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Recruiting Intelligence

Going out of Business: Many Institutions are Struggling. Notice Any Red Flags?


If you follow the trends of higher education, you’ve no doubt heard the prediction that 50 percent of the country’s colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years. And that perspective has been touted for the past 20+ years, so…we need to take it with some salt.

Still, we have seen an uptick in closures and mergers of late. This is worth looking at because, there is some truth to this prediction and we’d be fools to simply say, “Never gonna happen.”

There are plenty of industries that have gone through these kinds of retrenching or refocusing. In the world of Mergers and Acquisitions, any business is broken down on paper for its assets and liabilities. Assets are considered for liquidation – the idea of “selling off the parts.” This is happening in academia as well. Harsh but true: profitable departments or schools within an institution are being “adopted” by other stronger institutions while the rest of the weaker institution is shut down.

Before we all consider our college diplomas to be rare antiques, is there any way to safeguard against this trend?

Below, we share some perspective on different options being considered and some resources you may want to access for a deeper dive. Here’s one of them: Our non-traditional student recruitment ebook: Quality. Cost. Convenience. The extended edition on Intead Plus gives you marketing planning insights, sample personas along with case studies from nine very different institutions.

Next week we'll be talking about long-term vision and growth. But before we get there, we need to understand a bit more about where we are now.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

(Read on)

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New Global Research: 2019 Edition


Intead’s Research Advisory Board has been guiding our latest work to help inform you of your next student recruiting moves. You can thank them as you pass them in the Nafsa convention hall this week. Meet them HERE.

The data, the infographics, the student insights…so much to consider, evaluate. Our ultimate goal: figure out how it all informs the marketing and recruiting plans of our clients.

I was just in New York City with Unibuddy (Nafsa booth 433) for their well-attended mini-summit. This peer-to-peer student conversation platform is really taking off and proving itself valuable as a recruiting tool. In the coming weeks, we will be releasing a report on our findings from an analysis of 200,000 student conversations. Great insights about powerful messaging by region.

For those of you here at Nafsa this week, I’ll be presenting alongside Hillary Dostal from Northeastern University at 2:30 on Wed, 5/29 in WCC Room 207A. Seen the promo video? It will bring you a smile in just 45 seconds…

 

Below, we share our insights on what kind of market research we think is most valuable at this point in global recruiting, given all of the many headwinds impacting our work. Intead Plus members have access to all of it.

With budget cycles coming to a close for 2019 and just firing up for 2020, now might be a good time to consider the value of the investment in Intead Plus.

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Promote Your University’s Micro-Strengths!

In international student recruiting, reputation means a lot. Reputation often influences where students across the globe want to apply and study. But there are reputations, and then there are reputations.

Are you making the most of your academic micro-strengths?

Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) Top Universities just released its annualQS World University Rankings by Subject and you should really be paying attention because students read them and use them. These rankings carry weight. QS even mentions in this particular ranking that the list is developed each year because of “high demand for subject-level comparisons.” (And the search tool they have online is really kind of fun to play with ... #datanerds ;-)

This is an opportunity for your institution to shine in the eyes of these prospective students--especially if your institution has a lower overall rank, but really strong academic programs in particular areas of study. These program or subject level rankings are your micro-strengths! And QS helps you promote them.

Bottom Line: Students don’t just look at the reputation of the university as a whole; they are also looking into the reputation of the specific programs they are interested in. Your opportunity: market your strongest programs. While QS university rankings may have their flaws, they are widely used by international students. Examining the criteria of these rankings can help determine what kind of data your prospective international students will find attractive. [read on...]

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The Global Allure of Middle America

The heart of America seems to be catching the hearts of more prospective international students. A blog we published in 2013 highlighted the fact that Ohio universities have been growing their international student population twice as fast as California or New York universities for the four years prior to the article. (There’s some good data there; that blog post is worth a look.)

Since then, many Midwest institutions are stepping up their investment in world class international recruiting efforts that focus on core differentiators: affordable tuition and living costs, great international student services, a perception of a “safer” environment and American students who speak English without an accent (yes, that is a selling point). 

So here’s the pro tip: universities in the middle of the country interested in attracting international students need to play up the academic programs that make them strong and different and not always go head-to-head with competitors on the coasts where touting business and engineering is always the thing. Consider agribusiness and water/environmental science. Why, you ask? Emily is about to take us through the rationale — and the data tells the story. With so much to consider, I hope you know that we are here to help you figure all this stuff out.

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Marketing Your University: Education Outcomes

  

This week we want to compare your university education to roasting a chicken. No, really.

We want you to consider a lesson learned in the grocery industry about marketing. What in the world would your international student recruiting plans have to do with roast chicken you ask? Perhaps not quite as much of a stretch as you might think.

Here at Intead, we are always looking at what industry does, how it markets, what it tracks. And we apply those lessons to academia. It keeps us on our toes.

Bottom Line: Supermarkets learned a while back that advertising focused on cooked meals attracts customers better than showing raw ingredients. For university enrollment, focusing on jobs and outcomes is critical in today’s academic marketing. The message resonates with students and parents alike. So you might want to rethink all those images of happy students on the quad, or engaged in classrooms. The ascending career needs to be present, and perhaps even dominant, in your advertising.

We will be discussing these approaches to academic marketing at the upcoming AIRC and ICEF conferences in December. Are you going? We’d love to meet you face-to-face instead of keyboard to screen! There are still a few slots left for our 3rd annual ICEF Pre-conference Global Marketing Seminar for Education Institutions.

More on using outcomes in your marketing below.

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