Showing posts with the label Marketing

International student recruitment research: Responding to a changing enviornment

Robert Diamond wrote that “[s]ignificant change will never occur in any institution until the forces for change are greater in combination than the forces preserving the status quo. And in colleges and universities, the forces for resisting change are extremely powerful”.

The landscape of international student recruitment is changing at a fast pace and achieving recruitment goals will require adapting to this change. In general, institutional strategies and practices for recruiting international students have not kept pace with the external changes in markets, students, and channels.

In this blog post, I am sharing three recent research pieces on international student recruitment published by WES, NAFSA and AIEA highlighting a changing environment and need for proactive and informed institutional strategies.
International Student Mobility Trends: Towards Responsive Recruitment Strategies published by World Education Services (WES), co-authored with Li Chang & Yoko Kono. This re…

How many Indian and Chinese students go abroad every year?

How many Indian and Chinese students go overseas to study every year? How many Indian and Chinese undergraduate students apply to US universities every year? What is the market size of Indian and Chinese student recruitment sector?

There are different estimates floating in the market as there is no authoritative data available to answer these questions. Most of the data available reports total enrollment (stock) and not annual new enrollment (flow). Global Education Digest reports total enrollment foreign students and not their annual outflow. Likewise, IIE Open Doors reports total enrollment in the US. So, we have to derive this number indirectly.

I have used NSF report (2010) for deriving my estimates, as it offers new enrollment in the U.S. by country and level.

Based on the calculations show in the table, it is estimated that
~31,400 Chinese and ~39,000 Indian students come to study in the U.S. every yearNumber of new Chinese undergraduate students is three-times that of Indian st…

The future of for-profit education in the US

What is the future of for-profit post-secondary education in the US? Here are some trends:
Inspiring growth
"Brazilian Effect: when public higher education cannot keep pace with growing public demand for access and programs, governments often allow FP’s to rush in and help fill the gap, becoming a much larger and sometimes dominant provider. This is the pattern in many developing economies such as Brazil where some 50 percent of student enrollment is in profit-like private institution." (John A. Douglass).

From 2000 to 2010, the sector grew by some 235 percent in enrollment, increasing its market share from 3 to 9.1 percent of all tertiary enrolled students.

Precipitous decline New student enrollment declined by more than 30% for Apollo and Kaplan, according to a Chronicle infograph.

Emphasis on marketing/recruiting
15 large, publicly traded for-profit education companies got 86 percent of their revenue from taxpayers and have spent a combined $3.7 billion annually on marketin…

Guest Post: Students from India Crossing Borders for Higher Education by Louis Berends, Ph.D.

Dr. Louis Berends is University Relations Manager, Midwest at SIT Study Abroad. Lou holds a Ph.D. from Loyola University Chicago (LUC) in Cultural and Educational Policy Studies. He has studied at Brunel University (Uxbridge, U.K.), the University of Oxford (St. Catherine's College), and LUC's Rome Center in Italy. He has presented many academic papers at various settings including Columbia University –Teachers College and Harvard's Graduate School of Education. He enjoys reading, music, and anything outdoors.

Students from India Crossing Borders for Higher Education: “Pushed and Pulled” by Reputation, Family, and Field of Study By Louis Berends, Ph.D. 

Each day the world feels a little smaller. To be sure, globalization can be seen in many forms these days – through the McDonaldization of capitalized nations, international assessment of education at all levels, and the ease for anyone to flip a switch and view ongoing wars and uprisings captured on live television. Beyond …

In Search of Self-financed International Students

The number of High New Worth Individuals (HNWIs) have increased by 21% and 12% for India and China respectively, according to 2011 World Wealth Report. India added 26,000 new HNWIs and China added 58,000 in one year. HNWIs are defined as those having investable assets of US$1 million or more, excluding primary residence, collectibles, consumables, and consumer durables.

This expansion of wealthy class means number of self-financed international students may also grow by a healthy double digits. In times of severe budget cuts, this may present a very lucrative opportunity for many public institutions. The expansion of HNWIs is just one indicator of increase of very wealthy, however, self-financed international students may come from the immediate next segment under HNWI, which is even bigger in size.

Both China and India have a hyper-competitive environment to gain admissions into good quality institutions and quality of institutions falls precipitously beyond few top institutions. Ma…

Agents for international student recruitment: Have we not learned anything from Australia and the UK?

Australia and the UK have been revered for their best practices and proactiveness in using agents for student recruitment. Then came the "trouble" in international student market in Australia and the UK, resulting in tightening of student visa norms. What's the relationship between tightening of student visa and agents? Many agents enabled "short-cuts" (read document frauds) for students in using education for immigration. (Here is my related post where I argue that a handful of self-proclaimed or certified "good" agents are not the industry.)

At a time when Australia and the UK are tightening the student visa, more students are looking to study abroad and agents are hungry for new destinations beyond their traditional favorite markets. At the same time, American public institutions are looking for more international students to meet their budget cuts. This is a perfect storm for the US higher education and international student recruitment practices.…

Admissions marketing mantras

Many wrongfully assume that marketing of colleges is same as marketing of cars, cell phones or cola. The result is undifferentiated positioning, overpromising of offerings, poor delivery of programs and disengaged customers i.e. students and alumni.

The alternative is to understand the key characteristics of higher education services and implement a marketing strategy that maps the needs of targeted student segments with the institutional program offerings.

Smit and Cavusgil note, “Colleges are selling highly intangible products with many costs other than money. The college student pays greatly in terms of time, loss of other potential income, psychic costs, and inconvenience costs. A college education obviously calls for an extreme level of involvement from its consumer.”

Marketing of higher education should focus on reaching to and communicating with the targeted segment of prospective students. It should help in bridging the information gap and engaging the prospective students ab…

Indian GMAT takers decrease by 12% while Chinese increase by 29% in 2010

Indian and Chinese MBA aspirants are showing more differences than similarities, according to the recent GMAT data for the testing year 2010 (July'09 to June'10). While the number of GMAT exam takers with Indian citizenship has declined by 12 per cent between testing year (TY) 2009 to TY 2010, it has increased by 29% for Chinese in the same period.

Focus on Admissions, Placements Will Follow

Indian educational institutions pay too much attention to score high on placement salaries rather than reaching out and attracting the best talent. This is ignoring the core principle that higher education is a talent business and hence attracting good incoming class will result in better outgoing alumni.

IIMs and IITs have built this virtuous cycle over the years by attracting the top talent (530,000 applicants are vying for 9,600 seats in IIT in 2011). Even if the students learn nothing in the classes, they would still excel by learning on the job. However, not every institution is fortunate or competitive enough to select only top 1% of the applicants. Thus, institutions need to systematically develop and implement a strategy to attract the best talent.

An admissions office in most Indian institutions is limited to a brochure selling office. What is completely ignored is outreach and recruitment to attract and nurture the best talent. Marketing is considered to be same as advertis…

2015: Arrival of the Gen-Q and Quality in Indian Higher Education

Published article on the arrival of Gen-Q in EDU magazine. To read the full article click here. Given below is my definition of Gen-Q:
Gen-Q are children born in late 90’s to the parents working in new-age industries like IT and telecommunications. Gen-Q will start going to college from 2015 onwards and will expect quality education.

According to NASSCOM, number of knowledge workers in Indian IT industry has grown eight-fold in ten years from less than 200,000 in 1998 to 1.6 million in 2007. Gen-Q are children of these new-age professionals and will start going to college from 2015 onwards and will expect high standards of quality. This demand for quality is already evident from the growth of international schools in India. For example, number of students in IB programs has grown at a CAGR of 25% in the five-year period from 2005-09.

Apart from expectations for quality, Gen-Q will influence Indian higher education in several other ways including demand for international experiences, aut…

Advertising (mal)practices: Lack of professional standards

Education sector was the highest spender on print advertising in India and constituted 15% of all print advertising in the first half of 2010 (AdEx Analysis). Within this the top spender is Planman Consultant (IIPM). Planman is now also spending money on TV advertising and is the biggest spender under education sector (watch advertisement) The big question is--Is IIPM through Planman misleading students and families and overclaiming its quality? There are many who believe so. Consider this exhaustive investigation by Careers360--IIPM-Best only in claims? Or this recent analysis of advertising influence of IIPM on media. However, IIPM believes it is not misleading students. Recently, UGC issued a notification that IIPM “does not have the right of conferring or granting degrees as specified by the University Grants Commission.” Why Indian institutions are in this state of overpromising and overclaiming? What are the implications on students?

Competition is intensifying in higher educati…

Failure of foreign campuses: Recognize the importance of student-decision making

Published an article entitled "Foreign Campuses: Tried and Tested" in EDU on failure of foreign campuses and need of understanding student-decision making.

The "good" for-profit higher education in India

I have published an article on the need of for-profit higher education in India.

I argue that policymakers need to enable for-profit higher education in India with a clear expectation of professionalism and transparency. This debate is important given that US for-profit higher education is facing increasing scrutiny and in contrast, UK has allowed a for-profit institution, BPP, to become the first new private independent university college since 1973. Of course, India does not need for-profit education for the sake of creating another business opportunity, but more importantly to bring transparency in the system, create access and diversity and eliminate the menace of pseudo not-for-profits. The context and needs of Indian higher education are different and makes an important case for the "good" for-profit institutions, which could live upto the principles of transparency and accountability.

Any thoughts/comments?

- Dr. Rahul Choudaha

Guru Mantra: Anthony Marsella, Lancaster University

Dr. Anthony Marsella
Director of Marketing and External Affairs
Lancaster University, UK

Dr. Anthony Marsella is the Director of Marketing and External Affairs at Lancaster University. He is responsible for marketing, communications, admissions, recruitment, alumni relations and leading international business income growth. He is also Chairman of and a Council Member of the Gerson Lehrman Group. Previously, Mr. Marsella was the Chief Marketing Officer and General Manager, B2B Sales at Samsung Electronics UK & Ireland where he was responsible for marketing of Consumer Electronics, Mobile Telecommunication devices and IT. While at Samsung he achieved brand leadership and an annual sales growth of 26% in the recession. Prior to that, he was at Marketing Director at IBM, where he had wide-ranging responsibilities from defining leading IBM Global Services marketing and building direct channel capabilities ( 

Anthony Marsella is a graduate of Strasbourg, Imperial Col…

Guru Mantra: Jason Katcher, Google

Jason Katcher
Head of Education & Recruitment Advertising

Jason has spent the last 3 years helping drive the for-profit education sector within Google’s North American advertising division. His team oversees relationships with the majority of the marquee players in the private sector education, helping customers and agencies navigate the Google ecosystem to connect with potential students in a cost-effective, transparent manner. Through direct response and brand marketing channels, his team continues to serve as both media partner and advisor to schools in the dynamic world of digital marketing. Joining Google in January 2005, Jason helped to establish the inside sales focus around Google's Local business practice mainly to real estate, automotive and employment business models. Before joining Google, Jason spent 3 years in the traditional media business publishing a government recruitment trade magazine which helped to connect large defense contractors and federal agenc…

Five Strategies for Building International Academic Collaborations

Foreign universities set to invade India.” If you are thinking that this is a recent news headline, then you are mistaken. This is from India Abroad article of January 18, 2002. Eight years later there is resurgence of the news about foreign universities entering India in big numbers. However, this time it has a more optimistic undertone and has gained greater attention from foreign higher education institutions and also several corporate houses.

In the US, the Department of Education has funded a program at the Institute of International Education which aims at strengthening academic collaborations between US-India. As a part of this program 10 US institutions have been identified which will participate in a range of training, assessment and strategic planning activities to build partnerships with India. [I am serving on the advisory board of the program].

At the institutional level, student exchange programs had been existing between Indian and foreign universities. However, lately…

Guru Mantra: Rex Whisman, Principal, BrandED

Rex Whisman
BrandED consultants group

Rex Whisman is principal of the Denver-based, BrandED consultants group. Prior to founding BrandED, Rex was the assistant vice chancellor for communications and marketing at the University of Denver , where he led one of the first inside out approaches to higher education brand development. Rex is a blogger, brand strategist and keynote speaker. He has presented at numerous conferences and institutions in Australia , Canada , Europe and the United States . Rex is a member of the United Kingdom-based Academy of Marketing and the vice president for brand management at the Colorado Chapter of the American Marketing Association. Rex is a recognized international thought leader in higher education brand building, and develops strategies that allow institution’s to align their internal culture and external reputation. Rex believes a sustainable brand is based on mission, core …

Guru Mantra: Dr. Mitch Leventhal, Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs, SUNY

Dr. Mitch Leventhal
Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs
The State University of New York (SUNY)

Prior to his appointment at SUNY, Dr. Mitch Leventhal served as vice provost for international affairs at the University of Cincinnati, with responsibilities for global strategy, institutional collaboration, international recruitment, and curricular internationalization. Reporting units included UC International Planning, UC International Programs and UC International Services. Dr. Leventhal has extensive international experience across many industry verticals, including shipping, chemicals, finance, insurance, information technology, technology transfer and education. He is widely recognized as a leader in international student recruitment strategy, enterprise-wide data systems, consortium-based initiatives, and public-private partnerships.

Prior positions include founder and president of the Microstate Corporation, adjunct assistant professor of Information Management Systems at The George…

Student Exchanges: Internationalization of B-Schools

A recent story in the New York Times highlights the trend among US business schools to widen the scope of international learning experiences for full time MBA students. Adding international experiences strengthens student learning, expands faculty research and enhances prestige of the institution in an increasing competitive environment.

Even in India, international collaborations are emerging as one major area of pursuit especially among the leading business schools. For example, premier institutions like ISB , IIM-AIIM- B , and MDI have already built extensive student exchange programs.

One of major challenge for Indian institutions face is to convince prospective partners about their ability to deliver quality experience to international students. This challenge seems to be of greater magnitude in attracting the US B-schools as compared to European B-schools.  For example. IIM-A has partnered with only 9 American B-schools as compared to 26 European B-schools. Likewise, for II…

Guru Mantra: Keith Hampson, Director, Ryerson University

Guru Mantra
Dr. Keith Hampson
Director, Digital Education Strategies
Ryerson University
Toronto, Canada

Keith Hampson is Director, Digital Education Strategies at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada. Prior to entering university management, he was a member of the University Faculty, where he lectured on contemporary media and consumer culture. He has a number of publication credits; most recently as the coauthor of Mastering Digital Research: A Guide for Students (2009). He is founder of LinkedIn’s “Higher Education Management Group” with close to six thousand members.
Dr. Hampson is an experienced higher education consultant who has worked with companies such as Flat World Knowledge, Eduventures, Pearson Education, WebCT, Ninthhouse Communications, Digital Learning Interactive, Nelson Education, The McGraw- Hill Companies, Convergence Management Consultants, Canadian International Development Agency, NEXTMove Communications and has served on the advisory boards of Flat World Knowledge…