Global Engagement Solutions for Higher Education


The Art of Increasing Global Engagement Among College Students

January 6, 2022


Global education delivery in higher education has shifted remarkably over the past 18-24 months and now includes virtual and domestic programming in addition to outgoing and incoming student programs. To meet the multidimensional needs of students and prepare them to be global leaders of tomorrow, we must now view students through a more complete — and complex — lens that incorporates all facets of their collegiate global engagement experience. 

Similar to how business marketers personalize customer engagement strategies, institutions must view their students with this type of focus, personalizing and connecting their international cultural experiences for a more enriching result. How can this be accomplished?

1. Shift Overall Mindset: To engage more students in a comprehensive international education experience, institutions should create and capture interest earlier in the student journey and get to know students from their first interaction with the institution. This means approaching international education during the recruitment phase and freshman year and promoting available opportunities like internships, volunteer programs, domestic and international trips and valuable virtual programming (which may also be paired with in-person experiences). As an example of earlier global programming, Northeastern University offers a freshman global experience called the Program, where students study abroad for their first semester before transitioning to the institution’s Boston campus in January. 

2. Connect Globalization Dots To Understand Students As Individuals:Linking all relevant student information requires connecting data among all campus departments that touch global engagement. With this gold mine of integrated data, including demographics, major, GPA, relevant campus interests, etc., colleges can tap into technology solutions to begin suggesting personalized and tailored international programs, trips or other experiences that may be of interest, similar to the Netflix or Amazon “more like this" offering. Incorporating duty of care across this vast amount of student data is part of the puzzle for informing a relevant, engaging global experience. For example, institutions like Syracuse University successfully pulled in data from different sources and used it to ensure students’ safety and compliance domestically during the pandemic.

Read more from Terra Dotta's CEO, Anthony Rotoli, on Forbes