Each region and culture has a typical view on recruiting, and usually attracts specific types of international students. In previous posts we’ve discussed four different types of cultures according to the Richard D. Lewis classification. We’ve also discussed some specific tactics on how to address the needs of students from different cultures.
However, we believe that there should also be other perspectives to international students recruitment. Like, for example, strategies for recruiting students that speak the same language. It is often the case that countries sharing a language will share at least a couple of other common features.
Therefore, in the following weeks, we will discuss common recruitment techniques for students speaking the four most widely used languages in the world. And these languages are, of course, English, Chinese, Spanish, Arabic.
So, what recruitment strategies to use with English-speaking students?
“Best Practices in International Student Recruitment and Retention in Anglophone Countries” presents data from the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
The report states that the usual strategies for recruiting (additional staff, recruitment trips, etc.) have been changing. Right now, funding is decreasing whilst universities start to focus on more effective use of technology, empowering their current networks.
The recruiting methods now are also different from what they used to be in the past. According to the report, most universities used to adopt a “funnel” approach. They were trying to reach the biggest number of applicants possible, even when there were not enough open positions. This implies that the biggest efforts went into dissemination of the basic information rather than into relationship building and ensuring that applicants are fit for the programmes. The new approach is called “the cylinder” and is much more targeted, working towards converting inquires into enrolments.
- International Foundation Programs (IFP): This agreement takes place between a university and a college. It allows students to enrol in degree courses as long as they have completed IFP at a private college overseas. Common in United Kingdom.
- Articulation Agreements: Similar to IFPs, these agreements help international students enrol at universities with an advanced position. Commonly used when recruiting students from Malaysia, Singapore, China, India, and Thailand.
- Community College Recruiting Agreements: These agreements between community colleges and universities aim at students who want to improve their English skills and knowledge gaps. Students enter a community college, study for 2 years and then move towards university programs. This practice is very common in the United States.
- Partnerships with Private For-Profit Education Firms: These agreements allow the recruitment of international students who already have basic training and knowledge on a certain subject. Practice widely used in United Kingdom.
- International student recruiment agents: Seen as a temporary addition, agents help universities internationalize their student bodies in times when other methods fail. Widely popular in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, as well as with emerging markets.
- Travel/Attending International Student Fairs: A fairly traditional method enabling recruiters to meet with students directly. It’s a great way of exploring the market first hand and getting to know the needs and hopes of local students.
- Direct Mail and Online Marketing: Print and digital info and promo materials have been disseminated widely with broad outreach and significant results. Widely used in all English-speaking countries.
Do you agree that these strategies work for recruiting students coming from English-speaking countries? Are there any other successful strategies you can recommend?
Share your experience in the comments below!