Category: International student recruitment

What we learnt taking our study fairs online

“It’s certainly not all been smooth-sailing, but we’ve had some successes, and have learnt a huge amount”

With our events calendar regularly topping 18 events per year, I feel well versed in running physical study fairs, but virtual fairs were a new venture for myself and FindAUniversity.

Between deciding to run a virtual study fair and the actual event, we had just six weeks – to secure exhibitors, get to grips with the software platform, plan a talks programme, promote the event to students, and run it.

After being thrown into the virtual fair world, we’ve come out the other side having achieved some fantastic successes, including having over 70 universities exhibit, over 3,400 visitors attend, and our exhibitors receiving an average of over 200 leads.

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Why the unis who win intl students will be those with provable graduate outcomes

“81% of international students see buying an international education as an investment”

This year has been an incredible year of disruption for international education, writes Shane Dillon, found of Cturtle and UniAdvisor. It has rapidly brought to the forefront conversations around education delivery and the value of tertiary education in general in the 21st century.

As of March 2020, the global movement of international students has vanished and the future of the sector, the countries and university brands involved are in a state of flux.

Now more then ever before it is critical for the sector to embrace data on international graduate employment outcomes to illustrate clearly to consumers the value and return on investment an international education delivers. Numerous studies from UNICEF, QS and Cturtle show clearly that employability is the most important consideration impacting student choice across Asia.

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Interest in studying in Germany still strong among Indians despite Covid-19

“Almost everyone was very worried about the prospect of entering an unfavourable job market upon graduation”

Covid-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, writes UCL Institute of Education research fellow Sazana Jayadeva, but research into how the pandemic has impacted postgraduate-level student mobility from India to Germany suggests that health-related fears about studying in Germany during a pandemic were largely absent among both current and prospective students.

Between March and June 2020, I conducted interviews with Indian postgraduate students in Germany, as well as digital ethnographic fieldwork in mutual-help Facebook and WhatsApp groups used by prospective students to navigate the process of going to Germany for study.

The vast majority of my interlocutors were studying or applying to engineering postgraduate courses (reflecting the fact that the majority of Indian students in Germany are studying engineering).

Among my interlocutors, there was a feeling that Germany was handling the pandemic well, the healthcare system was robust, and international students were being well supported. Rather than health and safety, their main concerns centred on two issues.

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Lessons learnt from lockdown – how international business is evolving

“My worry was that being forced to work from home could be very demotivating and this would be absolutely disastrous.”

At the end of February I went to Abu Dhabi for the BSME conference, remembers the director of m2r Education Munir Mamujee,  a great event which was supposed to be the highlight of our Q1 international business develop strategy. The conference never happened due to Covid-19 and I ended up in lockdown  at the hotel for five days. It was a rather surreal experience and one I hope never to repeat.

Fast forward and here we are. My team could have vanished, our international business could have ended and all of us could have been on our respective sofas watching daytime TV.

Yes we, like virtually every business out there, have had to make some dramatic changes and accept that for some time to come, it’s not business as usual.

As a business owner I initially went through the usual initial emotion of woe is me, head in hands, wondering what the hell we were going to do.

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COVID-19 highlights need for recruitment automation

“Many HEIs were already struggling with fluctuating international enrolments due to unpredictable political and economic conditions”

UK universities face significant financial losses in international tuition fees as Covid-19 decimates prospective enrolments. However, automating recruitment processes mitigate the potential for economic ruin says Jeffrey Williams, co-founder at Enroly.com.

As global leaders in higher education, UK universities are heavily reliant on international tuition revenue, with the most important recruitment markets for the UK are China (120,385); India (26,685); the United States (20,120); Hong Kong (16,135), and Malaysia (13,835).

Indeed international students make up 20% of the UK’s undergraduate student body and a staggering 35% of all postgraduates, meaning there are close to half-a-million international students in the country at any given time.

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This too shall pass – reflections on international education crises

“At some point during each crisis, we worry about the long-term impact on international education”

I remember the feeling, writes Kerry Geffert, product evangelist for Terra Dotta. Restless, hard to focus, antsy, anxious, neither depressed nor positive. It was right after 9/11. Our world had turned upside down and, when we got past the immediate personal implications, those of us in international education wondered what the future held for the work that was near and dear to our hearts.

At that time I was also Conference Chair for the 2002 NAFSA Annual Conference. When we held our first meeting of the planning committee following 9/11, I started by admitting that I had had trouble focusing on our tasks. There was an immediate collective sigh of relief. Turns out I was not alone.

Two lessons from that experience: We are not alone in our feelings of uncertainty. And our professional/industry peers and colleagues are an important part of self-care and mutual support.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread, international educators are in month three of the crisis. First, dealing with the impacts in China, then fear and impacts as the virus spread abroad and now, here at home.

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Rethink 2020: Five trends to watch

“In these trying times, rather than fret about the future, it’s useful to take a step back and assess”

Recent head-spinning events – raging fires causing university closures in Australia; the UK exiting Europe; and most recently, a coronavirus outbreak bringing global mobility to a standstill – has the international education sector battered as if by a hurricane of headlines, writes Anna Esaki-Smith, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Education Rethink.

While none of these occurrences relates directly to education, they pose fundamental risks to an industry whose very core is rooted in the free movement of people. However, in these trying times, rather than fret about the future, it’s useful to take a step back and assess.

In Education Rethink’s latest report, Rethink 2020: Five Trends to Watch, we go back to basics by examining the foundational undercurrents driving student mobility towards the English-speaking world.

Consider that, in 2019, the total population of international students across the US, UK, Australia and Canada – grew by more than 115,000, according to the latest student visa issuance data.

But focusing on increasing numbers alone is not enough. Where are students coming from? And what are the factors driving those flows?

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The secret behind Tik Tok success every student marketer needs to know

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but you do need to think about how your content will work on Tik Tok”

Do you ever find yourself giving Tik Tok one quick look and being totally overwhelmed by the confusing dance routines and ‘Mr Sandman challenges’? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, writes Eleana Davidson, marketing executive at Akero and Natives.

Frantic, fast-moving and creative, Tik Tok is the natural home of Gen Z. But how to include it in your student marketing is a whole other ball game. So what if we told you that there’s a way to access the estimated 200 million+ UK 16-25 year olds currently on Tik Tok and get your brand in front of them in a place where they’re already hyper-engaged and receptive.

In an efficient, simple, clever way, harnessing the know-how of experts 10 years in the student marketing game. All while being cost-efficient and result-guaranteed. Yes, you’d probably say it sounds too good to be true. But it’s not – and it really works.

Let’s take a look at the challenges all student marketers face at one time or another, and give you the secret to overcoming them.

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Universities Launching Pathways Themselves, Part 3

“Too often, we see communication that’s unidirectional from institution to agency”

Part 3 of our 4 part series on pathway programs. For part 1, please click here

In addition to Larry and Rick, who authored blogs #1 and #2, there is another co-author on this blog: Vanessa Andrade is director, International Partnership & Program Development and Deputy Senior International Officer at California State University, Northridge.

In our previous blogs, we noted that if you are thinking about a pathway partner, it is likely you are seeking outside help to overcome internal resource constraints.

Our contention throughout this series has been that much of the value that third-party pathway providers offer can be developed in-house, using a coordinated approach we call the Coordinated International Student Success Infrastructure (CiSSi) model.

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Want student-first admissions processes? Look to your student services peers

“When we hewed closely to student needs and perceptions… the international student and scholar community flourished”

Ryan Fleming is a client director with IDP Connect. In this blog, he discusses the importance of institutions paying attention to students’ needs and perceptions when considering new policies or processes.

About nine years ago, I embarked on my international education career by joining the international student and scholar services (ISSS) team at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio. Though I didn’t realise it at the time, my years in Kent would prove formative for the way I approached a subsequent career lane change into the private sector.

At Kent, my role was equal parts strategic and operational: build the systems that would support and nurture students while simultaneously counselling them personally within the framework of that system. For my teammates and me, international orientation involved equal parts planning and delivery: figuring out what students needed to know, when and how they needed to know it, and then being the ones to tell them ourselves.

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