Changing the face of International student recruitment: Technology

We all have witnessed how UBER has transformed taxi industry or TripAdvisor/Trivago/Airbnb has made travel well informed and extremely easy. It's so convenient to have your bank, retail, buying home or car from your smartphones. All thanks to technology. Technology has always been a backbone for economic development and international student industry is no different, tech gurus predict that future of service industry will be ruled by AI & Data Science.

We have already started noticing small but impactful changes in International student recruitment, like;

  • Printed brochures are now less used than before and videos and VR are picking the pace.
  • Using video conferencing, remote training, etc. for a university selection process is common now as compared to processes just 7-10 years ago.
  • Most of the universities have moved from paper application to online application forms and portals.
  • Many universities would argue education fairs are obsolete in certain markets.
  • An advancement in teaching approach from classroom sessions to E-learning, distance learning and now flipped classrooms (blend of classroom & e-learning) is receiving wide acceptance even from known universities like Stanford and Harvard.
  • New technology is bringing improvements in LMS and resource management to MOOCs.  

These changes evolved slowly in a manner that most of us adapted to it without even realising, but now we have started to feel it's picking up the momentum. Similarly, when it comes to student admissions, universities now need to be farsighted and prepared to adapt the technological developments. Let’s explore why the universities need to look for a solution to the problems identified in the fast-changing technologies:

  • According to research done by in 2015, 95% of international students own a smartphone.
  • 7 of 10 students use a mobile phone for internet- By TCS Gen y Survey.
  • 82% percent of the Millennials, globally, use mobile or tablet to search for and apply to US universities & colleges - By TCS Gen y Survey.
  • According to UNESCO, 262 million students would be attending university by 2025 and international student mobility will hit 8 million by 2025.
These are very few but very strong indicators that Universities need to focus on connecting students via smartphones somehow unifying, simplifying and streamlining the industry. Strategies need to be designed to provide the service, information, and experience using the best possible technology to reach perfectly matched target student. I strongly feel there is a disconnect between the Universities and students, the flow of information is not direct and possibly distorted, we need to ask if students have access to quality counselling? how to reach quality students from small towns? how to balance between quality, quantity and diversity factor? how to spot a bad fish at an early stage? How to enhance the visa success rate? 

Universities should look out for out of the box innovative technological solutions for solving these small and big problems in the International student recruitment.


Abhishek Nakhate

Date: 28/01/2018

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