The student recruitment landscape in Asia in 2023

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Information about The student recruitment landscape in Asia in 2023

Published on February 20, 2014

Author: ICEFmonitor



These slides are from Wade & Co, a management consultancy specialising in future scenario planning. Founder Woody Wade is frequently invited to speak on the methodology and conduct workshops at events and conferences in Europe, Asia and North America. These slides followed his mini-workshop aimed at generating four plausible future scenarios for Asian student recruitment given at the 2013 EAIE Conference in Istanbul.

More and more, educational institutions, associations, and recruitment agencies are turning to a technique called scenario planning to help them visualise how their future recruiting landscape could change over time. By using this creative yet structured process to envisage alternative future terrains, they can craft more flexible marketing strategies today.

Read our accompanying article to learn how you can use this technique to understand the critical uncertainties that have the greatest potential to change your future landscape – and thus affect your long-term success:


Driving forces affecting Asian recruitment = critical uncertainty Political 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Stability Immigration rules Educational reforms Corruption Shifts in power In ability to control social media Economic/managerial 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. Currency imbalances Economic power shifts Educational ROI Government spending on H.E. Tuition fees Societal Technological 12. 13. 14. 15. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. Demographic changes Role of religion Access to education Societal attitudes toward spending on education 16. Willingness to learn WADE & COMPANY 2 MOOCs Personalized technologies Access to technology Travel technologies Simultaneous translation & online delivery αβγ

2023: Four scenarios for Asian student recruitment MOOCs grow Critical uncertainty 1: Political stability Critical uncertainty 2: MOOCs Scenario Scenario 1 2 Asia is unstable Asia is stable Scenario Scenario 4 3 MOOCs stall WADE & COMPANY 3 αβγ

Key assumptions related to the scenarios 1. Among Asian families, the demand for a Western education for their children is greater if their own country is experiencing (or is expected to experience) political instability. 2. “Political stability” also encompasses the presence of higher-quality tertiary institutions in Asian source countries. In the “politically unstable” scenarios, these Asian institutions have not (yet) attained world-class status. 3. For the purposes of simplification, we classify Western institutions of higher education as either: “A” schools, i.e. those with international brand recognition (and thus conferring a measure of prestige on students/parents), and “B” schools, i.e. those with little or no international brand recognition (thus conferring no prestige). 4. The value of studying at a prestigious institution trumps the value of attending even the best MOOCs. WADE & COMPANY 4 αβγ

2023: Four scenarios for Asian student recruitment MOOCs grow LESS DEMAND FROM ASIA MORE DEMAND FROM ASIA Declining interest to leave home country to study abroad Increasing interest to leave home country to study abroad For “A” schools: • Jump on branded MOOC bandwagon • Control elements that affect brand/prestige/recognition • Engage constituents/stakeholders in Asia to solidify brand more For “A” schools: • MOOCs are not a serious threat • Maintain awareness/marketing activities focused on prestige/recognition For “B” schools: • Aggressive marketing based on factors differentiating them from “A” schools, e.g. price, specialized programs • MOOCs are a threat, so emphasize personal mentoring and benefits such as networking, (inter)personal development For “B” schools: • Abandon MOOCs • Strategic retrenchment: shift marketing focus to other (unstable) countries • Key to success: nimbleness, responsiveness Asia is unstable Asia is stable OPPORTUNITY! COMPETITION WITHIN ASIA Good Asian schools are a threat High demand; MOOCs not a threat For “A” schools: • Emphasize the value of the things the Asian schools don’t yet have, e.g. alumni networks, placement assistance, etc. • Emphasize the need to study abroad as the world globalizes… For “A” schools: • Engage and manage relationships with institution’s “ambassadors” and key decision influencers: alumni, faculty, current students For “B” schools: • Student segmentation: know what type of student is attracted to your institution and where to find these students – know where your market is For “B” schools: • Establish partnerships/feeder relationships with Asian institutions WADE & COMPANY MOOCs stall 5 αβγ

The future of your recruiting success also depends on institution-specific factors: 1. Range, quality & reputation of your programs 2. Quality of student life/experience you offer 3. Total investment your school requires for a degree 4. Your financial strength 5. Your ability to place graduates 6. Your ability to adapt to change 7. Your network of local contacts in target countries 8. Your marketing methods and prowess 9. Your ability to engage successfully with core constituents WADE & COMPANY 6 αβγ


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