International student recruitment

International student recruitment is likely to be the key international activity undertaken by your institution. Recruiting international students, and students from other EU countries, can be important for many reasons eg diversifying and enriching the classroom and student experience for all students; ensuring the viability of certain postgraduate courses; enhancing the UK's global standing. In addition, international students can make a significant financial contribution to their institutions, through overseas fee income, and to the local economy where they live.

One way of understanding what/who is involved in international student recruitment is to look at the 7 Ps (the Marketing Mix).

The 7 Ps


Physical Evidence






Product: the portfolio of courses offered and the levels at which they are offered eg pre-degree, Bachelors, Masters.

Price: fees, scholarships, alumni/sibling discounts, level of fee deposit (if requested)

Promotion: international marketing, use of advertising, website, social media, press and P.R.

Place: countries your institution recruits from; mature, target and developing markets.

People: who undertakes recruitment; who attends recruitment events overseas; are agents used and in which countries?

Processes: are processes joined up eg from initial enquiry to admission; do you utilise a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system?

Physical Evidence: the marketing collateral eg prospectus, accommodation brochure; international guide; do they differentiate your institution; convey the right messages to the target groups?

International student recruitment may be a central activity but, as illustrated in the next section, your institution will probably be involved in a number of other international activities.