Category: International student recruitment

Could transparency drive better deals for TNE?

“With the number of HEIs delivering UK education overseas growing, universities face a challenge”

To hear that a competitor is worse off than yourself is not always an unpleasant experience. But what if you don’t have a clue what colleagues are paying for a similar service? This is the issue faced by the majority of universities which are paying publishers to give transnational students and staff access to academic content. 

Currently, each of the UK higher education institutions (catering for transnational education (TNE) students, needs to negotiate contracts with a myriad of publishers to give those students the same access to journals, databases and e-books as they do to their registered students in the UK. There’s little transparency and consistency around the licencing content agreements between libraries and publishers which leads to confusion and inconsistency.

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The UK can do better than “the land of fish and chips”

“Far from portraying the UK as a “lifestyle” destination, we should promote our world-leading graduate outcomes”

A radio advert carried by a number of leading Malaysian radio stations for the previous British Council Education Exhibition – promoted the UK as “the land of fish and chips” with universities that “provide scholarships & discounts.”

Is this really how we want to be portraying UK higher education, in any market especially what is a mature and established market, the third largest sender of full-time international students to the UK?

Far from portraying the UK as a “lifestyle” destination and cutting the cost of our world-leading degree programmes, we should change direction and promote our world-leading graduate outcomes.

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How do students find their ideal university?

“Students are wary of university marketing gimmicks, and do not pay any heed to them”

Students researching to study at international universities are pretty selective about the sources of information on which they rely.

In recent research done by Media Minds, they found that students rely significantly on verified student reviews on independent websites. Verified student reviews are a vital part of deciding on a university.

Trusted Sources for Students

The only more credible source of information for students is feedback from people they know personally. Since student reviews have started influencing decisions for students as to which courses to study or which university to enrol in, verified student platforms are now playing a great role. In fact, verified student reviews are as trustworthy as the University website. That’s a big thumbs up to these trusted student review sites.

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Tips on How to be Successful in Vietnam – A Quick Guide for HEIs

“Successful recruitment strategies in Vietnam require a lot of patience”

Hosting a thriving economy underpinned by population growth of 1% annually, in demographic terms, Vietnam is currently in a golden age. 

This ‘golden age’ features a young population eager to study overseas. Furthermore, unlike other regional countries, Vietnam is not expected to be overly affected by an ageing population for another two decades. Such conditions make Vietnam an engine of future growth and a worthy addition to an institution’s portfolio; but how can HEI’s make the most of the Vietnam market?

  1. Increase Your Market Visibility

Perhaps the most important aspect when it comes to recruitment in Vietnam is market visibility. Unless your brand is world famous, without a sustained effort to come to market you will struggle to make much ground in what is an increasingly competitive market. The most successful institutions in Vietnam are the institutions that recognise this and visit at least a 3/4 times per year.

If your institution is working on a tight budget, you’d be best off planning these visits around the same time as exhibitions so you can be on hand to assist with follow up of student leads. Another visit later in the cycle to help with the conversion of offer holders goes a long way, too.

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Using your university website as a recruitment tool

“A smooth mobile-responsive website acts as a trust signal for students, encouraging them to find out more about your institution”

Recent research from UniQuest revealed that 91% of international offer holders at partner institutions were “stealth applicants”, meaning they made no contact with the institution before applying. What’s more, over half of the students only used the university website when deciding on where to study.

Prospective students often use multiple sources of information and more than one device, which can make tracking their journey to application incredibly difficult. Universities must increasingly invest in sophisticated multi-channel tracking and attribution modelling, in order to gain insightful data on students and leverage the information sources that influence applications.

However, the research also highlights the importance of providing students with informative and engaging content across your website, as well as an excellent user experience. Some universities are already taking advantage of this, with the University of Sussex and Keele University both launching new websites for their respective International Study Centres.

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Common mistakes when marketing to Chinese students

“Reaching Chinese students is easier said than done in a highly unique digital ecosystem in which many large universities have failed”

China remains the top source of international students globally with over 600,000 Chinese students leaving the country in 2017 to pursue an education overseas.

The US, Australia, the UK and Canada are still the most popular study destination countries, but the competition and interest for countries such as France, Germany and the Netherlands are growing. Add to that political factors impacting international student recruitment such as the Trump effect and Brexit, and it is clear that universities need to work harder to attract Chinese international students to their institutions.

However, reaching and marketing to Chinese international students is easier said than done in a highly unique digital ecosystem in which many large universities have failed.

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Will Canada have quadrupled its international student numbers in eight years?

“It is conceivable that Canada could have a million post-secondary level students by the end of 2022”

In early 2014 the Canadian Federal Government announced its intentions to grow study permit holders in Canada from 265,000 to 450,000 and gave itself eight years. In 2017 that target was surpassed, a full five years early.

The first time I heard the goal was at a Federal Government supported student recruitment fair in Abuja, Nigeria, in late January 2014. A good number of Canadian school recruiters (myself included) were busy laying out marketing materials and preparing for the prospective students lined up outside the event. The student fair in Abuja was one stop of many throughout Africa.

Before things opened to the public, the Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria and our then-International Trade Minister (Ed Fast) took to the podium to talk new policies and give encouragement to the audience. The big takeaway? Canada’s government had identified international student growth as a major “stimulant” to the domestic economy.  And the country would – in Fast’s estimation – get this injection by doubling the outcomes of our collective efforts (which were already round-the-clock). Murmurs of commentary and raised eyebrows went up. Clearly, not everyone was aligned on the scope and spirit of the proposition.

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Number of Vietnamese Students in the US Rebounds

“Viet Nam remains a shining star in a rather dark and gloomy international student recruitment galaxy for US educational institutions”

For those US colleagues who recruit in Viet Nam, there is some good news in challenging times.  According to the latest SEVIS by the Numbers update from March 2019, there are 30,684 Vietnamese students studying in the US at all levels, an increase of 3% over August 2018.  Overall, Vietnamese students in the US comprise 2.62% of total international enrollment vs. 2.47% last August.

As you can see below, Viet Nam still ranks fifth among sending countries and is now in the same statistical league as Saudi Arabia, which saw a sizable decline of nearly 9%.  (The only other top 10 sending country with an increase was Nigeria.)  Read More

Dr. Mark Ashwill is managing director of Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company in Viet Nam with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Ashwill blogs at An International Educator in Viet Nam.

Finessing the digital marketing campaign

“International universities are pushing boundaries in a bid to keep students, the public and educators interested”

Digital engagement has become the number one priority in international education. A dynamic, and rapidly expanding sector, #intled has moved from a humble advert in a newspaper to daily hashtags and ed tech galore.

International universities and organisations no longer feel the need to toe the line of conventional marketing; they are pushing the boundaries of the new, in a bid to keep students, the public and educators interested.

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What do international parents really want from UK boarding schools?

“”School rankings still matter, but ‘safety’ has also started to be mentioned more often”

It is so often assumed that international parents are only focused on one thing when it comes to selecting a boarding school for their child-rankings. So, if a school or college has outstanding A level results, then that school will go to the top of the list of possible schools parents and their children are considering.

However, things seem to be changing…

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