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5 Quick Tips for Recruiting & Retaining International Students - TDS Student

5 Quick Tips for Recruiting & Retaining International Students

Over the past decade, International student numbers have risen by nearly 70%, increasing from 31,000 first-degree entrants in 03/04 to 51,000 in 13/14. With higher fees than domestic student’s international students account for nearly 30% of the sector’s tuition income, despite international students accounting for only 13% of enrolments. Recruiting and retaining international students has come a critical to the economic success of UK Universities.


Ensure your university takes advantage of this vital revenue stream with these tips for recruiting and retaining International students.


1. Focus on Rankings
A key influencer in the international student’s decision-making process, university rankings should be carefully considered when developing an international student recruitment strategy. Pick one/two tables that best fit your institution and focus on improving ranking on these tables.

2. Raise Awareness

From word of mouth to a strong online-presence ensure your University has a robust marketing strategy for the recruitment of International students. Consider developing an international alumni network, target less travelled cities and establish a following through engaging social media.

3. One Size Does Not Fit All

Avoid shoe-horning international students into your domestic student models. International students orientation may need to build cultural awareness, provide insights into local life and offer additional support services including visa information.

4. Make Internationalisation a Priority

Internationalisation and international student enrollment need to be a priority for all stakeholders. Ensure all academic staff understand the benefits of international students from a cultural and financial perspective. The recruitment and retention of international students should form part of the Universities strategic plan.

5. Leverage the power of existing international students.

Ask them what made them enrol at your institution, consider their feedback and make changes where possible. Where international student satisfaction is high build trust with an international ambassador’s club – prospective students can reach out to existing international student to learn more about campus life at your institution.


As with domestic students, the proactive management of student attendance is the first step to enhancing international student attendance. Offering real-time student attendance monitoring and automated student communications, TDS Student can help your organisation improve attendance and safeguard international sponsor status.