Recruitment Beyond China: Lower-Middle-Income Countries Show Promise

Recruitment strategies that focus on lower-middle-income countries, many of which are home to an upwardly mobile, aspiring middle class, are particularly important for institutions that are outside the top-tier. Research by WES shows that outbound students from these countries, especially those at key inflection points in their academic careers, tend to prioritize career opportunities over reputation when choosing where to study.

WES logoIn this excellent and timely WES (World Education Services) report on mobility trends Viet Nam is mentioned as one of four (4) lower-middle-income countries that are a “rising force in international enrollments.”

Among the highlights is this section entitled New Students; New Motivations.

Given that lower-middle-income countries have begun to emerge as viable sources of qualified students institutions need to understand student motivations and to design their recruitment strategies accordingly.

WES conducted a survey last year in an effort to better understand how international students choose institutions.  It revealed some key characteristics that distinguish students from lower-middle-income countries from those in their wealthier counterparts.

  • They do not view college rankings as a primary deciding factor in deciding where to apply. 
  • They view career prospects after graduation as a higher priority than any other country income group.
  • They are price sensitive, but weigh long-term earning potential (the ROI of their investment in education) heavily. 
  • They place a high value on career services.

Another one of the findings was that students from lower-middle-income countries tend to apply to a higher number of institutions than their counterparts from wealthier nations.  As the report noted, This lack of commitment increases competition for enrollments, but it also creates opportunities for institutions that are able to differentiate themselves.

A number of the results reflect the current situation in Viet Nam, which means that this report is recommended reading for colleagues whose institutions have targeted Viet Nam as a priority country.

Follow this link to read the report in its entirety.



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