recruitment travel restrictions

Stunning: 56 percent of institutions will struggle to meet recruitment targets due to visa, travel restrictions

Global Higher Education Survey results highlight significant concerns among higher ed institutions about student recruitment targets due to proposed visa/travel restrictions.

Travel Restriction Woes

Regarding how travel restrictions are likely to impact institutions, 11 percent of respondents stated that international students account for more than one-fifth of total recruitment numbers. A further 19 percent of those surveyed said that these students accounted for more than one-tenth of total student recruitment.

“There’s no doubting that Brexit and the election of President Trump has caused some rumblings in student recruitment teams across the globe,” said Piero Tintori, CEO and Founder, TERMINALFOUR in a statement. “56 percent said visa and travel restrictions would impact recruitment targets. Let that sink in. More than half of the participants think travel restrictions will effectively cost them millions in lost revenue.”

The survey sought to understand the current situation relating to vacant seats in universities and colleges and to investigate whether recruitment teams are hitting their targets. 42 percent of respondents (working in web, marketing or recruitment roles) were not sure of the situation regarding vacant seats in their institution. 20 percent surveyed stated they never have vacant seats; 12 percent have less than 2 percent vacant seats; 10 percent less than 5 percent vacant seats and 7 percent stated their institution averages above 11+ percent vacant seats every year.

Commenting on these results, Tintori said, “The results of this survey serve to illustrate the ever-present challenge of filling seats. The statistics reveal a mixed bag when it comes to vacant seats. What really causes alarm bells for me is the lack of awareness shown by many respondents when it comes to the percentage of vacant seats in their institutions, with many unable to even guess at the answer.

“This drives home the point that there’s a big disconnect between the organizational goals of the institution and the online goals. One informs the other; it’s unconscionable that these figures aren’t understood across an institution”, he continued.

Web Priotities

The survey also attempted to reveal web priorities for marketing and digital teams in universities and colleges. A new question for the 2017 survey was the level of adoption or incorporation of web-based personalization on higher education websites.

The results were surprisingly low. 79 percent of respondents said they did not incorporate website personalization on their institution’s website; only 14 percent stated that they did but this figure included 6 percent that only had location based personalization.

61 percent stated that web accessibility improvements were a top 3 website priority in 2017. 62 percent of this figure stated that ‘Legal & Policy’ forces were behind its prioritization followed by social factors at 25 percent.

“We’re seeing lots of cases where higher education institutions, particularly in the US, are getting into real legal trouble by not meeting basic accessibility standards,” noted Tintori. “As a result, digital transformation initiatives are sometimes being driven by or accelerated by the threat of litigation, with institutions now releasing funding to make sure their websites meet these standards to avoid stark financial penalties.”

“The other side of the debate is that accessibility opens the door to opportunity,” he concluded. “285 million people in the world are visually impaired, between 1 percent and 9 percent of the population have movement related disorders, and 15 percent of the US population has a learning related disability. These are potential and prospective students and a failure to address their needs is a failure to tap their potential to join your institution.”

The full survey report can be found here.

Material from a press release was used in this report.