The increase in tuition fees at UK universities is affecting international recruitment campaigns – both in the UK and at overseas institutions.
The fee increase is boosting interest in overseas universities as more UK students look to study abroad. More than 2,400 courses are available in English across Europe, with more and more universities adding programmes in English to attract UK students, put off by the possible tripling of fees at home.
With this potential income drain overseas, and a fall in the number of UK applicants, deterred by the fees, UK institutions are looking to foreign climes to recruit students, particularly at masters level, as they pay higher fees, fuelled by a desire for a recognised qualification from a reputable institution. UK universities are also building partnerships, delivering programmes, and creating campuses overseas, diversifying their income streams.
To attract international students UK universities have to build or enhance their reputation overseas - but how can they achieve this?
The key is having a defined market and a clear idea about what an institution can offer in that region, or to students from that locale:
Knowledge of cultural differences and working practices are also essential when developing strategies in overseas markets so consulting and commissioning support from specialists is key to a successful campaign.
In addition to the tangible examples above, personal connections and word of mouth can be among the most powerful reputation building tools in any organisation's armoury.
These ambassadors should be cultivated and utilised wherever possible and used to engage with potential students and clients.
Those willing to personally endorse an institution are worth their weight in gold, offering something that money cannot buy.