In one of our previous posts, we discussed how finding the right student recruitment agents to work with can bring real results for your institution. Today we will discuss education agent workshops as the place where educational institutions can expand their agent network, effectively explore new markets and attract fresh international talent. If you’re still wondering what are the main short- and long-term benefits your institution can derive from participating in such workshops, just keep on reading.
Developing and sustaining a truly diverse international student portfolio while keeping up with constantly evolving student behaviour and demands, local economies and global recruitment trends is not an easy job even for the world’s biggest and most prestigious universities. Working with student recruitment agents is one proven and efficient strategy for attracting international students to your institution and building a diverse student body even with limited resources.
Visiting education agent workshops and collaborating with agents helps the international student admissions office distribute scarce recourses in a much smarter and more efficient way.
It is common knowledge that most of the universities around the world have international collaboration offices that are dedicated to dealing with the enquiries and needs of international students. However, it is often the case that those offices are overworked, understaffed and, even worse, without sufficient budget to perform active and effective search for new international student markets. Regular practice is to put the majority of the resources into solving the most pressing problems faced by current international students (such as visa matters, all sorts of accommodation issues and the like) and leave in the background, seemingly temporarily, the most important and challenging task: discovering and getting to know emerging markets for fresh international student talent, establishing contacts, building collaboration and maintaining relationships on a daily basis.
Not having an agent is outdated and makes it literally impossible to keep up with the constantly changing internationals student recruitment landscape.
If your university relies predominantly on its in-house international student recruitment capacity, this is most likely due to long-term tradition and/or lack of innovation within the institution itself on one hand, and its network, on the other. The traditional international student recruitment model is based on the notion and belief that with very little effort, typically going to a couple of huge international education fairs, enough interest and traffic will be generated towards the university’s international department. Which is true in just a tiny fraction of cases.
Diversity is the result of a carefully executed and consistent international student recruitment strategy, not of an ad-hoc sequence of efforts and activities.
In order to make informed choices and decisions when working to recruit students globally, you need to process tons of information on each particular market. The most obvious examples include assessing the economic conditions within the country, the growth of the local middle class and the major demographic trends. Bear in mind that this is only the tip of the iceberg – even if you do know certain facts about the country, you have to be aware of the surrounding context as well. What is the political climate in this region? Would investing into it be a smart choice in the long run? What were the previous recruitment opportunities, and how did they work out? Only a professional can offer you a holistic opinion, and help you with an in-depth analysis of all relevant aspects of the topic.
So here are just 7 benefits of visiting education agent workshops:
- Resource relocation: your international office will be able to spend more time supporting current international students instead of trying to figure out global and local student recruitment trends.
- Guaranteed results: visiting agent workshops and working with an agent for each target market is a proven way of staying informed and bringing more students to the university
- Diverse student mix: the agent guarantees that the countries you pick will be represented within your institution’s international student body
- A professional opinion: there is no better source of information about international recruitment than the education agent workshops where you meet people who do this for a living
- Learn from the best: education agent workshops are widely used in Australia, Canada and United Kingdom – all famous for their international student portfolios.
- Innovate and differentiate: International recruitment agencies are able to source students from regions that are not usually available or not yet explored by traditional recruitment methodologies.
- Tailored solution to your recruitment objectives: due to the variety of agent workshops (some work only with undergraduate, some – with graduate programs, language courses), it is easy to find agents that work best for the university and cater to their specific needs.
Like in all other sectors and industries, there are international student recruitment agencies that will act in an unprofessional and dishonest way and will try to offer services that your university may not actually need.
It is of utmost importance to keep this in mind before hiring an agent. Make sure your university has the agent’s reputation confirmed by other institutions and only sign the contract after an in-depth inspection and approval from the university’s legal office.
More on choosing the right agency for you: in a NACAC guide.
ETN Focus Workshops are educational events aimed at diversifying your international student body. We connect local student recruitment experts with universities and institutions from all over the world.
If you are interested in recruiting international students from less explored markets, check out our events.