The 2015-2016 academic school year marked a great accomplishment for US universities. The number of international students studying in the US surpassed one million for the first time. However, we don’t have time to relax our recruitment efforts. Despite increasing the number of international students and once again being acknowledged as having the best higher education system in the world, we still face many challenges. While we still attract the most international students, the US has lost ground in the international higher education market.
In 2001, the US attracted 28% of all international students. However, by 2016 that number had dropped 3%. Universities in China, Australia, Japan and Canada saw a growth in International Students. These countries have worked to improve their universities, increased recruitment efforts and/or offer incentives that attract students from nearby countries.
The 2015-2016 school year saw a 7% increase in international student enrollment, which seems good. However, that is a drop from the 10% increase the year prior. In the US, nearly 50% our international students come from two countries: India and China. However, we have seen a drop in students coming from those two countries. In 2013-2014 school year, US institutions saw a 21.4% increase in international student enrollment from China but only saw a 10.8% increase the year following.
With more competition worldwide, US universities are having to increase their marketing and recruitment efforts to international students. Recruitment efforts usually involve people in those countries supported with marketing material and digital/social media marketing. Some universities utilize agents or third-party recruiting companies to aid their recruitment efforts. However, all of these tactics require money and unfortunately, these universities have not seen a huge increase in budget to support the increase in recruitment/marketing efforts.
With budget being tight, international student recruiters are faced with a daunting and difficult task. Luckily, there are ways they can save money and every dollar counts. eShipGlobal’s University Express Mail Service (UEMS) has helped international student professionals at many large and small universities for over a decade. It is a free solution that can help these international student recruiters/marketers/professionals save money when shipping documents or packages (up to 25 lbs) overseas through discounted shipping rates.
International students play an important role in our higher education system. Which is why our recruitment efforts are so important. With increased efforts, perhaps the US education system will regain more ground when attracting international students.
By Ashleigh Cue