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International Officer (Dubai) - External Relations

University of Birmingham
United Arab Emirates
Closing date
Aug 7, 2022

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Pharmaceutical, Sales
Full Time
Organization Type
University and College
Jobseeker Type
Academic (e.g. 'Lecturer')
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Position Details

External Relations

University of Birmingham, Dubai campus

Salary: Competitive

Grade 7

Full time

Location: Dubai, UAE

Closing date: 17 August 2022

University of Birmingham Dubai

The University of Birmingham is a global institution working within a diverse and vibrant City, offering an inspiring education to our students, and undertaking critically important research. We are a place of open, critical thinking, and the creation, sharing and dissemination of knowledge. Professional Services play a crucial role in this by providing outstanding support to our researchers, enable an exceptional educational experience for our students, and help the University to grow its influence regionally, nationally, and globally. They ensure the University's resources are used wisely, manage and improve the infrastructure which sits at the heart of the institution, and support decision to be made quickly and based on sound evidence. Our Birmingham Professional programme operates across the University, supporting colleagues to network and collaborate, offering opportunities to learn and develop, contributing to the delivery of the University's objectives, and helping everyone to understand the broader context within which we work.

Role Summary

The University's International Strategy and Strategic Plan place great emphasis on the recruitment of international students and the development of strategic international partnerships.

The purpose of the role is to meet student recruitment targets for our UK campus using a range of recruitment and marketing channels. The post holder will work with the Deputy Head of International Recruitment and Middle East Regional Manager (who is based at our UK campus) to initiate, plan and execute recruitment strategies, develop and maintain brand awareness, maintain key relationships and identify development opportunities for the University of Birmingham in key markets within the Middle East and Africa region. Whilst the postholder will be based in Dubai, they will be an integral member of a dynamic International Recruitment team which is based in the UK and in key locations around the world.

The postholder will be required to develop a good understanding of markets within the identified regions and have the flexibility to undertake a broad range of activities, from face-to-face activity, stakeholder management and the deployment of marketing strategies, as directed by the Regional Manager. The postholder will have key responsibility for recruitment in the Middle East and Africa regions.

The postholder will be required to travel extensively, often for long periods of time and including weekends and bank holidays. The postholder must be a self-starter and be able to operate effectively and autonomously under these circumstances.

Whilst the postholder will primarily deliver recruitment activities to drive recruitment at the University's UK campus, they may also be asked to deliver student recruitment activities in the respective regions to support recruitment to the University's Dubai campus.

Please note that it is a condition of appointment that International Officers will be expected to accept a different set of markets if the University's International Strategy and International Relations activities and staffing changes significantly. Changes of this nature are unlikely and any changes to portfolio of markets will be made in consultation with colleagues.

Main duties

Be responsible for increasing the University's recruitment of international students to the University of Birmingham UK campus from markets in the Middle East and Africa regions by:
  1. Devising and implementing recruitment and market plans to meet ambitious growth targets, under the guidance of the Regional Manager, for the Middle East & Africa including monitoring performance against targets and using this to inform and deploy subsequent strategies.
  2. Undertaking significant market analysis, including observing and disseminating information on trends in applications, conversion and competitor activity
  3. Selecting, and being responsible for attendance at appropriate recruitment events overseas taking responsibility for arranging itineraries and making travel arrangements within agreed budgets for trips through the year, each of which may extend for periods of up to 2-3 weeks in duration.

Undertaking independent travel to attend education exhibitions, visit schools and universities, making promotional presentations, and conducting one-to-one interviews with potential applicants advising candidates (and internal stakeholders) on their suitability for admission for all levels of study and for all Colleges at the University (this may involve delegated offer making responsibilities). Following such trips or campaigns the post holder will provide detailed written reports assessing the merits of the activities or campaigns undertaken and making recommendations about future activities and campaigns within agreed budgets.
  1. The postholder will establish strong relationships with school principals, agent counsellors, overseas university staff and sponsors. In the case of government and private scholarship/ sponsor bodies the post holder may be required to use experience and judgement to negotiate fee discounts for cohorts where appropriate and with the approval of relevant stakeholders.
  2. Manage a network of recruitment agents in the regions and identify, assess and recommend suitable new overseas recruitment agent partnerships and assist in negotiating contracts with such proposed partners. Monitor and manage on-going performance of agents to ensure quality, standards and recruitment targets are set and met and that any under-performance is addressed.
  3. Act as a source of information and expert advice about recruitment and qualifications from the Middle East and Africa regions by developing a thorough and detailed understanding of a range of overseas qualifications and ensuring regular contact with Admissions staff to advise on eligibility criteria for overseas qualifications.
  4. Provide recruitment and admissions related advice and guidance to academic Schools by updating them on recruitment opportunities identified in market. The post holder will actively participate in meetings with departmental marketing managers, Heads of Colleges and Directors, as appropriate, to recommend and inform strategies for recruitment from key counties.

Line management responsibility:
  1. Line management responsibility for the University's Nigeria regional representative and Recruitment Administrator(s) where necessary. This will involve, among other things: resolving day to day problems and reviewing performance as required; assisting in the recruitment, selection and induction of new staff as appropriate, and; management of Performance Development Reviews for staff under line management.
  2. Support the Regional Manager to manage the elements of the International Recruitment budget allocated to the identified regions:
  • When requested preparing, and submitting for consideration by the Regional Manager, detailed costed recruitment plans to support the recruitment strategies
  • When requested, providing accurate forecasts of the cost of all activities for consideration by the Regional Manager.
  • Monitoring ongoing expenditure to ensure that all activity is carried out within the agreed budget, making judgements on a weekly basis about what new activity can be undertaken within the agreed budget
  • Identifying and rectifying any potential deviations from the agreed budget quickly and effectively, notifying the Regional Manager of any major difficulties in this respect
  • Providing outturn forecasts in preparation for year end and any other reports that the Regional Manager may request from time to time.
  1. To take responsibility for the supervision of those members of support staff, or other staff, allocated to the tasks outlined above
  2. To manage and engage with projects relating to strategic recruitment objectives on an ongoing basis. Projects will involve extensive co-ordination with colleagues based in the UK, the UAE and other overseas locations and the post-holder may be required to report to stakeholders who are based in multiple locations.
  3. Promotes equality and values diversity, acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.
  4. Supports the University's sustainability agenda through resource efficient working.
  5. Any other reasonable duties commensurate with the grade including providing support to the work of the wider International Recruitment team and to Dubai Campus recruitment colleagues as and when requested by the post's line manager.

Required Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications, Experience
  • Educated to Degree level plus relevant practical experience - where no equivalent qualification is held significant practical relevant experience and expertise in a series of progressively more demanding roles will be required.
  • Evidence of literacy and numeracy, with the ability to write clearly, and to produce and analyse information and data.
  • Experience of delivering events
  • Experience of delivering projects and initiatives with measurable outcomes and deliverables
  • High level of numeracy and some prior experience of managing budgets and analysing basic statistical information
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Excellent IT skills and an aptitude for learning new packages to support analysis, presentation and communication of information (including VLEs, social media and other digital communications)
  • Willingness to work very independently, remotely from the line manager, and to undertake lengthy periods of travel internationally in the Middle East and Africa region without direct supervision and a willingness to work flexibly, and outside of normal working hours when reasonably required.
  • Knowledge of the protected characteristics of the Equality Act 2010, and how to actively ensure in day to day activity in own area that those with protected characteristics are treated equally and fairly.

To perform the role effectively the post-holder will require specialist knowledge of the following (preferably demonstrated at the application stage or developed upon commencement of the role):
  • A range of overseas education systems and qualifications and how they equate to UK qualifications
  • An awareness of economic, political and legal systems in education markets
  • An awareness of local customs and business culture
  • Relationship marketing techniques
  • The UCAS application system
  • University's admissions systems, policies and procedures to be able to advise potential applicants about the correct processes
  • The general structure, duration, entry requirements and fees for the full range of courses offered at Birmingham in order to offer advice to potential applicants
  • The full range of support services, including welfare advice and accommodation services, offered by Birmingham

Role context

Roles at this level will require a broad understanding and practical experience of an administrative or professional field which will be used to plan the running and development of services and/or lead shorter term projects or contribute to larger projects. You will work with information which needs interpretation and analysis; you will use your judgement to identify the best solution to differing problems and issues, offering recommendations for managing more complex situations. You are likely to be responsible for managing a team of staff, being accountable for recruiting and developing them and for managing performance. You may also need to liaise and/or co-ordinate activities across a number of different sections within the department or possibly with wider department or external bodies as appropriate.

Core competencies/transferable skills

Working at this level you will be able to develop and successfully demonstrate the core competencies/transferable skills outlined in each of the areas shown below. As appropriate for the level, our Birmingham Professionals will take ownership for getting things done. You will be expected to be flexible as required in supporting your department and wider University.

Planning and organising
  • plan the running and development of service(s), overseeing resources and inputting into resource planning as appropriate;
  • develop, agree and implement standards for delivery for own area;
  • manage a team of staff and review, develop and motivate them;
  • plan relevant training and development;
  • provide professional advice, guidance and support to others within and outside their immediate work area;
  • oversee resources and make recommendations about future resource requirements.

Problem solving and decision making
  • review, develop and propose solutions for problems with (for example) staff, budgets, services and/or systems;
  • deal effectively with unexpected issues, such as changing priorities;
  • deal with sensitive people matters/issues;
  • provide specialist advice and recommendations to support decision-making of others

Organisational understanding
  • understand their own and closely-related working areas and how they contribute to the success of the University.
  • has an understanding of how the University operates; actively seeks to share this knowledge with others.
  • developing empathy with the academic endeavour.

Relationships and communication
  • influence decision makers and win support for proposals;
  • develop excellent working relationships within and outside of own area and potentially with external stakeholders;
  • co-ordinate activities across a number of areas.

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

We value diversity and inclusion at the University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community and are open to discussions around all forms of flexible working.
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