Most universities tend to neglect summer schools when strategising international student recruitment plans when in fact is it one potential aspect which can truly aid institutions in increasing student enrollment figures.
A fundamental part of the university experience is its location and culture. Many graduates are keen on revisiting places they may have spent time previously, according to the QS research.
Pursuing an overseas higher education can be rather unsettling, especially if it is their first time away from home. Hence, short-term programmes like the summer schools allow prospective students to be exposed to a new environment and new method of tutoring in a comfortable, fixed-term setting. In addition, many students decide on location based on their perception of the society. Therefore, summer schools provide students with the opportunity to assess various locations and universities for a short period of time before coming to a decision.
Furthermore, summer schools allow universities to promote their institutions. They allow prospective students to experience the quality of education, prowess of its faculty and strength of the facilities. Institutions can also build on this advantage by running tours and events in addition to the programmes, with the aim of immersing summer school students fully into the university culture; which in turn may help in increasing the student enrollment figures.
Universities can also consider offering courses that are relevant to popular degrees as an attempt to heighten interest in the institutions and boost student recruitment efforts. By providing an experience that will help students once they do begin their degree is a great incentive, especially for international students who will be paying higher tuition fees. Language preparation courses are great methods to entice students looking to enhance their skills over the summer as well.
Summer schools are not only an essential leverage tool for international student recruitment. They are also important for the pursuit of university excellence. This is because prospective students are placing greater emphasis on the return of investment through the pursuit of higher education at a university; which is also the objective behind the recent launch of the QS Employability Rankings 2017.
Therefore, providing prospective applicants a sneak peek into the university’s offered programmes, faculty and facilities can help them to determine if what the institution has to offer is aligned with what they are looking for. The organisation of summer schools also indirectly encourage universities to critically self-reflect and to continuously improve and enhance their curriculum so as to meet the needs of current and prospective students, as well as that of the workforce.
In addition, summer schools are particularly useful for institutions looking to improve their world university rankings. This is because summer schools may potentially help boost the international student enrollment figures – one of the areas in which universities are evaluated on for ranking purposes.
The opinion expressed above is that of the editor and not necessarily that of QS Asia.
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