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Ranked in the world’s Top 50 Young Universities, Deakin University[AV1] is an institution renowned for its positive student experience, top-of-the-line facilities, and highly knowledgeable academic staff. That said, even such esteemed institutions sometimes require external help, whether it’s to inform their decision-making and ensure they remain vigilant to the motivations and perceptions of international students, or to help develop a robust international engagement strategy. With this in mind, let’s take a look at how Deakin has pro-actively taken steps to realise its ambitions by leveraging IDP’s suite of IQ data insights and market intel tools and solutions .

Getting started

The Market Insights team at Deakin provides essential insights to internal stakeholders across the university, encompassing domestic and international audiences. These insights inform various strategies and plans. However, according to Seshna Maharaj, Deakin’s Director of Market Insights, the team faced a significant challenge: accessing timely, sector-wide international student data, with a particular focus on pre-commencement and enrolment data.

“Given the changing policy landscape impacting major destination markets across the globe, it’s important to understand how audience sentiment is shifting,” Ms Maharaj said.

With this in mind, the newly formed team set a key objective: to increase both their engagement with and sharing of actionable international insights.

“We wanted to ensure that international insights were included in all facets of our work, including course innovation and reviews, load planning, and market and audience reports,” Ms Maharaj explained.

This was the scenario which ultimately led to the Market Insights team adopting an assortment of IQ tools and products, including IQ Demand, Sector Data, IQ Benchmarking, and IQ Portfolio.

Results so far

Ms Maharaj said IQ has already significantly benefited her team by providing insights that inform the course innovation and course review process.

“We have used IQ Demand data to gain insights into discipline and subject trends by market,” she explained.

“IQ Benchmarking and Portfolio have also allowed us to understand our competitor set for specific courses or subject areas, and by market too. It has enabled us to recognise our share of demand for courses and discipline areas and to also identify opportunities. Additionally, we have used IQ tools to provide course level insights to our international marketing team to inform advertising planning.”

IQ has also proven beneficial for Deakin by providing the Market Insights team with rich data that supports the development of their audience and market reports, which Ms Maharaj said are distributed to stakeholders across Deakin to help inform their planning.

“IQ has supported our load planning process by providing pre-commencement trends by market to assist with forecasting,” she added.

The benefits of adopting IQ

The Deakin Marketing Insights team had a clear goal in mind of accessing timely and sector-wide data in order to inform and provide insights for all aspects of their work. Whether it was informing the course review process, load planning, or audience and market reports, the dynamic suite of IQ products and services has already made a positive impact on this team’s ongoing mission.

For Ms Maharaj, leveraging such macro-aggregated data as that offered by IQ is “incredibly important” in developing an international education strategy as it allows institutions like Deakin to identify opportunities and areas of focus.

“Access to both qualitative and quantitative timely data and insights is key in developing strategies and in adjusting plans based on shifting trends and perceptions. Tapping into macro-aggregated data allowed us to understand demand and commencement trends by market, course, destination preferences and many other factors. It enabled us to apply a market-led or audience-led view for planning and decision-making,” she explained.

Ultimately, there were several aspects of IQ which Ms Maharaj said impressed her and the Market Insights team most. These included the timeliness of the data and insights, the availability of both qualitative and quantitative data, and a focus on pre-commencement data and trends, which Ms Maharaj said was significant considering “much of the available international data only focuses on commencements and enrolments”.

“We can also understand our share of demand against key competitors”, she added, emphasising the benefits of products like IQ Benchmarking and IQ Portfolio.

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Vincent Dwyer
Vincent Dwyer18 June 2024