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Recruiting Intelligence

Can Data Advance an Education Culture? Can Social Media?

We are not policy makers at INTEAD but hands-on practitioners helping universities compete for the right students in a global marketplace. And we are passionate about the importance and role of education in all of our international societies--the empirical data clearly shows that education is key to improving the lives of individuals and societies as a whole.

One report we've had on our desk for a while (actually our digital research inbox), is Pearson's Learning Curve Initiative. The Learning Curve report and website were prepared by the Economist Intelligence Unit and sponsored by Pearson. The report looks at Lessons in Country Performance in Education. It is a combination of international benchmarking data and policy recommendations. We suggest that you watch the 2-minute introductory video to get a sense of the breath of the thinking.

We were really impressed by the scale of the research and the presentation. And we loved the tone of the report--refreshingly upbeat, emphasizing what we know about how to improve education and showing the wins around the world.

The report presents data, analysis and recommendations in an interesting and instructive way. The website is even more fun for data geeks like us, offering a look at visualizations of the data. And if you've been reading our insights for a while, you know how much we love data visualization...what's the correlation between secondary education attainment and GDP growth? You had us at, "What's the correlation."

We also like the video series, again specifically geared to policymakers and practitioners and sending the same messages about how to improve education. The report does not put on rose colored glasses but shows facts and the learning available to develop a cogent set of education policies. Policies driven by data with great presentation graphics -- when was the last time we were this excited? (Can you tell we don't get out much?)

Have a look at the five common sense recommendations below; they send a powerful message. We appreciate the emphasis on the quality of the teachers and the connection with attracting and compensating teachers appropriately, along with the need to support a culture of education in a society. Cultural change requires role models, continued "marketing" of the value of education and a strong societal undercurrent feeding the need and value of obtaining an education.

We are bullish on the positive impact technology will have on improving learning and teaching. And we are convinced that start up experiments, funded by capital flowing into higher ed technology, will lead to progress with scale and lower cost per student. Experimentation is critical to progress no matter what industry you are in.

We think that companies like Pearson and Knewton show promise that will spread. Yet much more needs to be done to affect the culture of education, particularly in the United States where education does not have as high a social value as in some of the Asian and other countries. We certainly respect the work of the Lumina Foundation to support higher degree attainment goals.

At Intead, we will soon launch our own small contribution to create goodwill, respect and appreciation for education. We will use what we know best, digital and social media marketing. We are planning to collect 1,000 quotes about "Why Education Matters" from institutions and leaders around the world. We will provide any educational institution free access to high quality photos paired with inspirational quotes for use on your social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) and in your presentations to prospective students. Here is a sneak peak at where we are going with Why Education Matters.org.

This free Intead service will meet another challenge many of our clients face. Institutions with social media strategies are looking for interesting and positive content that can be shared broadly -- beyond just the internal student community. Finding useful and engaging content for your social media channels can be easy some weeks and very hard on others. We have all watched Facebook and other social media channels fill up with inspirational quotes tied to interesting graphics. Intead's Why Education Matters will provide a free database of images and quotes to fill in your social media gaps on any given day or week.

Let us know if you would like to know more about this initiative. We have a limited number of opportunities for others to become a joint sponsor and distributor along with us. We will be announcing the full launch of this new service in 2014.

We wish all of our readers in the United States a Happy Thanksgiving. We'll take short break next week and will be back with Intead Insight in the first week of December.

If you plan to be in Miami between December 4 and December 11 please be in touch and we'll buy you a cup of coffee. We will be presenting at the AIRC Annual Conference and the ICEF Workshop. In fact, tied to the ICEF workshop, we will be giving a full-day workshop on Global Branding for Academic Institutions on December 8 at the Lowes Miami Beach Hotel. Interested? Learn more here: http://www.intead.com/miami-workshop-2013/

Topics: Insights