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Recruiting Intelligence

Recruit International Students in Your Own Backyard

What if recruiting international students was as easy as looking in your own backyard? OK, maybe not literally in your backyard. But, there is certainly a lesser-tapped market that is closer than you might think. (And we found this beautiful photo of a typical American front yard and really wanted to use it  ;-)

In 2014, the Institute of International Education reported that 73,019 international students were enrolled in secondary schools in the United States. And of those students, 67% were seeking their secondary diploma. Exchange students, as well as domestically-based international students, are an important target group. They have knowledge of the culture, language and education system in the U.S. and they are easily accessible in the high schools just down the road from you!

Bottom Line: There is plenty of potential for recruiting international students from within the U.S. secondary school system. These students typically have a much easier time adjusting to post-secondary education in the U.S. at a university. But, recruiting them is different than the process your recruiting team might use when attracting domestic students. If you are using your domestic student marketing approach with the international students in your backyard, you are not reaching this target market effectively. Emily can add to your perspective here and share a few tips you might want to pass along to your domestic recruitment team.

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Compelling Content for International Recruitment

Have we talked enough about telling compelling stories lately? If we haven’t, here is a friendly reminder. Compelling content is key to engaging your target audience. And as a university, your target audience happens to have some of the most tech-savvy people on the Internet today…and not because of their technical training, simply because of their age. Seems like they were all born with a cell phone in hand.

What we’re saying is, your prospective domestic and international students spend a lot of time online and on social media. They visit university pages to find out more information about academics and programs, and they visit universities’ social media pages to learn more about the culture, campus, the surrounding area and student life.

They want to know, “Will I fit in here?” and then they go online thinking, “Let’s see what their social media feeds look like.”

Here’s the Pro Tip: When they check out your social media, there better be some compelling videos: Inspiring. Clever. Goofy. Engaging. Convincing.

Let’s check in with Emily who found some excellent (totally worth the click) examples to point us in the right direction. Congratulations to both of our winners: two more universities have won the coveted Intead Award for Creative Engagement. 
(Framable certificates are on their way!)

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International Student Recruiting in Africa Part II: Nigeria

In last week’s introductory post Africa's Competitive Edge on international student recruitment in Africa, we set the scene. Though the economies in many countries have seen hard times recently, the momentum of students in both North and Sub-Saharan Africa seeking to study in the U.S. and other places around the world is increasing. Documenting the trend: increasing numbers of competitive SAT scores being sent from Nigerian students to U.S. universities.

Today, we will share our thoughts on the trends and opportunities of student recruiting specifically in Nigeria—the largest sending country in Africa in 2015. Almost 9,500 students from Nigeria are studying in the U.S. today. Let's look at a few ideas about how to market to this particular group of students. There is a lot to learn about this country to be successful in your recruiting efforts. We want to get you started.

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International Student Recruiting in Africa Part I: Africa’s Competitive Edge

Have you been to Nairobi? Vibrant city there. International student recruiting options? Yeah, worth evaluating.

There are a number of African countries that interest us as potential international student recruiting pools. Like other regions of the world, many countries here are experiencing very recent economic pain due to dropping oil prices. In addition, competition is growing from a number of higher education institutions within Africa – primarily in South Africa.

This continent is a difficult territory to navigate as a student recruiter. And given some of the recent increases we’ve seen in international student mobility from some regions on this continent, we wanted to see what we could learn. And of course, we wanted to share that with you.

Today and for the next two weeks, we share insights in our three-part series about recruiting from select markets in Africa. Part I, below, provides a larger picture of Africa and the trends of international students studying abroad. Parts II & III will take a deeper dive country focus on Nigeria and Kenya and the potential for recruiting international students from those countries, as well as tips on how to reach them using the most promising marketing channels we could identify.

The Bottom Line: The reality is that many other destinations are more sought by your U.S. recruiting colleagues. African markets are less so. And therein lies the opportunity. The less traveled path represents the less competitive path. Consider how nice it would be to be among the top ranked universities at a college fair. Is that possible for your institution in Beijing? There are market opportunities and then there are market opportunities. Depends on who you are and what you are willing to put into the hunt for international students.

Let’s find out what Emily, our American international student stationed in Leiden, Netherlands, can teach us about this vibrant part of the world.

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Are Saudi Students Key to Your Recruitment Goals?

How many mobile devices do you have? You got your cell phone, your tablet… Turns out in Saudi Arabia, a heck of a lot of people have more than one mobile device, too. We Are Social reports that the number of mobile subscriptions as a percent of total population = 173%.

Yes, More mobile subscriptions than there are people! So, we’ll ask you again, as we have in so many of our posts, is your international student recruitment content mobile friendly?

Let’s get to the point of this post: Saudi student recruitment. In the last few years, students from Saudi Arabia have certainly left their mark on international higher education. With the growth of government sponsored scholarship programs, such as the King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program (KASP), the number of students from Saudi Arabia studying in the U.S. for the 2014/2015 school year jumped to just about 60,000. That's an 11.2% increase from the previous year, according to the International Institute of Education (IIE). With numbers like these, you should be paying close attention to this market.

And most of you are. Paying attention that is. In our conversations with our colleagues at many institutions, we hear concern. A strong reliance on Saudi Arabian students to help meet recruitment targets might be leaving institutions vulnerable. Not unlike the reliance many schools have on Chinese or Korean students. When the political or economic winds blow, it affects a significant swath of your international student population.

You are not alone in this vulnerability. So we asked Emily, our international blogger, to dig into the international student recruitment scene in the land of Saud and let us know where and how to focus our recruitment efforts. As usual, she did a great job and found some really interesting research.

BOTTOM LINE: Potential changes being enforced by the Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM), are affecting how many Saudi students are studying abroad and the funding available. However, many Saudi students are able to pay their way, independently. When recruiting in this particular market, it will be essential to brush up on your Saudi cultural knowledge and reach out to prospective students online. Mobile phone apps, YouTube content and targeted landing pages will put you ahead of the competition and help you meet your recruitment goals. There's a lot of information in this post, read on...

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Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays to all of our blog readers!

If you are wondering how that might go in the Volta Region of Ghana where many speak Éwé, you are in luck. As a small display of how interactive stuff can be fun and shareable, please enjoy Intead’s WHEEL OF HOLIDAY FORTUNE.  

And spread the holiday greetings around .

Click the IMAGE  to play. 👉 New Call-to-action

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Puzzling Together Recruitment in Colombia: Part I

As we puzzle together a picture of Latin America, we are fitting Colombia into the mix. In part I of this two-part series, we will take a look at the economy and recent student mobility statistics for Colombian international students. Next week, Part II will focus on English as a second language among other critical recruiting data points.

Now, if you’ve found yourself confused by shifts in recruiting students from Colombia, you aren’t the only one. Large swings in the number of students recruited from Colombia have been common over the last 20 years.

The CIA World Factbook lists the population at about 47 million with more than 17% of the population between the ages of 15 and 24. The growth rate of the middle class is also something to consider. A report from The World Bank in 2012 shows that the middle class had grown by 50% in a decade. These same reports believed that this expansion would be sustainable. With more Colombians able to afford higher education, Colombia became the third largest Latin American source of international students. 

However, economic clouds are beginning to form. In August of this year, Colombia Reports showed the peso hitting record lows against the dollar. The peso is closely tied to oil prices and with oil losing almost a third of its value the Colombian economy has suffered.

Bottom Line: While the number of Colombian international students had been growing because of newfound economic security, they may be harder to rope in now due to the current economic climate. Lack of funds, as well as recent lack of resources to learn English in Colombia, are hampering student mobility. Still, language programs in the country are increasing (more on that next week). With the right academic offerings, there is recruiting potential in this large South American country. Scholarships and messages about overall affordability will go a long way as a recruiting draw. Career opportunities will also be powerful messages.

Our intrepid international blogger, Emily, will now wake us up and help us smell the coffee.

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