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Recruiting Intelligence

Is Your Institution Prepared for What Comes Next?

Global campus options are now more critical than ever. Do you have the flexible toolkit to secure your Spring 2021 term?

Back in May, we let our community know about a new opportunity through CIEE to establish turnkey global campuses. This is the realistic innovation we see as critical to maintaining international student enrollment opportunities.

This is doable.

With their 70 years of experience in international education and their footprint of 30+ campuses around the world, CIEE developed a program to help institutions serve their international students despite COVID-19 and the travel restrictions that have been roiling the industry.

Since May, less than 3 months ago, more than 8 forward thinking and fast-moving institutions saw the opportunity. For the Fall 2020 term, more than 1,300 international students are enrolled in those institutions and will study on CIEE campuses overseas in Shanghai, Seoul, and other reachable cities.

Innovators like Tulane University, Rutgers University, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences University, Penn State, Clark University, and others are leading the way for their international students:

  • Developing the long-term bond between student and institution
  • Delivering their customized academic programming
  • Securing student graduation timelines
  • Maintaining enrollment numbers and revenue streams

Recruitment. Retention. Revenue.

Spring term 2021 is now in play. US universities are witnessing the ever changing and ill-defined decrees from the US State Department about how international students can and cannot come to the US for their academic programs. Hard enrollment numbers for Fall 2020 are on their way.

Read on for the inside scoop from the academic leaders who took steps in May to secure Fall 2020. And how your steps today can secure Spring 2021 and beyond.

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The New Student Enrollment Playbook is Here

We’d like to think that your Wednesday ritual includes reading our latest Recruiting Intelligence blog release over your morning coffee, but we know that you’ve had a lot on your plate recently, and we don’t mean breakfast.

What a difference a week makes? Last week everyone was reacting to the ICE guidance that if U.S. classes were online only, international students had to head for the exits. Now, 7 days later, that order is rescinded and international students may stay in the U.S. and study online.

While this is welcome news, if anyone thinks this is the end of the headaches, confusion and policy level chaos on this topic, they've not been paying attention for the past few years.

Throughout the rise of COVID-19 we’ve been offering quick-hit, actionable advice weekly on this blog, advising on how to weather this storm, salvage your enrollment, and pivot your digital marketing strategy in response to this unprecedented global crisis.

This Not So Fun Fact from UNESCO still boggles our minds: By the first week of April, 190 countries closed kindergartens to higher education institutions simultaneously affecting 1.6 billion learners, 90% of total enrolled learners globally.

If you’ve missed any of our valuable insights these past few months, or if you just need a refresher — we know, there’s a lot to keep track of right now—you’re in luck. Our latest eBook, The New Student Enrollment Playbook: COVID-19 Edition is now available to download for free.

Consider it your one-stop-shop for all things COVID-19, and not to worry, we disinfect the download button following each click ; -)

From advice on crisis contingency planning to a review of the best online learning resources, The New Student Enrollment Playbook will help you and your leadership navigate this new normal and emerge stronger for it. Read on to download your copy.

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The More Things Change…The More We Need to Figure Out

So, ICE tells all the online international students in the U.S. to go home and Harvard tells all students to go online for Fall 2020 (without lowering tuition). That’s quite a news day.

From day to day, the landscape continues to shift, sometimes dramatically.

If you’ve missed the past few months of Recruiting Intelligence posts because you’ve had other pressing priorities (we get it), then you may want to take a scroll through it all.

Read on for a quick summary of all the things we all need to figure out. (Spoiler alert: we've already figured out a lot of them).

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Perceived Value: Online vs. On Campus

What are your students willing to pay for an online education?

Here is what you are really after: given your brand reputation, the demographics of your student cohort and the potential to create a new service delivery model, what should you offer and how much should you charge for it?

Let’s get that answered!

Our primary message: custom research into what your student cohort is willing to pay for your brand on campus or online is invaluable. An important part of innovation is the upfront market research that points your team in the right direction.

Below we review some new pricing research that offers insights and a conceptual approach to getting this type of data for your institution.

The context: During a high school Zoom graduation ceremony we watched this past week (my niece got her paper!), the valedictorian shared the experience of his last day in high school in March this year – a day like any other, except that at the end of it, the principal quite suddenly told everyone there would be no school the next day. A mundane day that suddenly marked the end of all he had worked for. No celebration, no Senior Week pranks, no high fives, just, head home and, as it turned out, don’t return.

His comment at the close of his valedictorian graduation speech: Don’t ever doubt that the world can change in an instant.

Across the globe, students and institutions shared that experience. How will all those valedictorians and all their friends make decisions going forward. College? Job? Remote learning and a job?

Read on for pricing research perspective to get you thinking.

And watch this space over the next few weeks as we dive into the doing that is prompted by the thinking. We’ll be sharing detailed case studies of some of the successful digital marketing work we’ve been doing for a variety of institutions around the world.

Yes, even during a pandemic, especially during a pandemic, digital marketing will connect you with your target audiences. We will show you how and give you benchmarks to help you evaluate how you are doing.

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30 Global Turnkey Campuses

In our conversations with students, we hear a clamoring for certainty.

We’re betting you hear it too. Stick with us here, we’ve got two solid options to present to you. Doing this right will get your current and prospective students singing your praises all over the internet.

The set up: we can see already that the larger mechanisms for fall enrollment – from visa processing to so many other factors – are delayed at best. Intead is talking to a number of institutions that understand our new realities and are taking their student first philosophies to a new level.

In hearing from university presidents about all of the very real administrative machinations that make our new abnormal SO incredibly challenging for institutions, some are saying, “That’s not your problem, its ours.

That right there is innovation speaking. That is institutional leaders understanding why they have their jobs in the first place.

The opposite is also happening. Telling your students (domestic or international) to “wait and see” is not putting your students first and it is not a competitive advantage.

Institutions explaining why they cannot meet students’ (and families’) demands for certainty because of cumbersome internal bureaucracies and systems, well, those institutions will reap what they sow. In this crisis, the nimble (or rich) survive.

Giving students concrete options to move forward right now is where you want to be. Acting now to offer a clear plan for students to maintain their track toward graduation and do more than remote learning programs will cement more of your student relationships for the next four years.

Read on for two specific paths that will serve your international and domestic students in ways that will preserve their graduation timetable and your tuition revenue stream.

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New Revenue Sources: Your Success Depends on It

How does a university facing reduced enrollment find new sources of revenue? Let's get specific. 

There are a number of answers to this question. And they hinge a bit on how much time your institution has. Is this need for diversified sources urgent, as in, “Let’s get a new program out there this summer to increase fall enrollment”? Or do you have funds (endowment or reserves) to draw upon for the next year to weather the storm, allowing new revenue sources to be developed more slowly?

Either way, the response will require speed -- not a strong suit for academic institutions in general. And it requires a level of nimble creativity and well-coordinated collaboration. These are hard combinations to pull together. But mostly, it is the compressed length of time to bring a new idea to market that will likely be your biggest challenge.

With this post we are offering a range of ideas for new academic programs that you can offer to students across the country and around the world. For the most part, these are all programs that you can create from what you have on hand already. There’s a bit of repackaging and rebranding required. And an innovative delivery system. But it can all be done in the time you have available.

What’s the catch? Why haven’t you done this before? Well…

To succeed at this, you must have support from the those at the top and the ability to innovate. Easier said than done. But now your success depends on just that — getting it done. 

Want to find a way to fill the looming holes in your revenue streams? Our recommendations and tips follow.

This is not for the feint of heart. Buckle up and read on.

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International Strategy in the Time of Coronavirus: Longer-Term Thinking

In the past two weeks, since we posted our near-term thinking about student recruiting, enrollment, and the impact of the Coronavirus, a lot has happened. The advice we gave for institutions continues to hold. And now it is time to share some of our longer-term thinking.

Many of our readers are responsible for international student recruitment, enrollment, and student services. Other readers are in leadership roles with broader student enrollment responsibilities.

Intead has long been advocating for a diversified approach to enrollment growth beyond a focus on just international students -- advice on diversified approaches to enrollment strategy follows. Keep reading, and hang on to your hat…

A given: the virus represents a significant threat to international travel and the economy. This past week the APAIE 2020 conference scheduled for late March in Vancouver was postponed to 2021. Other education industry conferences have been cancelled as well. Some 200,000 international flights have been canceled since the virus outbreak. Academic administrators in Australia are taking the brunt of all the travel restrictions and challenges right now. The rest of us will be feeling it acutely this summer and fall and beyond.

As we mentioned two weeks ago, challenges do arise and when they do, we don’t get frustrated, we get focused. This is an important mindset in any scenario and especially important when your industry is suffering a significant shock.

A few quick assessment questions:

  • Do you have leaders who welcome big picture thinking?
  • Can you execute on your strategic plans?
  • Can you calculate the cost of putting your ideas into practice?
  • Can you provide market data to support your projected results?

Hopefully you answered, “Yes” to the first question (if not, you might be in the wrong place), and you think your answers to the next 3 questions are also, “Yes” (perhaps with the caveat that you’ll need some help to do it).

With this in mind, let’s dive into our longer-term thinking prompted by the latest threat to your student enrollment and revenue projections. Read on. 

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Out of Africa, Part 1: Online Learning Across the Continent

Universities from Moscow to Los Angeles and everywhere in between have a growing interest in student mobility within the African continent. As political tensions grow and visa practices shift, more and more conversations in our industry turn to the question of diversification of student sources.

Frankly, the comment, “I’m concerned that we are too reliant on China,” has been hanging in the air for about a decade. But now, NOW, SIOs and those above them are taking this concern far more seriously.

Long post today. Those who persevere will be rewarded with valuable tips. Promise.

It is important to note the growth of online learning platforms that are expanding everywhere. A recent Intead blog post discussed the growth of Coursera and EdX, which primarily serve U.S. users. Across the Atlantic and the Pacific, there has been a rise in the use of online platforms as well. There are many factors to consider as you think about diversifying your sources of students.

Intead is offering full access to our global market research including our oh-so-helpful ebook on recruiting non-traditional students, now available through a more affordable Intead Plus subscription called Intead Plus Bookshelf. All the market research access and none of the custom Google Analytics Report. Just offering you more options. Take a moment to check it out.

Pro Tip: Your subscription to Intead Plus is institution wide. Anyone internal to your organization can tap our resources through your institutional subscription.

Now, let’s step back just a bit for perspective and then dive in deeper over the next three weeks to consider how diversifying your student sources in Africa can work. We hope you’ll stick with us for this three-part blog series and pass it on to your colleagues.

As always, our posts help you convey to others in your institution a broader understanding of what you are trying to achieve and the challenges you face. And they help you set your plans in motion. 

Read on…

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EdTech: Coursera’s Role in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Move over, American Inventor Eli Whitney, we’ve come a long way since the cotton gin. We are in the midst of the booming Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Just in case it has been a while since you’ve been in a history classroom, here’s a tiny refresher:

  • First Industrial Revolution—mechanization
  • Second Industrial Revolution—mass production
  • Third Industrial Revolution—automation
  • Fourth Industrial Revolution—cyber systems and networks

If you need to brush up on your history, there’s a course for that on Coursera—the newest EdTech unicorn in the revolution.

Valuable Side Note: boosting conversion rates & measuring communications effectiveness. Our NAFSA session is coming up and we'll be discussing how to improve your digital connections with international prospects. Intead and NEU offer up best practices. Check it out our fun 49 second promo...

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But why is Coursera such a big deal in this modern revolution? Read on...

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Getting Ahead of the Boom: Collegiate Virtual Reality

Last February, we talked about the intense and growing competition within the EdTech industry and new ways of delivering educational content, like the immersive learning experiences of augmented reality and virtual reality. These simulative experiences as of 2017 garnered $3.1 billion in investments, and those numbers are set to grow.

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