Here are some numbers we’ve been thinking a lot about lately:

  • By some estimates, there will be more than 7.2 million internationally mobile students by 2025, with China and India generating over half of total global demand.*
  • Total international student enrollment in the U.S. hit a record high of 764,495 students in 2011–12, with the top four places of origin being China (25.4%), India (13.1%), South Korea (9.5%), and Saudi Arabia (4.5%).**
  • New international student enrollment in the U.S. increased 6.5%, with undergraduates outnumbering graduate students for the first time since 2001. And, in contributing over $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy, 64% of them (82% of undergraduates) relied primarily on personal funds.**

And, my personal favorite:

Some 95% of U.S. institutions hosted fewer than 1,000 international students… with the tiny 5% of remaining campuses (approximately 200 schools) drawing a whopping 66% of the total international student population!**

It’s clear that the international marketplace in general—and India in particular—represents significant opportunity for American institutions. Recognizing this, we recently launched Stamats Asia, to help our clients address various international marketing objectives in India and elsewhere in Asia. These include: 1) increasing mindshare and market share among prospective students through culturally specific brand clarification and development strategies; 2) developing more efficient, region-specific, and relationship-driven enrollment strategies; 3) better communicating “fit” and value through more locally effective, audience-specific messaging solutions; and 4) building more relevant and enduring institutional partnerships through customized, “on-the-ground” efforts.

Of course, some institutions are already making a big play in India.

Consider that:

  • The list of names featured in a single, recent Chronicle of Higher Education “India” article, alone, included Virginia Tech, University of South Carolina at Columbia, Georgia Tech, Champlain College, Valparaiso University, University of California at Davis (and the one at Los Angeles), University of Tennessee, Yale, Rutgers, Cornell, University of Buffalo, Rollins College in central Florida, University of Tulsa, University of South Florida, Boston College, and Harvard.*** And, this past week saw Indiana University open a new branch campus only a few miles away from Stamats Asia’s India office.
  • In the past few weeks, I’ve had the opportunity to meet with university leadership, in New Delhi, on a quest to establish institutional partnerships ranging from The University of Iowa to the Laureate group (recipients of a recent $150 million investment from the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation), who already run one institution in India and plan to invest in six or seven more.

In our next few issues, we’ll focus on India and explore how you can help shape an effective, efficient, and long-term India strategy for your institution. Meanwhile, we’d love to hear about some of your plans, successes, and the challenges you face in expanding your institution’s India footprint at vinu.warrier@StamatsAsia.com.

* Source: Open Doors Report 2012, Institute of International Education
** Source: Global Student Mobility, 2025, IDP Australia
*** “For U.S. Colleges in India, Great Possibilities, Thwarted Hopes”, Karin Fischer, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 11, 2013

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