24 Apr

Are you following up with international students?

LFHE Yesterday I had the pleasure of speaking to another of the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education’s governor toolkit training sessions. The three day sessions are designed to give both new and experienced governors of UK universities an overview of the key topics  in the current HE environment. I shared our research on international student decision making, including what’s important to students at each stage of their journey. I finished by sharing a few “cheat” questions to take back to their own institutions including:

  • Do we have a clear idea of what type of prospective international students we are attracting?
  • What information do we collect at the outset and how does this help us understand our prospective international students?
  • Are we doing enough active follow up, either after an enquiry or at offer stage?

Of particular interest was follow up. A number of the institutions present in the room had been included in our mystery shopping conducted in February and March. Their initial responses to our student enquirer were timely, detailed and personalised (in most cases). However my mystery shopper told me before this event that none of these universities, in fact, most of the UK universities we’ve mystery shopped in the last month (some 60+) haven’t been in contact with him since. I’m not in the business of naming and shaming, but do get in touch if you are interested to see how your university fared! Thanks again to Aaron Porter and the team at the LFHE for the opportunity – I’m looking forward to sharing our fresh research with you in a few months!

31 Mar

UCAS Conference Review: What’s the student view?

Yesterday I presented at the UCAS Annual Conference running a session on international student decision making. Download the slides today.

Each year we survey students asking what’s important during the enquiry and application process.  One thing that is consistently highlighted as important to students at enquiry stage is “responsiveness of the university”, students use it as an indicator of teaching quality.  When it comes to responsiveness they expect a detailed reply within three days or a short reply within 24 hours.  You can get more insight in the full report Beyond the Data: Understanding International Student Decision Making.

As part of the session I asked the delegates when the last time was that they looked at their enquiry processes through the eyes of a prospective student, particularly an international student.  I also asked: Read More