International Student Recruitment in Europe Turkey for Study in Australia
SWOT Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats for international education study abroad providers recruiting from CEE Central Eastern Europe and Turkey.
- Cities where there are part time work opportunities for students and moderate rents.
- SVP Streamlined Visa Processing (in theory) and if wider diversity of prospective students become aware (vs usual cohort from core markets).
- Onshore on campus students the basis of all good marketing, e.g. digital content and ‘word of mouth’.
- Private college and TAFE based higher education degrees on price, quality e.g. small class size, flexible fee payment and practical learning (+ Adv Diploma 2015?).
- Australia should have a good future socially and economically.
- $AUD700 visa extension levy (+ $AUD500+ visa fee) discourages many CEE candidates from continuing on into VET or Higher Education after initial study visa (introduced by govt. to lower the NOM net overseas migration).
- Australian education has low or limited +ve media profile according to recent AFR article “Overseas Education Efforts Under Pressure” and ‘off the radar’ for most……
- Efforts to reduce dependence upon core Asian markets has ‘butterfly effect’, any restrictive or negative visa change can decimate ‘other markets’ required for diversity.
- AIEC web/blog analytics shows (too) much interest in immigration, employment, internships, then study…….
- Austrade commissioned to market Study in Australia but only does one off campaign i.e. Future Unlimited, while Study in Australia websites (mostly English only) not being found in other language Google searches (inbound marketing via SEO search engine optimisation) Ditto state and city marketing bodies outside of English.
- No CPD Continuing Professional Development in Australian international education re. SEO and inbound marketing (in other languages) amongst marketing directors. Therefore no joined up strategy, misconceptions and serious limitations e.g. website changes such as upgrades (taken offline), removing agent website listings, losing reciprocal weblinks, etc. leads to Google giving lower assessment so no longer appearing in ‘organic search results’ i.e. becoming invisible.
- Preference for ‘outbound marketing’ e.g. commissioning via onshore digital agencies discrete international digital campaigns in English (vs economic ‘inbound’ SEO maketing informed from on campus students all year round).
- Trying to access CEE and Turkish prospective candidates in their home country when many are living elsewhere, e.g. Hungarians in Austria, Germany and UK.
- Australian cities some of the most expensive in the world vs much more economic choices in Europe.
- Different SVP systems and procedures for different institutions, in addition to ‘agent management’, and unclear as to whom is ultimately responsible for negative outcomes which have yet to be defined by DIBP?
- University agents promoting SVP to other (informal) agents, and vice versa, being requested to accept applicants or agreements with other agents.
- Australian sponsors unable to show sufficient budget and income streams if endeavouring to sponsor offshore friends or relatives.
- TAFE and private college based higher education more than competitive compared with UK universities (AUD17000), plus Advanced Diplomas in SVP 2015.
- Hungarian students now have a bonding system, i.e. leave the country they have to pay fees back, therefore higher education numbers have dropped 30%….. and many look to study abroad, of course mostly EU.
- Romania has a significant private university or higher education sector (33 permanent/20+ temporary) with low fees, and no awareness of Australia (as do other Balkan states, to a lesser extent, including Serbia, Croatia etc., with Turkey standout at 50+ private universities).
- Austrade has highlighted Serbia (strong Melbourne community links), but issue with funds and visas……
- Other language SEO search engine optimisation marketing, especially online where in Europe 90% of searches are in mother tongue, and often not in their home country.
- Using marketing resources or generating authentic marketing content via testimonials in mother tongue, and transmitting via websites, blogs, social media etc. in cooperation with relevant agents.
- Accessing prospective students already studying within an institution, locally or internationally via direct marketing e.g. Turkey 50 private universities, and Budapest is an international student hub.
- Leveraging organic ‘events’ for ‘inbound’ marketing via blogs, social media etc. like Australian/Turk co-production where Russell Crowe has shot film with famous Turk actor comedian Cem Yilmaz. Additionally, attracting attention in international mainstream media e.g. Melbourne City Football Club has iconic Spanish footballer David Villa playing 10 matches later 2014 on loan from NYC, 3 month promotional campaign for Melbourne, especially to Spanish speakers.
- Potential of Australian government under pressure from ‘white nativist’ anti population growth and anti-immigration lobby adopting lower maximum NOM targets and further visa/immigration restrictions, as in the UK, which would be catastrophic for international education sector e.g. limits on number of student visas issued.
- Working Holiday Visa sector crowding out fee paying students in employment and as most are British, Irish, European etc. ‘Australians’ seem more ‘comfortable’ with these types of ‘immigrants’ yet their contribution. compared to students, is very limited?
- International competition with more convenient timing, ease of visa and lower fees, with immigration outcomes in many cases.
- Perception spread by ‘word of mouth’ amongst CEE and Turkish students that Australia does not want students, immigrants etc.. (yet mostly ‘European’ WHV working holiday visas have soared?)
- SVP attracting same old students who know about new SVP all a long i.e. blog analytics show significant uplift in web traffic from India, Pakistan, Nepal etc. searching for SVP at cheapest course or institution…….
- Turkey market down, in addition to political/economic issues, SVP awareness negligible, and related recruitment/compliance issue for universities, 90% candidates try to apply direct, to various universities, for multiple offers by-passing agents and vetting….
- Australian students, according to Universities Australia, starting to study offshore for lower fees and living costs in e.g. Europe.