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Recruiting Intelligence

Africa's Tech Hubs: Your New Student Source?

Looking for new ways to connect with students from some of Africa’s biggest providers of international students, including Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya? Trendy “tech hubs” are an interesting new student source to keep an eye on.

Diversification is key to a successful global recruitment strategy. With recruiting challenges and competition rising in China and India, smart money is looking at emerging pockets of talented and motivated students. These locales will not achieve the size of either India or China in terms of total numbers of students sent abroad. But that's not really the point. 

When you consider return on investment for institutions with low brand awareness, recruitment sources outside of India and China present real opportunities.

For U.S. institutions looking for talented international students (particularly at the graduate level), Africa's tech hubs may be just the place to forge valuable connections.

We've got your attention now, right? Read on for the valuable information you need to make solid budget allocation decisions.

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International Student Recruiting in Africa Part III: Kenya

 

Over the past two weeks we have shared data and tips on how to stay relevant in the international student recruiting market in Africa. Starting with a broad overview of this market, our first blog post of this series Africa's Competitive Edge (Part I) showed the positive trends and opportunities for recruiting in African countries. Nigeria (Part II) took a closer look at one specific market, and the trends of students studying abroad and how to market to them in this country. In this Part III post, we will explore the international student recruiting landscape and prospects in Kenya.

Touted as the Silicon Valley of Africa, Kenya is one country that has been a focus in recruiting since it graced IIE’s list of top 20 places of origin in the early 2000s. However, steadily since 2003, there has been a decline in the number of Kenyan students studying abroad. Between the 2013/14 and the 2014/15 school years, the number of students coming to the U.S. from Kenya has dropped 4%. Restrictions for students have become tighter and competition from within Africa is becoming fiercer. Still Kenya is the number two sending country of students to the U.S. (3,072) behind Nigeria (9,494).

Kenya is hoping to hold on to the slight economic boost they received at the end of 2015 from their growing agriculture sector. Hopefully, this kind of growth will empower more Kenyans to study abroad. Though the U.S. still beats the UK and Australia in the number of Kenyan students they are able to recruit, universities in the U.S. may still struggle to provide affordable options for Kenyan students, especially as the number of advanced study options in other African countries continues to grow.

Bottom Line: Schools outside of the African continent will need to use local connections and targeted digital marketing to attract Kenyan students to specific academic programs. Emily has some tips on how to do that and which programs might be most attractive in this valuable market. And she'll tell you why that beautful picture above represents great job opportunities for the right graduates...

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