The demand for international education is increasing as students actively seek opportunities for global learning and cross-cultural experiences. Research indicates that 70% of students who have studied abroad have observed substantial growth in vital areas such as intercultural skills, adaptability, self-awareness, curiosity, and confidence. In a world where soft skills are highly valued and employers frequently express concerns about graduates lacking essential workplace competencies, the interest and demand in studying abroad continue to surge.
Therefore, Higher Educational institutions that want to tap into this growing market need to develop and implement strategies to attract and support international students. In this blog, we will explore effective strategies for leveraging the increasing interest in overseas education with the help of digital credentials.
What are digital credentials?
Digital credentials offer verified proof of a student’s competency and skills. They’re a smarter, data-rich alternative to traditional paper-based certificates, providing badge earners with a shareable portfolio of verifiable achievements that can continue to grow throughout their careers. Here are the different strategies you can utilize to attract more overseas students:
- Enhance digital presence and marketing
Teaching and learning facilities are rated as the most important amenity of international universities or colleges for more than 8 in 10 international students. However, unlike local students who have the convenience of visiting campuses and meeting with teaching professionals in person, international students can only gather information about their desired programs and institutions online. Consequently, it becomes essential for higher education institutions to establish a solid online presence and leverage digital marketing channels to effectively reach prospective international students.
Additionally, as the content that Gen Z resonates most with is related to learning and career development, higher education institutions must demonstrate the unique values of their institutions online, and they can make use of the social sharing aspect of digital credentials. Through the shared digital credentials by their students online, institutions can attract individuals who seek to differentiate themselves and enhance their career prospects.
- Foster Credentials Credibility
A significant challenge international students face revolves around the recognition and transferability of their qualifications within diverse educational systems. With a plethora of programs offered by various institutions and organizations, employers may find it challenging to assess the credibility of these qualifications.
This is where digital credentials play a crucial role, providing comprehensive metadata and detailed information outlining how students earned their credentials. By showcasing the specific skills, knowledge, and accomplishments associated with each credential, digital credentials enhance credibility and facilitate seamless recognition across borders, enabling employers to make informed assessments of a student's qualifications.
- Building Strong Alumni Networks
An active and engaged alumni community serves as a powerful marketing tool that promotes the quality and value of the institution's education. When prospective international students see successful alumni who have achieved remarkable career outcomes, it instils confidence and trusts in the institution's ability to deliver a rewarding educational experience.
Secondly, an alumni network offers a valuable support system for international students. Studying abroad can be a daunting experience and having a solid network of alumni who have been through similar experiences can provide guidance, mentorship, and a sense of belonging. A strong alumni network can also be a professional resource for international students, offering networking opportunities, job placement assistance, and industry connections. This access to a well-established professional network can significantly enhance the career prospects of international students.
Digital credentials play a significant role in building and strengthening an active and engaged alumni community by empowering alumni to showcase their qualifications and accomplishments on their online profiles. This feature attracts like-minded alumni to connect, fostering a sense of community and facilitating the expansion of the network.
Time to act now
The rising demand for overseas education presents a significant opportunity for educational institutions to expand their reach and impact. By incorporating digital credentials into the growth strategies, institutions can effectively meet the needs of international students and differentiate themselves in a competitive market. Digital credentials strengthen institutional reputation, foster global recognition and build robust alumni networks. Embracing these strategies will empower institutions to leverage the rising demand for overseas students and provide them with a transformative educational experience.
To learn more about how digital credentials can be key to answering the unique challenges faced by oversea students and benefits your institutions, download our whitepaper ‘Accelerating International Student Recruitment with Digital Credentials: Strategies and Benefits’.