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A new way to justify increasing your 2020 budget for international student recruitment

Creating a budget to recruit international students is a complicated business, there are literally 194 countries to choose from, and a fixed budget to invest.

Then there is the question of which activities to invest in to maximise the return on investment, should it be an additional familiarisation tour, a new ad campaign or more in-country staff? How about that printed collateral, does anyone still read that stuff?

There are literally 1,000's of country / activity combinations and everyone has an opinion based on their "sample of one" personal experience as to which activity in which country should be funded.

To align everyone to supporting one shared plan to accelerate your international student recruitment, you need to create an evidence base to prioritise the issues and opportunities by country and remove the subjectivity from the discussion.

MacMORGAN has leveraged cross-category learnings to develop off-shore agent mystery shopping research with our partners Red Elephant to measure the important contribution agent’s make to an institution’s recommendation and global brand reputation.

By understanding what your agents say about you and your competitors during a counselling session to prospective students we are able to understand WHY the agents are delivering the results they achieve for the university and more importantly what would be the few changes that would make the big difference to your results.

Agent mystery shopping research enables you to understand;

  • Your agent recommendation gap; which of your agents are recommending you to prospective students and which agents are NOT recommending you.

  • Who your agents recommend instead of you.

  • Why they recommend you to students (it's often not why you think).

  • Why they recommend other universities ahead of you, (again probably not what you were thinking).

  • Whether your agents charge students for their service and if so what for and how much.

  • What materials (web, brochure, etc) they refer to during the session and provide the prospective student to take away (yours and your competitors).

  • Whether your agents understand your applications and admissions requirements and processes.

  • Whether your agents are building or destroying your global brand reputation.

  • What's important to prospective students in that country when selecting their university.

  • If your agents are complying with your contractual requirements.

Evidencing key issues and opportunities by market provides a strong justification for increasing your 2020 budget funding with a clear country specific action plan to address the issues and opportunities identified in the research.

To find out more about our unique agent mystery shopping research approach please contact me.

John Chatterton

+61432 906 790



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