormal" Town Hall #2: The Perish Economy

Let us help you demonstrate the survival and adaptation skills you are trying to instill in your students.

As of this month, we are living in a start now or perish economy.

Those institutions that move at their traditional pace will fall down, likely hard. Our next Town Hall will be this Thursday, March 26 from 10-11:30am Eastern Time.

Register Now

We will present this Town Hall in 3 sessions and our panel of experts will take your questions in this Ask Us Anything event:

  • 10-10:30am The Technology Platforms that matter and the features you need
  • 10:30-11am Recruiting and Admissions Processes that will deliver despite social distancing
  • 11-11:30am Digital Marketing Campaigns to attract and convert within a 25-mile radius or from 8,600 miles away.

All registrants will receive access to the full recording of Town Hall #1 held last week and all of the resources we shared with those who attended.

You know this about us: The Intead team has been evaluating edtech solutions and recruiting tools for the past 12 years. We’ve reported on student trend data (domestic and international) and provided free guidance on it all for the past decade, every week. We’ve launched recruitment campaigns targeting students around the corner and around the world.

We simply don’t stop thinking about this stuff. Read on for what we can do to help you move forward.

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The New Abnormal

Intead will hold a Town Hall on Thursday, March 19, 2020 at 8:30am Eastern Time. We have a panel of experts with a world of travel and student experience under their belts. Please join us.

What’s this all about?

Every 2 – 3 days our situation changes, globally, domestically. And it changes dramatically. This is the new abnormal.

As one of our wise Intead Advisory Board members shared recently, there is BEST PRACTICE and then there is ACTUAL PRACTICE. Let’s all be real about what we can do and the fact that we put our best foot forward every day with good intent. In the new abnormal, best practice is going to be relative.

And putting our best foot forward is what we are all about right now. This is no time to become mired in anxiety and wait to act. Decisions need to be made quickly and in the face of massive ambiguity.

With campuses across the country and around the world continuing to pursue their education mission in new ways, we all have important ideas to share and new realities to adjust to. What better way to move forward than getting together…virtually, of course!

Register Now

NOTE: A recording of the webinar will be shared with all who register, whether or not you attend.

This is a not to be missed event.

Joining our Intead Team as Panelists, we are honored to bring you:

  • Jessica Sandberg, Dean of International Enrollment at Duke Kunshan University
  • David Fleshler, JD, Vice Provost for International Affairs at Case Western Reserve University
  • Seamus Harreys, VP, Global Enrollment at CIEE
  • Angel Ahmed, CEO of GNET
  • Ashish Fernando, Founder of iSchoolConnect

Read on. 

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Is Your .edu Part of The IT Crowd?

A few years back, the business world faced an onslaught of new domain extensions. Companies formerly satisfied with their .com addresses suddenly had new options to choose from: .info, .biz, and the like. Even .cool made the scene. 

While the gold standard for academic sites has always been .edu, alternatives such as .college, .degree, .education, and .university present a new, distinctly 21st century challenge: how can you protect your institution from copycat sites?

More importantly, is it just brand management at stake, or does the availability of these domain names put your students’ privacy and online safety at risk?

There seem to be more #EdTech issues emerging every month. We're here to help make some sense of it all. When it comes to protecting your institution’s digital footprint in today’s ever-changing tech landscape, a bit of research and a thoughtful game plan can save you a great deal of headache. Today, we look at these digital hazards and make some concrete recommendations. Read on. 

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Adjusting Your Chinese Recruiting: 10 Insights to Guide Your Plan

This is going to be a long post with some really valuable insights. We hope you’ll grab some coffee and take time to skim through. This is important to you and your bottom line. You’ll want to share this with specific colleagues with a few highlights based on where the priorities are at your institution…

A word to the wise: people often remember most how you behave in a crisis.

The world of international student recruitment faces consistent challenges. At times they are huge, recall 9/11, and other times they are as small as the annoying intermittent WiFi access at your student recruitment fair in Istanbul.

The past decade has seen a range of significant challenges to your recruitment marketing plans and those challenges have been due to largely unanticipated causes.

  • 2008 brought us the global financial crisis. How bad was it? For a brief period, banks were too afraid to lend to each other!
  • 2015 brought us a new level of anti-immigrant rhetoric out of the US as the 2016 election cycle ramped up.
  • Not long after that, the new White House administration delivered the travel ban (aka the Muslim ban) among other changes to visa approvals.
  • Now the immediate and unexpected challenge of the Coronavirus coupled with an extension of the travel ban to a spate of new countries including Nigeria.

To quote a good friend and colleague, Angel Ahmed, CEO of GNET, “When things get challenging, we don’t get frustrated, we get focused.”

So, what’s an enrollment professional to do when unexpected and significant challenges are disrupting your marketing plans and your results? You’ve probably already given these challenges a lot of your time and thinking, but we know a second (or third) set of eyes is always helpful. Read on for ten concrete recommendations to focus you, Intead style.

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Breaking the Ice: What’s New with EdTech Accelerators?

Our calendar is full of conferences and events where we’re presenting on the latest education, recruitment, and EdTech trends. And if you’re familiar with these conference circuits, that means you’re also familiar with the mixing and mingling time. From coffee breaks to cocktail hours, and maybe even the line for the bathroom (hey, you never know where you’ll cross paths with a potential new contact), the networking opportunities are everywhere.

If you’d like to schedule some time to chat with us at your next conference stop, let us know HERE, and don’t hesitate to say hello if you spot one of us in line for the cheese and crackers.

And because you really shouldn't always lead your conversation starter with, “How about this weather we’re having?”, it’s important to have a few relevant industry soundbites in your back pocket to break the ice.

So, what’s a go-to hot topic right now that shows you are both worldly and in the know?

This just in from Singapore: there’s a new model for EdTech accelerators.

Read on to find out what’s happening in the EdTech acceleration space, how it is changing, and what might be coming soon to a cocktail hour conversation near you.

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Online and on LINE: Japanese Social Media Platforms

There are a lot of things at Intead that excite us: new developments in EdTech, tracking the latest student mobility trends, watching our marketing predictions come to fruition, or better yet, watching our digital campaigns for our clients convert leads into enrolled students … And, one of our absolute favorite things is hearing from you, our blog readers.

Back in 2014, we wrote a piece about Japanese social media platforms to help with your international student recruitment. Remember 2014? (sigh).  Well, recently a reader, who is a digital marketing specialist in Japan, got in touch with us about updated insights that may change how you target potential Japanese students.

Why does it matter? According to Open Doors data, Japan was the eighth leading sender of international students to the U.S. with over 18,100 students in the 2018/2019 school year. Despite a 3.5% drop from 2017/2018 year figures, the country’s appetite for study abroad experiences overall remained steady, especially for short and long-term English language studies.

The Japanese Association of Overseas Studies attributed this increased interest in language studies to the growing English proficiency requirements of Japanese companies looking to expand globally.

With appetites for English language studies on the rise, there's no time like the present to re-evaluate your Japan recruitment plans.

Read on to find out what is new in the Land of the Rising Sun and where you should be focusing your enrollment marketing efforts. Hmmm, do you think it might be digital/social?

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Key Factors in a Changing Environment – Insights from NAFSA

This week, we are proud to share with you an article from our friends over at NAFSA (with their blessing, of course).

We were struck by the insightful way that this short section in International Educator's September/October 2018 edition captured today's market challenges in a realistic, unflinching light. Rather than emphasizing one factor impacting higher education (politics being a popular choice), this section takes a wider look at the many diverse conditions affecting overall enrollment.

This brief summary is evidence that many of our day-to-day concerns are not limited to international recruitment, and now is not the time to back away from building your brand internationally. As competition grows, both domestically and internationally, you want to be in a strong position to continue attracting students and maintaining your enrollment. We've all faced periods of enrollment challenge before. Shrinking away was not the answer then and it is not the answer now.

In that vein, we invite you to join our session at NACAC on Saturday 9/29 at 10:30 AM for our Presentation: International Alumni Relations: The Neglected Tool in Your Student Recruitment Arsenal?  Earlier this year, in partnership with Academic Assembly we surveyed over 1,000 US institutions on their international alumni engagement practices and needs. At this session, we will present and interpret the findings of this research and offer practical ways you can leverage your international alumni network to strengthen your recruitment and development efforts. 

We have another great collection of Intead research and insights coming out next week. You don't want to miss our Webinar: Agent Commission Structures and how to maximize your recruiting agent partnerships on Thursday, 10/4 at 10 AM EST. Register here. All registrants will receive a copy of the full report following the webinar. 

Intead works with our institution clients to help them determine the best regions and channels for their strategic enrollment plans. Our proprietary research and the custom research we do for our clients makes all the difference.

As you consider your recruitment channels, we recommend you refer to Nafsa's excellent summary of the factors we all must weigh as we adjust our enrollment plans to the current global geo-political environment...

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Canada: U.S. Student Recruitment Threat?

Canada is after your students!

Canadian universities are seeing a spike in international student enrollments, fueled by a political climate that has some students spooked about studying in the U.S.   According to Inside Higher Ed, international enrollments rose 10.7% for Canadian institutions from 2016-2017, a period during which the U.S. saw a 7% decline.

Some students enrolling in Canadian institutions hail from countries that American institutions have long relied upon. For instance, the Hindustan Times reported that the number of Indian students enrolled in Canadian institutions topped 100,000 for the first time in 2016.

But for American universities, the threat is actually two-fold. Some of Canada’s international students are America’s domestic students—so that means that your Canadian competitors may be siphoning both your domestic and international enrollments. Not looking so polite now, huh?

Read on to get the recruiting perspective you need.

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#TBT AIRC 2017: Slides Now Available

It’s awfully cold up here in Massachusetts these days—but that’s just one of the reasons we’re daydreaming about the AIRC Conference in Florida this past December. As most of you know, the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC) conference is one of the highlights of the year for our professional community.

We have been attending AIRC for 8 years now, and every year we meet insightful industry experts with valuable perspectives to share. This is the learning and networking conference we enjoy most. We send a significant Intead staff contingent every time to get the most of what AIRC has to offer our community. International student expertise from all over the world gathers and shares their firsthand perspective and in-country student experiences. 

This year, we were honored to share our own marketing intelligence with our colleagues from universities and other experts in the field on a wide range of recruitment topics. We saw many of you, our valued blog readers, on the conference floor, jotting notes in AIRC seminars or lounging poolside with a drink (don't worry we won't share any photos)—but if you missed it (or hey, just miss us!) our slides are here for your perusing pleasure. 

Seats are still availble for the Intead/CGACC International Student Recruitment Bootcamp. Sign up while you still can. February 11-13 in San Diego. We can't wait for the warmth! 

Read on for a review of our presentations and a link to the slides for each one...

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