18 May The Student Recruitment Team of The Month: Meet The United States Studies Centre
Every month Goodwall presents you the best student admissions teams from all over the world. This month we take you to Australia to meet The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney and its student recruitment manager, Beau Magloire.
The United States Studies Centre (USSC) is an independent organization located at the University of Sydney. As an independent organization, the USSC collaborates with the University of Sydney to deliver curriculum at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In order to consolidate their unique international positioning, the USSC worked collaboratively with Goodwall to scale their student recruitment while still providing prospective students with personalized messages, building strong relationship and guiding them throughout the search and application process, all the way to enrollment.
How many people do you have in your recruitment and admissions team?
Our team is quite unique as we are a center that is independent but we also work collaboratively with the University of Sydney. In the team we have myself as the student recruitment manager, Jessica Regan who is the academic and support officer, and Emily Serifovski the program ambassador.
What are the student recruitment objectives and challenges you face to attract domestic and international students?
We recruit domestic and international students. The Unites States Studies Centre has just recently started to really engage with the international student market. It is important for us, given that we are explicitly an international center, to have a large cohort of international students around the world engaging with our programs and sharing ideas. Our main objectives are to increase the amount of meaningful engagement for all our student programs but also to modify our existing programs and create new ones. This can be anything from alumni engagement to internships, to non-curriculum based education training.
What are your biggest challenges when you are trying to promote your programs to students?
I think particularly in the international sector, it is a matter of scale. When we are dealing with the domestic market we normally need to worry about just our competitors within cities, states and possibly the country. As the USCC is part of the GO8, which is like the Russel Group, when we promote domestically we are looking closely at universities that are part of the GO8. But when it comes to international markets we not only need to be looking at what GO8 universities are doing but also the rest of the world. There are also other programs not only in our country but around the world. I think the real challenge in international sector is to be on top of what everyone is doing and looking at the overall and holistic market and trends of students in immediate cities area.
“I think the real challenge in the international sector is to be on top of what everyone is doing and looking at the overall and holistic market and trends of students in immediate city areas.”
How do you go about finding and attracting students domestically and internationally?
Domestically, it’s about engaging directly with schools. One part is offering a value proposition that is giving students and teachers something worthwhile, it is not just about coming and talking honestly about our programs. We recently started some new initiatives like the summer research court where we bring students and pay them to contribute to our academic research. These kind of initiatives are value-add propositions that allow us to speak to schools. In addition, we have programs that they might also want to study with the University of Sydney, but also engaging with industries as well.
And last but not least, online international student recruitment; Goodwall has been a huge boost not only in terms of reaching new international students but also organisationally. It has been an excellent tool for us to coordinate our marketing messages, to be quite discerning in terms of how we look at our international markets and support horizontal integration for our international outreach.
“It has been an excellent tool for us to coordinate our marketing messages, to be quite discerning in terms of how we look at our international markets and support horizontal integration for our international outreach.”
You have been using the platform for a few months. Can you share your experience, the results and the way you perceive international student recruitment?
Students are incredibly engaged in their choices, and this is more a reflection of generational change. Students are a lot more discerning now about their education choices. Obviously there is the digital age, students are able to engage a lot more meaningfully. But also it’s a matter of each nationalization, particularly in Asia at least, it’s a given that students are going to study overseas, such as in South Korea, with 80% of students probably going mobile at some point in their tertiary education.
Because of this, digital platforms are a necessity and that’s where Goodwall comes in. It allows them to be curious, dig deep about the sort of inquiries students have about tertiary education. I don’t think it is sustainable to just blast out messages and assume that students will be satisfied with that. I think Goodwall offers the opportunity to put the autonomy in students’ hands. I can tell when students are interested in USSC by the frequency, the depth and mode of communication they engage with us in. This a lot better compared to previous methods of enquiry where we would usually expect a single enquiry from a student and we would cross our fingers whether or not this is going to convert to an application in 6 months time without any further idea what the conversion rate is going to be. Goodwall takes out a significant proportion of this “guess what”.
How has Goodwall helped you target specific markets and also markets that it was hard for you to cover before?
In Australia, international student recruitment comes primarily from China and other regions such as Singapore or Hong Kong. I think Goodwall has been an excellent tool in diversifying the range of students by receiving numerous inquiries from the Middle East, North Africa and Europe and South America as well. In my previous role, recruitment was very much focused on China and the greater Asian region which would require a large amount of investment. Goodwall has kind of naturalised the recruitment process for these other regions and that’s very refreshing as it is the perfect complement to the other recruitment process that I used for the Asian region. I think that overall the two work very well to have a truly global presence.