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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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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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What Do You Want to Learn? Vote for the Next Intead Webinar

Please, share your ideas with us! 

Every day we spend time lovingly crafting content to help you and your team build a stronger approach to international recruitment. 

This week we simply want to know: What do you need most?  What would you like us to research?

As we continue to expand the offerings available as part of Intead Plus, we want to ensure that we are creating content that fills your needs and effectively supports your recruitment team. With so many facets of the recruitment process, there are so many possibilities! That's why we ask you, our loyal readers, to let us know what you need, right now.

Please take 30 seconds to fill out a one-question survey and let us know what you think!  

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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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Stop Dreading Data: A Brief How-To

Lately, the numbers thrown around the international student recruiting world can feel disconcerting – even frightening. We look to the Open Doors Data from IIE released this week and we see that the average number of international students studying in the U.S. this fall has declined by 7% among 500 universities, with as many as 45% of institutions reporting a drop in new international student enrollment. That figure is usually about 33% of institutions reporting a drop based on IIE year to year comparisons over the past decade.

We are all seeing more and more alarming numbers and hearing anecdotal evidence emerging as the year progresses. This, while Canada's international student numbers have grown by more than 18%. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged here in the US, and we're sure many of our readers are feeling on-edge this week as they formulate plans and reports to their senior administrators.

Let's all take a deep breath and step back. Remember: no matter the national figures, your unique institutional numbers represent strength, resilience and potential. Your intake numbers and data on the overall performance of your marketing efforts is the foundation upon which you will build all future efforts.

Without data, you have nothing. You are operating on guesswork and flying blind.

Based on past surveys, we know that most institutions' international recruitment leaders/staff do not actually check their Google Analytics stats at all, much less at regular intervals to compare performance. We're sure that's not you, but just in case... now is the time to start!

Remind yourself and your colleagues: don't hide from the numbers because they are unfavorable, complicated or intimidating. Look for ways to make the numbers accessible, useful and easy to communicate. (That's where we come in!) 

This month, we invite you to join us for a webinar on the value of your data, Stop Dreading Data: Wielding the Power of Data to Strengthen Your International Student Recruitment Strategy on November 29, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST. This webinar will offer perspective and tools you need to harness the power of your data. We will provide simple guidelines and best practices you can begin implementing at your institution – right now.

Learn how to use data you already have to:

  • Inform your recruitment strategy
  • Evaluate relative ROI
  • Focus your budget on high value activities (which programs, which countries, which marketing channels)
  • Tailor your messaging

Read on to register to attend our complimentary webinar and explore the value of your institutional data and simple, effective ways that you can examine your numbers to increase long term performance...

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