International recruitment has become a top priority for many universities. There are a number of reasons for this trend.
Universities benefit by internationalizing their campus, enhancing their reputation and scoring higher in international rankings. International students also pay higher tuition fees, which is a welcome addition for cash-strapped institutions in today’s financial climate.
Traditional methods for recruiting international students include establishing strategic partnerships with other institutions, sending recruiters abroad to attend university fairs and hiring overseas agents.
The problem with these methods is that they are expensive and time-consuming. While the use of recruitment agents is a common practice in many countries, the issue is controversial in the United States and is currently being examined by a NACAC panel.
Dr. Rahul Choudaha, a renowned international higher education expert, recently wrote an article outlining the perils of using agents for international recruitment. He argues that if institutions focus on emerging recruitment solutions, such as social media, then the need for agents could be eliminated.
With social media, there is no risk of fraud, misrepresentation and bias like there is with agents. Universities don’t have to relinquish control to a third-party who might dilute their brand and compromise their reputation.
Social media is instant, authentic, interactive and free. Previously, only the biggest schools had the resources and expertise to recruit all over the world. Now the Internet has leveled the playing field between institutions. Even the smallest schools can expand their reach to the farthest corner of the globe through social media.
The future outlook is positive. It’s projected that the number of students studying abroad will rise to eight million by 2025 — nearly three times more than today. Most of that growth will come from developing countries, the same places where cheap smartphones and tablet devices are proliferating.
You might not be able to send a recruiter to the far reaches of the globe, but prospective students will be able to watch your videos on YouTube, find you on Facebook, and talk to you on Twitter.
Read more about our authors. Danny Newman is the founder and CEO of Genius Recruiter, a company that helps universities recruit international students through social media. He is a former international student himself and somewhat of a technology-junkie. You can read his blog posts at geniusrecruiter.com/blog