Categorising international students

The Guardian has a report on an exciting new piece of market research.

In what is undoubtedly a totally altruistic piece of work for the benefit of UKHE and not at all any kind of attempt to get free publicity and drum up loads of new business, a particular firm has:

gone for an anthropological take on a poll it has conducted of 25,000 international students, 80% of whom are at British universities. It asked the students what it was that made them choose their university and country of study. Then it organised them into tribes according to their answers.

It is so mindbogglingly simple and clever, it is difficult to believe it has not been done before in order to enhance international intakes. So, those “tribes” then – each of these students apparently fits into one of the following categories:

  • “seeker” (does what parents dictate)
  • “gekko” (greed is good)
  • “bono” (egotist saving the world through the medium of music)
  • “kid” (lacks focus, life entirely governed by league tables)
  • “surfer” (fun loving slacker)

International recruitment issues solved? Does this really help us understand our students or our markets better?

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