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Recruiting Intelligence

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

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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. 

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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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Practical EdTech Implementation: Ask Us Anything — Register Now

The roadmap for EdTech implementations a decade ago had a linear feel. There was an expectation of securing a significant tech budget and allocating that to a carefully selected vendor with a 3-5 year plan. There was talk of “flexibility” and integrations. APIs would be built to tie different parts of the legacy systems together or the legacy piece would be replaced outright. The future system was going to be a real game changer.

It rarely worked out as planned…ever. Been there?

Today, replacing aging technology is an entirely different process. We’re eager to share insights into how campuses develop truly flexible systems and integrations with technology that is evolving every 6-12 months.

The technology process today has a heck of a lot more to do with justifying ROI than choosing technology.

Confused? Register for our webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" tomorrow, February 18th at 2pm Eastern. 

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Join Intead and iSchoolConnect as we talk about pushing decisive, cross-departmental collaboration at speed and scale like never before. We're talking agility in planning and innovation in technology and digital tools far beyond the usual benchmarks of annual progress in our notoriously slow-moving industry.

There’s a lot of work to do to pull complex technology and analytics projects all together. Best to have some really strong partners.

In the webinar, we’ll be sharing practical advice for successful, cost-effective technology implementations. Implementations that, long-term, produce stabilized and predictable revenue streams for your institution, even in unpredictable times.

You won’t want to miss this

Adding valuable perspective to this Ask Us Anything conversation will be:

  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President, Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Kerry Salerno, CMO, Babson College

We’ll have plenty of real-world stories and insights to share. Stories about Northeastern University’s amazing growth from 2009 and onward. We’ll talk about technology investment approaches at different size institutions. Stories about vendor selection, technology features, and most importantly, the challenge of getting all of the internal stakeholders aligned. 

Throughout, we will welcome your questions.

Important note: if you can’t attend the event live, your registration will ensure you’re first to receive access to the recorded conversation.

And as a primer for tomorrow’s implementation-focused conversation, how about a free PDF download: “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” sharing our 5 key takeaways from our February 4th panel event with The Chronicle of Higher Education and your colleagues from five different institutions.

Read on to access your copy of the 5 key takeaways and to learn how your peer institutions across the country are getting their technology investments right. A quick and helpful read before we dive deeper tomorrow.

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Successful Tech Implementation Processes Look Like This — Register Now

In last week’s virtual event, “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time”, Chronicle of Higher Education host Ian Wilhelm surveyed attendees with one key question — 

Will the pandemic experience help your institution make better decisions about using technology?

The answer from respondents? A resounding YES.

But what exactly are those decisions? Who’s making them? And most importantly, how will these decisions about technology made now lead to successful implementation and transformational change for your institution down the road?

On Thursday, February 18th at 2pm Eastern, Ben Waxman, CEO of Intead and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect will be leading a follow-up webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" to further the valuable Chronicle discussion of last week.

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In this “Ask Us Anything” conversation, we’ll be getting practical, covering all things tactical implementation when it comes to technology on your campus. The key objective? Identifying how successful tech implementation really happens (despite the obstacles) and how you can create that new reality for your students, faculty, and staff. We want to discuss your specific case —wins, challenges, and all.

Adding valuable perspective to the event will be Jesus Trujillo Gomez, Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud, as well as other special guests from academic institutions across the country. Get those questions ready.

Registrants will receive access to the recording of this event, so if you can’t attend live, never fear. (And if you want your questions answered but can’t attend — let’s chat.)

And if you missed last week’s “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” event, stay tuned in the coming weeks for the Director’s Cut recording, as well as a download of the key takeaways, including Intead and iSchoolConnect’s, “6 Insights in 6 Minutes.” Exciting, valuable stuff to come.

Read on for a preview of the keys to tech implementation success. Plus, one of the most common tech myths, debunked.

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Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time — Register Now

How do you and your team feel as you choose technology partners and platforms? Not exactly a walk in the park, right?

We’ve worked with many institutional leaders and there are common elements of a successful process. And those common elements are not the same today as they were a decade ago. Today, institutional investments in technology follow a different path, with different expectations. Success has been modified over the years. Integrations consistently evolve.

Our point: Enrollment management upgrades are essential to your institution’s future growth. Competition for students is growing more intense with no end in sight. You need both the team and the technology to succeed at stabilizing and growing revenue, and achieving the diverse student environment that your mission statement purports. 

What is this redefinition of how technology investments help universities move forward? Intead and iSchoolConnect are participating in a Chronicle of Higher Education webinar tomorrow, February 4th at 2pm Eastern, to discuss just that. All registrants will have access to the recording. So, even if you’re tethered to that critical Zoom meeting tomorrow, you can still get the inside scoop and all our best insights and advice.  

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The Chronicle is bringing an all-star panel to discuss the big picture. How are institutional needs assessed? How are institutional goals identified? How are technology investment decisions made? The panel features:

  • Cedric Howard, Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Keith W. McIntosh, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Richmond
  • Mary Ann Rafoth, Provost, Robert Morris University

Plus, Intead and iSchoolConnect will be adding some grounded tactical perspective with a special segment,"6 Insights in 6 Minutes", featuring: 

  • Ben Waxman, CEO, Intead
  • Ashish Fernando, CEO, iSchoolConnect
  • B. Donta Truss, Vice President for Enrollment Development & Educational Outreach, Grand Valley State University 
  • Derrick Alex, Director, Admissions Processing, University of Houston

All in all, this webinar will help you consider the broad range of quality available in the marketplace as you find the trustworthy technology partners you need. Many of the vendor options available do not understand the complexity and varied needs of the academic environment. We do.

Read on for a preview of those insights. 

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6 Key Takeaways for Smart Technology Investments — Free Download

Our advice from a few weeks back: To survive current enrollment and revenue challenges, institutions must stop cutting at some point and invest in growth.

We know you have questions. How do you encourage a culture of innovation? How do you get a slow-moving institution to make smart, growth-focused investments? How do you manage the risks inherent in these investments? And, most importantly, what are the “smart investments” your institution should be making?

We’ve been doing the research and gathering the experts. On November 16th, Intead and iSchoolConnect hosted a webinar Predicting Revenue, Enrollment & Student Success to address these questions and more, with a focus on how investments in data and technology can help generate predictable revenue for your institution and pave the way for transformational growth.

In the webinar, Ben Waxman (CEO, Intead) and Ashish Fernando (CEO, iSchoolConnect) also introduced the new Intead / iSchoolConnect partnership -- a powerful relationship and suite of end-to-end admissions and student success-focused solutions that combine Intead’s wealth of experience in market research and strategic digital communications with iSchoolConnect’s Google-recognized technology services.

The webinar discussion tapped the wisdom and deep experience of:

  • 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

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording in full right here. You can also play it in the background while you work, but we like to think our bright, smiling faces bring some added value! : ) 

And if you haven’t got an hour to spare, you’re in luck — a new Key Takeaways PDF download is available for free at the end of this post. These insights shared by our panelists are just too valuable to miss. It is a quick and helpful read.

Read on for webinar highlights and the Key Takeaways download link.

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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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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.

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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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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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