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Targeted event for Scottish international FE/HE

A panel of leading international student recruitment professionals emphasised the importance of data and digital marketing for delegates from Scottish FE and HE institutions at a free conference in Edinburgh last week, entitled Attracting International Students to Scottish Universities.

The question and answer session with (L-R) Kenny Nicholl, Jamie O’Connell, Stuart Rennie, Frank Durrell and Ian Morgan

Scottish education institutes are responsible for 10% of all UK international recruitment

Event organisers Academium and TMP Worldwide said they were keen to bring strategic and practical insight to Scottish education institutes, responsible for 10% of all UK international recruitment.

“Scotland punches well above its weight in the international student recruitment market but is often neglected when it comes to conferences and knowledge-share events of this type which are more frequently organised and held in England, specifically London,” said Ian Morgan, consultant at Academium.

His company along with TMP Worldwide works with four universities in Scotland – Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Glasgow and Queen Margaret.

“The power of data, understanding markets and spreading the risk, is going to become increasingly important in the future”

In the opening seminar, Stuart Rennie of SJ Rennie Consulting set the tone for the day urging Scottish institutes to consider different income sources from the traditional recruitment models of twinning, direct business or paying for expensive travel to fairs in source countries.

“HE and FE institutions in Scotland will have to take a dramatic step in their international recruitment and partnership strategies to sustain and grow,” he said. “The power of data, understanding markets and spreading the risk, as well as identifying multiple revenue streams is going to become increasingly important in the future, outsourcing is going to become a necessity.”

Frank Durrell from TMP Worldwide echoed this theme, saying “data capture is vital” and urged organisations to make their websites smart phone compatible as internet searches are increasingly via mobile devices.

Arlene Griffiths of IDP in the UK presented results from its latest research which revealed students use an institution’s website as their main source of information while Kenny Nicholl, director of EMEA Hobsons encouraged using data to tailor marketing efforts for students in different countries.

“What is clear is that, there isn’t one size fits all”

Delegates responded positively to the presenters. “The event was useful as it provided a Scottish context for international recruitment,” said Nathalie Mather-L’Huillier postgraduate recruitment and admissions manager at the University of Edinburgh.

“What is clear is that, there isn’t one size fits all. What we do at the University of Edinburgh, in terms of recruitment, marketing and conversion activities may not suit others.”

Other presenters included Phil Baty from Times Higher Education,  Jamie O’Connell from The Student Room and Jane Penrose  with

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