+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us                                                                                                                                                             

Recruiting Intelligence

Hearing it Straight from the Students

You can’t do international student recruitment well unless you get (as in understand) international students. Given the diversity of this population (we’re talking millions of unique individuals from all around the world, after all!) — really getting international is easier said than done.

The longer you do this kind of work, the better you understand international students’ motivations, goals, and experiences on U.S. campuses. That understanding can shape your international personas, which should in turn shape all of your communications. 

Knowing your market is a career-long pursuit—you never finish learning as markets continually change. We are in a changing market environment right now. Student mobility is shifting. Canada is hot. The US is strong as a destination but seeing declining numbers. More countries are investing in recruiting activities (Germany, India, China, Japan, Russia, to name just a few). Ensuring your international student recruitment strategy incorporates the voice of the international student is more important now than ever.

This is what it is about right now: Disseminating believable messages of student academic and, more importantly, career success is vital to your recruitment efforts.

There’s no better source of authentic information than the students living and learning on your own institution’s campus. And what better source than students studying business communications and journalism?

This week we share the thoughts of three talented international student columnists to follow for extra insights. On this American Independence Day, we figured you might enjoy something you can read while lounging poolside, lakeside, with an ocean view, or in the shade while waiting for the grill to heat up.

Consider this: who will you share this marketing insight with on your campus to get your institution's brand a bit more global attention?

Kudos to these three journalists. And happy reading!

Read More

#Trending: Managing the Process and Flow of Pathway Programs

 

This one is just begging for industry commentary. Kudos, REALLY BIG KUDOS, to Elizabeth Redden and Inside Higher Ed for her reporting on pathway programs. So many recruitment realities revealed, and struggles documented. Elizabeth’s research and prolific writing have advanced the industry conversation more than anything I’ve seen in a long time.

This post should be handy when your president or provost asks for your take on "what is happening with international" these days?

What just stole the industry conversation away from pathway programs is, of course, the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Trump Travel Ban (aka the "Muslim Ban" that is *not* a Muslim Ban, cough, cough). With all the walls being built around this country by Washington to keep foreigners out, it just may be that pathway programs are more important than ever as a pipeline for recruiting international students. But as Elizabeth's reporting makes clear, institutions can't travel this path without clear leadership and a well defined strategy. Many are going this route in a way that will confound and harm them later

Our just-completed webinar with Karin Fischer addressed the Travel Ban decision and some of its ramifications. The recording will be available next week for viewing for all Intead Plus members (see below).

The institutions willing to share their struggles and successes with Elizabeth for the Inside Higher Ed story gave readers real insight into so many of the challenges in international student recruiting. Much of it has to do with factors external to the university and largely out of their control. Other factors are very much in their control and have everything to do with internal politics and alignment (or lack thereof).

When tied to Elizabeth’s article about recently released NAFSA research on the lack of planning that most universities have done around international student recruiting, one’s mind begins to spin. Lack of strategy and planning coupled with long-term contracts is a really bad mix. 

Read on for Intead's perspective on how pathway programs do and don't work. Buckle up...This will be worth the ride.

Read More

Understanding Your Global Landscape With SEVIS Data ...and Our NAFSA Slides!

Isn’t it nice when someone just makes things easy?

At home, we love it when our partners empty the dishwasher, the kids trot off to bed without a fuss, the cable guy shows up when he’s supposed to, or the DVR remembers to record our favorite show even when we mere humans have forgotten. Everybody loves it when someone takes care of the work, leaving you to sit back and relax!

At Intead, we get that same sense of “wow, thanks!” when someone serves us up quality data that is organized clearly. It’s nerdy, we know—but if you’re reading this blog, we bet you share the same appreciation for easy-to-interpret info.

So we want to share one of our favorite datasets with you: Mapping SEVIS by the Numbers, provided by the Department of Homeland Security. And yes, we are actually saying “thank you” to SEVIS. We’re as surprised by this as you are ;-)

Read on to learn about how available SEVIS data can provide some great insights into your global recruiting efforts. This stuff can tell you a whole lot about which countries might work best for your recruiting for specific programs. It can also give you insight into your efforts to attract transfer students – international students already studying here in the US.

Below, you also will find a link to our NAFSA presentation slides about aligning your internal stakeholders and gaining the support you need to recruit. The stories shared by Jon Stauff (Monmouth University) and Martyn Miller (Temple University) gave some real world, in the trenches perspective. The slides really don’t capture all that was shared.

Please be in touch if you’d like to learn more (info@intead.com). Better yet, sign up for our new Intead Plus membership and get a continuous stream of helpful data, tools, and a Google Analytics review that can put you in a great position to strengthen your recruiting game.

Read on…

Read More

Is Your System GDPR Ready? International Recruitment Edition

It has been all over the news (and likely all over your inbox) – the new General Data Protection Regulations are coming into effect this week on May 25th. Are your data systems ready? Are you? 

The new regulations will require affirmative consent or opt-in from all leads gathered from the European Union. You may already know that your institution has taken the appropriate measures to comply, but have you read your new privacy policy in-depth? Do you understand the real implications on the day-to-day use of your CRM and your interactions with students? 

One last shameless plug, if you're going to be at NAFSA next week, let us know! We would love to meet you. Our session with Monmouth and Temple Universities on building internal alignment for international recruiting is on Wednesday at 1 pm. We promise a good show with real learning. Connect with us at info@intead.com.

Now, a high level review of what we should all understand about the GDPR and your role in protecting prospective students' data. We look at the regulations and the consent processes in a positive way: This is a form of pre-screening your inquiry list. A far greater percentage of the leads you capture will have a high level of interest in your institution.

Read on to find out why...

Read More

China's Success in International Student Recruitment

By the end of 2017 China had become the most popular destination for international students in Asia. What factors are contributing to this rise? What does it mean for your institution? Let's look at the data...

In 2017, 57K international students told us whether recent events were prompting them to change their desired study abroad location. Interested? We published our findings in our latest Know Your Neighborhood report produced with FPPEDUMedia. Props to FPP's database of more than 1.8M international students choosing a study destination!

Students interested in changing their minds told us that the top reason was not enough scholarships (31%). And, 88% of respondents said they would be less likely to study in the US if the government restricted work opportunities for foreigners. Frankly, all of the data points to career opportunities as a primary motivator. Always surprises us that this is not a core message in so many universities' marketing. But we digress.

Understanding the importance of these two factors, scholarships and work oppotunities, let's look at how China's "One Road One Belt" policy (see image above) is a significant factor in creating a supportive economic loop among many Eurasian countries (see explanation below).

Before we dive into all of that, we hope you will be joining us at NAFSA where we can show you how to garner internal support for your global recruitment initiatives! We will be presenting "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment" with with  Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm.  

We hope to see your smiling faces in the audience! And please, ask us any questions! We love an engaged audience. The challenge of building on-campus support for your plans and budget is common across all of the universities we talk to. Let us know if you'll be there (info@intead.com).

Read on to explore China's successful approach to international student recruitment...

Read More

List Purchase vs. Lead Generation

So many international student lead generators….so few real conversions. The challenging truth is that there are no simple fixes to global marketing, though many companies pitch them.

List providers and university search sites offer an understandable allure to over-worked and under-resourced student recruitment professionals: thousands of leads, obtained with the swipe of an institutional credit card. But like everything else that sounds too good to be true, there’s a catch. Kind of a big one.

Give this week's post a read and consider the value of unique lead generation campaigns – and then attend our session at NAFSA to learn how you can pitch the idea and build internal support for all of your international recruitment efforts. Join us at our session: "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment" on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm with  Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University. 

Valuable information follows. Read on...

Read More

It's the Little Things...

Choosing to study at an international university is a BIG decision for students and parents. So it makes sense that they care a lot about big-picture issues: Is tuition affordable? Will a degree from this school set the student up for a good career? How strong is the institution in my academic area? Is the campus safe?

But “little” things matter, too—more than universities or even students themselves often realize. This stuff comes into play a little later in the student decision making process, or as marketers call it: further down the recruitment funnel.

Prospective students and their families will judge your university not just on the practicalities, but on their emotional response to the institution and the overall perception of the campus environment. Understanding your unique audience segments will give you valuable insights into small improvements in your processes that will make a major impact.

Creating the welcoming environment at your institution has a lot to do with getting broader stakeholder buy-in. Translated, that means when an international student interacts with or arrives on campus, the overall experience is one of warmth and welcome at a very uncertain and anxious time. You've been there yourself: entering an unfamiliar place where you feel just a bit unsteady, not your usual confident self. 

At those times, the one or two smiling, welcoming faces brought back that feeling of, "Oh, this is going to be ok." Better yet is conveying the sense that this will be GREAT!

We will be discussing these very common university challenges at NAFSA this year on Wed, May 30 at 1 pm along with Dr. Martyn Miller, Assistant Vice President for International Programs at Temple University and Dr. Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Education at Monmouth University. It will be a lively and valuable discussion. We hope you can join us: "Who's Got Your Back? Building Internal Support for International Recruitment." 

You can email Elaine to schedule a meeting with us at Nafsa.

So, what little things may not be so little after all? Read on...

Read More

Streamline Your Global Partnerships

How many cooks are in your international-marketing-kitchen? Many universities work with a dizzying array of partners in their efforts to reach international prospects—an endless stream of specialized contractors all working in separate silos and in different regions.

We’ve seen universities that have hired many vendors under separate contracts:

  • A partner to build their international microsites
  • A freelancer to write the blog copy on that microsite
  • A partner to run a Facebook ad campaign in India
  • A partner to run a Weibo account in China
  • A partner to run webinars in Vietnam
  • A videographer to shoot student testimonials
  • A graphic design firm to design brochures
  • A social media manager to run their WeChat account
  • A market research company to provide yearly research reports
  • An SEO specialist to help with paid search

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…sorry, we dozed off there. It makes us tired just to write out this list. And we didn't even include the many agent contracts most universities sign in their primary target countries.

Does international student recruitment have to be this distracting and exhausting ?

Read on for our advice on streamlining and helping you get back to your real job...

Read More

Proactively Connect When The World Is Unsettled

Maybe it's the jet lag (it's not) but this most recent international jaunt has left me thinking big and getting a bit sentimental about the field we are in. You know all those cynics who refer to the international student recruiting work we all do with disdain saying, “It’s really only about the tuition dollars the international students pay?” Perhaps you can send them a link to this post and shift their thinking just a bit.

Last week I was in Moscow presenting on global digital marketing at The Forum on International Education. It was an honor to be invited to play a role in this effort by the Russian Ministry of Education as the government there implements an audacious plan to grow from about 230K international students to more than 700K choosing Russia for their post-secondary education. No small task.

At a time when the American and Russian heads of state are spitting at each other, I found myself in Moscow learning from my colleagues from around the world and taking time to visit many of Russia’s iconic and moving cultural achievements. Each evening, back in my hotel room, CNN told me about how our world leaders were acting in ways that left me more determined than ever.

Read on for reflections on the value of your work and the one important thing you can do right now in the face of international turbulence.

Read More

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! 

Read More
Know Your Neighborhood - Fall 2017
Global Alumni Management for U.S. Institutions