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HEI Leaders Share Best Practices in Working with Third-party Providers for International Student Recruitment

Higher Education leaders shared success-driven practices in working with third-party providers in a recent M Square Media (MSM) Think-In virtual event, titled Third-Party Providers: What’s the Recipe for Success? 

The webinar, held on October 14, 2021, was moderated by Andrew Disbury, President of MSM United Kingdom. The guest speakers for the panel discussion included Vivienne Stern, Director of Universities UK International; David Pilsbury, Chief Development Officer at Oxford International Education Group; and Prof. Ray Priest, International Director for the Asia Pacific at the University of West England.

Priest underscored the importance of assessing how they can add value to the quality that their institution is trying to bring to its students. He said that this is one of the integral steps in working with third-party providers in international student recruitment.

“We are not in the business of selling used cars,” Priest said. “We’re in the business of selling the best educational experience and quality.”

Meanwhile, Pilsbury supported Priest’s pronouncements and explained the importance of strategic relationship management.

“The future of the international office is going to be in strategic relationship management,” Pilsbury said. He also built on what Priest stated about the valuable insights that private providers give.

“Working with party providers– running off-shore infrastructure, and as Ray said, people who can bring back the insights that allow them to target their activities are going to be absolutely crucial,” Pilsbury said.

Besides sharing a few insights about the landscape and trends in working with private providers for international recruitment, Stern explained the considerations that must be put in place before getting into a partnership with a third party.

“It is absolutely essential that an institution has in place some internal checks and balances to make sure that the institution as a whole makes prudent decisions,” Stern said. The considerations she mentioned include weighing up the need to expand international recruitment against the need to maintain sponsor license, compliance, and campus environment, among other things.

This is the first MSM Think-In for international education leaders and professionals in the UK. This is a series of events with the very first one being held in the United States. According to Disbury, the Think-In aims to bring more insight into the developing topics and trends in the international education scene.

“We hope also that we’ll set some context and consequence for the topics,” Disbury said. “What does it mean for us and how are we gonna react to these particular trends? To those listening, [the goal is] to incite some ideas, opinions, and some actions.”

You may watch a video recording of this insightful virtual session here:

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