International Educator - July/August 2014 - S6

ALTERNATIVE SOLUTIONS

"The IACs are shared facilities from which members can promote their programs and services in Vietnam and even regionally,"
Ashwill explains. "For example, one university has a Hanoi-based
country coordinator who represents that university exclusively
and recruits throughout Vietnam. Another institution has a Ho
Chi Minh City-based regional outreach coordinator who recruits
in Vietnam and elsewhere in East and Southeast Asia. Both are
employed by Capstone Vietnam but report to the respective
international directors at their institutions. They also report to
Capstone's managing director and deputy director. Their services
are provided free of charge to students and parents as they take
no commissions from schools. They are full-time representatives
rather than agents."
Gen Next's Ballolla says that personalized touch is critical.
"Our staff is engaged with our high schools," he says. "They
keep the conversation [between university staff visits to
India] alive. We also use our center for hosting receptions for alumni and friends, which gives us
another layer of relationship building. We
know what each university expects,
and we can articulate that to each
student. We act as a conduit for
questions and answers."
Ballolla's staff includes one
American and three Indian professionals. He says his members pay
an annual fee of $20,000, which is
likely cheaper than the cost of several tours through the country in
a year (members do pay for their
own travel costs when they visit).
A higher level of membership, the strategic partner membership, provides Gen Next's partners support to execute on their
broader internationalization agendas as it related to India, which
can include alumni engagement, helping develop study abroad
programs for their students and faculty, support to engage governmental, nongovernmental, or corporate constituents, etc.,
costs $30,000 per year. "We've helped our partners develop and
execute customized study abroad programs, we've connected our
partners with corporations in India who are looking for executive or technical education programs, and we've helped facilitate
faculty collaboration with Indian counterparts," says Ballolla.
And the numbers, he says, speak for themselves. "One recruitment officer can't possibly talk to as many students as
they should," he says. "And culturally, parents here are very involved with their 16- and 17-year-old children. For study abroad
especially, you have to engage them, and the only way to do that
is to be on the ground."

6

Ashwill agrees. "In what's become a highly competitive market,
it's vital that schools follow up with prospective students with someone on the ground who speaks their language."

Unique Challenges
Paul McVeigh, associate vice president of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC), says engagement is really the key when it
comes to recruiting international students without using an agent,
but he faces a unique challenge.
"The concept of a U.S. community college is not well-known
throughout the world," he says. "People in Vietnam know about
it thanks to decades of immigration and the word spreading
there. But other countries don't translate the words 'community
college' favorably."
Still, 2,000 of the school's more than
70,000 are from overseas, so something's
working.
"One of the well-known workarounds for the use of agents is simply
to have a contract with a marketing
representative," he says, explaining
that he's not permitted to work with
agents who charge commission. "That
in-country branding gets the name out
there and is more sustained than showing
up for a recruitment fair, where you're there
for a few days and then disappear." In Turkey and Vietnam, he's contracted with firms that meet with and counsel
students and help spread the word about the college through
local media.
"That's helped," he says. "It's not one thing you're doing such as
a recruitment tour, but it's an additional kind of approach that puts
the identity of the institution out there in the public."
He's also had luck explaining his transfer agreements with fouryear universities to overseas students, many of whom see the value
in starting at NVCC and graduating from George Mason University
or the University of Virginia, for example. Their parents certainly
understand, says McVeigh.
"The value proposition is apparent," he explains. "We may not be
able to offer a scholarship to a student, but reduced tuition to the
tune of one-third of that of another university is significant."
Working with those partner institutions has helped spread
the word; instead of NVCC telling students about guaranteed
transfer or dual-admission programs, the four-year university
partners do it, lending credibility in regions that don't understand
the concept of a community college. "We try to attract students
by associating our name with institutions who work with us,"
he says. "If we can market together with a four-year institution

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



International Educator - July/August 2014

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
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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
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - Revitalizing Education in Afghanistan: Overcoming Decades of Devastation
International Educator - July/August 2014 - 23
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International Educator - July/August 2014 - In Focus
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