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International Student Recruitment Should Focus on Qualified Students

While large volumes of enrollees are a good indicator of successful recruitment, true achievement in this regard can only be measured by the high quality of recruits that are sent to partner institutions. In this article, I will touch on MSM Global Marketing Office’s high-performance, sustainable recruitment model that ensures only qualified students are sent to our partner HEIs.


The MSM GMO model focuses on training, arming, and generally helping partner agents help institutions recruit students who are more likely to persist in a program until their graduation. By leveraging data-driven processes, MSM GMO can offer its global institution partners a network of recruitment agents who are backed by a whole ecosystem that aids them in tapping rich communities of qualified recruits.


How we start: vetting and arming


The key to generating qualified leads is a reliable intermediary network of skilled recruitment agents. MSM currently has 4,500 active affiliate agents. We ensure that these agents are carefully vetted and have proven to be well-connected while having the basic skills needed to perform their business. We have automated stringent assessment and evaluation procedures to achieve accuracy in appraising student recruitment agents who meet the requirements of partner HEIs.


But we don’t stop at that. Once the agents are vetted and taken into the network, we then arm these partner agents with the tools that they need to maximize their recruitment business. Especially in terms of ensuring qualified leads, we provide program-matching for students and applicant analytics that help agents sort through the candidates.


Moreover, agents benefit from over 1,000 programs to promote, attractive commissions and perks, and exclusive resources and value-added services. They also enjoy the efficiency of a one-stop application processing system which enables them to focus not only on bringing in qualified leads but generating them in volumes.


Although agents are empowered with robust support and tools from MSM, they get their commissions in full and directly from the institutions.


Empowering top-notch agents: Training and upskilling


But beyond carefully vetting and arming our partner agents with cutting-edge tools, we provide them with networking sessions, summits, and workshops co-organized with partner institutions to tailor their knowledge and capabilities to the distinct needs of colleges and universities.


They are required to attend evidence-backed workshops and seminars to ensure they are adding value to the recruitment strategies of HEIs. These also help them keep abreast of the industry’s best practices in stakeholder management as well as the intricate milieu of immigration and study permit policies.

meeting discussing international student recruitment

On top of these, agents are also groomed to be counselors of global learners in the early stages of their study-abroad journey. By wearing counselor hats, the agents help the students become more aware of what they will be getting into. They are thus more prepared and more qualified to enter their chosen institution which, in turn, increase their chances of sustaining their studies to the end.

This immersive student recruitment coaching is an offshoot of MSM’s 150 years of collective leadership in international education and education technology. We’ve already generated more than 50,000 student applications globally.

This is also an indicator of how our data-driven solutions can bring in a significant volume of qualified applicants as evidenced by real-world experiences. A college in British Columbia in Canada, for instance, has seen a 115% yearly average increase in enrollment of qualified international students since adapting the MSM GMO model in 2013.


Full support from dedicated, on-the-ground teams

Finally, we provide a dedicated on-the-ground team that optimizes the pre-screening of potential candidates to ensure a diverse set of high-quality applicants. This is made possible by MSM GMO’s in-country offices which serve as satellites for HEIs. By cementing the visibility of institutions in a certain market this way, we empower HEIs’ overseas recruitment and education marketing strategies.

Our on-the-ground marketing and admissions teams work with agents the same way that institution staff does: training, supporting, and motivating them. The difference is that MSM is in-country every day, making it accessible to agents and their counselors.


Quality not quantity

Student recruitment is a challenging task. And at this time when countries around the world are reeling from the pandemic, recruiting students becomes an even tougher task, with all the mobility restrictions and border closures implemented.

As such, higher education institutions must have strong and clear guidance in generating international education enrollees. This is the kind of guidance that MSM GMO can provide. Our network of over 4,500 well-vetted, fully trained, and adequately armed recruitment agents allows educational institutions to tap diverse communities of prospective students in different markets around the world.

More than this, our data-driven and AI-powered platforms help our partners gain evidence-backed foresight in generating qualified student candidates who have a high chance of persisting until graduation.

After all, student recruitment has always been about quality and not quantity. (SUNEETHA QURESHI)

#PartnerForLife #InternationalEducation #InternationalStudents #MSM #GlobalEducationForAll

Suneetha has more than 10 years of experience in the international education sector. As the Vice President of MSM Global, she leads MSM’s extensive back-of-the-house operations, including MSM’s human resources, financial management, information technology, and marketing, communications, and social media activities. 


She has an impeccable track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European higher education institutions. Her key strengths include hiring, training, and developing teams as evidenced by the successful results of the dedicated in-country college and university client teams.  


Suneetha also has taken the lead in developing several initiatives at MSM, including building robust standard operating procedures, the Rise ‘n Shine team engagement platform, and the organization’s data analytics and audit segments. 


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