Are we really competing globally? Prospective international student decision making?

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Today, Hobsons the leader in recruitment, communication and student success solutions for higher education announced the key findings of the first survey of prospective international students to the UK.

Hobsons

The primary motivation for students wanting to study in the UK was to improve job prospects in their home country.

Today Hobsons the leader in recruitment, communication and student success solutions for higher education announced the key findings of the first survey of international students to the UK; Competing Globally: Understanding Prospective International Student Decision Making.

Duncan Findlater, Director of Product and Client Services said, “To date, there has been little research and therefore poor data on prospective international student behaviour and decision making. Working with our partner universities, we have been able to mobilise a unique data set of prospective international students.”

The competition for international students is becoming increasingly complex and is under the spotlight like never before.

There is a perceived threat to the UK from courses in English in non-English speaking countries and government initiatives in Canada and Australia to attract more international students.

In March 2013, over 70,000 prospective international students who had enquired within the last two years to 15 different UK universities were asked about their perceptions and expectations of study in the UK.

Key findings include:

  • The primary motivation for students wanting to study in the UK was to improve job prospects in their home country. Only 6% were identified as being primarily interested in moving to their study destination permanently.
  • 78% of students could switch destination country if visa regulations were tightened.
  • There are seven definable and distinct types of students looking to study in the UK, each of whom weighed information they have on the country and the university in different ways.
  • Students overwhelmingly choose course before country; critically nearly three quarters decide where to go after they apply, meaning that there is still significant scope to influence their final decision post application.
  • The most important source for information is the university website followed by direct electronic communication; the latter was more than twice as important as social media.
  • The main countries also considered by students looking to study in the UK were the US, Canada and Australia. Other European countries were considered by less than 1% of students.

Duncan Findlater: “This survey has allowed us to put student decision making and expectations of UK study in the spotlight for the first time. The international student recruitment market is one of fine margins and anything that we can do to better understand student decision making, to allay their fears and encourage their hopes will be beneficial for our own institutions and the UK as a whole.”

For a summary report you can visit hobsons.com or follow us @HobsonsEMEA

For more information or to discuss how we may be able to help you better understand international student decision making or support your enquiry or offer conversion activity, please contact Marie Clark, Head of Marketing and Communications at Hobsons on 020 7250 6622 or marie.clark(at)hobsons(dot)com
ENDS

About Us

Hobsons is an education software and services company dedicated to helping educators, administrators, students, and families maximise success through every stage of the learning lifecycle. Our solutions assist millions of students across more than 7,500 schools, colleges, and universities worldwide.

Our enquiry and offer conversion service focuses on responding to and managing relationships with all of a university’s prospective students at enquiry and offer stage. We support institutions to convert more students into qualified applicants and ultimately enrolled students.

Institutions that use Hobsons’ enquiry and offer conversion service saw their non–EU students increase over 2011-2012 at an average of 4.5%. Institutions working with us saw growth rates for their non-EU student numbers four times higher than those that don’t.

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Marie Clark
Hobsons
+44 2072506622
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