by Chris Hammond
As September fast approaches the Office of Student Recruitment
is hard at work preparing for the upcoming recruiting season.
There is much to be done in presentation preparation, publication
development, schedule arrangement, and the like. The Office
of Student Recruitment recognizes the primary need to inform
and support the needs of Memorial’s Newfoundland and
Labrador market, said Sheila Devine, director, Student Recruitment.
However, increased emphasis on the international market is
becoming progressively more important.
“We will always be first and foremost responsible to
the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Ms.
Devine. “Keeping this in mind, we also look to the international
markets in creating a culturally-diverse study body and establishing
Memorial as a quality internationally-recognized university,
something which will be of benefit to all of our students.”
The Recruitment Plan states the international recruitment
goal is specifically to increase the number of international
students at Memorial to 1,200 over the next few years. In
fall 2002 there were 420 international students enrolled at
Memorial and the latest Undergraduate Application Summary
Report indicates 190 more international applications for this
“We are still aiming to reach our target number,”
said Shona Perry-Maidment, Office of Student Recruitment.
“Current factors such as SARS and the war in the Middle
East makes our job a little more challenging, but working
to provide prospective students and other agencies, whether
internal or external, with as much information as possible
about the university will help to ensure our increased successes.”
International recruiters have several key messages they consistently
relay while visiting and presenting in the international market
place. “We need to set ourselves apart from other Canadian
universities recruiting in those areas,” said Ms. Perry-Maidment.
“We do this by demonstrating the uniqueness of Memorial
through highlighting aspects such as the value of our location
and how it has a significant impact on the uniqueness of some
of our programs. The cultural feel of Newfoundland, its friendly
people, cleanliness and safety are also important factors.”
“We further point out that our programs are comprehensive
in scope from undergraduate to graduate, and we offer good
value for the money. Our tuition fees are quite competitive
with other universities in Canada, and even more so than the
U.S. and UK.”
Memorial’s primary international markets focus on the
Middle East (specifically the Gulf States), China, India and
some of the United States.
The Office of Student Recruitment boasts an internal support
team which focuses on international recruitment. Members of
this team are active in international travel and promoting
Memorial in this marketplace, and working in conjunction with
departments such as the International Student Advisors Office
(ISA) to ensure that students who are interested in going
to Memorial receive all the necessary information.
“We have to work to balance international with domestic
recruitment,” said Ms. Devine. “We need to effectively
place ourselves within our own communities. This will serve
to strengthen our message that we are offering something special
and unique here, and getting that across will encourage people
to come join us for an educational adventure.”