The student recruitment landscape has been in a state of flux that was forced upon all of us. Institutions have adapted in obvious ways (ramping up online education) and subtler ways that vary by institution. [Note: In Spring 2023, We updated this blog post from our previous summary of 10 international recruitment options to now incorporate 12 options]
Looking a bit over the horizon, we recognize that there is always the potential for unanticipated disruptions in addition to the challenging factors we see very clearly. As we consider what is next, the lever that has the greatest value is flexibility. The ability to ramp up or down with relative ease. The avoidance of plans that lock us into something long-term constricting our ability to adapt as circumstances change.
Building Flexibility Into the System
With that in mind, we offer up a quick comparison of 12 ways to develop strategic advantage for enrollment and their relative flexibility. In this case, we measure flexibility by two factors:
- Time: Investment of administrative/staff time into making it happen and sustaining it
- Money: Investment of capital (cash out) to make it happen
When we consider time, we also think about commitment – alliances and partnerships come with contracts that may or may not be easy to modify or escape from as factors on the ground change.
All in all, we see the largest value in those options that offer the greatest flexibility – least amount of effort (time), least amount of financial investment (money), and ability to ramp up or down on short notice (flexible contracts).
A little ways back, Brad Farnsworth, formerly at ACE and now running Fox Hollow Advisory, joined me to present at the CIEE Summit 2021. We discussed some of the options raised in this blog post and how they relate to institutional initiatives that deepen internationalization efforts.
Read on for more on those strategic advantages.Read More