International Educator - July/August 2014 - S4

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

Increasing a Presence
Born and raised in India, Girish Ballolla knows firsthand the value
of study in the United States: he did it himself, receiving undergraduate and graduate degrees in biology and higher education
administration from the University of Kansas. After working in
human resources and sales/marketing in the United States, he
decided to change course. He founded Gen Next Education, Inc.
four years ago to help U.S. universities internationalize their recruiting efforts.
Gen Next offers an International Knowledge Center in Bangalore, India, which works with partner universities to help recruit
Indian students through formal informational sessions, in-person
visits, social networking and events, and drop-in resources for students and families.
"It's expensive and tough to navigate business practices in India," Ballolla says. "Our knowledge center functions as a base of
operations in India. We offer the facility and staff, and we provide
our members with a broad range of services."

"One of the main differences
between us and an agency is
that we don't 'push' a student to
any particular institution since
we are not compensated on a
per-student basis."

"You still need to travel to India to engage students, but it can
only be once or twice a year" he says, noting that Indian students
don't like talking on the phone and don't always reply to e-mail
messages. "We continue the engagement on the ground, helping students understand partner institutions, encouraging them
to apply and work with admissions, and keeping them engaged
so they can make a decision on our partner schools." Currently,
the company has 12 partner institutions and plans to max out
at about 20.
"We do not consider ourselves as recruiters for our universities," Ballolla explains. "Our focus is more on supporting our
partners with brand building, marketing/outreach efforts, and
pre-admissions support. As such, we work with our partners and
help them understand India, the student decision factors, etc.
and help them develop and execute on their recruiting strategies

4

accordingly. Once students are in the application process, we help
our universities personalize their relationship with the student/
parents by being a constant source of engagement between each
other-this usually leads to a higher conversion rate."
Gen Next counsels Indian students and helps them identify their
program interests and other factors that go into deciding where they
should apply. "If our partner universities meet those needs, we help
the students with their application process to those institutions and
if not, we still help the students with the process, at the university of
their choice-all at no cost to the student or the family," Ballolla says.
There is no financial incentive for Gen Next to steer a student
toward any particular university, so they don't. Instead, they act almost like a guidance counselor to students, which is an area of need
for Indian students.
"One of the main differences between us and an agency is that
we don't 'push' a student to any particular institution since we are
not compensated on a per-student basis," explains Ballolla. "Since
we do not charge the students any money and since we do not have
a financial incentive from the universities, high schools in India are
eager to work with us to help them provide much-needed guidance counseling to their students. Outside of international schools
that provide the IGCSE or IB curriculums, most Indian curriculum
schools do not offer guidance counseling to students interested in
studying abroad. We serve as a de facto guidance counselor at many
of these high schools by conducting workshops, providing resource
material to students, etc."
A similar effort exists in Vietnam, where Mark Ashwill is the
managing director of Capstone Vietnam in Hanoi and Ho Chi
Minh City. "Vietnam has become a very competitive market in
recent years, and the reality is institutions that wish to recruit
here have to do much more than simply sign agent agreements,"
he says. "They have to develop a recruitment strategy that includes armchair, helicopter marketing, and other marketing and
promotion activities."
Launched in 2009 with two partners (a university and an education company), Capstone Vietnam has a full-time staff of 15 and also
has student interns. "We (now) have more than 100 partners, including intensive English programs, community colleges, and four-year
colleges and universities mainly in the U.S. but also in some other
countries, including Canada and the UK," says Ashwill.
Like Gen Next, Capstone established its International Academic
Centers (IACs) to provide a physical location for students and their
families to visit. "They serve as a home base and an incubator from
which an institution or organization can promote its programs and
services in Vietnam and even regionally," he says. Each partner university is provided with a local staff member who's exclusive to that
school, and works with students and their families to individualize
the study abroad experience and make a match between student
goals and university potential.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR J U LY + AU G U S T. 14 * I N T E R N AT I O N A L E N R O L L M E N T S U P P L E M E N T



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - July/August 2014

Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
All Smiles
In Brief
Voices: Kakenya Ntaiya: Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
Education Abroad
Forum
In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Brief
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 5
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 6
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 7
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 8
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 9
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 10
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 11
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 12
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 13
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 14
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 15
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 16
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 17
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Voices: Kakenya Ntaiya: Founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 19
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 20
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 21
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 23
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 24
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 25
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 26
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - 30
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - 33
International Educator - July/August 2014 - All Smiles
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 35
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - 37
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 38
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - Education Abroad
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - Forum
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 53
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 54
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 55
International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Focus
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover3
International Educator - July/August 2014 - Cover4
International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover1
International Educator - July/August 2014 - SCover2
International Educator - July/August 2014 - S1
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