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Recruiting Intelligence

Yes, You Should Consider Guyana, but here’s the thing…

 

An influx of petroleum dollars tends to turn heads. Just ask Guyana.

This small South American country used to be among the Western Hemisphere’s poorest. But that’s all changing since Exxon Mobil discovered oil just offshore in 2015. And not just some oil, but more than 11 billion barrels of recoverable oil and gas. The country is now on track to be a top 20 oil producer within the next 3 years (by 2027). In 2022, it was reclassified as a high-income country by the World Bank.

As you might imagine, Guyana’s neighbors have taken notice. Venezuela, for one, has ratcheted up rhetoric on the long-running territorial dispute claiming the land as theirs. The US, too, has shown a heightened interest in the small country. Case in point, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled there just last summer to meet with Guyana’s president and key members of the cabinet.

All interesting. But why write about it here? Because this is the kind of ripening market that should catch your attention if your role is about expanding your international student recruitment to new markets.


The Intead team is gearing up for some amazing presentations and we hope you can join us. 

  • AIRC Spring Symposium and ICEF North America in Niagara, Canada, April 30 - May 3, 2024
  • NAFSA 2024 Annual Conference and Expo in New Orleans, May 28-31, 2024
  • GMAC 2024 Annual Conference in New Orleans, June 19-21, 2024

Let us know if you’ll share a cup of coffee and a conversation about all things global and digital (info@intead.com) 


Obviously, Guyana’s potential is no replacement for that of booming Indian or even the huge but slowing Chinese student markets. After all, its population is a small 800,000 (note: 27% or approximately 216,000 are in your key age group 10 – 24). But, for the proactive, trend watching recruiter looking to make an early entrance and develop relationships in an emerging region, Guyana could make a lot of sense. The cherry on top: Guyana is an English-speaking country – the only one in South America. 

To put it more plainly: 

  • There is no language barrier for Guyanese students heading to the US, UK, Canada, or Australia.
  • Guyana’s middle class is growing, rapidly.
  • There are some concerns about safety in the country, even beyond the threat of opportunist neighbors, making relative perceived safety in the US less of an issue than say to a student/family from a place like Japan.

Got you thinking? Let’s take a closer look at Guyanese culture, education, and economy and how these factors might or might not connect to your international student recruitment strategy. And a big thank you to Dr. Mellissa Ifill of the University of Guyana for taking time to weigh in on this post! Read on… 

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Yes, You Should be in Vietnam, but here’s the thing…

 

With the very real concern of declining domestic enrollment numbers, US institutions are right to broaden their recruitment strategies, including their international reach. Thinking beyond traditional student markets, like China and India, is old news by now.  You’ve diversified your draw and Vietnam has been on your list, right?

Don’t get us wrong, China remains an important market and neighboring India is clearly a recruitment stronghold. Learn more about these sending countries in recent posts here (China) and here (India). Today, we focus on Vietnam and why this country offers value to institutions looking at best practices and diversification in their international student draw. 

When we run our global marketing workshops, more than a majority of the institutions attending identify Vietnam as a student market they've targeted as a growth opportunity. The competition for students coming from Vietnam is only growing.


We’ll be at AIEA in DC in about 4 weeks and participating in 3 great presentations: 

  • AI for enrollment management  
  • Entrepreneurial leadership in bureaucratic environments 
  • A discussion around International Student Points of Entry and a new publication to be released later in 2024 

And of course, we will be presenting at NAFSA in New Orleans in late May. If you’d like to schedule time to chat over coffee instead of over Zoom, please be in touch (info@intead.com). 


According to the latest numbers from Vietnam’s Ministry of Education and Training (MOET), approximately 190,000 Vietnamese students study abroad, the majority focusing on post-secondary institutions. That was for the 2019-20 academic year, though it appears the numbers are as strong or better today. Globally, Vietnam ranks as a top 10 sender of outbound student mobility per the ICEF Monitor. 

The majority of these students head to South Korea or Japan for university. Depending on who you ask, either 66,000 Vietnamese students studied in South Korea in 2022 per Capstone Education or just over 37,000 according to Korea Educational Development Institute. Less disputed are Japan’s numbers, which Study Japan puts at 49,000 incoming Vietnamese students in 2021. 

The third most popular destination is the US, hosting nearly 22,000 Vietnamese students in 2022-23 per the latest IIE Open Doors data. A distant third, yes, but considering the literal distance (8000+ miles between LA and Ho Chi Minh City as the crow flies), the numbers are encouraging. The reasons for choosing a US education we most often hear when speaking with Vietnamese students: 

  • A US degree is strong 
  • Classroom instruction encourages creativity and develops critical thinking 
  • Soft skills are taught 
  • Access to a multinational job market

That all makes sense from a prospective student perspective. But, why should your institution choose to actively recruit in Vietnam? What might make these students interested in your institution? And will it be a worthwhile effort for your institution’s enrollment growth? 

Below we share 3 big reasons why we find Vietnam a top student source for markets around the world and offer an insider’s take on the Vietnamese student mindset. To shape our thinking, we tapped our long-time colleague Hien Dao, founder and CEO of Golden Path Academics Vietnam, a Hanoi-based program that preps Vietnamese students for global academic and professional environments. She’s a great resource for any Vietnamese student recruitment initiative. Read on for insights. 

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Case Study in High-Value Regions: Bangladesh + Vietnam

 

Market diversification is one obvious answer to sustaining enrollment numbers. How to successfully go about it, however, is often less obvious. Looking beyond your own campus to see how others are doing it can help. So, we have a story to share. 

If you've seen our other case studies, you know we share more concrete details and data than any other agency out there. We want to make you that much more dangerous and demonstrate the value of investing in customized, creative, and well-tracked paid campaigns.

In 2021, a mid-tier, public, Midwest regional university needed to recruit international students. It’s a student segment they’d had success with in the past, but Covid, as it does, threw a wrench in their recruitment efforts. It became clear they needed new ways to reach prospective students residing overseas. We know you were wrestling with this very issue at the time, too. We all were. 


Find us at AIRC and ICEF. Let’s connect! 

The Intead team is gearing up for some amazing presentations and we hope you can join us. 

  • AIRC Annual Conference – As you read this, our team is in Phoenix offering our full-day digital marketing workshop. If you are at the AIRC conference, please look for us here in Phoenix, Dec 6-9, 2023 
  • ICEF North America Workshop in Miami, Dec 11-13, 2023. We'll be offering a half-day workshop on Dec 11 and meeting with everyone on Dec 12-13.

Let us know if you’ll come share a cup of coffee and a conversation about all things global and digital (info@intead.com) 


Back to the results of our digital campaigns in Bangladesh and Vietnam.

With a media buy budget of $35,000, the institution was admittedly skeptical they’d be able to make any meaningful progress in a new market. We always want more wiggle room with our media buys, but we also felt certain they could succeed, with the right approach. They trusted our experience and the market research we delivered.

Our mission: understand who and where the prospective families are and then reach them in ways that prompt engagement. So our data detectives and creative talents set out to: 

  • Confirm the institution’s high-value student recruitment regions and where there might be room to grow
  • Develop on-brand, targeted, and effective digital marketing assets   
  • Launch and optimize digital campaigns to generate highly qualified leads (and build awareness, but really, we all want the high-value leads) 
  • And of course, report on campaign analytics to inform future marketing investments.

By any measurement, it went really well. One $12,000 media buy generated 40 million impressions, 500,000 clicks, 1,087 leads, 122 applications, 40 admitted students, and 7 enrolled. But who’s counting? (Please say you are!)

It was a fast, 14-week campaign involving two markets, two academic programs, and two social platforms. Want more insight? Download our free case study. Read on… 

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Listen Up--New EdUp–Int'l Podcast with NAFSA Chair Dr. LaNitra Berger


We may have found your next best way to get you through your commute. And yes, it’s a podcast. You’re likely familiar with the EdUp Experience Podcast, and if not, then it’s time you check it out. Available via the usual lineup of streaming services, EdUp Experience ranks in the top 2% of all podcasts worldwide per Listen Notes. And now they’ve launched a new offshoot that we think is worth a listen.

Called EdUp—International, this new niche series is poised to offer interesting business perspectives on all things international education—a topic we know is as important to you as it is to us. Its host is the talented and always engaging James (Jim) Shafer, director of international student recruitment and enrollment at Touro University. The inaugural episode aired Oct. 22, 2023.

And, when you do tune in, you’ll hear another familiar voice (hint: it’s Ben!). We were thrilled when they asked us to be part of the inaugural episode. We were even more excited when we learned we’d get to spend 45 minutes talking with special guest Dr. LaNitra Berger, president and chair of the board of directors of NAFSA and associate professor at George Mason University. What an awesome honor.

In this premier episode, Dr. Berger offers valuable insights about the evolution of international education, including:

  • How universities are responding to the significant crises hitting enrollment offices today
  • Differing challenges of small-shop international recruitment teams vs the different yet similar challenges faced by larger, well-staffed operations
  • Why giving international educators space to dream and ask “what if” is so important
  • …And how playing with The (yes, THE!) Temptations helped build Dr. Berger’s interest in international education 

If any of that sounds interesting, even helpful, then read on for the link to this brand-new podcast…

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Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q3 2023

For an industry that takes a lot of heat for being slow-moving, it sure feels like change is happening fast. You feel it, too, right? The pains of adjustment and growth. We’re learning to get comfortable getting uncomfortable. And we’re all here for it.

This blog, as you know, is one way you can keep up with important topics and industry trends that are propelling higher ed forward. This past quarter, for instance, we weighed in on pivotal topics like the current drivers of Chinese student mobility (hint: keep recruiting!), the integration of predictive modeling (new inescapable buzzword: AI), non-traditional student’s non-traditional needs, the use of agent aggregators, and more.

Of course, you were busy juggling all this progress with bottom line issues like student yield. So, if you didn’t get to all of our posts, we understand. Read on for a summary of the top news from Intead’s “Recruiting Intelligence” blog and click through on those topics that are meaningful to you now.


As we publish this week, NACAC 2023 just wrapped up in Baltimore. Some great opportunities to connect and learn, as always. And some growing and adjustment pains for NACAC as well as they figure out how to serve their members and regional leaders. Some natural frustration there, to be sure. We’ll share the slides from our presentation and more reflections on the gathering in a couple weeks.

Next Up: Join us in Paris Nov 8-10 at CIEE's 76th Annual Conference. Let us know if you'll be there (info@intead.com).


But here, and now, for many of you, we share some great reading while you are traveling the world in search of students while others are setting the recruitment plans in motion back in the office. 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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Out of Africa, Part 3: International Study Across Africa & Foreign Investment

This is our third and final installment in our series about international student recruitment opportunities in Africa. In case you haven’t been with us since the beginning, Part 1 was about the emerging online learning opportunities in Africa, and Part 2 was about African student mobility and study in the U.S.

This week, we are focusing on international study within the continent and how some countries are trying to harness that student mobility for their own gain. With any marketing plan it is always important to understand the larger environment and other consumer options.

Our Intead Plus BookShelf Subscription gives you access to our Global Marketing Worksheets helping you plan your approach to entering any new region or market. We use these worksheets when giving our workshops at various conferences to help you create realistic budgets and timelines, targeted messaging and overall marketing plans. 

As we noted in Parts 1 & 2 of this series, foreign investment and economies are on the rise in Africa, along with the population. The continent is expected to have 2.8 billion people by 2060, roughly 40 percent of the world’s total.

Those people will need to be educated, and the rise in demand for tertiary education has begun. The sub-Saharan enrollment from 1970-2013 grew 4.3 percent annually, as compared to the global average of 2.8 percent, according to the World Bank.

Many African students are turning to universities outside of their home countries—and many of them are still staying within the continent. Let’s look at what is going on and what you need to know about China and India before you start recruiting from Africa…

(Read on)

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Out of Africa, Part 2: African Students Studying Abroad

Last week, we spoke about the emerging online learning opportunities in Africa.  This week, we are focusing on international study, both areas that have expanded because of a college-aged population boom across the African continent.

Foreign investment and economies are on the rise along with the population. The continent is expected to have 2.8 billion people by 2060, roughly 40 percent of the world’s total.

Those people will need to be educated, and the rise in demand for tertiary education has begun. The sub-Saharan enrollment from 1970-2013 grew 4.3 percent annually, as compared to the global average of 2.8 percent, according to the World Bank.

U.S. universities have made large efforts to recruit international students in Asia, but as mentioned in our 2016 blog series on recruiting students from Africa, African nations are a boon of potential students that have barely been touched with marketing efforts.

Currently, the continent has a population of 1.2 billion people, 60 percent of which are under the age of 25 (720 million). To really drive that number home, 29 out of 30 of the world’s countries with the youngest populations are in Africa.

If you didn’t check these posts out last week, see our previous posts: Overall Student Trends in Africa, Recruiting Students from Nigeria, Recruiting Students from Kenya, plus this post on Africa’s tech hubs.

How can U.S. institutions use this population growth to their advantage? We've got the data and tips to point you in the right direction.

And, for even more recruitment advice, check out Intead Plus and our new, more affordable Bookshelf Membership.

Read on…

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Out of Africa, Part 1: Online Learning Across the Continent

Universities from Moscow to Los Angeles and everywhere in between have a growing interest in student mobility within the African continent. As political tensions grow and visa practices shift, more and more conversations in our industry turn to the question of diversification of student sources.

Frankly, the comment, “I’m concerned that we are too reliant on China,” has been hanging in the air for about a decade. But now, NOW, SIOs and those above them are taking this concern far more seriously.

Long post today. Those who persevere will be rewarded with valuable tips. Promise.

It is important to note the growth of online learning platforms that are expanding everywhere. A recent Intead blog post discussed the growth of Coursera and EdX, which primarily serve U.S. users. Across the Atlantic and the Pacific, there has been a rise in the use of online platforms as well. There are many factors to consider as you think about diversifying your sources of students.

Intead is offering full access to our global market research including our oh-so-helpful ebook on recruiting non-traditional students, now available through a more affordable Intead Plus subscription called Intead Plus Bookshelf. All the market research access and none of the custom Google Analytics Report. Just offering you more options. Take a moment to check it out.

Pro Tip: Your subscription to Intead Plus is institution wide. Anyone internal to your organization can tap our resources through your institutional subscription.

Now, let’s step back just a bit for perspective and then dive in deeper over the next three weeks to consider how diversifying your student sources in Africa can work. We hope you’ll stick with us for this three-part blog series and pass it on to your colleagues.

As always, our posts help you convey to others in your institution a broader understanding of what you are trying to achieve and the challenges you face. And they help you set your plans in motion. 

Read on…

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Welcome to Vietnam: A Look at Student Mobility

During the 2017-2018 academic year, the enrollments of new international students in U.S. higher education fell for the second year in a row, dropping by 6.6 percent.

There’s definitely one country that hasn’t received the memo: Vietnam.

The number of Vietnamese students in U.S. colleges and universities has steadily increased over the last decade.

What is next in terms of student mobility from Vietnam? Let’s explore what has influenced this student mobility as well as glance at what the education system is like for those at home and what changes may lay in store.

And if you want to know more about student mobility and other global market trends, we have an entire resource library to offer. Check out all of the material you could have access to with Intead Plus and our new, more affordable Bookshelf Membership.

We use the data and perspective shared in this blog to support our thinking about which degree programs have the most value to this set of prospective students and how best to position our clients to leverage the opportunities out there.

Our mantra: each global market needs its own targeted marketing plan and approach.

(Read on)

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