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Universities in Asia: Strategies to Boost Domestic Recruitment

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In the run-up to the Coronavirus pandemic, there was a marked increase in international student mobility across Asia.

This trend could now accelerate – as more students choose to stay in the continent rather than travel to traditional overseas destinations such as the USA and Australia. 

As young people look closer to home for their Higher Education, universities are putting in place strategies to attract them.

China is a major source of international students in the USA, UK and Australia – but the most recent research suggests that students are having doubts about travelling to those countries. An increasing number are considering universities in their home countries, or studying abroad at a university in Asia: with Japan and Hong Kong emerging as popular destinations

In Hong Kong and Singapore, universities are offering scholarships to help entice students who may encounter travel concerns or difficulties to stay home.

Indian universities have increased their outreach activity to students in Asia, hoping to triple the number of international students the country welcomes. 

To succeed, universities across Asia must begin attracting a diverse cohort of domestic and international students using a range of digital technologies and international recruitment strategies. 

Universities can turn to their greatest assets: their current students and alumni. In a report by Intead, students from all countries were influenced by peer to peer interactions. In Asia, 51% of students said chatting online with a student ambassador influenced their decision about whether to apply to a university. 

And the key factors in student decision making is changing. In fact, in Asia, as many students said peer to peer was ‘very helpful’ for decision making as those that said their family and friends were very helpful.

HKUST MBA – chatting with a current student

One of Asia’s pioneering business schools, HKUST MBA Program, part of the HKUST Business School in Hong Kong, is using digital peer to peer to attract more students and overcome the enormous challenges universities are facing as thousands continue to be affected by limited mobility.

Prospective students interested in studying the HKUST MBA Program can now chat directly to a current student, completely free and over the web.

The technology is powered by Unibuddy, which powers conversations at over 300 institutions worldwide.

HKUST MBA program is the first school and course in Hong Kong, and one of the first in Asia, to pioneer the technology.

They don’t need to go to campus in person, or meet an admissions advisor at a fair. Students can simply open the digital door to get information from those that know, without having to leave their chair.

These digital conversations will help future university students around the world have more confidence to make the important decision about which university to go to.

HKUST MBA Program Assistant Director for Marketing and Admissions, April Leung, said: “Students are seeking a way to connect digitally with their peers when making a decision about where to study. With Unibuddy, we can reach those students and provide them a tool to chat directly with someone studying an MBA here at HKUST Business School. We are excited to be partnered with Unibuddy and be the first school in Hong Kong to adopt this solution.”

Discover more – join us at our summit

Taking place online, the day will be dedicated to sharing best practice in how to make the most of your student voice.

This is perfect for you if you’re an HE professional working in Student / International Recruitment or College Admissions.

The event will run from 10am-3.30pm SGT on Thursday 23rd July, including the opportunity to network throughout the event. You will:

  • Hear from some of our current partners, including the University of New England in Australia, and the University of Kent in the United Kingdom, to hear how they’ve taken the voice of their current students online
  • Learn top tips to engage your student ambassadors and harness their powerful voice
  • Be able to share marketing challenges and solutions with colleagues in the sector
  • Discover Unibuddy conversational data insights from the 3 million messages shared on Unibuddy so far

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