Student mobility worldwide has seen a substantial growth in the past few years, and there is no evidence of this process slowing down. The OECD has recently reported that the total number of international students worldwide will exceed 8 million by 2025.
As a result, we are witnessing growing competition on the international education scene among institutions of all types and sizes. Now, all educators are consistently seeking to increase their international student populations. These days, international student recruitment has transformed from a monthly bonus to an institutional rule. However, getting to this point is not an easy task as it involves high amounts of resources and efforts.
Many international education professionals are travelling to distant locations around the world in order to explore diverse student markets. However, there are many local strategies that you can apply in your efforts to reach international students. Due to the growing popularity and use of digital marketing and social media, many educators are already seeing results, and some schools can even better control their company communication and branding while developing more flexible and customised admission process. However, you should always be aware of the existing limitations on internet use in some countries around the world.
Making Internalisation a True Priority
Try to take a broader picture of the role of internalisation for your institution. Many international schools are already declaring internalisation as a key component for recruitment success.
Be Clear on Your Goals
To establish a working and successful student recruitment campaign, you have to stress on being clear about what your goals are. Develop a structured plan on your ambitions regarding the number of students that are desired this year, where they should come from, and what would be the best ways to reach them. Focus your attention on reaching the markets that have the best potential for your school or on nations that are already present at you school.
Pay Attention to Mobile Search
There is a solid evidence that student decision making has moved almost entirely online. Search engines, such as google show increase of the number of academic-related searches. You can gain visibility buy promoting a specific degree or academic program, and by targeting specific locations.
Optimise Your Website
Maybe one of the greatest challenges in reaching international audience these days is to optimise your website, so it is adequately appealing to different locations around the world. This includes reaching people from diverse countries, speaking different languages, belonging to different ethnicities, with different religions, traditions, and customs. There are many ways to face this challenge: you can design international sections of your website using subdomains, creating a microsite, or a top level folder on the same domain.
The Power of Social Media and Content
Do not underestimate the power of creating quality content on your website and social media channels. When coming up with the content, try to understand your target audience as much as possible. You can use student assistants to help you develop the right strategy or to translate content.
Whichever option you choose, the first step to improving your international student recruitment could be achieved through expanding your online horizons. This way you will be able to monitor how your reputation is growing. Google Analytics can also help to research and study your prospective international students.