UCD International Office is in the final stages of preparation for a new campaign to encourage more international students to study at UCD and promote the University’s accomplishments in the global academic and educational communities. The campaign, called UCD International, is being put into effect in March.
UCD International’s marketing manager, Gary Osbourne, stated that recruiting more international students would be beneficial to UCD’s Irish students “because they will graduate into a global world and it’s important that they experience part of the bigger, wider world before they get out there” and explained that this process of “internationalisation” was an integral part of the President’s message.
The campaign was initially made public in Dr Hugh Brady’s ‘President’s Report to the Governing Authority’ last December. In the report, the President stated that the focus of UCD International is to “generate awareness of the achievements of the University among academic peers overseas.”
Osbourne went on to say that UCD’s “successes in research, in particular, as well as successes in leading various different aspects of Irish society; Irish business, engineering, science and so on” will form the bedrock of the campaign’s overseas message. Representatives of the International Office will visit universities in “key markets” such as India and China, and utilise social media and networking sites at a cost-effective rate in the hopes of persuading a greater number of students to study abroad at UCD.
The duration of the campaign has not yet been specified, with Osbourne stating that he wasn’t sure as to how long UCD would be committed to this project. “How many weeks on TV or radio etc., that detail hasn’t been confirmed as of yet, so I cannot say for sure. However, there is an ongoing campaign in a more general sense that we are pushing UCD’s message.”
In addition to international recruitment, the campaign is also aiming to highlight UCD’s achievements and improve the University’s reputation abroad by focusing on qualities in UCD that international students would find appealing in an educational establishment. Osbourne believes that “UCD is an internationally reputed institution, which is high in the rankings, English-speaking and research intensive and all of those things are important to international students. So we take the domestic brand values and apply them internationally.”
Mr. Osbourne said that the campaign was aimed at reaching Brady’s target of twenty-five per cent international students by 2015, “a significant portion of which will be non-EU, coming from China, India, south east Asia and the USA.”