+1 (978) 744-8828 Email Us                                                                                                                                                             

Recruiting Intelligence

Stop Dreading Data: A Brief How-To

Lately, the numbers thrown around the international student recruiting world can feel disconcerting – even frightening. We look to the Open Doors Data from IIE released this week and we see that the average number of international students studying in the U.S. this fall has declined by 7% among 500 universities, with as many as 45% of institutions reporting a drop in new international student enrollment. That figure is usually about 33% of institutions reporting a drop based on IIE year to year comparisons over the past decade.

We are all seeing more and more alarming numbers and hearing anecdotal evidence emerging as the year progresses. This, while Canada's international student numbers have grown by more than 18%. It can be easy to feel overwhelmed and discouraged here in the US, and we're sure many of our readers are feeling on-edge this week as they formulate plans and reports to their senior administrators.

Let's all take a deep breath and step back. Remember: no matter the national figures, your unique institutional numbers represent strength, resilience and potential. Your intake numbers and data on the overall performance of your marketing efforts is the foundation upon which you will build all future efforts.

Without data, you have nothing. You are operating on guesswork and flying blind.

Based on past surveys, we know that most institutions' international recruitment leaders/staff do not actually check their Google Analytics stats at all, much less at regular intervals to compare performance. We're sure that's not you, but just in case... now is the time to start!

Remind yourself and your colleagues: don't hide from the numbers because they are unfavorable, complicated or intimidating. Look for ways to make the numbers accessible, useful and easy to communicate. (That's where we come in!) 

This month, we invite you to join us for a webinar on the value of your data, Stop Dreading Data: Wielding the Power of Data to Strengthen Your International Student Recruitment Strategy on November 29, 2017 at 2:00 PM EST. This webinar will offer perspective and tools you need to harness the power of your data. We will provide simple guidelines and best practices you can begin implementing at your institution – right now.

Learn how to use data you already have to:

  • Inform your recruitment strategy
  • Evaluate relative ROI
  • Focus your budget on high value activities (which programs, which countries, which marketing channels)
  • Tailor your messaging

Read on to register to attend our complimentary webinar and explore the value of your institutional data and simple, effective ways that you can examine your numbers to increase long term performance...

Read More

Consider Retention from the Point of Offer

Let's start with a Happy Diwali to all our friends who celebrate! We share wishes for prosperity, wisdom and peace to all. And with those well wishes, we want to consider ideas about student retention this week.

When do you start thinking about student retention? Have you looked at your retention data lately? Our thought: we all need to think about retention from the get go, from the point of the admissions offer.

This week's post offers perspective on the advantages of this approach and some tips you'll want to consider as part of your communications plan. If your retention stats are not where they should be, and those stats will vary by type of institution and program, this post is for you. Frankly, even if your retention stats are where you want them to be, this post is probably still a good one for you.

Want to learn more from us? Intead will be at NAFSA Region X in Princeton, NJ, October 23-25. Two presentations with our latest recruitment insights:

  • International Recruiting…From Your Backyard with Bill Mena, Director of Boarding and International Admissions at Sandy Spring Friends School in Maryland, and
  • Know Your Chinese Audience: Using Personas to Guide Your Marketing with Ita Hemouet, Director of Admissions, International Research & Strategy from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University in Boston.

...or set up a time to meet us for coffee! We can always use an excuse for that extra cup of joe! 

Not heading to Princeton this month? How about Florida in December? Our team will be at AIRC (Dec. 6-9) and ICEF (Dec. 11-13). And of course there is AIEA in DC (Feb 18-21). So many opportunities to meet and discuss our latest research (4 new e-books heading your way in the coming months - Shhhh! We are keeping that quiet right now).

But if you REALLY want to learn from the best of the best, check out our faculty at the 2nd Annual International Student Recruitment Bootcamp in San Diego (Feb 11-13). This small, hands on workshop format is for a select set of institutions making a real commitment to improving their international student recruitment program.

Meanwhile, in this week's blog we are considering retention. Retention starts with the offer of acceptance to your institution. That might seem like a bold statement – a shift in perspective, but we like to think that it should be intuitive. When you offer a student a place at your institution, you are committing to the entire process of maintaining that relationship until the point of graduation and beyond.

While it might seem hard to believe that extra effort focused on retention this early in their university process will impact your prospective students’ decisions down the road – we assure you that it can. Build your relationships early and often. Let’s take it from the beginning. Read on...

Read More

Trending: Female International Student Mobility

Right now it is common knowledge that more women are enrolling in higher education than ever before. But, did you know that global female enrollment in higher education has grown twice as fast as the rate of male enrollment in the last four decades? Women now outnumber men in higher education institutions in 114 countries.

The reasons for the large rate of growth for female enrollment are clear: increased access to university education for women, better financial situations and the global push to encourage female education. Here's the question: have you considered how to your institution's marketing approach addresses this trend?  Are you speaking their language?

BOTTOM LINE: Women are outnumbering men in education institutions around the world, but there is still a gap between male and female international students studying in the U.S. There are still countries that tend to send more men abroad, particularly in the STEM fields. Encouraging more women to enroll in studies traditionally occupied by men and looking for insights from countries that are already sending more women abroad may give us some clues into how to encourage continued growth in the number of women studying in the U.S. and abroad. Read on to explore the growth trends and consider how to adjust your marketing approach to capitalize on the trend. 

Read More

Webinar Tools for International Student Recruitment

Welcome back! Fall semester is here and we're glad to be back at it!

So much has happened over the summer and it seems that the rules keep changing. The welcoming tone here in the US, or the lack of that tone, continues to be such an important issue as we plan and implement our recruiting initiatives. And yesterday, DACA appears to be in jeopardy.

The Intead team will be at NACAC next week and I will be presenting on these topics and the latest international student recruiting trends. I'm humbled to share the podium with Sundar Kumarasamy, Vice President of Enrollment Management at Northeastern University and Steven Bloom, Director of Government Relations at ACE. Please let us know if you'll be there too! Our Starbucks card is your Starbucks card - Let's grab a cuppa.

Right now, we're going to jump right into what you expect from our Recruiting Intelligence blog with some great insights into using webinars effectively. Hosting webinars is a popular strategy for international student recruitment – and for good reason. 

As you know (we’re sure you’ve run more than a few yourself at this point), webinars are flexible recruitment tools that can be effective at multiple points along the recruitment funnel – providing general information, generating leads and converting leads to applicants and enrolled students. The best part? The relatively low cost, of course. We know you don’t have an unlimited budget.

There are also plenty of options on the market offering a wide selection of features like CRM integration and multi-language interface. But, you don’t have to break the bank to host successful webinars. There are several free options that don’t have all the bells and whistles, but might be more familiar to your prospective students.

The big question: have you chosen the best tool to host your webinars? Does it make a difference? Turns out—yes, it does. This week we are exploring the wealth of options at your fingertips and helping you choose the most effective tool for your institution. Read on to explore the possibilities and download our free comparison chart (link at the end of this post).

Special thanks to Lu Bai, our international student intern from Bentley University for her outstanding work researching webinar tools and features! Lu, you're the best; good luck completing your Master's this fall! 

If you must, just skip to the end to download her webinar research – you'll just miss all of Cathryn's and Emily's great recruitment insights along the way ;-) 

Thanks for being loyal readers and sharers of our research. Please read on...and let the classes begin! ~ Ben Waxman

Read More

NAFSA Does It Again—This is Good.

Each week we strive to bring unique insights in the field of international student recruitment directly to your inbox. This week we are excited to announce the release of a key industry publication.

This month, NAFSA has released the 3rd Edition of the best-selling book, NAFSA’s Guide to International Student Recruitment. This cutting-edge work brings together insights from key leaders in the field and covers topics ranging from overcoming human resource constraints, to effective use of strategic marketing and recruitment travel, to measuring return on investment in international recruitment.

Editor Jessica B. Sandberg, Director of International Admissions at Temple University, whose editorial skill and leadership brought together the insights of major industry experts into one cohesive publication, contributes her own essential insights in Chapter 12: Recruiting International Students at U.S. High Schools.

Read on to purchase your copy from NAFSA.

Read More

Iranian Students Seek Graduate Study Opportunities in U.S.

A lot of big news has come out of Iran this past year. With the finalization of a nuclear weapons agreement, U.S. and European sanctions have been lifted in Iran and political relations are improving, meaning there is more opportunity for recruiting international students from Iran. The numbers are looking promising for U.S. institutions.

Bottom Line: Iran’s number of university students is growing. But the number of slots available in Iranian universities is extremely limited. Resourceful Iranian students are looking beyond their borders in growing numbers. Iranian institutions want to ensure their smartest students devote their talents to Iranian ventures at home rather than abroad. There is a move to foster university partnerships where students receive only part of their education abroad. European institutions have been quick to jump on this trend and you might want to consider doing the same. But, if you are going to break into this market, you’ll want to focus on graduate level STEM programs and you’ll want to get to know the culture before you devote your resources.

Meet Us In Newport & Miami: Heading to the NAFSA Region XI conference in Newport, RI next week?  We’ll be presenting our latest recruiting insights. We'll also be in Miami this December at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with digital marketing presentations and workshops. We’d love to meet you and discuss the challenges you face in your work. Please be in touch if you'll be at any of these events--we'd love to meet you!

Read on for more perspective and some interesting stats about international student recruiting in Iran…

Read More

6 Ways to Use Your International Faculty to Help You Recruit

There are tons of articles across the web about using faculty to help meet recruitment goals. One of the key points that many of these articles make is that it’s essential to choose the right faculty.

An article published by The Chronicle of Higher Education explains that it’s best for institutions to choose faculty members that are more “professionally qualified” than “academically qualified” to represent their brand publicly, and to find people who are award winning or even well-known. In the world of international student recruitment, these can be great tips, but what can be even more successful is faculty who have a connection to the region where you want to recruit. Bonus points if they are actually from the region you are targeting.

Bottom Line: It is a great idea to reach out to some of your international and traveling faculty to talk about recruiting. They are an invaluable resource that you should be taking full advantage of if they are game and have a knack for this. This blog post focuses on how to pick your team and how to train them. We're betting someone on your staff can use this post and help you make progress. 

Meet Us In Newport & Miami: Heading to the NAFSA Region XI conference in Newport, RI (Oct. 18-20)?  We’ll be presenting our latest recruiting insights. And in December we will be in Miami at the AIRC and ICEF conferences with digital marketing presentations and workshops. We’d love to meet you and discuss the challenges you face in your work. We can help. And we are REALLY good at buying coffee for our friends. 

Read More

Surprise Intead Blog Post!


Look everyone! A surprise blog post from Intead!

Even though our blog is on summer break right now, we just missed you too much to stay away for long! We're looking forward to posting again in September, and we wanted to give you the opportunity to tell us what to write about when we return.

Take our quick reader survey and tell us what kind of research will help you do your job. All things international student recruitment. Many thanks to all of our faithful readers who have already given us their ideas.

We hope you are enjoying your summer! 

Read More

Motivations of the Highly Motivated: Marketing to International Graduate Students

Did you know that in the United States, first time graduate enrollment grew by 3.5% between fall 2013 and fall 2014? The Council of Graduate Schools’ (CGS) report Graduate Enrollment and Degrees: 2004 to 2014 provides tons of information on graduate study trends. According to the report, “from 2004 to 2014, international students accounted for over two-thirds of the growth in first-time enrollment headcounts at U.S. graduate institutions.” And that first time enrollment figure is 11.2%. So lots of new international students and the vast majority of them at the grad level. Good news for international recruiters, right? We think so!  

Bottom Line: Graduate students are an important segment of international students to target with your digital marketing and their needs are different than their younger counterparts. Their motivations to study, the programs of interest and the influences for them to choose one program over another all vary. Mostly, they want to know they will get a job with a degree from your program. Similar to undergrad motivations but perhaps iwth a finer point on it.

Importantly, even if your institution is lesser known, you can still market the strengths of a top-tier program to these highly motivated students. They pay attention to that kind of thing within their area of interest. If your marketing efforts to international graduate students are limited in time and budget (whose aren't?), you would do well to focus on these two things: your career outcomes and your highly acclaimed departments and professors. Make sure you are capturing your target audience's attention with messaging they’ll react to.

NAFSA is right around the corner! We will be co-presenting new research with FPPEDUMedia on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad. So, while you are building your schedule for the conference, pencil us in for Wednesday, June 1 at 10AM and schedule a time to chat with us! Actually, use a pen, you really won’t want to miss this one. Trust us!

Read More

International Student Employability: How Do U.S. Universities Stack Up?

 

It’s that time of year again—graduation! But amidst the accomplishments and excitement there is one thing weighing heavily on your students’ minds: what happens next!?

They have put in the time and effort, secured their degree and are now looking for the next step: a job. But just because graduation only happens once a year, doesn’t mean that’s the only time you should be thinking about your university’s employability data.

Bottom Line: While your website, social media pages, brochures and emails surely highlight all of the best things about your location, campus, programs, professors and activities, are you factoring in your employability data? Students (and their families) are really looking for that bit of security.

So, how exactly does the U.S. stack up in terms of placing students in jobs post-grad? Turns out, pretty well. The U.S. is the most desirable destination for international students. Its’ universities are dominating employability rankings and it has a comparatively low youth unemployment rate. This is the kind of data that can benefit your marketing efforts, whether or not your school is highlighted in the data.

Side Note: Are you going to the NAFSA Conference in Denver? We will be co-presenting with FPPEDUMedia and sharing our latest research on how current global, economic and political events are impacting students’ plans to study abroad—you don’t want to miss this! Set up a time to chat with us while you’re there, we’d love to meet you in person.

Please read on. Emily will share our perspective on employability data and international student recruitment...

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