A closer look at Illume with Mike Henniger
What is Illume and what services do you provide?
Illume Student Advisory Services (Illume) is a service provider that pairs institutions with true leaders in international student recruitment, guiding them through the complex landscape of global student mobility. Illume provides a range of services to our partners including:
· Agent development & management
· In-country representation
· Event organization & attendance
· Bespoke consulting services
· Application management services
· Marketing & branding
We currently work with more than 30 institutions in a variety of capacities. Our clients include Douglas College, Thompson Rivers University, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Windsor, to name a few.
What have you discovered about the industry and as an organization over the past few years?
The past several years have taught us that we need to embrace change while still sticking to the basics. Technology is playing an important role in the recruitment work we do but we still see the importance of good customer/student service. Families want access to people who can help them with making such an important life decision as studying abroad. I have also learned that we are an incredibly resilient industry.
How did you change your approach after the pandemic when dealing with partners and students around the world?
Illume’s key value proposition is providing in-country support to our school partners. This obviously became more important as the pandemic struck. We were able to help our clients continue to build their brands and support their students despite not being able to travel. Coming out of Covid, we continue to see our services as providing an important, cost-effective approach to international student recruitment. More and more schools are also speaking about reducing their carbon footprint and we strive to be an increasingly environmentally friendly option for maintaining a global recruitment footprint.
What is something that you think can be improved in how we work with Canadian and global international education partners?
The biggest improvement continues to be simply being more effective at communication. Again and again, schools make their agent partners and prospective students wait for weeks to get answers to simple questions. One of the things we have been doing more of is establishing strategic enrolment support teams that work with schools to follow up on incomplete applications and registration support to help schools communicate more
effectively. The expectation for support is getting higher from our students and we need to be able to deliver on this.