Globalization has changed the panorama of the education, giving more options to students to choose the place where they want to study next. Nowadays, students from all over the world can enroll in a program in destinations they had never imagined. Moreover, high quality of education, career options and discovering of new cultures encourage young people to increase the percentage of foreign students at prestigious universities around the globe.
Without any doubt, the mobilization of students is a popular topic nowadays among people interested in expanding their knowledge frontiers. However, what does it represent for university marketers? Speaking frankly, marketing departments at universities and other teaching institutes view international students as a gold mine. This is the case not only because of the high rates that they must pay to study in a foreign institution, but also because of the cultural richness have they provided to the academic and cultural environment.
The monetary benefit that foreign students represent for their host institutions is well known. With higher universities fees and education taxes, foreigners are committed to paying around 50% more money than a standard national candidate. Recruitment planning and market forecasting make people experts on the topic, yet the potential of international students is still sometimes underestimated. In order to understand the multiple doors foreign students open to institutions, we decided to twist the topic and give it a new focus, emphasizing the benefits of having international students at universities. For instance:
* International students enrich the diversity of the university
* They enrich the experience of other students on the campus
* They promote cultural awareness at the university: events and cultural groups allow students to share and learn from each other’s food and traditions
* They promote new languages and cultural adaptability, which benefits both students and university staff. Interacting with people from other countries and continents increases the cultural adaptability of everyone at the university
* They offer an opportunity to promote the university and country abroad: happy international students generate word of mouth promotion to their families and friends
* They enrich classes with different perspectives on topics and theories: discussions and debates at university will be richer and will compile variety of thoughts
* They bring diverse sources to research and discussions by using materials from their home country that peers might not have previously been familiar with
There are many more benefits that apply to specific institutions and regions. However, careful thought does need to go into choosing the right international candidates for your university. It is important to watch for high quality applicants in terms of academic and language skills. No benefit is applicable if the new generation of students does not meet the performance of the institution.
Finally, mission and vision play a key role. While mission stops marketers from being greedy and recruiting international students solely for profit purposes, vision helps in sketching the future of the university culture and fostering positive diversity.
Photo credit: Humboldt State University