International Educator - November/December 2016 - 49

"Where U.S. institutions want to see individual essays about personal growth and
curiosity, Chinese students typically focus
on academics and testing and are not expected to think about personal narratives,"
said Benjamin Waxman, CEO of Salem,
Massachusetts-based INTEAD, which offers
schools recruitment marketing tools. "Where
U.S. institutions want teacher recommendations, Chinese students often sit in classrooms
of 150 to 300 students with one teacher, [who]
simply cannot and do not write recommendations. And when Chinese students find
'alternative' ways to complete the application
requirements, we Westerners cry foul for
'cheating' or 'fabricating' documents."

COURTESY OF TRACY REN

Saturation?
While U.S. institutions face increasing competition from other nations for Chinese
students-notably from Australia, the UK,
France, Canada, and Germany-the U.S. continues to be the destination of choice for the
majority of Chinese students, Waxman said.
Between 2008 and 2015, the number of
Chinese students in U.S. schools more than
tripled to 304,040. Today, Chinese students
comprise the largest group of international
pupils in the United States: Almost one in
every three international students at U.S.
colleges and universities is from China, according to the November 2015 Open Doors
report, published by the Institute of International Education, with support from a grant
from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural
Affairs at the U.S. Department of State. For
some students and even admissions experts,
which translates into a lack of international
diversity-especially at top-tier schools
where Chinese students tend to gravitate.
"Many institutions are finding that they
have too many Chinese students on campus
compared to students from other countries,"
Waxman said. "So, one of the latest trends
in recruiting from China is to not recruit so
much from China. U.S. institutions want
more balance in the classroom."
Jennifer Gruenewald is director of International Student and Scholar Services at the
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Cen-

Tracy Ren

ter for International Education. Between
2010 and 2015, the Chinese student population at the school more than quadrupled
from 49 to 202.
"We've heard from many students that
they do not want to be at a school with too
many Chinese students," Gruenewald said.
"We try to maintain a balance of recruiting where there is great demand-such as
in China and India-and where there is less
demand but opportunities for increased international diversity on our campus."

High Expectations
Tracy Ren left Beijing in 1993 to study for
her MBA at Southern Illinois University.
Today, she is co-founder and CEO of Circle
of Moms, an online publication aimed at
Chinese families sending their children to
U.S. schools.
One of the things Ren notices about her
subscribers-there are 150,000 of them-is
that parents often gravitate toward top-tier
colleges without researching if the school is
the best fit for their child. Hence, she said, a
lot of very good schools are missing out on
talented Chinese students.
"Chinese parents to the U.S. News &
World Report college rankings and tend to
aim at the top ones," Ren said. "Oftentimes
they will be disappointed because those top
schools are so difficult to get into and [if a
student enrolls] that school may not be the
most suitable for their children. Columbia
University may not have the best engineering program and another [top school] may
not have the best psychology program."

Ren said the vast majority of Chinese
students would do very well-and be quite
happy-at lower-tier schools, even if those
schools aren't Ivy League institutions. She
said admissions officers need to do a better
job of describing their schools' missions and
strengths, and how both can meet a child's
need. They need to define what differentiates their campus from others, she said, and
provide parents with detailed information
on each school's majors and fields of study.
"Chinese parents are getting so much
information every day from agents and brokers, but the difficulty for these families is
how to identify-through all of this overload
of information-the right school. If a college's strategy is to recruit more and better
qualified students, they really need to present their uniqueness and how their school is
different from the others."

Follow Up on Leads Quickly
That starts with follow-up, said Waxman,
who noted that a surprising number of admissions officers fail to properly circle back
with Chinese parents after meeting them at
a college fair or on campus.
"Set up a system to capture leads and follow
up with them quickly," he said. "We are always
surprised by the number of institutions traveling and recruiting in China without the ability
to capture or follow up with the leads. It's almost as if some of the travelers are just taking
the trip because they want to see China and
have forgotten how recruiting actually works."
Samuel Vetrak is CEO of student marketing at Bridge Education Group, which
contracts with U.S. universities to recruit
Chinese students. Vetrak, who is based in
in Vienna, Austria, and also has an office in
Tianjin, China. He said the advice to keep
your agent network "small, focused and
strong" is critical in a country where there
are now 26 percent more licensed education
agents than there were in 2012.
"This creates an unclear, hard-to-orient situation for U.S. recruiters as to who
to work with in order to maintain quality
agent and sending partners in China," he
said. "There are over 1,000 education agents
N O V + D E C .16 INTERNATIONAL EDUCATOR

49  



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of International Educator - November/December 2016

From the Editor
In Brief
Voices
Act Globally
Tradition and History
Health and Insurance
Education Abroad
International Enrollment
View From Out Here
In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover1
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover2
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 1
International Educator - November/December 2016 - From the Editor
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 3
International Educator - November/December 2016 - In Brief
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 5
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 6
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 7
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 8
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 9
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 10
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 11
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Voices
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 13
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 14
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 15
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Act Globally
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 17
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 18
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 19
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 20
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 21
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 22
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 23
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 24
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 25
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Tradition and History
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 27
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 28
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 29
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 30
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 31
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 32
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 33
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 34
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 35
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Health and Insurance
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 37
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 38
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 39
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 40
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 41
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Education Abroad
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 43
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 44
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 45
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 46
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 47
International Educator - November/December 2016 - International Enrollment
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 49
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 50
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 51
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 52
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 53
International Educator - November/December 2016 - View From Out Here
International Educator - November/December 2016 - 55
International Educator - November/December 2016 - In Focus
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover3
International Educator - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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