This article was written by Andrianes Pinantoan is part of Open Colleges, an online courses provider with great business management courses. When not working, he can be found with a camera on hand. You can follow him @andreispsyched.
There are three things that must occur at the same time for people to take action, according to BJFogg, founder of Stanford University’s Persuasive Technology Lab. The same is true when we try to convince teenagers to leave their comfy homes to move halfway across the world to study.
The three things are:
So let’s talk about these factors a little more in-depth and how to use the model to influence international students.
This is where research really comes into play. Understanding the true motivations behind an international student’s decision to choose one country over another and one school over another, and the intricacies behind it, is crucial – and many education marketers get this wrong (I should know, I was an international student).
For example, many university advertisements emphasize on “world class education”. But what does “world class” really mean? Most international students have never heard of your university’s brand and there are so many university rankings, they are often contradicting.
Instead, you might want to focus other motivations, such as:
The more informational it is, the more comfortable the student will be when it comes to making a decision.
The fact that they want to study in a foreign university, however, doesn’t mean all of them can afford it. The person who usually funds the student’s education are the parents. And because of that, parents have a huge say in which university their children study in.
This is why marketing materials attempting to attract international students must also convince their parents. What are the concerns of these parents? Here are a couple:
Then there’s also the issue of living expenses. Some universities provide local accommodation at a heavily discounted rate so as to attract new students, for example. And what they found is that profits ultimately lifted – because now MORE international students can afford to move.
Once we get the parents to approve and make sure they can afford it, the next thing to make sure is that they BOTH have the ability to enrol. This is where agents come in. They help lost international students navigate the VISA process and all the documents universities need.
In my opinion, the enrolment process in most universities is archaic. The fact that they need an agent to help them fill out the form speaks volumes about it. So some innovative universities simplify the process to one simple form that students can fill out online – and they ask for more information after the student enrols.
Based on BJ Fogg’s model, there are 3 ways I think we can do to innovate:
So there. Create the motivation, make it easy and trigger them to enrol. All it takes is a bit of cultural understanding to pull it all off.
Photo Credit: On a jet plane by kennymatic