While Australia has been making leaps and bounds in its ability to attract international students, it is facing stiff competition from a growing list of countries interested in boosting international enrolments.
This increased competition, coupled with increased global student mobility and internationalisation, means it has never been more important for higher education institutions and TAFEs across Australia to ensure they stay ahead of the latest marketing and recruitment techniques to remain competitive and relevant in a rapidly changing industry.
In light of this, we’ve compiled 5 top strategies higher education institutions can consider to strengthen their international student recruitment and marketing strategies, based on research ahead of the 4th Annual International Student Recruitment and Marketing Summit 2018.
- Optimise the ROI of partnerships
Agents typically account for between 50-60% of all international student recruitments in Australia. Maximising the quality and performance of these partnerships can significantly reduce academic support costs while also improving brand reputation.
The University of Western Australia has developed an agent support team that develops relationships and analyses business performance of 1100 different recruitment agencies.
This team has improved the turn around of applications by reducing passive leads and focusing on active leads, which has significantly increased the conversion rate. They are also in the process of trialing agents with KPI’s as part of their contracts to measure the success and conversion rate of select agencies.
- Adopt marketing automation to drive engagement
Marketing automation is quickly becoming a favourable tool universities can use to engage with students based on behaviour, interests and demographics; leading to not only increased student engagement, but also reduced overall costs.
The University of Canberra have achieved great results with their marketing automation content strategy, and are now applying the principles of predictive modelling to further grow their student base. They have significantly increased customer engagement while reducing their overall costs.
- Understand the student decision-making process
Gaining insight into the 360 degree student journey has become essential for universities looking to stand out in a crowded marketplace. A better understanding of student behavior and their decision making process can lead to improved engagement and overall experience.
Steve Cohen, Academic at Edith Cowen University is in the process of finishing his PHD on the “Decision making amongst postgraduate students choosing to study in Western Australia”. In his research, Steve interviewed students from a range of developing and developed countries, and found factors that influenced the decision to study in Western Australia.
- Leverage student data to improve engagement and retention
A lot of universities have become experts in collecting student data to gain insight into trends and behavior. But once the data is collated, what’s next?
Hotcourses Group specialise in digital technology, disrupting digital markets and providing future students with the information and content they need to make informed decisions. With only 20% of Universities tracking data, Hotcourses are uniquely positioned to provide insight into customer behaviour and characteristics.
- Up the anti on your social media presence
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘fish where the fishes are’ when it comes to improving marketing ROI. And in a digital world, more often than not, this means reaching out and engaging with millennial students on social media platforms.
StudyAdelaide have been developing their social media presence by showing current international student’s experience. By allowing the freedom for students to create their own videos and content, they have seen a greater level of authenticity, which has resulted in more than 2 million views.
StudyAdelaide also hosted “Facebook Live” sessions that allow students to interact and discuss their experiences with future students in real-time, which has significantly improved engagement.
These strategies and more will be explored in further depth at the 4th Annual International Student Recruitment and Marketing Summit taking place 28-29 November in Sydney.
For more information visit https://intl-studentrecruitmentandmarketing.iqpc.com.au or call +61 2 9229 1000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org