Strategic Impact of Benchmarking University International Operations. Stephen Connelly Alan Olsen

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1 Strategic Impact of Benchmarking University International Operations Stephen Connelly Alan Olsen

2 Aims Two aims Present high level findings from the Australian Universities International Directors Forum benchmarking study Examine impact of the annual benchmarking study on the operational activities and strategic planning of International Offices

3 Operations and Planning What international offices need to do in order to fulfill the (self-imposed) reporting requirements of benchmarking What systems they use What the implications are of the recording and reporting activities undertaken. How the results of the benchmarking are used in planning processes

4 History Dr Irene Irvine AIEF 1997 Professor Tony Adams CANDIP 1999 McKinnon Walker Davis DEST 2000 VUI/VIDC 2000 AUIDF 2002 and 2003

5 Methodology La Trobe International Programs Office Six other Australian universities Banks Consulting

6 Strategic Impact of Benchmarking University International Operations Stephen Connelly Alan Olsen

7 Benchmarking 2004 International Office costs Staffing of marketing and admissions Admissions policies, procedures and quotas International student services International student mobility Costs of recruiting for key source countries Conversion rates Structure of International Offices

8 Benchmarking 2004 International students in higher education on campus in Australia Data universities

9 Sample Sizes 34 universities with 94% of the market for commencing international students in higher education on campus in Australia 21 universities costs by key source countries 13 universities costs in Australia as a source country 17 universities recruitment channels

10 International Office Costs 31 universities International Office costs and income from international on-campus student fees Including commissions, costs as a proportion of international student fee income in 2003 aggregated to 11.1% of income, up from 10.7% in 2002.

11 Cost including Commissions 13.5% 14.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50%

12 Statistics 101 Cost including commissions The aggregate figure of 11.1% The average figure of 14.9% The median figure of 13.5%

13 Size of International Student Program and International Office Costs 45% 40% Cost incl Commissions 35% 30% 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% $0 $20 $40 $60 $80 $100 $120 $140 Revenue $ million

14 Staffing of Marketing Across Australia, it takes 3.5 marketing staff to achieve 1,000 commencements commencements per year a little more than one commencement per day

15 Staffing of Admissions Across Australia, it takes 4.8 admissions staff to achieve 1,000 commencements, down a fraction from 5.0 in 2002 a slight improvement commencements per year, up a little from in 2002 a little fewer than one commencement per day

16 Admissions Staff per 1,000 Commencements

17 Admissions Policies, Procedures, Quotas 17 universities have policies to impose application fees 27% of revenue application fees waived in 73% of cases?

18 Quotas 20 universities Not widespread Medicine etc Creative and Performing Arts 4 universities quotas in Business 2 universities quotas in IT

19 International Student Services 34 universities (fte) student advisers and other support staff 124,846 international students students per staff member 1.81 staff members per 1,000 international students

20 International Student Services Caseloads

21 Size of International Student Program and Student Services Staff 2,500 Students per Staff Member 2,000 1,500 1, ,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 7,000 8,000 9,000 10,000 International Students

22 International Student Mobility 30 universities (fte) staff 7,461 exchanges (incoming exchanges plus outgoing exchanges) exchanges (incoming exchanges plus outgoing exchanges) per staff member 0.8 staff members per 100 exchanges

23 International Student Mobility Caseloads

24 Size of International Exchange Program and Exchange Staff 400 Exchange Studehts per Staff Member Exchange Students

25 Broader Mobility Exchanges Study abroad Study tours International study as part of Australian degree International research as part of Australian degree Internship Language Proficiency Tour

26 Broader Mobility 5,830 non-international students undertook an international study experience in ,917 completing non-international undergraduates in % of non-international students in Australian universities undergo an international study experience during the course of their studies

27 International Study Experiences 3.7% 6.0% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20%

28 Costs of Recruiting: Key Source Countries Fixed costs: salaries, publications, scholarships Variable costs: commissions, travel, accommodation, exhibitions, advertising, courier/freight Marginal costs

29 Costs of Recruiting: Key Source Countries 31 countries 21 universities 45,302 international students Marginal cost of $934, up from $895 in 2002 Commission of $640, up from $593 in 2002

30 Cost and Yield: Marginal Cost and Number of Commencements Sweden $2,000 $1,800 Norway $1,600 Pakistan India Sth Africa Thailand $1,400 Kenya Singapore Mauritius Brunei $1,200 Zimbabwe Bangladesh Malaysia Sri Lanka Taiwan $1,000 Vietnam Germany 0 1,000 2,000 3,000 4,000 5,000 6,000 Botswana Canada Indonesia $800 China France Sth Korea Hong Kong UK Japan $600 Australia Nepal $400 Fiji USA $200 $0

31 Conversion: Applications to Commencements 31 universities, 236,273 applications, 161,925 offers, 55,655 starts 68.5% of applicants received an offer, 34.4% of those who received an offer commenced, 23.6% of applicants commenced. 23.6% 2003, down from 25.0% applications to get a starter, up from 4.0 a year earlier

32 All Levels: Starts/Applications % 23.6% 24.6% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%

33 Recruitment Channels In Oz Twinning 25% OS IDP 20% In Oz No Agent 17.6% 15% 11.3% 10% 9.0% OS Agent Not IDP 23.9% 5% 0% 0.5% 8.1% In Oz Agent Not IDP 5.5% 24.0% OS No Agent In Oz IDP OS Twinning

34 Conversion Rates OS IDP In Oz Twinning 70% 67.1% 60% 50% 40% In Oz No Agent 18.6% 30% 20% 10% 26.7% OS Agent Not IDP 23.3% 0% 29.4% In Oz Agent Not IDP 23.0% 29.3% OS No Agent 56.8% In Oz IDP OS Twinning

35 The Structure of International Offices In 22 of 33 universities, International Office responsible for marketing and admissions and student support, at least in the first instance In 20 of 33 universities, International Office responsible for marketing and admissions and student support, at least in the first instance, plus education abroad

36 2004 Group of 8 ATN IRUA Ad Hoc Group

37 Strategic Impact of Benchmarking University International Operations Stephen Connelly Alan Olsen

38 What Does It Mean for an International Office? Source countries (as distinct from citizenship), with Australia a key source country Recruitment costs per country Channels of recruitment via agents, direct applications, feeder programs etc

39 What Does It Mean at La Trobe IPO? Systems at La Trobe and other Australian universities Finance System International Student System

40 The Finance System 13 of 34 participants in the 2003 benchmarking study were unable to report costs by key source country Collection of expenditure data on a country basis is becoming standard business practice in International Offices

41 The Finance System Gap between data recording and reporting mechanisms in place in universities, and the business needs of international offices Tension between institutional mantra about integrated whole-of-institution systems and the needs of business units such as international offices

42 The International Student System Only half the universities participating in the 2003 benchmarking exercise were able to report on recruitment channels for international students

43 The International Student System Enquiry, application, offer/reject, acceptance and enrolment data

44 Data on Conversion Rates The ratio of applications to starts: a workload issue - how many applications do we need to process to land a student?

45 Data on Conversion Rates The ratio of applications to offers a productivity issue what capacity do we have to deal with the workload we have created for ourselves in generating enquiries and applications?

46 Data on Conversion Rates The ratio of offers to starts - one measure of success: Was it worth the effort? How effective are we in closing the deal?

47 Banks 2003 Resources may be represented merely by a shift in staff thinking and deployment of human effort away from management of enquiries and applications to close of sale initiatives, improved and better resourced student support initiatives and loyalty based marketing initiatives.

48 How Are the Benchmarking Results Used? Operations or Strategic Planning?

49 How Are the Benchmarking Results Used? Operational Issues Staffing of student services and education abroad functions Development of KPIs such as improved conversion rates Delegation of admissions decisions Increases in the marketing budget

50 How Are the Benchmarking Results Used? Strategic Planning Recruitment channels: targeting high conversion/ low cost cohorts Direct marketing and e-recruitment initiatives Diverting expenditure from high to low cost countries, from high to low cost activities Shift focus from generating applications to converting offers

51 How Are the Benchmarking Results Used? Information Sharing New initiatives such as enquiry management systems or introduction of application fees International Office efficiencies (e.g. cost of an international office) Internal PR highlight achievements (e.g. conversion rates) The fact that the international office participates in such a study often impresses

52 How Are the Benchmarking Results Used? Operations or Strategic Planning?

53 Key Outcomes 2003 International Student Services primarily to argue for more staff International Student Mobility to argue for more staff, and to set KPIs for increased student mobility Cost of an International Office, particularly commission payments Conversion Rates

54 Groups The larger sample size of the national comparison was seen as being more robust The attempt to measure like institutions was of benefit to most who participated

55 Strategic Impact of Benchmarking University International Operations Stephen Connelly Alan Olsen

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