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Recruiting Intelligence

International Study’s Global $ Impact: How Does Our Industry Compare?

We report on student mobility trends in all of our research. Where are they going? What influences their decisions? How do we reach them with really great information to help them make informed decisions? These are the questions we ask and answer as marketers and communicators.

IIE data is always useful as a historical view of what happened over the past few years. What we also look for is data that is more immediate. What is happening right now. Better yet, how does what is happening right now affect what will be happening next year and beyond. The attempt to produce crystal ball predictions that have a bit more grounded intelligence and bit less unpredictable magic.

One of IIE’s figures that is helpful from a policy level and industry advocacy point of view is the size of the market. Education is an export for most countries and here in the US, IIE has helped us value that at roughly $36B. That is the value of international students coming to the US and spending their money on tuition, housing, food, transportation, clothing and of course, the BIG decision between Beats headphones or Jaybird wireless earbuds.

But we wonder how does this $36B relate to the GLOBAL student mobility market?

Read on to find out.

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#EdTech Basic Training: Bootcamps and the Future of Coding

Students are settled into their dorm rooms, pumpkin spice is again a major topic of conversation, and the craziness of the drop/add period is wrapping up. Summer might already feel like a distant memory. But, way back in June—before all of the student orientations, barbecues and beach trips—we spoke about credentialing and badges. One of the non-credit suggestions we made was for universities to offer coding bootcamps in order to help credential their students or alumni.

There are so many ways to engage prospective students at all levels who want to advance their careers. Our Non-Traditional Student e-book Quality. Cost. Convenience. has 9 case studies from your peer institutions. It might be worth a look if you’ve not already downloaded it. The Extended version for Intead Plus members includes three bonus chapters on market segmentation and recruitment strategies.

Read on to take a look at some of the options already out there for these coding bootcamps, and see if they actually make a career difference for students and offer your team an enrollment edge.

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How Our International Audiences View Us Now

If you’ve been following our blog and our market research, you were reading today’s headlines three years ago.

Intead has been conducting primary research on student and parent interests and influencers for a very long time. And we’ve been publishing our results for you. And we’ve been incorporating our findings into our clients’ marketing activities.

More than three years ago, we reported on international student concerns about the news coming out of the US. At that time, presidential candidate Donald Trump shared his views on Mexicans and a host of other things using headline grabbing terminology that continues to this day.

Research we've conducted, both primary and secondary, found that the parents of international students are staying on top of news coming out of the US. And we noted both students and parents increasingly raising safety as a top-level concern as opposed to a passing thought. We also identified visa processing issues as a concern to international admissions operations. And we identified the growth in international students attending US-based private high schools and the value of, and best practices, for recruiting those students.

All that, and more, was part of our conference presentations, publishing and client support in 2016.

Many sources of academic news tell you about the trends. Our goal, and we hope you know we deliver on this, is to answer the question, “So what?”

A favorite question of our friend and colleague, Harry Lane, professor of international business and strategy at the D’Amore-McKim school of business at Northeastern University. He will always push his students to consider this point: data and information are only as valuable as your ability to determine what actions you should take.

We get trend data and reams of other information all the time. So what?

This is where Intead shines. We’re all about the strategic decisions and tactical execution that emerge from the data we gather.

In fact, we have three new global marketing reports based on new research that we will release this fall and present at all your favorite conferences. (AIRC and ICEF Miami, anyone?). Oh, and not for nothin’, but a subscription to Intead Plus might be worth a look.

Getting the answer to “So What?” three years ahead of your peers, that’s gotta be valuable.

Read on for a few observations and action-oriented tips based on what we are seeing now…

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EdTech Goes Collaborative: Social Learning Platforms

First Marketing Question Today: Making better decisions based on gathered and distilled information -- Isn’t that the skill education is seeking to instill in all of us as we grow and advance through life?
 
Second Marketing Question Today: To whom do you turn for help with important decisions? Put another way, who are your influencers?
 
Main Message Today: You don't want to be that institution that gets the comment, "Huh! We don't have that," when all the students are home on break.
 
After recognizing the opportunities in EdTech, Unibuddy has grabbed the reigns and created a program that allows current students to discuss the merits of their universities with prospective students. The benefit: students in the college-seeking process are able to authentically hear the pros and cons of different universities from their peers and are able to make an informed decision.
 
Peer-to-peer support is an essential part of the human experience. Peers, colleagues and mentors
provide support in many forms today and it is increasingly digital. Sure, the shared cup of coffee and conversation at a table in some quiet corner has its draw and advantages. But really, digital has taken over the advice department.
 
In our continuing series exploring EdTech, we are looking into social learning platforms
and how they are providing your students (and you) with new ways to move forward. It is the power of collective wisdom.
 
This is going to be good!
 
We touched on these highly-visible resources in this blog in March, discussing learning
management systems (LMS) and social learning platforms.
 
We’re pretty confident you’ve already checked in on at least one social media platform today before even reading this. As you know, your students are spending their days Snapchatting, Instagraming, WhatsApping, WeChatting, (and some even Facebooking! - they might admit that one grudgingly ; -), in an effort to stay connected. Most of their interactions on their device of choice is peer-to-peer. Social learning platforms provide the same type of connection, but the focus is on students, teachers, parents, and alumni interacting to learn, collaborate and get creative with a goal in mind...less mindless, more directed.
 
What’s all this mean to you and your institution? What does it mean for student recruitment and student retention? (Read on...)
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Internationalization: This Is How We Do It

With a tip of the hat to Montell Jordan and his old school hip hop (“This Is How We Do It”), today we are pleased to give you a prime example of how you target an audience and reach them through great PR content.

Admittedly, we are a bit biased on this one.

We are talking about Intead’s co-founder Michael Waxman-Lenz who is now Acting CEO of the Technion Society, the fundraising arm of The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology.

In his new role, Michael is responsible for getting the word out about how Technion flourishes and all the great things Technion the institute continues to achieve. An enviable, global institution based in Haifa, Israel with partnerships with Shantou University in Shantou, China and Cornell Tech in New York City, among other internationalization initiatives, Technion’s work in so many areas demonstrates exactly why we all believe so strongly in the value of international student mobility.

The pace of advancement on a global scale, the interchange of knowledge, the cross-cultural idea generation, and the bonds that develop as we gather together with common goals -- these are all front and center for the institutions, like Technion, that embrace academic internationalization.

Recently, Michael published an article in JNS (Jewish News Syndicate) providing us all with a concrete examples of how Technion’s international network of faculty, researchers and students produces world-changing results.

Read on for this clear example of “How We Do It!” or how we should all do it…

Read on…

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#NewDigitalTools: Will the TikTok Craze Continue?

Remember Farmville? This one game grew to $200M USD in revenue! Now, not so much.

Remember Google Vine as short-form video? Kinda faded away with the advent of Instagram video.

So now, we consider TikTok and wonder, how long will this one last? This one is sophisticated and is already valued at more than $1B USD. This new marketing channel is powerful as long as you have the creative talent to use it.

The rule is: creative content rules. Period.

And the reason we are talking about it is that your target audience is spending a bunch of time there right now. The image above is captured from my 17-year-old niece's TikTok account. She is a content creator there and she and her friends have a great deal of fun (and spend way too much time) in and on TikTok. 

So, about TikTok...in May, we wrote about the growth of Chinese EdTech and what opportunities that presented. As of last year, Chinese startups received over 50 percent of all global capital invested in EdTech. This year, of the top six EdTech unicorns—private companies worth more than $1 billion—all but one was Chinese.

With the largest population in the world, China is automatically the greatest educational market. With a population of over 1.4 billion, there’s a market of more than 283 million students. With 17 million new babies born a year in China, this pattern isn’t slowing down.

Outside of the educational realm, tech is still booming in China, and one platform from China is now the most valuable startup in the world. What might this have to do with connecting you to those potential students in China—or anywhere for that matter?

Read on…

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Getting Ahead of the Boom: Collegiate Virtual Reality

Last February, we talked about the intense and growing competition within the EdTech industry and new ways of delivering educational content, like the immersive learning experiences of augmented reality and virtual reality. These simulative experiences as of 2017 garnered $3.1 billion in investments, and those numbers are set to grow.

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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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Competition In Edtech Is Off the Charts

Every time we turn around there is another set of edtech companies showing off their wares. At NACAC, NAFSA and the American Marketing Association’s Higher Ed Group, everyone has a tech solution.

We’ve been watching the rise of edtech and loving the growth and the disruption. From offering new ways of delivering educational content to how we confirm that students are absorbing that content, there are beautiful things happening. And the data being collected is going to help us all improve our education outcomes.


There are more than 15,000 companies in some form of edtech position. And by some estimates more than $50B (likely more) has been invested in making them grow. Some of the names are familiar to you and some are new to all of us.

But everything is not rosy here. All too often, the marketing for these companies shout out “Artificial Intelligence” and “Predictive Modeling,” when they are anything but “intelligent” or “predictive.” If you scratch the surface when you meet them at a conference, you’ll find that their “predictive modeling” is simply filtering their list purchases in sophisticated ways. We're thinking their marketing pitch might be better termed “Artificial Modeling.” To wit, they are selling stuff with no substance.

Intead will be doing a series of posts and webinars with industry leaders addressing edtech in the coming year. We’re excited to shine a light on those that are doing incredible things. As always, our Intead Plus members will get the best stuff from us.

Please read on for a nice summary of the wonderful ways edtech will transform the classroom, our employees, and our lives in the years to come.

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