24th, February 2022 – International Education platform M Square Media (MSM) conducted MSM Think-In ANZ session on Feb. 22 on the theme “In-Country Office Model for Institutions: A Performance-Based and Sustainable Student Recruitment Growth Solution.”
The webinar was moderated by Victoria Heron, Executive Director, Australia and New Zealand – MSM, and also featured a distinguished panel of speakers from MSM—Suneetha Qureshi, President, MSM Global; Erez Van Ham, Chief Growth Officer, MSM Canada and MSM Higher Ed—and MSM’s partner university, Ray Priest, International Director for the Asia Pacific, University of the West of England.
“It’s a pretty simple model, actually,” shared van Ham on the defining the In-Country Office model of MSM. “What we do is we have an option for institutions to have support and dedicated resources in source markets around the world, 365 days a year. We provide your recruitment representatives. We provide your admissions staff. We provide audit and compliance services, and marketing, promotions and brand-building,” said the MSM CGO.
“We go to high school visits on your behalf and to edu fairs all over the country. We are your representatives on the ground. It’s an innovative model because we do all this based on a performance-based model. There’s no upfront fee. There’s no recurring fee. It really de-risks the whole venture because a lot of institutions want to have in-country representation. They know it’s important,” he added.
Priest shared in-depth about his institution’s experience working with MSM and particularly, the benefits of tapping the In-Country Office model.
“For us, we looked at the whole continent across South Asia and thought, ‘How do we scale up our operation quickly?’ We operated with one manager—it sounds ridiculous now when you actually look back—one manager who, we said, could look after India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Bangladesh.” added Priest.
“If you think of the scale of population and the need to scale up quickly, we had to look at a whole range of options—MSM provided a very quick, a very realistic and a very low-risk approach to actually developing our work across that part of Asia,” he said.
Qureshi pointed out the benefits for an institution working with an In-Country Office model, particularly of MSM’s.
“The in-country office paves the way for creating and maintaining a positive and productive relationship with agents and counsellors, and it also allows more engagement, more communication with agents regularly to keep them updated and also supporting them on presentation, seminars, and spot evaluation sessions to guide and mentor them to ensure that we get the right quality of applications,” the MSM president said.
“By taking advantage of this model, partner schools would also have access to the research and data reports that MSM publishes which help create strategies to increase student enrolment numbers as well,” she added.
Q & A session followed with participants engaging with the thought leaders. One of the questions brought up was the “high risk” in terms of representing a university’s brand. The guests cited several aspects of how an institution’s brand quality is ensured ranging from checks and balances to a strict adherence to data protection laws.
“I think you will see from a contract point of view, from the staff appointment point of view, from every aspect, student data issues are handled really well,” shared Priest.
Qureshi stressed on the fact that the dedicated team members are trained to exclusively promote the institution they represent.
“Even when they’re talking to students, it is never MSM. We really ensure we are the face of the institution on the grounds that we are present,” she said.
“We are a professional organization. We understand that institutional brands are built up for many, many decades. We work with you to fully understand and to work within your brand guidelines,” explained van Ham.
“Your local representative is in the market acting as a monitor and protector for your brand. When you don’t have someone on the ground, representatives all over the country may report themselves as a representative when they’re not or use their logo here, there, everywhere. Having a representative with MSM 365 days a year also protects your brand with the monitoring system we have as well,” van Ham added.
The event ended with Heron thanking the panelists and the participants, while inviting the latter to join the next MSM Think-In event.
“We love getting integrated discussions about hot topics that are happening in the sector around the world so we will often host some great open discussions about issues and topics,” said Heron.
The forum addressed issues related to how the In-Country Office model delivers cost-effective, sustainable growth in key and emerging markets. The online event also covered topics focusing on the structure of the in-country office model, end-to-end pipeline management and agent management. The additional services and resources available through MSM’s own global presence were also discussed.
MSM Think-In is a series of webinars that offers a close look at the latest trends and development across the higher education industry. Hosted by MSM, the series aims to incite further thinking, critique or action across participants coming from the international education sector based from different parts of the world.
About M Square Media (MSM)
M Square Media (MSM) is a leading international education company that establishes global or in-country offices and offers education management, an AI-powered student recruitment marketplace, high-performance student recruitment services, online courses and programs, and a wide range of edtech solutions.
Headquartered in British Columbia in Canada, MSM’s global and in-country office model currently serves about 800+ partner institutions worldwide. Since 2012, it has processed more than 110,000 applications. MSM is present in 17 countries worldwide to provide leading-edge international recruitment, marketing, and business development solutions to partners in the UK, Europe, Canada, US, Australia and New Zealand.
Through these diverse lines of business, MSM delivers targeted numbers in student recruitment to foster sustained institutional growth and cater to every stakeholder in the industry: schools, agents, and keen learners from around the world. It strives for people and community empowerment through education, technology, and partnerships with industry and the academe.
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Phone: +1 360-205-5598