International education checklist – our top ten key performance areas PART ONE

I recently published an article here on our Australian International Student Tours blog that revealed my top tips to developing your school’s education program (you can check that article out here). But, if you’ve already got your international education program up and running, how do you go about making sure it’s up to scratch? The answer: you need to be conducting regular health checks on your program’s key performance areas so you can identify the areas that are performing well and highlight what needs some improvement.

To help you out, I’ve put together this top ten checklist that specifies my ‘top ten’ key performance areas that I think you need to be keeping tabs on. This top ten checklist is divided into the four pillars of a successful international education program: Student Experience, Marketing, Compliance and Administration and, finally, Budget and Profitability. Sections one and two of this article cover the first two pillars (Student Experience and Marketing). The remaining two pillars will be covered later.

Section one: ‘Student Experience’

The most successful international education providers manage to attract lots of repeat bookings year after year. To achieve this at your school, you need to give your visitors a high quality international education experience that leaves them wanting to come back.

1. International education programs

◾ Are your international education programs a good cultural, financial and academic match for the international students you are aiming to attract to your school?
◾ Do your international programs integrate at a whole-of-school level?
◾ Are you maintaining your programs to keep them fresh and desirable to returning students?

2. Student welfare, pastoral care and academic success

◾ Are there appropriate processes and policies in place to facilitate welfare programs, pastoral care and academic success for your international students?
◾ Is there a reliable review system to ensure these processes and policies remain current?
◾ Are the processes and policies accessible (and actionable) by all relevant stakeholders?

3. Home stay

◾ Is your home stay database up to date?
◾ Do all of your home stay contacts have up-to-date blue cards?
◾ Have you inspected the accommodation to ensure it is suitable?
◾ Are you keeping in touch with your existing home stay families?
◾ Do you have a strategy in place to bolster your home stay numbers?

Section two: ‘Marketing’

Many schools have websites and marketing collateral that haven’t been updated for years – don’t let this be you. Make sure your marketing activities and collateral showcase how great your school’s international education programs really are.

4. Marketing collateral and website

◾ Conduct a review of all of the marketing collateral that you use to promote your international education programs, including your school website. Is the information comprehensive, correct, up to date and compliant with government requirements?

5. Marketing plan

◾ Do you have a marketing plan in place that outlines the strategies and tactics that you will implement over the next 12 months to establish a positive profile for your school on the international market, attract international students to your school and boost revenue?
If you’ve identified a couple of areas that need some improvement, don’t despair. We’re here to help! Contact us for a consultation to help get your program back on track.

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