Got Your CRICOS Registration Approved? What’s Next to Succeed in a CRICOS Business?

14/01/2019 By 0 Comments

I often assist clients with their Initial CRICOS Registration. When you are in the process of getting it, the focus is on one thing, “Getting CRICOS Registration Approved.” However, once the registration is approved, I see my clients struggling even more, to go through the next stage of business, and that is Overseas Student Recruitment.

Sadly, they are often unaware that successful Overseas Student Recruitment depends on many factors and not just having a CRICOS number.

After the Initial CRICOS Registration is approved, owners try to do the student recruitment themselves or employ a marketing representative to recruit overseas students. However, they quickly realise there are perhaps another 30 to more similar CRICOS colleges out there offering the same course and also, they are trying to recruit overseas students from the same agent – so something more needs to be done.

The CRICOS college business is the same as any other business. You require more than just a license and people working for you. Your business needs a wow factor!

So, what is your wow factor? When I visit colleges that are expanding and doing well, I can clearly see why. One of the things I’m often asked is “would you like to have a look around our campus? Or let me introduce you to our amazing staff! The welcoming introduction, friendly faces, students happily occupied and impressive facilities are all factors that come together and allow me to experience their wow factor! Sometimes it makes me even want to study there!

On the other hand, when I visit some colleges, I get scared! I see overhead projectors are still in use, very faded and unorganised chairs, whiteboards hanging crookedly, outdated computers, dirty carpets, dark lights, all serious looking faces and I could just go on and on… All of this makes me think “Am I in a visa factory?” If I was an education agent, I would never send a student there!

I remember when I had a meeting with marketing managers on how to recruit more overseas students. I could see they were working really hard but were still struggling. They were saying it is difficult to recruit quality students when agents see paint peeling from doors, baseboards coming off from walls, old computers still in use etc. All of these factors made it harder to convince agents that they are serious and ready to welcome and assist quality overseas students.

Unfortunately, in the overseas student market, if you can’t impress education agents it will be harder for you to recruit overseas students.

The reality is, education agents compare colleges to offer the best option for their students. So, it is vital to work closely with education agents and start building your brand. Just like what Andreas Lippa, the Group Director of Sales for Australian Learning Group said, “You need to consider agents as your extended sales team.” If your unique selling point is supported by quality services and facilities, it will be easier for your team to promote your college.

In 2019, perhaps it is time for you to look at your facilities, equipment, quality of your training and student support, and see if there are any areas for improvement. By making improvements in these areas, you are significantly contributing to recruiting more overseas students.

Some colleges say their budget does not allow for making these improvements. Therefore, they need to focus more on overseas student recruitment to raise their budget. It’s a catch-22. However, this can be an opportunity for creative thinking. For instance, I helped clients to upgrade their computers and projectors to a latest model by arranging a lease option. I observed clients painting during their semester break. I know clients who are buying good quality second-hand furniture at auction. Where there is a will there is a way!

What overseas students and agents think of your college really matters to your ongoing overseas student recruitment. Give confidence to your team and take the necessary steps to make it easier for them to recruit more students for you.

So! In 2019, how about you:

  • Create a wow factor for your business?
  • Offer a service that no one else does!
  • Go beyond your CRICOS registration for success?
  • be the college that overseas students want to study at?

Good Luck!

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Michelle Lee