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Bill Colvin, The CollegeBound Network, USA

We would like to continue to develop our base of agents as they provide an integral service for students looking for additional support with their study plans
November 24 2011
3 Min Read

MyGlobalEducation is a lead-generating website, backed by The CollegeBound Network (3 million users/month), aimed at students with international intentions. Bill Colvin, Vice-President of International Recruitment & Enrollment Services, talks about the evolution of the site.


The PIE: How is My Global Education going?  

BC: We had our official launch this year and things are going well. Domestically we’re working with just over 1,000 universities, internationally about 50, and this is growing all the time. We’re also working with agencies, which are able to bring the schools they are working with onto the site. I think we’re ahead of the market, as we’re starting to see domestic competitors mirroring what we’re doing.

The PIE: How does the site work?

BC: We know some students want to use an agent and others want to talk to schools directly. What’s exactly the same about both groups is where they start, online. If they come to us they can make a decision about which path is best for them, then we connect them with the next step. Essentially an international student comes to the site, does a search of our universities, and if they’re interested their enquiry will be passed on to an agent or the university directly, depending on their preference.

The PIE: How does MyGlobalEducation differ from other intermediary sites?

BC: We are the first company to operate internationally and domestically on a strict cost-per-lead basis. This is unlike directory sites which charge annual fees and offer clients what are called co-registration leads, where students search by programme and their interest is picked up by numerous universities. Such sites water down the quality of a lead, which is why on our site only the relevant university is notified of a student’s interest. We also don’t charge a set-up or a subscriptions fee, which is a bold move.

Another key advantage is our ability to geo-target and qualify the enquiries we are providing. Schools or agents can specifically target certain regions or countries and filter by admission requirements.

Schools or agents can specifically target certain regions or countries

The PIE: How many leads do you generate?

BC: At the moment most clients receive about 50-100 leads a month, but there are a few that go much higher. Clients have the ability to set caps to help them stay within budget and also manage their work flow. Another one of our USPs is that we work on a rolling monthly contract, as opposed the more usual annual arrangement, which allows schools to pause and start at any time… Most aren’t recruiting all 12 months out of the year so it makes sense for them not to have to pay an annual subscription. It also keeps us on our toes in terms of delivering for the client.

The PIE: How are you using the web to maximise business?

BC: Everything we do is search engine marketing [the ads you see at the top of a Google search page] focused, unlike most of our competitors who are more focused on search engine optimisation or social media. This means much more targeted traffic for our clients, for whom we carefully select and place keywords on major search engines. It also makes it a much quicker journey for the student to find what they’re looking for. We have a good relationship with Google, who are really the muscle behind what we do, but internationally we are trying to increase our edge by working with local search engines like Baidu in China and Naver in Korea.

The PIE: Do you have plans to let agents advertise on your site?

BC: “We really believe everything should be school focused, which is why we prefer to integrate agents into our school search. At the moment, we work with a few trusted agencies that have been validated by the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC). One that stands out is IDP who is working with us to generate enquiries in five or six different countries. We would like to continue to develop our base of agents as they provide an integral service for students looking for additional support with their study plans.

Colvin is based in New York

The PIE: What are the most common search requests?

BC: The most popular programmes are business and engineering, although we’re seeing a lot more interest in arts and media courses and online programmes. In terms of trends, student experience is still very important to students. Safety is also a concern, which I think could give smaller, more rural schools in the US a chance to shine.

The PIE: What’s next for My Global Education?

BC: You’ll see our enrolment management services grow more and more. We are in a position to better assist universities with student services and retention; we’re also interested in increasing the number of schools on the site and destinations. Ideally, all schools in the US and around the world would be represented on the site and benefit from our international marketing. Our technology would then help students navigate the diverse options in global higher education and explore all the universities and colleges that are often overlooked.

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