June 19, 2019
When asked if he could imagine working as Head of Student Marketing and Recruitment at Jacobs University Bremen, Bannour Hadroug didn't think twice. He sought to live in an open and international environment which is not focused on origin, religion or ethnicity, but on achieving something together. Therefore, he left Tunisia ten years ago and came to Germany. "I am driven by this ideal," he says – and so is Jacobs University. "Helping an organization with these values and this potential to develop is a great opportunity. I identify myself with my task and I am very passionate about it."
Essentially, his function is to convince top-talents to study at the English-speaking campus university. It’s not a fast-selling item. Jacobs University has an international orientation: 80 percent of its approximately 1,400 students come from 111 countries. It competes for intelligent, motivated and socially committed young minds with renowned universities from all over the world. But how do you get them to move to Bremen-Nord, to live, learn and do research here?
"Communication is the be-all and end-all," says Hadroug, who lives in Bremen Lesum, together with his wife, a high school teacher, and their two children. It's about building trust and being fair. "We are the facilitators. We create optimal conditions for young talents so that they can be successful".
Hadroug has previously been responsible for marketing and sales activities in e-commerce and industrial companies. After starting his job at Jacobs University, he quickly became aware that the parameters in the academic world are generally more complex and differently applicable than in business. The decision-making process of future students for a study program often takes months, sometimes even years. It is both emotional and rational. The majority of potential students are located in their home countries and culture areas, a few thousand kilometers away. Therefore, they have several equivalent options to choose from.
Jacobs University's recruiting team travels to around 30 countries, visiting trade fairs and schools, advising young people, parents and career advisors. "We can be proud of what we have to offer, we get top rankings in prestigious German and international university rankings," says Hadroug. The intensive student orientation, the international English-language campus, the committed faculty, the interdisciplinarity of teaching and research, as well as the worldwide network of alumni are decisive aspects for the choice the students make.
With Jacobs University's message "inspiration is a place", Hadroug and his team are trying to draw students' attention to the private university from the ninth and tenth grade onwards – above all through personal advise, online communication and the use of social media. Later, more concrete discussions about an application will be held with student advisors and potential students. "We try to provide neutral advise," says Hadroug. In addition to academic excellence and a global perspective, the values of Jacobs University are also important. "Palestinians and Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis, New Yorkers and Texans live and study together on our campus. We are a tolerant community. To us it is not important where someone comes from, but where one wants to go."
The application phase is followed by the admission phase. "We want to attract talents, regardless of their financial means," says Hadroug. In addition to performance-related support, students also receive demand-oriented support. The desired diversity is manifested not only in the broad distribution of nationalities, but also in a balanced distribution of the sexes, the student’s academic orientations and their different financial performance.
Once the admission decision has been made, things such as accommodation, visa or insurance have to be clarified for the potential students – who can still decide in favor of another university at this stage. "This intensive phase often takes months. Of course, we try to provide guidance to these young people as actively as possible and support them in their decision-making."
About one in ten students at Jacobs University comes from China. India, Nigeria and South America will also be important target markets in the future, Hadroug says. He adds: "No matter where the students come from, of course they must meet the admission requirements. Most of them are graduates of international schools."
"It's a very nice moment when you experience the students on their arrival at orientation week.” But there is another, more beautiful one – to see them three years later at their graduation ceremony, after finishing their studies. Since Bannour Hadroug has been with us for roughly one year, his most beautiful Jacob’s experience is still lying ahead.
Jacobs University offers a very special service for prospective students on July 6 and 7, 2019. On the so-called "admission day" they can officially apply with their documents, conduct the necessary counselling and interviews and inform themselves about the financing possibilities – all on only one day. On the same day they will receive their possible confirmation and an individual financing offer.
Further information on the admission day at Jacobs University: https://www.jacobs-university.de/zulassungstag