International student recruitment in the new normal

February 23, 2021
  • AACRAO Annual Meeting
  • Admissions and Recruitment
  • International Admissions
  • Recruitment and Marketing
  • AM2021 Impact of 2020
  • am2021 International
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In a time of reduced budgets and travel restrictions, institutions are relying less on travel-dependent international recruitment methods. Virtual fairs, digital marketing, in-country representation, and social media have played key roles in recruitment during the pandemic. But what other strategies are out there? 

Jay Ligon, director of International Student & Scholar Services at Louisiana Tech University, will share some ideas during an upcoming session at the 2021 (106th) AACRAO Annual Meeting. The session is one of several that will focus on the impact of 2020 on higher education at this year’s meeting.  

“We will highlight virtual fairs and online marketing but also take attendees into some brainstorming and see if there are options to impact people directly and in a more permanent and tangible way,” Ligon said.

Louisiana Tech, for example, is considering resources like Unibuddy and the Common App to get in front of students while travel is not an option. In addition, utilizing DuoLingo for English language proficiency has been particularly successful during COVID, Ligon said.

"We are no longer solely approaching market selection in regards to which countries have studied with us or where have we traveled and developed brand awareness," he said. "We are now asking who can we realistically reach and engage at a time with zero travel. The outcome to that question isn't necessarily the usual suspects when it comes to market selection.  

Ligon added: “We’ve gotten creative in looking for ways that we can be seen by a prospect and in a format that is more permanent than social media. We have to adapt to a changing set of rules to have the same level of impact. There is the likelihood that a ‘return to normal’ will not be a return to the past but rather an amalgamation of where we were and where we find ourselves now.”

To attend this and other sessions, register today the 2021 (106th) AACRAO Annual Meeting.




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