Versatile recruitment in a changing world: Incorporating sponsored student recruitment into your institution’s internationalization strategy

This blog post draws from NAFSA resources on sponsored student recruitment strategy created in collaboration with Krista Kennedy, MS, Sponsored Student Program Administrator, Portland State University; Matthew Sacco, MA, Director of International Enrollment Partnerships, George Mason University; and William Shuey, MPA, Assistant Director of Sponsored Relations, Pennsylvania State University.

As we adjust our desk lamps and dust off our backgrounds in preparation for a fully virtual NAFSA, this year’s theme, “Designing our Shared Future,” gives us ample opportunity to reflect on how we better engage with communities around the world and serve the next generation of international students post-pandemic.  Make no mistake: Institutions that diversify their recruitment efforts to meet new challenges now will reap the rewards of recovery in fall 2021 and beyond.

US universities can bolster their international-student recruitment strategies by working with sponsoring organizations—governmental or private entities that provide full or partial scholarships for students to study around the world.  Mounting a successful sponsored student recruitment strategy means focusing your institution’s efforts in a quickly changing sponsorship landscape, building relationships with sponsoring bodies, and smoothly interfacing with those organizations while supporting students.

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Intentional engagement in extraordinary times: Success Factor educational consultants on reaching students and driving recovery in Pakistan

At a time when prospective international students continue to face hurdles to starting their studies abroad, clear, consistent communication around the evolving COVID-19 situation is more critical than ever.  Driving the many innovations institutions and organisations have implemented to overcome physical distance and supplement in-person events is an understanding that connecting with students means looking at emerging complexities through their eyes.

No newcomer to counselling and recruitment, Success Factor is one of the educational consultancies with which INTO partners that has helped study abroad aspirants in Pakistan navigate tough decisions, travel barriers, and difficulties obtaining visas from day one of the pandemic.  We sat down with Mohsin Baweja, co-founder and CEO of Success Factor, to discuss the organisation’s 25-year history, signs of rebounding demand among Pakistani students, and what, in his view, is the key to the international education sector’s recovery in 2021 and beyond: Meeting students where they are.

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Introducing INTO CareerFirst: Building better futures with students and universities

Job hunting has never been easy, but a confluence of factors—from accelerated digitalization across sectors to pandemic-induced economic contraction—has made for a fundamentally changed and challenging global career landscape today.

It’s a transformation that weighs on the minds of many, but none more so than the soon-to-be university graduates who must navigate the most complex, competitive job market in recent memory.  For international students in particular, landing a dream job means managing cultural differences, physical distances, immigration issues, and a range of other obstacles while navigating this new normal.

Enter INTO CareerFirst, our new, all-encompassing employability programme—the first in market to offer comprehensive support tailored for international students.  Launching in October of this year, CareerFirst will pull together a network of mentors, coaches, and industry experts, state-of-the art learning technology, and curricula developed in partnership with academic colleagues and leading employers to give students the skills, connections, and experience they need to achieve their post-graduation career ambitions.  Michael Lynas, Vice President, INTO CareerFirst, offers insights into how the programme will complement academic studies, integrate seamlessly with services already on offer at higher education institutions, and benefit both international students and the US and UK universities at which they study.

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