As part of insight reports into their user base, Sqore found that 60% of students plan their international education experience at least 2 years before the start – with 30% starting five years before. And for three every four students taking part in the challenges on the platform do so to learn more about the study program.
“These students are really smart and they are good at googling”
“Institutions need to communicate with students earlier on in their education, when they are starting to think about their international options,” Jungegard told The PIE.
“It’s important that the communication is quite program-specific, these students are really smart and they are good at googling, so they have probably done their homework at finding the rankings – so program first!”
The data also showed that 87% of students hadn’t visited their future host country before submitting an application, so that’s an area universities can focus on as well.
As part of another report, conducted with Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, Sqore followed up on over 30 large digital international student recruitment campaigns stretching from 2012-2017.
It found that an appropriate marketing mix, and that personalised, well-timed communication supporting students up to enrolment and beyond, was the winning strategy.
Chalmers University reached out to Sqore after introduction of fees for non-EU students saw applications dropping almost 90%, Jungegard explained.
Institutions need to show students their return on investment – employment and salary rates upon graduation, for example – something the US is better at doing than Europe, he said.
“As globalisation increases students are being more used to tuition fees but also better at researching which university and program offers the most interesting education and also the value for money, the return on investment,” he explained.
“The work of education marketing providers like Sqore is not to convince students to pay for their education but to give them alternatives as to where they can spend their existing personal education budget.”