Stay in the loop! Subscribe to our mailing list
Representing the opinions of over 43 000 potential international students, a new survey conducted by Hobsons for the fourth year in a row, examines the motivations of international students, and use of social media tools, in relation to their choice of studying abroad. Characteristics of an increasingly globally mobile student body have undergone significant changes and universities face new challenges on multiple fronts. To enlighten future oriented and evidence based internationalisation strategies, the report seeks to paint a comprehensive picture of evolving student expectations across 175 countries. In the sample the largest group of students were from Asia with 46%, followed by Africa (20%), Europe (15%), Americas (12%), and Oceania (7%).
When looking at what motivates students to pursue studies abroad, research findings show:
From these findings the report draws conclusions and recommendations for shaping a future oriented internationalisation strategy. A majority of universities are seen to spend their budgets and efforts on competing with each other in limited core markets as South Asia, China and Europe. This leaves vast geographical and student segments under-served, and a more diversified approach is needed. With students ready to preference their national environment if education quality was up to standard, and a variety of traditional source countries increasing the attractiveness of their domestic education, extending a view to new markets could be sustainable . Still convinced that universities prepare them best for careers, but ready to consider alternatives, students tightly linking their expectations of an international study experience to employment outcomes- ‘’expecting a return on investments’’.
The capacities of universities to ’produce’ work ready graduates linking programmes to local industries, and countries’ openness to embrace students temporarily or long term into their labour markets post-study, is a driving factor in the market share of international students held and ‘top destinations’ sought out. An intelligent student marketing strategy is seen to incorporate new media channels and be driven by student profiling that centres on real needs and wants, rather than intuition.