Higher education institutions are increasingly interested in not only expanding the number of international students on their campuses, but also diversifying the countries they come from. However, international student recruitment strategies have a major limitation: over-reliance on anecdotal evidences and hunches to formulate strategies.
Many institutions are missing the cornerstone of successful strategies–international students differ in their needs and preferences and treating all international students as same in terms recruitment strategies is inefficient and ineffective. These strategies are often grounded in a pre-social media era, which continues to transform student decision-making processes.
A recent report, Student Segmentation for an Effective International Enrollment Strategy by World Education Services, identified four segments of international students and how they differ in their information need and usage of channels. Universities and colleges need to research and identify different segments of international students for their own institutions and map it with the type of information and recruitment channels.
Through research, writings and presentations, I have been encouraging higher education institutions to move beyond hunches to evidence-based internationalization strategies (Here is my recent article in UniversityWorldNews on the importance of making informed recruitment choices).
In this regard, the recent 25th European Association for International Education (EAIE) Annual Conference in Istanbul honored me with the Tony Adams Award for Excellence in Research Excellence for research contributions with “international markets as well as…defining target groups and clusters of potential students.” Thank you EAIE!
In addition, I also chaired the Marketing & Recruitment Opening Event (plenary) with the session entitled “International recruitment strategy: what works, what doesn’t?”, which highlighted the importance of informed recruitment strategies with co-presenters from Australia, the UK and the US.
Overall, a memorable experience and an engaging conference. Kudos to the organizers for pulling together an excellence event with nearly 4,800 attendees at a time when sociopolitical environment was still unpredictable.
|Photo Courtesy: EAIE ; With Laura Howard, VP, EAIE|
Dr. Rahul Choudaha