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International Education Marketing and Recruitment: Sharing the UK Experience


Conference for International Administration of Finnish Universities ... New (1990s): Coventry, Oxford Brookes, Westminster. Federal universities: London, Wales ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: International Education Marketing and Recruitment: Sharing the UK Experience

International Education Marketing and
Recruitment Sharing the UK Experience
  • Suzanne AlexanderDirector, International Office
  • Conference for International Administration of
    Finnish Universities and PolytechnicsJyväskylä,
    11 May 2005

  • Context the UK higher education sector
    characteristics and funding
  • The UKs approach to international student
    marketing and recruitment- Incentives- A
    marketing culture?- Strategy issues,
    opportunities, options- Organisational and
    structural issues- Financial issues and
    investment decisions
  • The international environment
  • Global trends in student mobility
  • Understanding student decision-making

UK Higher Education (HE)
  • 111 UK Universities 60 Higher Education
  • Ancient Cambridge, Oxford (12th/13th centuries)
    in Scotland St Andrew, Aberdeen, Glasgow (15th
  • Redbrick/Civic (19th Century) Birmingham,
    Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester
  • Campus (pre-1960s) Nottingham,
    Exeter (1960s) Sussex, Warwick, York, Kent
  • New (1990s) Coventry, Oxford Brookes,
  • Federal universities London, Wales
  • Only one private university Buckingham

Characteristics of UK Universities
  • Diversity size mission subject mix history
  • Independent, self-governing institutions
  • Empowered (by Royal Charter or Act of Parliament)
    to create programmes of study and award degrees
  • Academic standards maintained by external
    examiner system and Quality Assurance Agency for
    Higher Education (QAA)

Funding of UK HE
  • Allocation of state funding to universities is
    determined by the Funding Councils in England,
    Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • State funding through the Funding Councils since
    early 1980s this accounts for a diminishing
    proportion of total funding
  • Universities must seek other income- Research
    grants and contracts- Fee-paying
    students- Fee-earning courses- Commercial
    activities- Fund-raising

The UKs approach to international student
marketing and recruitment
  • The importance of incentives
  • A marketing culture?
  • Marketing strategy and strategic choices
  • Organisational and structural issues
  • Financial issues and investment decisions

Incentives for international student recruitment
  • The policies of the Thatcher government- reduced
    government funding for Higher Education from
    1981 onwards- introduction of full-cost fees
    for international students (no subsidies from UK
  • The value of an international profile and
  • Enrichment of the UK academic community
  • Adding an international perspective
  • Potential friends and future ambassadors for the
  • Economic value to HE - and to the UK

A marketing culture?
  • Competition between universities for the best
  • The increasing importance of league tables and
  • A proactive approach to student recruitment for
    domestic students (schools liaison service Open
  • Higher Education and careers fairs throughout the
  • Increased awareness of the need for customer

International marketing strategy issues,
opportunities and options
  • What do you want from your international
    marketing strategy?- International
    students- International profile- International
    collaboration, exchange and links
  • What is your institutional capacity and
    capability?- Study programmes offered- Resources

Strategic choices
  • Student recruitment- Domestic (on-campus)
    programmes- Twinning/franchising/validation- Loc
    al (offshore) delivery- Distance learning
  • Marketing strategies- direct recruitment- partn
  • New initiatives and programme development

Organisational and structural issues
  • Roles and responsibilities- Senior
    management- Academic staff- Administrative
    staff- Professional international marketing
    staff - Service support staff
  • Central or devolved?- University-led- Academic
  • Integration- Stand-alone international
    marketing - Combined admissions, marketing,
    recruitment, welfare and support
    services, international collaboration, etc

What does an International Office do?
  • International student marketing and recruitment
  • First point of contact for individuals and
    outside organisations interested in international
  • Close monitoring of application processing,
    advising on qualifications and equivalence
  • Negotiation/monitoring of university-wide
    institutional links
  • Information on the university's international
  • Marketing and support for student exchange
  • International student welfare and support
  • Market intelligence/research for international
  • Liaison with providers of pre-university studies
    (language preparation, academic bridging
  • Management of international projects
  • International alumni support

Financial considerations
  • Public funds may not be used for international
    student marketing and support activities
  • Universities are free to determine the fees
    charged to international students (these differ
    widely according to universities, subject studied
    and degree level)
  • No Government limits on international student
    numbers NB domestic (UK/EU) student numbers are
    Government controlled at undergraduate level
  • The Government cannot take into account income
    generated from international students when
    allocating public funding to universities
  • Universities have considerable freedom in the use
    of income generated from internationalstudent

Investing in International Education Marketing
  • Internal resources staffing, infrastructure,
    support services, facilitiesAdvantages
    developing and building internal
    capacityDisadvantages significant investment
    required experience/knowledge needs to be
    developed results can take time
  • Outsourcing agents, representatives, external
  • Advantages lower level of up-front investment
    required payment by resultsDisadvantages
    does not develop in-house expertise managing
    relationships can take up large amounts of
    staff time
  • Partnerships consortium arrangements with other
    institutions, British Council Education UK
    Partnership membership organisation
  • Advantages sharing experience/learning from
    others sharing costsDisadvantages less focus
    on needs of individual university

  • Many higher education institutions will invest in
    all of these (internal resources, outsourcing and
  • They may choose different strategies and
    approaches for different markets
  • They will review their strategies over time

The international environmentcontext and
  • Growing global demand for study opportunities
  • A climate of uncertainty economic, political,
  • Increasingly competitive environment
  • The power and influence of information and
    communications technologies (ICT)
  • So much choice!

Growth in global demand
  • Global demand set to grow enormously forecast to
    grow from 1.8m international students in HE in
    2000 to 7.2 million in 2025
  • Asia will dominate (estimated 70 of global
    demand, with China and India generating more than
  • Significant growth in offshore delivery
  • Consequences and implications?
  • Source IDP Education Australia, September

Global higher education student mobility host
and source countries
  • Host countries
  • USA 547092
  • UK 222576
  • Germany 185179
  • France 134783
  • Australia 69668
  • Japan 59656
  • Spain 40506
  • Belgium 37789
  • Canada 34536
  • Austria 30064
  • Finland 6616
  • Data relates to 2000-01
  • Source Atlas of Student Mobility, IIE, 2003
  • Data relates to 2003 Source CIMO
  • Source countries
  • China 120486 (2.9)
  • Korea 76790 (4.3)
  • India 66587 (1.2)
  • Japan 61637 (2.2)
  • Greece 52845 (26.2)
  • Germany 52472 (2.5)
  • France 50896 (2.9)
  • Turkey 42690 (5.0)
  • Morocco 41296 (14.4)
  • USA 31542 (0.2)
  • UK 21966 (1.7)
  • Finland 9238 (5.4)

Top source countries for international HE
students 2003
  • UK US Finland
  • China 35740 India 74605 Germany 1081
  • Greece 26465 China 64755 France 784
  • USA 18940 Korea 51520 Spain 552
  • Germany 15245 Japan 45960 Italy 386
  • France 14850 Taiwan 28015 Poland 340
  • Ireland 13790 Canada 26515 Netherlands 289
  • India 12775 Mexico 12800 UK 277
  • Malaysia 11970 Turkey 11600 Russia 265
  • Hong Kong 10280 Indonesia 10430 Hungary 243
  • Spain 8880 Thailand 9980 USA 137
  • Italy 7065 Germany 9300 China 89
  • Japan 6875 Brazil 8390 Canada 79
  • Taiwan 5555 UK 8325 Japan 62
  • Nigeria 4680 Pakistan 8125 Mexico 56

Education as a global businessthe competitive
  • The MESDCs US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand
  • The Europeans Germany, France, Netherlands ..
  • The Asians Singapore, Malaysia, Japan ...
  • Staying at home domestic options
  • The virtual campus

International student trends
In Americas InterestWelcoming International
  • The US position as the leading destination for
    international students has been eroding for years
    in the absence of a comprehensive national
    strategy for promoting international student
    access to US higher education.
  • Four barriers identified- Comprehensive
    recruitment strategy (co-ordination of
    national agencies)- Removing burdensome visa
    and student-tracking regulations- Addressing
    cost issues- Addressing complexity with a
    marketing plan
  • The problem lies not in the internationally
    popular product, nor in the highly motivated
    customer, but rather in market imperfections that
    keep the two from finding each other.
  • Report of the Strategic Task Force on
    International Student Access
  • (January 2003)

Australia Engaging the world through Education
  • Ministerial statement (October 2003)
    announcesAUS113million investment to support
    the international education sector over the next
    four years
  • Growing and diversifying engagement including
    better information on access/admission modifying
    visa processes more offshore delivery
    scholarships exchanges
  • Ensuring quality and integrity quality assurance
    to be strengthened, both for offshore and onshore
    delivery accreditation and benchmarking
  • Raising Australias profile a concerted
    national effort will lift Australias profile -
    the Study in Australia brand
  • Working together partnership between
    co-ordinated government and the education sector

International approaches shared characteristics
and objectives
  • Recognition of the importance of international
    students for economic, trade, cultural and
    political reasons
  • Increasing international student numbers
  • A co-ordinated, national approach
  • Investment to attract international students
    from branded marketing campaigns and exhibitions
    to scholarships, quality assurance and
    accessibility eg visa processes

International student decision-making reasons
for studying overseas
International student decision-making reasons
for choosing the UK
What about the UK?
  • Wherever I travel, I meet international leaders
    who have studied in Britain. Dynamic, intelligent
    people who chose Britain because we offer high
    quality further and higher education. This is
    good news for the UK.
  • People who are educated here have a lasting tie
    to our country. They promote Britain around the
    world, helping our trade and our diplomacy ...
    Today we are launching a long-term strategy to
    reinforce the United Kingdom as a first choice
    for the quality of study and the quality of our
    welcome to international students.
  • Tony Blair, January 1999

The Prime Ministers Initiative (PMI)
initiatives and targets
  • We will offer to international students a new
    welcomeand more open doors
  • An increase in international student numbers from
    1996-97 to 2004-05 of- 50,000 in Higher
    Education- 25,000 in Further Education
  • Improvements in visa processing (efficiency
  • Increase in Chevening scholarships
  • Relaxation of employment legislation students
    right to work

Impact and benefits
  • Greater awareness and improved perceptions of UK
    education among 20 million young professionals in
    30 countries
  • Improved market intelligence and knowledge
  • Diversification of products and markets
  • Significant increases in the number of
    international students
  • Generating 10 billion to the UK economy

Beyond 2004/05 learning from the PMI
  • Investment and resources
  • Appropriate objectives and targets
  • Maintaining momentum and drive
  • Collaborative, joined-up approach
  • Professional updating and development
  • Importance of the student experience
  • NB no successor strategy to the PMI has yet been

For discussion key issues forFinnish Higher
  • A national approach to international education
  • Objectives and targets?
  • Funding and resources?
  • And??

Some useful references
  • HERO Higher Education and Research Opportunities
    in the UK (
  • Universities UK (
  • HEFCE Higher Education Funding Council for
    England (
  • HESA Higher Education Statistics Agency
  • UCAS Universities and Colleges Admissions
    Service (
  • Postgraduate study/careers (
  • Education UK Partnership (
  • Education UK (
  • IDP Australia
  • Study in Germany
  • Study in Singapore