Experiences from the tour
Incredibly informative! Eva Lena Rodriguez has just returned home from LiU’s first major international student recruitment initiative, bags bulging with experiences.
Brazil, the UK, Turkey, China and India were all destinations when LiU for the first time made an all-out effort to show up at international student fairs. Eighteen cities in five countries, in a little over three months. And two competitions were organised, one in Brazil and one in India. The first prize was a scholarship to a two year master’s programme at LiU.
“Fairs and competitions are two ways of raising the profile of LiU,” says Eva Lena Rodriguez, project leader for marketing of the international programme. “This is the first time we have done a tour like this. But, once will not be enough. You have to keep going back; this is long-term work.”
The winner of the competition in Brazil was Rafaela Flach, (second from the left in the photo) a twenty-five year old environmental engineer who will be studying the Science for Sustainable Development programme. The scholarship covers the study fees, living costs and provides her with a paid intern position at Saab or Stora Enso. The competition in India will be decided in January.
Around one thousand people took part in the competition in Brazil, and five thousand in India. Besides formal competence to the course, the competitors also had to get recommendations on social media.
“This means LiU achieved a high profile in these countries,” Rodriguez says.
“The tour was a great success for LiU and we learned a lot,” Rodriguez (on the left in the picture) thinks. “We had a good plan, a good message - LiU students are the happiest in the world - and we promoted the competitions. We met a lot of students, listened to their questions and we saw how things are done in different universities in different countries. We also collected addresses for the programme–specific newsletter. We contacted alumni from the different countries who were on location and they did some fantastic work, adding a lot of credibility. We also set up meetings with former students both in China and Turkey”.
Another reflection, which Eva Lena makes after this autumn’s tour, is that fairs should not be the only activity on this type of journey. It is also a great opportunity to meet serious education agencies who have knowledge about their country and the target group, and to develop relationships with alumni who have moved back to their countries after their studies at LiU. Trips to Swedish companies and selected universities in the country should also be part of the development of longer-term collaborations, which can help recruitment at LiU.
“Imagine if all the researchers who head off to conferences had a picture depicting a relevant master’s programme in their presentation packs,” Rodriguez says. “I think it is important to get the departments on board, so that we are all pulling in the same direction. The Swedish Institute, which works to market Sweden as a study destination, has been endeavouring this year to raise our profile in the USA, China, Saudi Arabia and India. The tour in India and, to an extent, in China is part of a larger national initiative. It is also important to highlight the advantages of Sweden, for example that we are an innovative country and that you don’t need to learn Swedish to study here. Everyone speaks English.”
Last updated: 2013-02-20