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Recruiting Intelligence

An International Community (College) Pipeline

Community colleges are, traditionally, locally-minded places (hey, it’s right there in the name).  But two-year campuses have as much to gain from cultivating a diverse and global student body as any other educational institution—and international students have much to gain from considering this non-traditional avenue to an American diploma.

Our Enrollment management friends at 4-year institutions have long looked to community colleges as a valuable pathway for recruiting international students already studying here in the US. With roughly 95,000 international students studying at US community colleges (thanks for tracking this IIE), this makes a nice pipeline for 4-year institutions seeking students who have already succeeded at acquiring a US visa. 

Another recruitment channel where international students already have acquired a US visa: US private high schools with more than 80,000 international students. We'll be talking to the private high school community at the TABS Global Symposium on April 30 in Newport, RI. Join us there and build important relationships to become more effective with this valuable recruitment pipeline.

Do you work at a 2-year institution? Are you at a 4-year institution interested in a quality recruitment stream? This topic matters to all of us. Keep reading.

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The Role of Translation in International Student Recruitment

“Why should we translate our materials if prospective students need to have strong English skills to perform well in our classes?”

It’s a valid discussion. We have always been vocal advocates for translating marketing materials into the local language of your target audience. This week: our perspective on translation, some of the most effective places to use it, and most importantly, why.

This post is important for your team producing the materials and your higher ups who are questioning the rationale. Our goal: making you more capable, powerful, successful. Share away.

Important to remember that translation is just one piece of the larger content customization process and that the content you share with your US audience will not resonate with your international audiences, whether you translate It or not. Each of your audiences are unique and will respond to different messages.

Here's the thing you already know: marketing differentiation is all about speaking to your audience segments with the information that resonates. Seems obvious, but not many institutions take the time to do it. Instead, they blast the same stuff to every lead.

And yet...they all complain and wring their hands about declining numbers and yield. There are solutions right there in front of you that do take more time and more investment. Take advantage of them sooner than later!

To read more about developing audience personas and audience segmentation, see our post on Persona Development: 101 here. 

The Intead team does this targeted content strategy and writing for our clients to improve application flow and yield. Let's get to work together. 

A note on adding Google Translate to your site: not better than nothing. The nuance and specifics of your differentiators that your marketing department worked so hard to craft are absolutely butchered with Google Translate. Your target audience scans (not reads) pages translated via Google. They get the high level gist of it and move on quickly. There is no absorption of content because everyone knows you are losing a lot of accuracy. You'll understand more about all you are losing by taking this awful shortcut as you read on.

So, about the rationale and the process for translation, let's dive in...

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Think Positive: Differentiation is Powerful

Last week, we touched briefly on the importance of differentiating your institution in the minds of international students. You may be seeing ever more doom-and-gloom sentiment among your peers on campus and colleagues in the field. The uplifting confidence that comes from a deep understanding of your differentiators is essential to your success.

This approach applies to your institution's success as much as it applies to your personal success. For this blog, we'll stick to your institution's approach and leave the rest to you.

So, your institution is not ranked in the top 50, right? And your access to a major city? How about your brand recognition in your target countries?

The reality is, most schools are in the same boat here. Not all international students are looking for the same things. There is a niche that will find your attributes just right. All international students are not all looking for the same things. But they DO need to become aware of what you have that other's don't. YOU need to help them assess and select.

International marketing is not an easy thing to do. It may seem overwhelming, confusing and, at times, impossible. It's easy for your colleagues on campus to fall into the trap of thinking, "Why would any international student want to come here?"

It's time to flip the question.

Why wouldn't they want to come to your school? You have so much to offer. Your doors wouldn't be open if you didn't. The question is: "What can your institution offer international students that no other institution can?"

Bottom Line: Creatively communicating your differentiators is essential to helping students know about and then grasp the opportunities you offer. 

Let's get into this a bit deeper...

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A Round of Applause for Our Faculty

Have you been to some of the big industry conferences and left feeling a bit flat in terms of truly learning how to drive recruitment?

Every year, we love to celebrate the great minds that come together to share experience, ideas and insights at our annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp – especially our faculty! This is a small team focused on sharing best practices in a workshop environment. A rare opportunity.

Did you miss our  Bootcamp Wrap Up Blog Post last week? Click that link to a post that was shared by your colleagues on social channels with gusto.

  • We think you'll want to bookmark that one and
  • Share it with your staff executing that global recruitment plan.

We are so proud to call our Bootcamp faculty friends and to give you the opportunity to learn from their invaluable, tested-in-the-field experience. This event brings hope and a sense of optimism into an industry that is currently flooded with so much turbulence and concern. We are thrilled to say that this year our faculty really did a brilliant job helping our Bootcamp attendees "navigate through chaos."

We invite you to read on to learn more about our faculty and the roles they play at their institutions. These are people to keep your eye on in the years ahead movers and shakers you might say. You can count on us to bring you the talent and perspective to drive your institution forward at all of our presentations and events. 

Ben will be in Moscow next week presenting at the Forum on International Education about digital marketing techniques to reach the global student market. 

If you want to stay in the loop for next year's bootcamp, Click Here to be among the first to know about the speakers, dates and more! 

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The Risk of Following vs. The Value of Leading

Reflecting on AIEA conversations and what we are seeing in the field, I find myself thinking about the risk of being a follower and the value of being a strategic leader.

  • Followers see where the crowd is headed and go there without due diligence.
  • Leaders see where the crowd is headed and then check the numbers.

This is important. Increasingly so.

The effort to recruit international students is heating up in the US. The pressure on university administrators is growing. With India and China sending the most students to the US, most newcomers to the field – the universities finally joining the fray and looking to diversify their student body – are turning to these source countries. It can be a mistake.

We are seeing the global education agent network being pressured to produce more students for more campuses. That increased pressure is going to bring us renewed stories of fraud and inappropriate recruiting behavior. We don't want to see anyone caught up in that mess.

It is important, REALLY important, to align your team with talent – the kind of partners who don't cut corners and have your best interests at heart. This field is full of questionable characters, as we all know. Many of us have the scars to prove it.

Following our travels to San Diego for our Annual Student Recruitment Bootcamp and moving on to DC for AIEA, the Intead team is grateful for all of the opportunities to connect face-to-face with you, our colleagues and friends in such a challenging time for our industry. (More on our Bootcamp in a post in March.)  Focusing on AIEA for a moment, we have to thank AIEA's Darla Deardorff for feeding so many of us with great information and wonderful food for a few days in DC. The AIEA conference was well run and well delivered. Informational and so often inspiring.

During the conference, we had the pleasure of giving presentations on enrollment trends with Kaplan International and on US–India university partnerships with Monmouth University and Sannam S4. Both sessions were filled with lively discussion and audience engagement. As always, we shared ideas and had fun learning from each other. Thank you to all who attended! It is always a pleasure.

Read on for more reflections and insights from the conferences and my thoughts on enrollment trends and predictions. 

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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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29 Countries Analyzed: Our Latest Know Your Neighborhood Report

The Intead team has been at AIRC and ICEF Miami this past week meeting with a great set of education industry people from around the world. There is a consensus that 2017 has been a year like no other.

Political upheaval has left the international education community reeling—and now, more than ever, we all need to stay on our A-game.

Wouldn't an analysis of student influences and motivations in 29 countries be just the thing for you and your staff to bring that A-game? Well...

Do you remember our Spring 2017 Know Your Neighborhood report? One finding made big waves, both among our readers and in media like The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times and NPR’s Marketplace.  Along with FPP EDU Media, we gathered survey responses from 40,000+ students from around the globe—and 60% said they would be less likely to study in the U.S. under a Trump presidency.

It was a concerning finding, to say the least. So in the aftermath of the inauguration, we wanted to know: now that the Trump candidacy had turned into a Trump presidency, were global students still equally alarmed? And if so, what would be the best ways to keep them coming to the U.S. regardless?

You’ll find the answers and way more in our newest e-book: Know Your Neighborhood: Influencers, Interests, and Political Reactions in the International Student Population.

Read on for a bit of insight before you download this amazing, data-rich report...

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