A year of ICEF Monitor in one post: 2013 in review

We covered a wide range of markets, subjects, and issues in international education – and international student recruitment in particular – over the course of 2013. And now, as the year comes to a close, we’ve combed through the archives and the analytics to provide you with the following summary of some of our most popular items.

This will be our last post for 2013 as ICEF Monitor goes on hiatus today for the holiday season. We will return to our regular publishing schedule the week of January 6.

Thank you for reading and our best wishes for a happy and restful holiday season and a year of opportunities and adventures ahead in 2014.

Immigration matters top of mind

In keeping with the importance of immigration policy in shaping international education markets, major posts on visa matters are regularly among our top articles. This year, we saw important policy and service changes in leading destination markets, including Canada, the UK, the US, Australia, and Germany.

On a related note, see also our popular post from earlier this year on increasing the “stay rate” of international students.

The agent debate

In a year in which the long-running NACAC debate around commissioned agents reached its resolution, we had a chance to explore the related issues and arguments at length. We offered several posts on the US debate, including a report on the final motion as passed at the annual NACAC Assembly in September.

A rare opinion piece on the topic from ICEF CEO Markus Badde was one of our most-read and widely shared posts of the year.

How to form effective working relationships with agents was a recurring theme in our featured video interviews over the year, including those on agent’s role as counsellors, best practices for managing sub-agents, and relationship management.

Technology in education

Technology continues to drive rapid change in many industries and international education is no exception. MOOCs were the big ed tech story in 2013. We saw some high profile launches this year but also observed that the still-young MOOC model – often remarked upon for its disruptive potential in higher education – was beginning to evolve into something new.

Needless to say, the world of technology also continued to have a profound impact on marketing strategy and tactics this year. We explored a number of related topics at length, including the links between big data, recruitment, and retention; the growing importance of mobile marketing; and the challenge of delivering web content in many languages.

Social media remains critically important to students and recruiters alike and we weighed in with major features exploring the latest developments and strategies for educational marketing on Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, as well as regional social networks.

Best practices in international recruitment

Best practices in recruitment marketing are another constant on ICEF Monitor. We continued to look for opportunities to showcase potential new sources of competitive advantage for our readers this year.

Popular features included posts on student testimonials, alumni engagement, marketing to parents, and content marketing.

We also took a closer look at different aspects of student retention, pricing strategy, and recruiting transfer students. Many of these topics will emerge as recurring themes in our editorial for 2014 and we look forward to exploring each in more depth.

Stepping back

We looked at the big picture topics too. Like how the intense competition in our global market has placed a renewed emphasis on branding, the changing face of the world’s freshman class, or how traditional institutional business models are under pressure today.

Major regional trends remain high on the radar of ICEF Monitor readers as well. This year, these included the conclusion of EU funding arrangements for major new mobility and research initiatives as well as the continued strengthening of regional education hubs in Asia.

Country reports

We publish new market intelligence every week on national and regional markets around the world. Whether on major destination markets – the US or UK in particular – or on key source countries such as India or China or more obscure regional or emerging markets, many of these reports factor in the tally of our most-read items for the year.

Please see the “Regions” tab in the main navigation menu on ICEF Monitor for detailed country-by-country listings drawn from our entire archive.

Thank you for a great year

2013 was a year of development for ICEF Monitor, none of which would have been possible without the enthusiastic support and feedback of our readers around the world.

On behalf of the ICEF Monitor team and everyone at ICEF, thank you and see you again in 2014.



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