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Recruiting Intelligence

Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q2 2021

Ambiguity continues as we head into summer 2021. Will international students obtain visas for this fall in time for August orientation? 

We know the US Embassy in New Delhi and the four Consulates in Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata are working it double time to process the same visa volume they had in 2019 but in just 2 months. Go team!

And we know that Chinese student visas are facing a time crunch and additional challenges around the approval rules, especially students admitted to STEM graduate programs. 

While optimism is an important element of any future-focused initiative, facing reality and ensuring your plan can adapt to those realities is more than prudent. It is required. The reality here is that there are significant headwinds that appear insurmountable. Highly unlikely that the enrollment numbers will bear out this fall for many US institutions. Application volume is creating unsupported optimism in this case.

We’ve reported on these topics, collected and interpreted data from multiple sources, and released analyses during this past quarter. From presenting two sessions in partnership with our esteemed academic leaders and global partners at the 2021 NAFSA, to publishing a market research report on the new Indian mindset on US schools, this has been an important quarter for shared insights.

So, grab a cup of coffee and before you finish it, we know you’ll be sharing links from this Q2 2021 wrap up with your enrollment team and colleagues with the power to make positive change for students around the world.

Read on for our quarterly recap of Intead resources available to you — all in one place. Plus, a preview of what’s coming next…

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Your Students. Your Programs. In China — Event Tomorrow

Struggling to define strategies that will bring back your enrollment from China? You’re not alone.

But there’s good news: Clark University met the needs of their Chinese students this past year with an innovative and quickly installed remote campus in Shanghai. Their story is full of instructive lessons. And our webinar tomorrow will enlighten (see link below). 

And there is even more good news: Chinese parents are still eager to provide a US-style education for their child, with 97% of parent respondents in our latest market research citing the US as their first-choice destination for their child’s education.

The short of it: opportunity for your institution is still out there. Chinese parents and students are ready and waiting for your message despite current travel restrictions, if only you could reach them…

As you plan your strategy for next year, consider this: CIEE has created a powerful option that has proven successful at helping US institutions meet their Chinese students where they are. And it is not just about enrollment. It is so much more, thankfully. 

We’re talking long-term partnership building in one of your key markets and a new pipeline that will foster both student success and help you reach your enrollment goals. We’re talking International Campus Opportunities with your programs and your students — in China. Clark University was one of ten US institutions that acted fast and benefited from this innovative approach last year. Now, they will be sharing their story with you. 

Join us tomorrow, Thursday, April 15th at 11am Eastern for a webinar event with CIEE and Clark to discuss the state of the Chinese market, the international campus experience, and the steps necessary to make this opportunity work for fall 2021 at your institution

Register Now

This event is for academic institutions only (.edu email addresses and other academic institutions).

Moderated by Ben Waxman, Intead CEO, the expert panel of your colleagues with a wealth of experience in higher ed and China will include:

  • John LaBrie, Dean of the School of Professional Studies and Associate Provost for Professional Education, Clark University
  • Jill Zhang, China-based Admissions Counselor, Graduate Admissions, Clark University 
  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Brad Farnsworth, Principal, Fox Hollow Advisory, Former Vice President for Global Engagement at American Council on Education

Read on for a preview of the valuable topics to be discussed and how to continue leveraging your presence and academic programs in this challenging time. 

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Not Traveling? Making the Case for Your Recruitment Budget

Your budget is the tactical expression of your strategy. What you value most is where you put your funds. Or at least, that’s how it should be.

Whether you are submitting your budget for approval or evaluating the budget requests others submit to you, this year’s budget season is looking a little different. International recruitment travel? Still off the table. Student recruitment dollars? Still in need of allocation.

With your standard recruitment playbook out the window, a comprehensive budgetary framework  to evaluate all the different strategic initiatives on the horizon becomes more important than ever.

Are you devoting enough to the digital channels available? Are you selecting the right channels for your institution? The virtual fair folks are telling you they are really the way to go. Of course they are. Have they shared hard attendance, engagement, and results numbers to prove it?

To help you and your team identify, assess, and evaluate your recruitment initiatives this year, the Intead team took our collective experience with so many different institutional assessments and strategic planning sessions and simplified the process of budget evaluation into 3 Essential Budget Questions — a 1-pager that offers a simplified, high-level approach to considering any budget request.

With this framework for evaluating your plans and whether they merit investment, you’ll take those complex quandaries down to a basic starting point and identify where the opportunities for growth really are.

We think you’ll want to share this one widely. This and a quick review of our recent, highly popular post about how to say no to ideas that are not good enough.

Read on to access the downloadable budget consideration flowchart.

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Recruiting Intel Digest: The Most Useful Stuff from Q1 2021

Pro tip: If you read only one of our blog posts every few months, make it this one.

Between application reviews and a little thing called budget season, we know you may not have kept up with the weekly posts and resources that we’ve shared here on the Recruiting Intelligence blog over the past few months. And we can’t blame you!

From hosting webinar events in partnership with The Chronicle of Higher Education, CIEE, and iSchoolConnect, to publishing a market research report on the new Chinese mindset on US schools, we’ve been pretty busy ourselves.

So, we’ve created the Recruiting Intel Digest, a quarterly roundup post of the resources, downloads, and top insights we’ve published in the last three months which you can view, share, and download all in the span of your next coffee break.

All this with our signature focus on helping you produce stronger enrollment results based on trend data and marketing industry insights. You are so very welcome.

Read on for the latest Intead resources available to you — all in one place. Plus, a preview of what’s coming next…

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Chinese Students, We Are Listening

Your Asian student communities are hurting right now.

Nearly 3,800 hate incidents against AAPI individuals were reported from March 19th, 2020 through February 28th, 2021 according to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center. Nearly a third of Asian Americans report having experienced racial slurs or racist jokes since the beginning of the pandemic, this from a recent Pew Research Center survey. Then the killings in Atlanta last week.

As global leaders responsible for the safety, growth, and development of diverse student populations, what institutions say and do at this moment matters. And hashtags and statements of solidarity are not enough (they never are).

We, as a higher education community, do what we do because we believe in the power of cross-cultural communication and diverse student populations to move the world forward.

As the Intead team, that often means making space for those student populations (and their parents) to speak and be heard. We know how crucial understanding and listening to those thoughts, fears, and needs are to fostering a student-first ethos on your campus. It is this work that allows you to more effectively support all of your student populations, especially those most vulnerable to systems of racism and xenophobia, as well as the disturbing hate and violence that occurs as a result.

In early 2021, with this terrifying climate of rising anti-Asian sentiment in the US and views of the US among global allies reaching its lowest point in nearly two decades of Pew Research polling, we set out to understand how Chinese parents specifically are feeling now about sending their students to American institutions.

In partnership with WholeRen Education, an AIRC-certified agency and a trusted advisor for tens of thousands of Chinese students and families since 2010, we surveyed over 20,000 Chinese parents, the vast majority of whom currently have undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in US institutions, as well as parents of current high school students considering higher education. With a better than 5% response rate, we had more than 1,000 responses to analyze. We then followed up with a focus group to dive a bit deeper into our questions. We conducted all of this work in Chinese.

Some of the findings will likely surprise you. As academic leaders we see the news, we talk to our students, and we hold an entirely justifiable anxiety for our current Chinese students as well as the recruitment path to bring new Chinese students to our campuses.

The information we’ve gathered is incredibly important to your work. But more importantly, it points the way forward for your institution in how to help parents and students feel confident and safe in their decision to study in the US.

Read on to download your free copy of our new market research report, Is There a New Chinese Mindset on US Schools?

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Your Students. Your Programs. In China — Register Today

The course of Chinese student recruitment never did run smooth.  

And in the last year, your institution’s road to recruiting, enrolling, and retaining students from one of the most complex international markets was bumpier than ever. Can we get our visa offices back, please?

Miraculously, despite the setbacks of the pandemic year, Chinese demand for a US education remains. Our upcoming market research with WholeRen Education (surveying 20,000+ Chinese parents) will shed some light on how the US brand identity is enduring and where your institution needs to focus to succeed in today’s Chinese enrollment market. 

Perhaps allow yourself a brief sigh of relief—but it’s not time to rest. (It rarely is).

There’s still work to be done to keep your institution strong in this new, more flexible, post-pandemic reality. And later this month, you’ll hear from those leading the charge (and learn from their successes) at our webinar event: Your Students. Your Programs. In China: Creating US-Style Classrooms for Your Chinese Students. 

Register Now

Your event pre-registration will also pre-register you for a copy of our upcoming Chinese Market research. 

At the event (date coming soon), we'll be interviewing several amazing resources for you about strategy, market insights, and powerful new program options to help your institution shore up both near-term and long-term enrollment in the Chinese market. We'll be talking about how 10 different universities managed their fall 2020 Chinese student enrollment and what they are doing to continue their success in 2021 and beyond.

 Speakers will include:

  • Brad Farnsworth, former Vice President for Global Engagement at the American Council on Education (and a member of the Intead Research Advisory Board)
  • Seamus Harreys, CIEE Vice President for Global Engagement 

More than 2,100 Chinese students studied in US-style classrooms in China during fall 2020 and spring 2021. The CIEE team helped each of them make it happen. Now, many institutions are working toward a longer term vision building a bridge between China and their US campuses. You can learn from their experience.

Read on for a preview of the valuable perspectives to be shared in the webinar.

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Chinese Students Want to Hear from You

You and your team have been navigating the China recruitment challenges for years with some notable successes. Taking those long-haul flights and testing out the student fair operators. Building a reliable agent network despite the risks (thanks, AIRC). Learning WeChat and leveraging an entirely new digital marketing landscape. Developing meaningful global partnerships.

And then the visas and flights stopped.

As if China were not already the most complex marketing challenge for international student recruitment, along came COVID-19.

At this writing, the first F-1 visa appointments at US consulates in China are tentatively available as of August 12, notes WholeRen Education Chief Learning Officer Andrew Chen. Right now, it is unclear why any US institution might believe their Chinese students currently in China will be coming to their US campus this fall. Logistically, it seems entirely unlikely if not impossible.

Fortunately, and somewhat surprisingly, despite all the setbacks, Chinese demand for a US education is strong.

How do we know? Two proof points:

  • Market research we performed with WholeRen Education surveying 20,000+ Chinese parents just last month.
  • 2,000+ Chinese students voting with their feet and attending classes run by Syracuse, Rutgers, Clark, Babson, Penn State, Tulane, and others in US-style classrooms in China run by CIEE.

At the link below, you can pre-register for the release of our latest research for student enrollment professionals interested in succeeding in China based on current conditions and what will follow.

Pre-register Now

Your pre-registration for the latest research will also grant you access to our upcoming webinar interviewing three experts on the Chinese student experience. You’ll hear from one university on how they managed fall 2020 Chinese student enrollment and what the institution is doing to continue their success.

Read on for insights and practical tips to reach the Chinese market in the current climate and beyond.

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Fall 2021 International Student Retention Strategies – Register Now

Today’s international enrollment challenges demand innovative solutions.

However, those innovative solutions are often easier said than done and more resource-intensive than you expect. But not always.

Enter: CIEE’s custom global programs.

We’re talking your curriculum and educational experience delivered in major international student hubs such as Shanghai and Seoul to students that can’t physically be with you on campus. And with CIEE’s robust infrastructure to support both academic and student life already in place in cities across the world, all that’s needed is you.

Intrigued? Join CIEE’s “Fall 2021 International Student Retention Strategies” webinar discussion tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 25th at 12pm Eastern to discover how institutions across the US are already using CIEE’s global programs to attract and retain international students.

Specifically, you’ll hear from Penn State and how they created a custom, cohort-based international student program with CIEE for fall 2020 and spring 2021 in Shanghai. The result: innovative and proactive efforts that retained tuition revenue and the student relationships that will result in continued retention.

Register Now

(Note: the webinar is open to anyone working for an academic institution)

Clear Benefits and Opportunities

While student retention was a driving factor for the institutions that set up these programs in 2020, they also found surprising growth in:

  • Parent engagement - word of mouth promotion from parents who were thankful the institution was responding to the pandemic with strong and thoughtful student-first efforts.
  • Increased brand awareness - as students and parents excitedly talked up their ability to study in an American-style classroom despite travel restrictions.
  • New enrollments - from new prospective students who heard about the programs and wanted to take part in this experience rather than study from home online in China.

Fast acting and well equipped to deliver student experiences, CIEE leadership worked with institutions such as Tulane, Babson, Clark, and Syracuse during 2020 and 2021, serving more than 2,100 students in custom programs in China and South Korea.

And there’s still time for your institution to join this trailblazing pack for fall 2021 if you sign up by May 1st.

When student mobility isn’t a given and competition for international students is fiercer than ever before, you must take your student-first philosophies to the next level if you want to stand out and continue to deliver on your institution’s educational mission (and preserve your revenue streams).

This is how you do that.

Read on to learn more about this flexible, innovative solution to shore up your international enrollment this fall and beyond. This is far more than just a quick band-aid solution.

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Breaking the Ice: What’s New with EdTech Accelerators?

Our calendar is full of conferences and events where we’re presenting on the latest education, recruitment, and EdTech trends. And if you’re familiar with these conference circuits, that means you’re also familiar with the mixing and mingling time. From coffee breaks to cocktail hours, and maybe even the line for the bathroom (hey, you never know where you’ll cross paths with a potential new contact), the networking opportunities are everywhere.

If you’d like to schedule some time to chat with us at your next conference stop, let us know HERE, and don’t hesitate to say hello if you spot one of us in line for the cheese and crackers.

And because you really shouldn't always lead your conversation starter with, “How about this weather we’re having?”, it’s important to have a few relevant industry soundbites in your back pocket to break the ice.

So, what’s a go-to hot topic right now that shows you are both worldly and in the know?

This just in from Singapore: there’s a new model for EdTech accelerators.

Read on to find out what’s happening in the EdTech acceleration space, how it is changing, and what might be coming soon to a cocktail hour conversation near you.

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Tangles in the World Wide Web: Internet Interference & You

Sometimes, the internet can feel like the wild west. Yet readers of this blog and international recruitment pros know: things are not as free-wheeling as they may appear. Around the world, government restrictions on internet access abound. 

You may already be familiar with specific platforms that are not accessible abroad – Google SEO efforts won’t help you reach students in China, prospective Indian students probably aren’t seeing your Tweets, and Iranian students can’t freely access Facebook, for example.

But are you keeping your eye on government internet interference in your target markets more generally? And do you have a plan for how to respond if channels that were once your online go-to’s cease to be available to the students who you most want to reach?

Read on to see how you can be aware and protect yourself against potential changes...

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