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Recruiting Intelligence

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. 

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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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How to Say 'No' to Ideas That Aren't Good Enough

Brilliant and creative enrollment professionals, we know your pain.

So many great ideas, so little time, and so little budget.

It’s the refrain of higher education (that, and “Don’t talk to me during application season”). And while we know you want to tackle everything with an enthusiastic “yes”, saying “no” more often than “yes” is nearly always required to keep your institution and your strategy on track.

With budget season inching towards the finish line, we know you’re already thinking about putting that budget into action in the new fiscal year. We also know that making the most of that budget will require focus, a concrete plan, and most importantly, that discipline to say “no” to lots of shiny new ideas that pass you by.

Steve Jobs said it best: “Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.” But with great ideas and options coming at you from all sides, how do you decide what will maximize value for your institution?

With this enrollment cycle murkier than ever and past performance clearly not indicative of future success, turning your gaze on some downhome marketing truths is a good idea.

Read on for five key questions to ask yourself next time that lightbulb moment hits you and your team. Our insights will help you hone your efforts on the ideas that will produce results and justify that budget.

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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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Practical EdTech Implementation: Ask Us Anything — Register Now

The roadmap for EdTech implementations a decade ago had a linear feel. There was an expectation of securing a significant tech budget and allocating that to a carefully selected vendor with a 3-5 year plan. There was talk of “flexibility” and integrations. APIs would be built to tie different parts of the legacy systems together or the legacy piece would be replaced outright. The future system was going to be a real game changer.

It rarely worked out as planned…ever. Been there?

Today, replacing aging technology is an entirely different process. We’re eager to share insights into how campuses develop truly flexible systems and integrations with technology that is evolving every 6-12 months.

The technology process today has a heck of a lot more to do with justifying ROI than choosing technology.

Confused? Register for our webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" tomorrow, February 18th at 2pm Eastern. 

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Join Intead and iSchoolConnect as we talk about pushing decisive, cross-departmental collaboration at speed and scale like never before. We're talking agility in planning and innovation in technology and digital tools far beyond the usual benchmarks of annual progress in our notoriously slow-moving industry.

There’s a lot of work to do to pull complex technology and analytics projects all together. Best to have some really strong partners.

In the webinar, we’ll be sharing practical advice for successful, cost-effective technology implementations. Implementations that, long-term, produce stabilized and predictable revenue streams for your institution, even in unpredictable times.

You won’t want to miss this

Adding valuable perspective to this Ask Us Anything conversation will be:

  • Seamus Harreys, Vice President, Global Enrollment, CIEE
  • Kerry Salerno, CMO, Babson College

We’ll have plenty of real-world stories and insights to share. Stories about Northeastern University’s amazing growth from 2009 and onward. We’ll talk about technology investment approaches at different size institutions. Stories about vendor selection, technology features, and most importantly, the challenge of getting all of the internal stakeholders aligned. 

Throughout, we will welcome your questions.

Important note: if you can’t attend the event live, your registration will ensure you’re first to receive access to the recorded conversation.

And as a primer for tomorrow’s implementation-focused conversation, how about a free PDF download: “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” sharing our 5 key takeaways from our February 4th panel event with The Chronicle of Higher Education and your colleagues from five different institutions.

Read on to access your copy of the 5 key takeaways and to learn how your peer institutions across the country are getting their technology investments right. A quick and helpful read before we dive deeper tomorrow.

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Successful Tech Implementation Processes Look Like This — Register Now

In last week’s virtual event, “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time”, Chronicle of Higher Education host Ian Wilhelm surveyed attendees with one key question — 

Will the pandemic experience help your institution make better decisions about using technology?

The answer from respondents? A resounding YES.

But what exactly are those decisions? Who’s making them? And most importantly, how will these decisions about technology made now lead to successful implementation and transformational change for your institution down the road?

On Thursday, February 18th at 2pm Eastern, Ben Waxman, CEO of Intead and Ashish Fernando, CEO of iSchoolConnect will be leading a follow-up webinar, "EdTech: The Road Map Has Changed. Successful Implementation Processes Look Like This" to further the valuable Chronicle discussion of last week.

Register Now

In this “Ask Us Anything” conversation, we’ll be getting practical, covering all things tactical implementation when it comes to technology on your campus. The key objective? Identifying how successful tech implementation really happens (despite the obstacles) and how you can create that new reality for your students, faculty, and staff. We want to discuss your specific case —wins, challenges, and all.

Adding valuable perspective to the event will be Jesus Trujillo Gomez, Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud, as well as other special guests from academic institutions across the country. Get those questions ready.

Registrants will receive access to the recording of this event, so if you can’t attend live, never fear. (And if you want your questions answered but can’t attend — let’s chat.)

And if you missed last week’s “Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time” event, stay tuned in the coming weeks for the Director’s Cut recording, as well as a download of the key takeaways, including Intead and iSchoolConnect’s, “6 Insights in 6 Minutes.” Exciting, valuable stuff to come.

Read on for a preview of the keys to tech implementation success. Plus, one of the most common tech myths, debunked.

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Using Tech to Thrive in a Volatile Time — Register Now

How do you and your team feel as you choose technology partners and platforms? Not exactly a walk in the park, right?

We’ve worked with many institutional leaders and there are common elements of a successful process. And those common elements are not the same today as they were a decade ago. Today, institutional investments in technology follow a different path, with different expectations. Success has been modified over the years. Integrations consistently evolve.

Our point: Enrollment management upgrades are essential to your institution’s future growth. Competition for students is growing more intense with no end in sight. You need both the team and the technology to succeed at stabilizing and growing revenue, and achieving the diverse student environment that your mission statement purports. 

What is this redefinition of how technology investments help universities move forward? Intead and iSchoolConnect are participating in a Chronicle of Higher Education webinar tomorrow, February 4th at 2pm Eastern, to discuss just that. All registrants will have access to the recording. So, even if you’re tethered to that critical Zoom meeting tomorrow, you can still get the inside scoop and all our best insights and advice.  

Register Now

The Chronicle is bringing an all-star panel to discuss the big picture. How are institutional needs assessed? How are institutional goals identified? How are technology investment decisions made? The panel features:

  • Cedric Howard, Vice President for Enrollment & Student Services, State University of New York at Fredonia
  • Keith W. McIntosh, Vice President and Chief Information Officer, University of Richmond
  • Mary Ann Rafoth, Provost, Robert Morris University

Plus, Intead and iSchoolConnect will be adding some grounded tactical perspective with a special segment,"6 Insights in 6 Minutes", featuring: 

  • Ben Waxman, CEO, Intead
  • Ashish Fernando, CEO, iSchoolConnect
  • B. Donta Truss, Vice President for Enrollment Development & Educational Outreach, Grand Valley State University 
  • Derrick Alex, Director, Admissions Processing, University of Houston

All in all, this webinar will help you consider the broad range of quality available in the marketplace as you find the trustworthy technology partners you need. Many of the vendor options available do not understand the complexity and varied needs of the academic environment. We do.

Read on for a preview of those insights. 

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Slate Users Speak: Getting Real About Technolutions’ CRM Platform Part 2

Welcome to Part 2 of our Slate series. You didn't think we'd forget about the international student recruitment/admissions perspective, did you? 

But let's stay with domestic student recruiting and enrollment management for just a moment. Intead and iSchoolConnect are participating in a Chronicle of Higher Ed webinar event on Thurs, Feb. 4 that you truly won't want to miss. Colleagues from SUNY Fredonia, U of Richmond, and Robert Morris, along with some special guests all addressing the challenges of technology implementation on university campuses. Register Here.

Now, about that Slate CRM! In Part 1 last week we shared the experiences of a variety of Slate users in universities across the US, including admissions directors, associate directors, specialists, and one CRM manager/power user. We talked all things integration, training and support, and the universally dreaded: getting queries to give you the information you want. 

This week we're talking all things international, as well as sharing our users' feedback on the cost and value of Slate to their institution. 

In our work with institutions on international student recruitment campaigns, we're all too familiar with the domestic/international divide when it comes to resourcing and decision-making influence. And in our discussions with users about Slate integration, some international admissions staff reported a similar disconnect in their experiences with initial training and usage of the platform. 

Again, we are grateful to our interviewees for sharing their valuable time and perspectives with us. Read on to learn how international recruiting/admissions teams are making Slate work for them. 

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Slate Users Speak: Getting Real About Technolutions’ CRM Platform Part 1

Weathering the challenges of 2021 and beyond requires serious enrollment management. And enrollment management lives or dies based on the the team you have in place, and the technology they rely on. So, let’s take a look at the platforms that can help your team do a better job.

Back in a 2019 post, we asked the question — is Slate all that?  That post, in which we discussed the features and benefits of Technolutions’ banner EdTech platform, is among our most-read posts ever.

With Slate now used by over 1,300 colleges and universities (up from 950 institutions in our 2019 post), the answer, it seems, is clear… Or is it?

Recruitment competition is fierce and getting fiercer as the student population declines and generally adjusts to the travel-resistant phase we are in. With the right platform in place, an institution has the ability to segment student audiences and create messaging and content that speak directly to each audience. Oh, and track the results so you can improve over time -- no small thing.

With the Slate buzz growing, so too has the online discussion and questions about integration, ease of use, and customer support. What does this rapid growth mean for the quality of their ongoing user support? Does Slate’s comprehensive range of features offer more complexity than it does value? How does Slate fare in the nuanced world of domestic vs. international student admissions?

To dig deeper, we spoke to a variety of Slate users in universities across the US, including admissions directors, associate directors, specialists, and one CRM manager/power user. Our Slate users ranged from seasoned pros, now on their fourth or fifth admissions cycles with the platform, to new adopters, with just a single admission cycle under their belts. We are grateful to our interviewees for sharing their valuable time and perspectives with us.

Some themes that emerged across universities were surprising, others, less so. Spoiler alert: if you aren’t yet a Slate query master, you’re not alone.

For current Slate users, we hope there is validation and inspiration to be found in the experiences shared by your fellow institutions. And for those contemplating Slate, consider this two-part series a comprehensive alternative to those lengthy product review forums you’ve been combing. Read on.

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6 Key Takeaways for Smart Technology Investments — Free Download

Our advice from a few weeks back: To survive current enrollment and revenue challenges, institutions must stop cutting at some point and invest in growth.

We know you have questions. How do you encourage a culture of innovation? How do you get a slow-moving institution to make smart, growth-focused investments? How do you manage the risks inherent in these investments? And, most importantly, what are the “smart investments” your institution should be making?

We’ve been doing the research and gathering the experts. On November 16th, Intead and iSchoolConnect hosted a webinar Predicting Revenue, Enrollment & Student Success to address these questions and more, with a focus on how investments in data and technology can help generate predictable revenue for your institution and pave the way for transformational growth.

In the webinar, Ben Waxman (CEO, Intead) and Ashish Fernando (CEO, iSchoolConnect) also introduced the new Intead / iSchoolConnect partnership -- a powerful relationship and suite of end-to-end admissions and student success-focused solutions that combine Intead’s wealth of experience in market research and strategic digital communications with iSchoolConnect’s Google-recognized technology services.

The webinar discussion tapped the wisdom and deep experience of:

  • Lisa Adams, MD: Associate Dean for Global Health, Director of the Center for Global Health Equity, Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine
  • Jesus Trujillo Gomez: Strategic Business Executive for Higher Ed at Google Cloud
  • Kerry Salerno: CMO, Babson College
  • Hillary Dostal: Economics Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Northeastern University and Endicott College

If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording in full right here. You can also play it in the background while you work, but we like to think our bright, smiling faces bring some added value! : ) 

And if you haven’t got an hour to spare, you’re in luck — a new Key Takeaways PDF download is available for free at the end of this post. These insights shared by our panelists are just too valuable to miss. It is a quick and helpful read.

Read on for webinar highlights and the Key Takeaways download link.

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