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Risk and Reward in International Student Recruitment”


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Strategic risk management in international student recruitment

Any proper understanding of risk begins with an honest assessment of an organisation or enterprise’s risk tolerance, and then an equally clear-eyed consideration of its activities in relation to that appetite for risk.

But what kind of risk are we talking about? How much risk are we prepared to take on? And how can we anticipate and manage risk effectively?

These are some of the questions that Pamela Barrett, Director of the international education consultancy Barton Carlyle, confronts in her work with education clients around the world.

These slides are from a presentation Ms Barrett gave at the ICEF 2014 Berlin Workshop on utilising strategic risk management in international student recruitment.

We have also included two video interviews with Ms Barrett where she shares insights on how to map, manage and mitigate risk at a strategic level.

You can read our accompanying article on ICEF Monitor here:

For more industry news, market intelligence, research and commentary for international student recruitment please visit, subscribe for free daily or weekly updates, and follow us on Twitter

Published in: Education
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Risk and Reward in International Student Recruitment”

  1. 1. ICEF Berlin “Risk and Reward in International Student Recruitment” ©All material strictly copyright Barton Carlyle 2014Berlin, 2014
  2. 2. Strategic Risk 2 Risk & Reward Strategy Recruitment
  3. 3. Developing Strategy 3 External Forces: Global Student Mobility Education system dynamics Economic conditions Immigration/visa regulations Student choice Technology Rankings Competition Internal Forces: Culture of organization/provider Resources Curriculum Reputation & rankings Technology Infrastructure Internatiionalization goals Staff capability/experience International Positioning Marketing/branding Partnerships Recruitment Plan Metrics Communications
  4. 4. Risk Management 4 Corporate perspective suggest that Strategic risk is… “everything, every obstacle, every issue that has the potential to materially affect the achievement of our strategic objectives.” Dr. Georg Klein, Siemens AG Source: Deloitte survey (2013) “Risk is uncertainty, but we have to take risks to get to our goals, especially during changing times”. Sandra G. Carson, VP, Enterprise Risk Management and Compliance, Sysco Corporation
  5. 5. Risk Management 5 “Reputation risk is now the biggest risk concern, due in large measure to the rise of social media, which enables instantaneous global communications that make it harder for [companies] to control how they are perceived in the marketplace”. Deloitte 2013.
  6. 6. Risk Management 6 Market • Environment uncertainty Portfolio • Business Model Uncertainty Strategy • Industry uncertainty  External ec, pol, social and physical environment  Legislation  Demographics  Capabilities  Programs and services  Organisational flexibility, technology, competitive strategy  Effects of competition  Customer behaviour  Technological innovation (industry level)
  7. 7. Risk Management 7 Portfolio Risks Strategic Risk Programs Pricing Channels Competi tion Student Mobility Trends Soc-Ec Impacts Strategy Delivery Market Risks Environment Can’t control: Understand and navigate through market research and market intelligence systems Business Model Can control: Portfolio of programs and services, choice of mediators Industry Can influence: Benchmarking, best practice, collaboration, professional assocs
  8. 8. Risk Management: Risk Profile 8 1) Assess appetite for risk…. 2) Consider how this varies by market 3) Evaluate real activity 4) Consider how this varies from perception of risk appetite 5) Produces understanding of risk profile
  9. 9. Mission and Vision, Growth targets, portfolio balance, Offshoring interest, senior management capacity Strategic Plan Relevance to global issues, learning and career outcomes, range of curricular methodologies Programs Govt partnerships, agent networks, sponsor links, research collaborations (Univs), institutional collaboration, offshore offices Partnerships Patterns of communications, digital and social media capabilities, alumni networks, staff networks, study abroad Reach Market intelligence and market research investments, patterns of competition Market understanding Trends, Market dependencies, market development capabilities Enrollment patterns 9 Risk Management: Risk profile
  10. 10. Risk: What’s your profile? 10
  11. 11. Managing Risk  Strategic  Market  Structural  Reputation  Program Management  Financial TYPES OF RISK IN IEM 11
  12. 12. Managing Risk  Put together a risk register:  Simple spreadsheet  Describe the issue  Describe the potential impact of the risk  What will warn you that this risk is out there?  Quantify the impact  Quantify the probability/likelihood  Assign a value (product of impact x likelihood values)  How often will you monitor?  What actions will you take to mitigate the risk?  Who owns it?
  13. 13. Managing Risk What type of risk? Risk/Issue? Potential impacts? Triggers/warnings? Impact VH/H/M/L (# or %) Probability VH/H/M/L (# or %) Risk Value Monitoring Actions Mitigating Actions Impact x probability = risk value
  14. 14. VH/L VH/M VH/H VH/VH H/L H/M H/H H/VH M/L M/M M/H M/VH L/L L/M L/H L/VH Impact Probability/Likelihood Managing Risk: Risk Mapping Key # % VH Very High 5 100 H High 4 80 M Medium 3 60 L Low 2 40 VL Very Low 1 20 Adapted from KPMG sources © Barton Carlyle 2014
  15. 15. Managing Risk: Risk Mapping Sovereign market risk  Example: Government of China decides to cap numbers of students studying internationally to give preference to the development of domestic provision  Challenges –  How exposed are we to the China market (how reliant on Chinese students)?  How much advance warning?  Will there be a list of approved programs? Are we well placed (reputation and presence) to be on it?  Can we predict scale of income loss?  How do we go about mitigating this risk? Examples of Risk approach 15
  16. 16. Managing Risk What type of risk? Risk/Issue? Potential impacts? Triggers/warnings? Impact VH/H/M/L (# or %) Probability VH/H/M/L (# or %) Risk Value Monitoring Actions Mitigating Actions
  17. 17. VH/L VH/M VH/H VH/VH H/L H/M H/H H/VH M/L M/M M/H M/VH L/L L/M L/H L/VH Impact Probability/Likelihood Managing Risk: Risk Mapping Key # % VH Very High 5 100 H High 4 80 M Medium 3 60 L Low 2 40 VL Very Low 1 20 Adapted from KPMG sources © Barton Carlyle 2014
  18. 18. Managing Risk: Market Research Evidence for your strategy and implementation decisions: 18 • Global trends • Competition drivers • Calculate Market Share • Potential Markets • Channel choice • Support segmentation decisions • Understanding student choice • Retention Channels • Market choice • Costs of recruitment • Monitoring impact and ROI • Branding Strategy
  19. 19. Managing Risk: Market Research 19 S Strengths W Weaknesses O Opportunities T Threats Role of Market Intelligence
  20. 20. Managing Risk: Market Research 20 Internal Strengths Weaknesses External Opportunities Threats
  21. 21. 21 ICEF/i-graduate Annual Agent Barometer i-graduate Annual ISB (International Student Barometer) Managing Risk: Market Research
  23. 23. Managing Risk: Scenario Planning 23 Risk Strategy Risk profile Future proofing Risk reporting Risk Mitigation Strategy delineates risk appetite Positioning research and risk mapping generate risk profile Scenario planning supports future orientation Reporting supports active risk management Mitigation actions diminish or eliminate possible impact of risks Mitigation actions adjust strategy and support realignment of risk profile
  24. 24. 24 Scenario Planning “Scenario planning is not so much actively predicting the future as it is about understanding the…environment and the nature of the risks that environment can give rise to. Insights gained from scenario planning should equip organisations to recognize and respond to significant emerging threats and opportunities, and in the process building enhanced…competitiveness, resilience and agility” KPMG Australia 2011 ghts/ArticlesPublications/Documents/Manage- the-future-through-scenario-planning-v3.pdf
  25. 25. 25 Scenarios: What if? Sorting out market exit
  26. 26. 26 Scenarios: What if? Fraud and security issues
  27. 27. 27 Scenarios: What if? Reputational issues
  28. 28. 28 Scenario Planning  Map basic trends and driving forces  Find key uncertainties  Use important or critical and unpredictable driving forces  Distill to two forces/factors  Identify factor extremes and check for plausibility  Map these onto an x/y axis  Define scenarios and plot to grid
  29. 29. 29 Scenario Planning Possible Topics Disruption to possible student flows Impacts of technology Rise of market entrants and/or competitor disruption Pathway provision impacts on ESL market?
  30. 30. Summary: Managing Risk  Develop a risk management strategy:  Understand your institution’s risk appetite  Map your risk profile  Develop your risk register  Incorporate risk assessment in your international strategy  Use scenario planning to inform risk management  Mitigate risk – using market research for an active market intelligence program There are opportunity risks – estimate the risk of doing nothing as much as you manage the risk of doing something!
  31. 31. Pamela Barrett, Director Barton Carlyle E: T: (44) 7788 600 388 THANKS For your participation!