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ICEF Miami - An essential component in a comprehensive internationalization strategy

Connect with trusted agents

Networking events are essential in establishing and maintaining enduring and mutually beneficial partnerships. With our hard-earned experience in the sector, built up over the course of three decades, ICEF has established and maintained strong connections with reliable, trustworthy recruiters from around the world, all of whom are eager to place students in US schools, colleges, and universities. With an emphasis on quality, we not only work alongside agents but, through ICEF Academy, and the ICEF Agency Status Programme, we are actively engaged in their training and accreditation, ensuring that we are uniquely placed to proactively address the opportunities and challenges specific to the US.

As a result, whether you are an educational institution taking your first step towards working with international student recruitment agents, or a veteran establishment aiming to reconnect with your network in a marketplace that has weathered significant upheaval, our carefully-curated ICEF North America events present an exceptional range of opportunities, with a truly global reach. ICEF Miami, for example, offers the opportunity to network with agents from over 90 countries, as well as service providers whose products will help your offer to stand out from the crowd.

Why Now

While the “big four” international student destination countries of Australia, Canada, the US and the UK have shown strong resilience in the wake of the pandemic, US growth has not matched that of its peers. Despite impressive growth at the start of 2023, with international student enrolments reaching 1,000,000, significant challenges remain both internally and externally, and educators need to be proactive in adapting their offer to meet the needs of a new generation of international students.

  • US international student enrollment exceeded 1,000,000 in 2023, having dropped substantially during the pandemic. Against the backdrop of this resilient yet complex market, institutions who position themselves as responsive to student needs will prove highly competitive.
  • Internally, analysis of the current data suggests that there will be a substantial decline in the number of US students enrolling in higher education, with numbers falling sharply following a 2025 peak. Between 2010 and 2021, institutions have already seen a 15% drop in admissions, and those not actively engaged in the international market face an existential threat.
  • Agents are a crucial part of any institution’s pivot towards recruiting international students, and the number of US colleges working with agents has risen from just under 40% in 2016 to 62% in 2023. With 98% considering such a relationship in the future, it is crucial to expand your network at an ICEF event and place your institution to the fore.
  • The international market offers huge rewards for proactive institutions. International student mobility is set to increase through to 2050. This is a huge opportunity and, with the market undergoing significant changes, it is the time to focus on reaching students from the range of emerging markets now looking for key study destinations.
  • Moreover, the end of flexibility rules regarding hybrid and online study, means that institutions need to prepare to support students as they return to in-person education. Agents and specialist service providers are well placed to support such challenging issues as accommodation, visa applications and travel arrangements.
  • Such support is essential, as students increasingly seek out the institutions and countries which offer not only the best educational opportunities, but also the easiest route into study. With countries such as Canada offering streamlined entry, it is up to US institutions to interact with professionals who can ensure the student journey is as stress-free as possible.
  • Faced with competition from countries such as Germany, which offers free tuition; France, which has strong links in Sub-Saharan Africa; Spain, which is increasingly attracting students from South American countries; and Japan, with its strong focus on international student growth; US educators are increasingly required to offer a range of packages that support students through the processes of acquiring a visa or securing funding for overseas study.

What will you gain

Attending an ICEF networking event is a rewarding investment that will allow you to attract diverse, high quality students. Agents remain confident in the US’ ability to attract top international talent, but it is important to make your offer stand out in a market that has grown more challenging in recent years. In forging partnerships with international student recruitment agents, you will be working alongside specialists who understand not only their own market, but also the needs of your institution, ensuring a mutually rewarding relationship, the primary focus of which is to ensure sustainable access to education for students from around the world.

ICEF networking events offer a range of services including:

  • Achieve student recruitment growth goals, with potentially hundreds of trusted, ICEF-screened agents supporting hundreds, thousands, or even hundreds of thousands of students, all under one roof.
  • Grow your network, or re-establish relationships, via a personalised programme of in-person, 1:1 partner meetings.
  • Drive diversity – with agents from over a range of countries attending, representing students from both established and emerging markets, all interested in North America as a study destination.
  • Develop and learn from your network – ample networking opportunities with peers and potential partners, plus a full schedule of seminars including leading industry speakers and panellists discussing topical issues in the sector.

What our attendees say

“We had an excellent time at ICEF San Diego 2022. I was very impressed by the personalized service and support given to us before and throughout the experience. We feel we have come away with good contacts and new alliances.”
– Vanier College

“Very well-organized event and a great way to meet peers, and educators and stay up to date on what is happening in the industry.”
– Myse Education

“ICEF is one of the best events to be in. For new universities and agents, it is a great platform to connect, and for regular attendees, it is excellent for networking. The seminars help educators and agents with international education updates. The ICEF team is simply wonderful in organizing this event to perfection.”
– TC Global

“This event has proven highly valuable year after year as an efficient way to connect with current partners and meet new ones. The event logistics and show management are so well done making the process as simple as possible for attendees.”
– Intead

Who we are

Founded in 1991 and with over thirty years experience, ICEF has become the market leader in facilitating relationships between educators, international recruitment agents and service providers. Our experience places us at the very heart of the international education industry, and we offer a range of services, including leading market intelligence via the respected ICEF Monitor; specialist training opportunities at ICEF Academy; and, of course, our networking conferences for international education professionals.

More recently, we have had the opportunity to leverage our 13 years’ experience of gathering agent feedback (currently via the recently-launched ICEF Agent Voice), to contribute to the academic literature surrounding international student recruitment. Our chapter, detailing The Agent Voice, is an integral part of the forthcoming Routledge publication Student Recruitment Agents in International Higher Education , A Multi Stakeholder Perspective on Challenges and Best Practices, a definitive, evidence-based study of the sector destined to become the industry point of reference.

Our wide experience and focus on supporting professional development and standards ensures that, through our various endeavours, institutions, agents and service providers are able to gain access to up-to-date information, carefully-tailored training packages and reliable partners, all of which supports sectoral growth, while maintaining a tight focus on quality throughout the international student journey.

Further information

  • You can find full details about our events here.
  • You can read more about the latest industry news at ICEF Monitor, here.
  • You can explore the opportunities for training available at ICEF academy here.
  • Pre-order Student Recruitment Agents in International Higher Education A Multi-Stakeholder Perspective on Challenges and Best Practices, featuring key contributions from ICEF, here.