Beyond the Basics: Top-Line Recommendations for International Student ‘First Responders’

Student satisfaction, student success, and ongoing recruitment are all part of a virtuous cycle in higher education. This is every bit as true when it comes to international students as it is with the more general population.

And yet, real financial and regulatory constraints [1] tend to limit the functions of campus offices that directly serve international students. For enrollment offices, the focus too often boils down to raw numbers (have we enrolled enough full-fee-paying international students?) rather than best fit — i.e., finding students whom the institution can support with a full range of services. For their part, International Student & Scholar Services tend to focus solely on visa compliance.

This narrow approach leaves much to be desired, both in terms of students’ needs and of opportunity loss from a recruiting perspective. The latest research from WES, Improving the International Student Experience: Implications for Recruitment and Support [2], suggests a definitive tie between international student well-being on campus and the success of future recruitment efforts. It’s with an eye on these realities that we’ve outlined a handful of recommendations for those who most often interface with international students, for support services offices that tend to have a non-international focus, and for faculty engagement.

A table showing top-line recruitment and retention recommendations for international student ‘first responders.’ [3]

Recommendations for Recruitment and Enrollment Personnel

Recommendations for Student Support Services

Recommendations for Faculty and Student Engagement

For further insight into WES research into international student satisfaction by country of origin, as well as the implications for recruitment and retention, download our October 2016 report, Improving the International Student Experience: Implications for Recruitment and Support [2].