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Recruiting Intelligence

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...

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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...

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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.

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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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Moving the Needle on Your International Student Recruitment

So your international enrollment numbers are ok, but not what you need them to be.

Or worse, like many of our colleagues, your numbers took a real dive over the past 12 to 18 months.

What steps can you take that will move the needle north? And north of what? How much growth can you expect? Oh, and how much investment will that require?

Let’s just take a breath and point out that, you ask some really hard questions!

Let’s try to answer them…with DATA!

Read on for some concrete next steps...

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LinkedIn Tracks Your International Alumni

International alumni are critically important to good recruitment and fundraising efforts: heck, we researched and co-wrote a whole report on it!

In the fall of 2017, Intead and Academic Assembly, Inc., surveyed over 100 professionals working at U.S. institutions of higher education about their international alumni management practices. When we asked what three factors they considered their biggest hurdles to developing a stronger program, 35% included “we don’t track international alumni” on their list.

Yikes!

Needless to say, your CRM system (you have one, right?) can track your alumni, both international and domestic. But if you are among the 35% whose institution just doesn’t track, we have one suggestion for how you can still connect with your far-flung alums. It’s right at your fingertips: LinkedIn.

If you are at AIEA in DC next week, come learn from us at our two sessions:

  • Tues. 2/20 at 7:45 am -- Ben will join MJ Miller, Senior VP North American Higher Ed at Kaplan International, to serve up a dose of international student research and insights poured right into your morning coffee. Breakfast will be served! Now we've got you, right? 
  • Wed. 2/21 at 11 am -- Ben will interview Lakshmi Iyer, Executive Director & Head of Education at Sannam S4 and and Jon Stauff, Vice Provost for Global Educationat Monmouth University about creating successful partnerships with Indian Universities.

Read on to learn how Linkedin is your secret (free) weapon as you find and manage your global alumni...

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Change Agents Need Reliable Information

2017 was too much to define in a single headline. A departure from the norm, as many have said.

The ramifications of the changes that occurred during the course of 2017 will be felt for years to come. They will play out in ways none of us can predict, for better or worse. While these kinds of statements or platitudes are always true, this is a period of more dramatic change than the US, and the world, have experienced for some time.

At a policy level, Mr. Trump came into office promising radical change. He has delivered on that promise. When change agents enter any situation, and they have some level of support, conflict ensues.

This is a time to gather the wisdom of others and make plans. Certainly not a time to sit tight and wait out the storm. You know those early birds gathering those worms...those are the birds that planned to get out there early and act.

Read on to gain a bit more perspective and be one of those early birds...

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Top 10 International Recruitment Techniques All Under $10

As we look forward to wrapping up 2017 and reflect on the year, we are noticing one recurring theme. Throughout 2017, the world of international student recruitment has been hyper-focused on the concerns around a limited recruitment budget.

Many of our colleagues reported that the biggest blow was to their designated funds for travel, and many institutions have endured reductions in staff, limiting their recruitment resources even more. And, as you know, the enrollment expectations from above are as high as ever – if not higher! 

Well, during this holiday season – we’re here to give you some hope (and tips!). 

There are things you can do now, small things, on an even smaller budget, that can make a big impact later. We recommend you consider trying all 10 of our recruitment tips for under $10 and then do them again…and again…and again. Read on to see how you can make a big impact with a little funding...

A quick reminder: we'll be taking a break from the blog next week and you'll see great content here again in January 2018! Odd to write 2018. (There's a joke in there about future sight being 2020, or something like that...). Either way, time flies, doesn't it?

In January, we'll be posting our slides from all of our AIRC and ICEF presentations. Hey, and when you have a moment during the holiday break, check out our International Student Recruitment Bootcamp. Spaces are filling fast -- limted to 100 attendees who will all walk out with a global marketing plan fashioned to their institution with the help of our globally knowledable faculty.

Read on to get your 10 tips all under $10. Happy Holidays from our team to yours. Enjoy the season!

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New Research: U.S. Global Alumni Management

Read all about it!

Hot off the electronic presses: our newest research on global alumni from Intead and Academic Assembly, Inc. Together we analyzed responses from more than 100 U.S. academic professionals about how their institutions manage global alumni.

Ready to up your alumni game, and strengthen your recruitment, fundraising, and more? Read on and dive into out free white paper!

In the meantime, we hope that we will see you at any one of our many presentations during the AIRC and ICEF conferences over the next 7 days. The Intead team will be sharing lecturns with Monmouth University, UCLA Extension, Temple University, Sandy Spring Friends School, Academic Assembly, Sunrise Education and WholeRen.

The Intead team will be offering up fresh data and ideas to help you recruit international students from community colleges (Ben) and private boarding schools (Kellie). We'll be diving deep into Chinese student personas (Patricia). We'll be looking at the importance of internal alignment (Ben) as it relates to the international student experience on your campus. And we'll be presenting for the first time ever: our inaugural research on global alumni (Kate). Spoiler alert: they aren't being used effectively...but you already knew that, right?

We think we'll raise a few eyebrows (that's our version of having a wild time in Florida ;-)

Read on to get the real download on this great new global alumni analysis...

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#Trending Up or Down: Indian Student Mobility

We know that India is weighing heavily on the minds of international recruitment professionals all over the world... especially here in the U.S. How will mobility trends among this growing student population play out? And, where will the U.S. fall in the decision-making process of outbound Indian students? 

While the number of international students and specifically Indian students in the U.S. continue to grow, recent trends indicate that the U.S. is losing ground to Canada and Australia in the competition for Indian students.

Why?  We'll explore that question in this week's blog. And we will explore what you can do about it in greater detail at our International Student Recruitment Bootcamp in San Diego this February. Come learn with us, CGACC and our expert faculty – names from our industry you've known and respected for a very long time. We've limited this hands-on event to 100 attendees, so that the 1.5 days of learning and networking is intense and highly valuable to you.

Read on to see how the U.S. and your institution in particular should be approaching the Indian student market. And we hope to see you at AIRC and then ICEF in Florida starting next week.
Oh! and don't forget to attend our webinar TODAY at 2 p.m. EST on
Wielding the Power of Data for International Student Recruitment

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