Understanding your operational performance against industry standards

Have you ever wondered how well your organisation’s international student recruitment operations are resourced compared to others, or whether your cost per acquisition is higher or lower than others by source region?

Edified’s Benchmarking International Recruitment Operations (BIRO) is a syndicated research programme designed to help higher education institutions in the UK to understand the resourcing and cost effectiveness of their international recruitment operations relative to other universities in the UK.

We gather a range of data - application and enrolment numbers, staff, budgets, etc. - and build a profile of your institution. 

Our experts then benchmark the data against the sector aggregate so you can understand your performance and resourcing.

Participating institutions receive a personalised report including insights into:

  • international recruitment staff resourcing relative to other providers
  • the cost of international student acquisition by source region relative to other providers
  • the effectiveness of different organisational models and systems

This strategic information can be used to make the case for additional investment in your operations, identify areas for improvement, and build on areas of success. This is the only data set of its kind in the UK.

BIRO provides you with the evidence base to make strategic investment decisions!

How it works

Data gathering for the 2024 BIRO will be conducted in February allowing providers to evaluate their recruitment outcomes for both September and January intakes. 

You will be asked to input your institution’s information into a safe and secure data gathering tool, co-designed to get good comparative data across operating models and institution types.

Organisational models and IT systems information

Recruitment and admissions funnel data

Markets and channels performance

Resources and budgets

We estimate that it will take participants less than two hours to complete depending on the easy availability of the required information. Edified staff will be available to assist with any queries.


Edified will verify and clean the data, then aggregate it to understand key benchmarks, answering questions like:

  • How many admissions staff does it take to recruit 500 international students? – are we appropriately resourced to be competitive?
  • Is there a correlation between systems and recruitment outcomes or resource requirements?
  • For every pound spent on international recruitment, how much income is generated? – are we more or less efficient than the sector?
  • What is the correlation between admissions decision turnarounds and enrolments?
  • What is our cost of acquisition from South Asia relative to other institutions?
  • Which is the most productive channel to recruit through in Africa?

The benchmarks are presented for the whole international operation and by recruitment regions so you can see, for example, whether your institution’s cost per acquisition from India is higher or lower than the sector’s and how your budget spend compares such as the relative spend on marketing compared to scholarships. 

You will be able to purchase a Standard BIRO with benchmarking against the sector, or a Premium BIRO which includes the sector benchmark and a bespoke competitor benchmark against 8-10 participating institutions of your choice.

What can you expect?

You will receive a personalised report which contains tables, graphs, infographics, and insights designed to give you a clear picture of how your operational resourcing compares to other institutions and relative performance by regions. Below are some examples:

Join the 2024 BIRO

The BIRO is a must-have for any data-driven student recruitment team.

Participation is simple and easy

  1. Register your institution before 31 December 2023
  2. Input your data into the BIRO questionnaire 
  3. Edified check and validate the data and develop benchmark reports
  4. You receive your personalised report between April and May

The Standard BIRO
Personalised report with sector benchmarking

£ 3,950

The Premium BIRO
Personalised report with sector benchmark + Bespoke competitor benchmarking*

£ 4,450

*We can benchmark against your institutional grouping, your chosen competitor set or by country. Email biro@edified.com.au if you would like something different.

Your data is safe

The data you provide us will remain confidential and will only be used in the context of the BIRO. Your data will only be reported back to you and will otherwise be anonymised and aggregated. Edified will not share raw data with any third parties and only Edified contracted staff will have access, solely for the purposes of producing BIRO reports. Edified is committed to meeting and upholding the principles of the GDPR.

You can view our privacy policy here: www.edified.com.au/privacy-policy

Register for the 2024 BIRO

Sign up here to be part of the 2024 UK research.
Registrations close on 31 December 2023.

Standard BIRO costs £ 3,950 per institution Premium BIRO costs £ 4,450 per institution

Edified is an Australian company so there is no need to add VAT to these prices.

For any questions, please get in touch at biro@edified.com.au