It’s no doubt that student recruitment agents help boost the enrolment of foreign students in higher education institutions (HEIs). While each college and university has its tried-and-tested strategies of attracting enrollees, agents go above and beyond in further empowering these measures.
Especially during a challenging time as a pandemic when most countries impose strict border restrictions on non-local inbound travelers, student recruitment agents prove to be reliable partners for both HEIs and aspiring students.
Agents are experts in liaising applications as well as being a great source of information about immigration policies for interested international students. That is why, despite the pandemic, a substantial number of recruitment agents reported in MSM’s latest agent survey that they still optimally assist international student applications.
Apart from aiding HEIs in empowering strategies to boost enrollment, here are four ways agents boost enrollment of international students:
1. Pre-departure briefing
Pursuing international studies is no mean feat for learners of the world. It requires moving out of comfort zones and overcoming culture shock and the occasional homesickness. That is why before finally setting off in their journeys, students need to attend their pre-departure briefing to equip them with everything they need to know and prepare for before their flights.
According to an agent survey report by M Square Media titled Online Recruitment: Agent Toolkit, Challenges, and Gaps to Fill, 81.3% of surveyed agents provided support to students in several different ways in their pre-departure briefing.
This stage is critical as it prepares foreign students for what is ahead of them and equips them with the proper mindset in facing a new and exciting chapter in their lives.
2. Travel assistance
Despite the inter-country mobility challenges brought about by various border restrictions, countless foreign students still pursued their dreams of studying overseas. The good news is that recruitment agents were always ready to provide support.
The MSM report showed that some 73.2% of surveyed agents provided valuable support, largely through assistance in visa applications, purchase of tickets, and the like. Such travel assistance frees foreign students from much of the burden that comes with preparing to study abroad.
3. Accommodation assistance
Accommodation assistance has become more important at a time when self-isolation and 14-day quarantine requirements are imposed on individuals who cross country borders. The agent survey showed that some 63.2% of the respondents helped their student recruits secure a roof over their heads as well as effectively comply with quarantine measures upon their arrival.
Even before the pandemic, accommodation assistance has been a chief concern in studying abroad and agents are very particular in ensuring that HEIs can support foreign students through safe and welcoming housing environments.
4. Education loan and financial assistance
Educational loans and financial aid assistance are typically granted to deserving enrollees, and student recruitment agents help HEIs and third-party lenders find foreign students who are eligible for this kind of opportunity. In the past year, when economies around the world are hitting all-time lows, about 51.4% of surveyed agents assisted foreign students in receiving some form of financial assistance from their target HEIs or third-party lenders.
Considering how student recruitment agents are critical in an HEI’s enrollment process as well as in a foreign student’s journey, it is not surprising that 63% of surveyed student recruitment agents are optimistic about online recruitment in the next months. This only proves that, as long as HEIs are keeping doors open to international students and there are learners of the world who are driven to expand their horizons, student recruitment agents will keep delivering above and beyond the call of duty.