Canada’s international student market is one of the fastest-growing in the world. In the five years preceding the pandemic, the country’s international student population grew by 80%.
In 2020 however, foreign enrollment fell nearly 17% because of the pandemic. As such, re-attracting international students and rebuilding the student pipeline are top of the agenda for institutions across Canada.
Having partnered with over 1,200 world-class institutions across the globe, at Adventus.io, we see what works and what doesn’t. The most successful institution partners have many commonalities, putting them in good shape to re-attract students and grow beyond the pandemic.
1. Provide an excellent student experience
Tertiary education is a business like any other. But at the core of education exists real people. Studying the right course, at the right institution, can dramatically change the direction of a person’s life. The most successful institutions are those who look at students as people, not just another number.
Students who receive the best possible experience will naturally recommend their institution to others. I know of cases, for example, where entire extended families attended the same institution because they knew it’d be a fantastic experience.
But for many institutions, administrative burdens such as filtering through ineligible applications means less time focused on current students.
This is where partnering with Adventus.io can help. Our in-house quality assurance teams rigorously vet all applications so institutions can focus their time on building exceptional student experiences and selecting the right students to fill the right seats.
Plus the results speak for themselves. Our 90% offer rate and 92% visa success rate are among the best in the industry.
2. Open and clear communication
Counsellors play a critical role in international recruitment since they often recommend courses to their students. In this way, counsellors can be incredibly persuasive.
If counsellors have a positive experience with an institution, they’re more likely to recommend that institution to future students. Likewise, if they receive well-communicated updates and training––there’s motivation on the counsellor side to recommend that university or college to their students.
Partnering with Adventus.io makes open communication easy. Our single point of contact allows institutions to reach all 3,600+ recruiters on our marketplace at once–– removing the need to build relationships one by one.
Adventus.io also allows institutions to offer sponsored training webinars to keep counsellors engaged and knowledgeable––all without having to leave the country.
Take Conestoga College, for example, which has one of the biggest international student populations. The College works to get the recruitment partners everything they need to best play their role. That includes giving regular webinars and keeping counsellors updated about new programs, process changes and policies.
3. Digital presence is non-negotiable
The best institutions have clean, easy-to-navigate websites with all information transparent and accessible. Neither counsellors nor students, want to search the fine print to find answers to common questions.
Whether it’s a refund policy, deferral policy, or similar, it should be clearly written and easy to access. Brock University, as an example, does this well, with a bright, simple-to-use website, and plain logical language.
As an institution, your digital presence isn’t just a first impression: it’s an important promotional opportunity too. And that presence should ideally extend beyond just a website.
Partners of Adventus.io, for example, can take advantage of Showcase Pages––a dedicated microsite that demonstrates the best the university has to offer from alumni stories to virtual campus tours.
4. Offering student services
Choosing to study abroad is the biggest, and likely most expensive, decision a person will ever make. Institutions that help students navigate through their studies successfully are more likely to not only attract new students but retain the ones they have.
One of the best ways to ensure students are engaged and enjoying their courses is to offer dedicated student services.
Offering student services including counselling, financial assistance, peer support, tutoring, careers advice, and accommodation support give international students the best chance of succeeding.
Post-pandemic, institutions are keen to rebuild their student pipeline. I’ve found the most successful institutions are those that are committed to providing the best possible education for students. And once those students have an incredible experience: they’re bound to tell others about it.