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Student Insight: Online Marketing to a Global Student Audience

Shepherd, E. Student Insight: Online Marketing to a Global Student Audience. British Council – Education Intelligence, Hong Kong, 2011. Pages: 29. 

The British Council’s Education Intelligence unit has recently released this publication, which belongs to a series of research reports looking into students’ decision-making processes with regard to higher education. The series examines a broad range of areas, including the factors that affect students who are thinking about studying abroad and influence their country and university choice, as well as major subjects in demand,.

This report provides an analysis of findings on how students use the media from the 13 nations around the world with the biggest number of outbound internationally mobile students. It draws on data derived from a survey of 127 000 prospective students administered by the British Council and finds that: 

  • cost-effective digital solutions and online marketing through university websites, Facebook, Google and other social media and online resources are growing in importance for attracting foreign students; 
  • universities aiming to attract more international students need to develop an in-depth knowledge of internet and social media usage in each of the countries they are targeting and tailor their digital marketing to the internet surfing habits of potential applicants; and 
  • although traditional marketing methods involving physical interaction (e.g. face-to-face meetings at education fairs and the distribution of printed material) are increasingly challenged, personal interaction remains crucial at the stage when students prepare to make a final decision to study abroad, especially in those countries where the penetration level of online technologies is relatively low.
The British Council – Education Intelligence Student Insight: Online Marketing to a Global Student Audience