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2018

INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION REPORT: STUDENT TRENDS

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EDITOR: Abby Guthrie

LAYOUT:

Darrah Caughey

CONTRIBUTORS:

Richard Prestage, Josh Hopton-Stewart, and the educations.com team 2

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 04 06 08 11

EDUCATIONS.COM: PART OF EMG – EDUCATIONS MEDIA GROUP HEADLINES FROM EDUCATIONS.COM USER BEHAVIOR BY REGION: CLICK-THROUGHS AND INFORMATION REQUESTS INTRODUCTION TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY: MARKET INSIGHTS AND TRENDS

12

GENERAL TRENDS: BACHELOR’S DEGREES

14

GENERAL TRENDS: MASTER’S DEGREES

16

TRENDS IN NORTHERN EUROPE

20

TRENDS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

24 28 32 36

TRENDS IN NORTH AMERICA TRENDS IN SOUTH AMERICA TRENDS IN WESTERN EUROPE INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MARKETING & RECRUITMENT SURVEY

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EDUCATIONS.COM PART OF EMG – EDUCATIONS MEDIA GROUP educations.com is the global online meeting point for students and schools in over 210 countries worldwide. Every year, we help inspire over 2.5 million prospective students to take the leap and consider the life-changing experience of studying abroad. Through our platform, students can easily browse and compare programs – everything from summer courses to PhDs. As of 2018, students are also able to search for universities by location, degree level, and program. This offers new and exciting ways for students to find their perfect study option, as well as new ways for universities to brand and market themselves online. In addition to our core English-language platform, educations.com offers seven translated sites – German, Spanish, French, Mandarin, Turkish, Portuguese, and Indonesian – with plans to expand this portfolio in the future. As part of EMG – Educations Media Group, we’re in a network of market-leading search engines dedicated to helping everyone in the world find the right education. In addition to educations.com, EMG currently operates in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

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EMG'S REACH

30 million people from 221 countries turned to EMG to find the right education last year

4,000 education providers 1.6 million conversions 70 million+ page views

1 000 visitors

18 000 000 visitors

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HEADLINES FROM EDUCATIONS.COM What we’ve been up to and what we’ve got on the horizon

CATEGORY REORGANIZATION In order to further optimize our search engine, we have reorganized our categories under broader disciplines to reflect the areas and faculty structure followed by many universities. This is helping our users more easily navigate our ever-growing database of programs and institutes, making it faster for them to find the most relevant study abroad options.

CONTENT RESOURCES FOR STUDENTS A major focus for educations.com has been developing helpful study abroad resources to inform and inspire our students. Our comprehensive content plan has included articles, tests, downloadable guides, country guides, and student stories, all of which have dramatically grown organic traffic to our site.

STUDENT AMBASSADOR PROGRAM As part of our goal to inspire and empower users to study abroad, we’re partnering with various universities around the globe who put forward a student ambassador to represent their school. These ambassadors take over our social media accounts and publish content on our site about their own study abroad experiences, giving prospective students a first-hand look at a day in the life of an international student.

SCHOLARSHIPS In response to an increase in inquiries about scholarships, we have developed an information hub and free downloadable guide of over 150 scholarships specifically aimed at international students wanting to study abroad. We are also working with schools and universities to build more information into their educations.com profile about the specific scholarships they offer for international students.

DATA PROTECTION IN PLACE As part of EMG – Educations Media Group, a European company, educations.com is in compliance with the new data protection legislation, GDPR, that came into effect on May 25 th, 2018. This is positive news as it helps us better protect our student data from the type of breaches that have been in focus in the media. For our clients, not much has changed except an even more up-to-date database of prospective students and a clearer opt-in to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy for visitors. 6

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USER BEHAVIOR BY REGION: CLICK-THROUGHS Below, we list the conversion rate of click-throughs to university websites by sub-continent (as defined by Google Analytics). We hope to highlight which geographic regions prefer to immediately consult the university website rather than sending an inquiry. Least likely to click-through

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

|

CLICKTHROUGH (%)

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

CLICKTHROUGH (%)

1

South America

26.70%

11

Eastern Asia

7.06%

2

Melanesia

12.51%

12

Central America

6.98%

3

Northern Africa

11.43%

13

Central Asia

6.92%

4

Australasia

9.95%

14

Southeast Asia

6.86%

5

Southern Europe

9.70%

15

Southern Asia

6.10%

6

Northern Europe

9.20%

16

Caribbean

6.07%

7

Eastern Europe

9.04%

17

Eastern Africa

5.96%

8

Western Asia

8.61%

18

Western Africa

5.73%

9

Western Europe

8.19%

19

Middle Africa

5.22%

North America

7.21%

20

Southern Africa

2.35%

10 8

Most likely to click-through

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USER BEHAVIOR BY REGION: INFORMATION REQUESTS Below, we list the conversion rate of student inquiries sent to universities by sub-continent (as defined by Google Analytics). We hope to highlight which geographic regions prefer to send an inquiry rather than immediately consulting the university website. Least likely to request information

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

Most likely to request information

INFORMATION REQUEST (%)

GEOGRAPHIC REGION

INFORMATION REQUEST (%)

1

Northern Africa

5.51%

11

North America

2.26%

2

Melanesia

5.22%

12

Western Europe

1.87%

3

Southern Asia

4.80%

13

Eastern Europe

1.85%

4

Western Asia

3.64%

14

Eastern Asia

1.56%

5

Central Asia

3.41%

15

Middle Africa

1.49%

6

South America

2.91%

16

Australasia

1.38%

7

Southeast Asia

2.88%

17

Western Africa

0.97%

8

Central America

2.76%

18

Eastern Africa

0.80%

9

Southern Africa

2.65%

19

Caribbean

0.62%

10

Southern Europe

2.36%

20

Northern Europe

0.23%

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10

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT SURVEY: MARKET INSIGHTS AND TRENDS

26+4324+61

At educations.com, we help over 2.5 million prospective international students find and connect with the right educational institutions every year. Understanding the motivations, influences, worries, aspirations and challenges of these students is an important part of helping us do the best job we can. As your partner in international student recruitment, we are thrilled to share the results of an in-depth survey we conducted with over 20,000 students representing 178 nationalities. We collected responses by emailing our database of students who have found their university through educations.com and prospective students who have engaged with us in their search for education. Our hope in this survey is to illuminate general trends separated by undergraduate and postgraduate study as well as spotlight several key student recruitment regions to help you better understand and communicate with these markets.

AGE

43%

27%

24%

5%

1%

> 18

18-22

23-29

30-39

40+

GENDER*

100+R L 42+ 100+R L 58+

*0.2% who responded to the survey identified as non-binary.

42%

58%

42% Male

58%

Female

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GENERAL TRENDS: BACHELOR'S DEGREES WHY DO STUDENTS WANT TO STUDY ABROAD? Prospective bachelor’s degree students who are driven to study abroad are more motivated than current students to explore new cultures, make friends, and expand their career opportunities. As Generation Z has grown up in a global, digital environment, it’s no surprise that they’re eager to expand their network of international friends and experiences in real life to match the global connections they have online.

Experiencing a New Culture

CURRENT STUDENTS

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

59%

67%

30%

41%

Expanding Career Opportunities

37%

54%

Prospective bachelor’s degree students are less influenced by family and friends and more influenced by international student stories and social media. Never before has there been more access for students to find inspiration from an online tribe of globally-minded international students, and it shows.

100+R L44+ 100+R L25+ 100+R L 36+

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Youtube, Facebook and Instagram continue to lead the pack for prospective students as “very important” to them in their quest to learn more about studying abroad. The importance of certain channels is on the rise with promising growth in channels many universities may not yet use as a marketing platform. POPULAR SOCIAL CHANNELS INFLUENCING STUDY ABROAD

18%

11%

WHAT ARE STUDENTS MOST INFLUENCED BY?

36% more likely to cite digital study abroad student stories as an influence

18+1134+157+69

Social media is highly influential as a source of information about international study, but which channels are most instrumental?

34%

Making Friends and Expanding Professional Network

+36%

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS ARE STUDENTS USING TO FIND STUDY ABROAD INFORMATION?

+44%

44% more likely to cite social media as an influence

-25%

25% less likely to cite friends and family as an influence

Facebook LinkedIn

15%

7%

YouTube Instagram

Twitter

6%

9%

Snapchat Pinterest

INFLUENTIAL SOCIAL CHANNELS ON THE RISE 200% 180% 160% 140% 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

Facebook LinkedIn YouTube Instagram Snapchat Twitter Pinterest


COUNTRY, UNIVERSITY, OR PROGRAM? Programs continue to play a central role in the university choices many students make. Although the country choice has diminished slightly in importance, it continues to play a strong role in shaping where students will travel for their studies. This suggests country brand and reputation should remain a focus for countries looking to attract international students. CURRENT STUDENTS

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Choose Country First

37%

29%

Choose School First

18%

21%

Choose Program First

45%

The factors students value when choosing a country is undergoing a significant shift. Cost of living is of increasing concern, as well as friendliness and safety. The “general reputation” and “culture” of the country has shrunk in importance by 16%, suggesting that prospective students might be less concerned by stereotypes.

1

Language Barriers

#1 United States of America

#2 United Kingdom

#6 France

#7 Netherlands

#3

#8

Canada

Singapore

#4

#9

Germany

Italy

50%

HOW DO STUDENTS CHOOSE THEIR COUNTRY OF STUDIES?

CURRENT

WHERE DO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD?

PROSPECTIVE

1

#5

#10

Australia

Spain

WHERE ARE CURRENT STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD? #1 United Kingdom

#2 United States of America

#6 Sweden

#7 Australia

Cost of Living

2

Culture

2

Language Barriers

3

General Country Reputation

3

Overall Safety Ranking

4

Lifestyle and Leisure Opportunities

4

Culture

5

Location

5

Friendliess and Nature of the People

#3

#8

Netherlands

China

#4

#9

Canada

Denmark

#5

#10

Germany

Spain

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GENERAL TRENDS: MASTER'S DEGREES WHY DO POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS WANT TO STUDY ABROAD? Similar to undergraduate students, postgraduate students are more eager than ever to study abroad. Common reasons postgraduate students study abroad include the chance to experience a new culture and widen their professional and personal network of friends. They are less interested in studying abroad due to the influence of their friends and family members. CURRENT STUDENTS

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Experiencing a New Culture

55%

61%

Making Friends and Expanding Professional Network

32%

36%

Recommended by Family / Friends

13%

3%

Scholarships and funding information are a far stronger influence on deciding to study abroad for a postgraduate degree than an undergraduate degree. Student stories and social media are becoming increasingly important influences for prospective postgraduate and undergraduate students alike.

100+R L29+ 100+R L60+ 100+R L 25+ 25% more likely to cite scholarships and funding information as an influence

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18+178+629+814

YouTube has usurped Facebook’s top position as a go-to social channel for information about study abroad for postgraduate students. While Facebook and LinkedIn’s influence has grown modestly, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Snapchat have seen larger growth suggesting dedicated marketing activity on multiple social platforms may become a must-do. POPULAR SOCIAL CHANNELS INFLUENCING STUDY ABROAD 29%

18% 17%

WHAT ARE POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS MOST INFLUENCED BY?

+25%

WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS ARE POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS USING TO FIND STUDY ABROAD INFORMATION?

+29%

29% more likely to cite student stories of studying abroad as an influence

+60%

60% more likely to cite social media as an influence

14%

8%

Facebook LinkedIn

Twitter

8%

6%

Snapchat YouTube

Pinterest Instagram

INFLUENTIAL SOCIAL CHANNELS ON THE RISE 200% 180% 160% 140% 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% 0%

Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Snapchat

YouTube Pinterest Instagram


COUNTRY, UNIVERSITY, OR PROGRAM? Following the same trend as prospective undergraduate students, country destination is playing a slightly less important role in study abroad choice. Program-choice continues to remain the most important factor for the majority of students with the university itself as the lowest priority when deciding where to study abroad. CURRENT STUDENTS

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Choose Country First

30%

25%

Choose School First

19%

22%

Choose Program First

51%

53%

HOW DO STUDENTS CHOOSE THEIR COUNTRY OF STUDIES? The next generation of prospective students has more practical concerns about their country of study than students currently enrolled. Cost of living, safety, and employment opportunities are the top factors for students while culture and leisure opportunities are dropping as priorities. CURRENT

PROSPECTIVE

WHERE DO PROSPECTIVE POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD? #1

Language Barriers

1

Cost of Living

2

Culture

2

Language Barriers

3

General Country Reputation

3

Overall Safety Ranking

4

Lifestyle and Leisure Opportunities

4

School’s Reputation and Teaching Quality

5

Overal Safety Ranking

5

Employement Options After Studying

France

#2

#7

Canada

Japan

#3

#8

United Kingdom

Sweden

#4

#9

Australia

Italy

#5

#10

Germany

Spain

WHERE ARE CURRENT POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS STUDYING ABROAD? #1 United Kingdom

#2 United States of America

1

#6

United States of America

#6 France

#7 Norway

#3

#8

Germany

Italy

#4

#9

Australia

Austria

#5

#10

Netherlands

Canada

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TRENDS IN NORTHERN EUROPE How are prospective Northern European students different from students already enrolled abroad? To highlight trends, we asked students in both groups about their attitudes, priorities, and interest areas and have featured key differences between the two. Countries from the survey include: Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia with over 4,000 responses included from this region.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT IN NORTHERN EUROPE: • Emphasize Master’s and semester abroad opportunities. • Is your campus in a great location? Geotarget photo and video advertisements about the beauty of your location to Northern European students. • Pick the right social platforms: YouTube and Instagram are where your prospects get inspired to study abroad. • Promote the unique culture of your country. • Offering programs in English? Let students know that English-speaking countries aren’t their only option for international degrees.

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3626+ 1318+ 23+ 2230+ 2019+ 74+

INTEREST BY LEVEL OF STUDY

Students from Northern Europe are showing an increased interest in Master’s and semester abroad programs and declining interest in international Bachelor’s degrees. Current students Prospective students

36%

30%

26%

22%

18%

20%

19%

1 3%

7%

3%

2%

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

PhD

Semester / Year

Language Course

4%

Pathway / Access

INFLUENCES TO STUDY ABROAD

Prospective Northern Europeans ranked social media as their strongest influence in the decision to study abroad and show an increasing preference for photos and videos of study abroad destinations as influencers to make the leap.

100+R L 56+ 100+R L 100+R L 73+ +73%

+56%

+100%

73% more likely to cite social media as an influence

56% more likely to cite photos as an influence

100% more likely to cite videos as an influence

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27+115+728+715 19+103+933+521

TRENDS IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Following the world trend, prospective students in Northern Europe rate more social media channels as highly important in influencing their decision to study abroad. Instagram shows particularly promising growth and has climbed to the second most important social channel for study abroad information, while Facebook is in decline. 33%

28%

27%

15%

11%

7%

5%

Facebook LinkedIn

Twitter

10%

7%

Snapchat YouTube

21%

19%

9%

5%

3%

Pinterest Instagram

Facebook LinkedIn

CURRENT STUDENTS

Twitter

Snapchat YouTube

Pinterest Instagram

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

MAJOR CONCERNS

Although Northern Europeans are far less concerned with tuition fees and visas than other regions in the world, concern is growing in prospective students. Similarly, while student visas were formerly of least concern, they have risen to the fourth top concern for Northern European students.

53% PASSPORT

46%

increase in concern over visas

increase in concern over tuition fees

HOW DO THEY CHOOSE WHERE TO STUDY ABROAD? Although Northern Europeans are far more country-focused in their study abroad selection process, there is a trend towards increased focus on programs and decreased focus on country of study.

43% choose the country first

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16% choose the school first

41% choose the program first


WHERE DO NORTHERN EUROPEAN STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD?

#1

#6

United States

France

#2

#7

United Kingdom

Canada

#3

#8

Australia

Japan

#4

#9

Spain

Germany

#5

#10

Sweden

China E D U C AT I O N S . C O M |

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TRENDS IN SOUTHEAST ASIA How are prospective Southeast Asian students different from students already enrolled abroad? To highlight trends, we asked students in both groups about their attitudes, priorities, and interest areas and have featured key differences between the two. Countries from the survey include: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam with over 1,800 responses included from this region.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT IN SOUTHEAST ASIA: • Promoting a semester abroad program? This region could be difficult for you. Universities targeting Southeast Asia for Master’s and PhD programs will find a rising interest in postgraduate programs. • Do you offer scholarships? Awareness level campaigns about scholarships available to international students can be a strong influencer in their decision to study abroad. • When marketing to prospective Southeast Asian students, lead with programs first. The majority of students choose programs before university or country of study. • Highlight quality of teaching and help meeting career goals, and place less emphasis on cultural opportunities. • Concern over visa eligibility is growing. Make it easy for students by offering a transparent look at visa regulations on your university website.

20

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5247+ 725+ 14+ 2412+ 6+ 106+

INTEREST BY LEVEL OF STUDY

While interest in semester abroad programs is steady or growing in other regions, Southeast Asian prospective students are showing a big rise in interest in postgraduate programs. 52%

47%

Current students Prospective students

25%

24%

12%

7%

4%

1%

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

PhD

10%

6%

Semester / Year

6%

6%

Language Course

Pathway / Access

INFLUENCES TO STUDY ABROAD

Prospective Southeast Asian students are less likely to study abroad for access to more programs of study. Instead, they are more interested in work visa opportunities after graduation. Access to higher quality teaching is also a strong influencer on their decision to study abroad.

100+R L 30+ 100+R L 63+ 100+R L 22+ -22%

+30%

+63%

22% less likely to cite additional study options as an influence

30% more likely to cite making new friends as an influence

63% more likely to cite getting a work visa after graduation as an influence

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26+94+734+614 19+163+1028+816

TRENDS IN SOCIAL MEDIA

Instagram and Twitter have leapt ahead as study abroad influencers in Southeast Asia with Snapchat and Facebook stagnating as a source of inspiration for the next generation of prospective students. 34%

28%

26%

19%

14%

9%

7%

4%

Facebook LinkedIn

Twitter

16%

10%

6%

Snapchat YouTube

16%

8%

3%

Pinterest Instagram

Facebook LinkedIn

CURRENT STUDENTS

Twitter

Snapchat YouTube

Pinterest Instagram

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

MAJOR CONCERNS

Tuition fees and living expenses are of strongest concern to the majority of Southeast Asian students with nearly all students indicating that funding was a worry. Concern about visa requirements has climbed from the fifth largest concern to the third with nearly twice as many prospective students worried.

25%

decrease in concern over school ranking

22%

increase in concern over tuition fees

HOW DO THEY CHOOSE WHERE TO STUDY ABROAD? Southeast Asian students consider the study program to be of highest importance, with country and university vying for second place.

27% choose the country first

22

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20% choose the school first

53% choose the program first


WHERE DO SOUTHEAST ASIAN STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD?

#1

#6

United Kingdom

Singapore

#2

#7

United States

Japan

#3

#8

Australia

China

#4

#9

South Korea

France

#5

#10

Canada

Germany E D U C AT I O N S . C O M |

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TRENDS IN NORTH AMERICA How are prospective North American students different from students already enrolled abroad? To highlight trends, we asked students in both groups about their attitudes, priorities, and interest areas and have featured key differences between the two. Countries from the survey include: The United States and Canada with over 2,700 responses included from this region.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT IN NORTH AMERICA: • Amplify the voices of your current international students to show off your university to North American students. • Bachelor’s and semester abroad programs make up the majority of American student mobility, but don’t forget to show off your Master’s degrees to an increasingly mobile segment. • Market through a range of social platforms. North American prospective students are more likely to rate multiple social platforms as highly important in their decision to study abroad. • As North American students grow increasingly uncertain of the safety and socio-political climates of other countries, provide relevant statistics about your location to help ease concerns. • Program and country choice are nearly tied as the first decision prospective students make. Place your best foot forward in this region by marketing your country brand and quality of your programs before your university.

24

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3731+ 915+ 35+ 3738+ 79+ 72+

INTEREST BY LEVEL OF STUDY

Although semester abroad programs and Bachelor’s degrees dominate for North American students, Master’s are gaining in popularity while Bachelor’s degrees are falling slightly. 37%

37%

38%

Current students Prospective students

31%

15%

9%

3%

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

7%

5%

PhD

9%

7%

2%

Semester / Year

Language Course

Pathway / Access

INFLUENCES TO STUDY ABROAD

North American students are more excited than ever to experience a new culture. The prospect of international adventure, making new friends, and learning a new language are beginning to take precedence over career-related objectives.

100+R L 46+ 100+R L 12+ 100+R L 40+ +40%

+46%

+12%

40% more likely to cite experiencing a new culture as an influence

46% more likely to cite having an adventure as an influence

12% more likely to cite personal development as an influence

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25


15+86+1134+917 11+76+1432+1020

TRENDS IN SOCIAL MEDIA

While YouTube remains a popular channel for prospective North American students, Instagram and Snapchat are becoming more widely used while Facebook remains steady. North American students in general rate a wider spread of social channels as very important. 34%

32%

20%

17%

15%

11%

8%

6%

Facebook LinkedIn

Twitter

11%

9%

Snapchat YouTube

Pinterest Instagram

14%

7%

Facebook LinkedIn

CURRENT STUDENTS

6%

Twitter

Snapchat YouTube

10%

Pinterest Instagram

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

MAJOR CONCERNS

For North American students, visa requirements and the socio-political climate are appearing on the radar as students consider studying abroad. Tuition, housing, and a lack of knowledge of the local language remain of greatest concern for both prospective and current students abroad.

33%

50%

increase in concern over tuition fees

increase in concern over housing

HOW DO THEY CHOOSE WHERE TO STUDY ABROAD? North American prospective and current students show little change in how they choose to study abroad. Program and country remain of top importance.

40% choose the country first

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16% choose the school first

44% choose the program first


WHERE DO NORTH AMERICAN STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD?

#1

#6

France

Germany

#2

#7

United Kingdom

United States

#3

#8

Italy

Ireland

#4

#9

Australia

Spain

#5

#10

Japan

South Korea E D U C AT I O N S . C O M |

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TRENDS IN SOUTH AMERICA How are prospective South American students different from students already enrolled abroad? To highlight trends, we asked students in both groups about their attitudes, priorities, and interest areas and have featured key differences between the two. Countries from the survey include: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela with over 2,500 responses included from this region.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT IN SOUTH AMERICA: • Language courses are of diminishing interest to South American students while international Master’s degrees and PhD programs are predicted to rise considerably in interest. • South American students are still influenced by their family and friends, but they value stories from your students even more. • Feel free to target a variety of social platforms to reach students on this continent. • Provide clear information about cost of living in your country as well as budgeting tips for students, to assuage concerns about affordability. • Country culture and career opportunities are paramount when marketing programs to South American students.

28

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4038+ 1324+ 15+ 2521+ 189+ 3+

INTEREST BY LEVEL OF STUDY

Bachelor’s degrees abroad remain steady, while Master’s degrees and PhDs are seeing considerable increase in interest. Meanwhile, interest in studying at language schools abroad may dip considerably in popularity in the next years among South American students. 40%

38%

Current students Prospective students

25%

24%

21%

18%

1 3%

9%

5%

3%

1%

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

PhD

Semester / Year

Language Course

3%

Pathway / Access

INFLUENCES TO STUDY ABROAD

Learning a new language is less of a priority for South American students going abroad. While personal development and experiencing a new culture remain priorities, the prospect of making new friends from around the world is a bigger draw to South American students.

100+R L 16+ 100+R L 49+ 100+R L 21+ -21%

+16%

+49%

21% less likely to cite language as an influence

16% more likely to cite experiencing a new culture as an influence

49% more likely to cite making new friends as an influence

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18+115+736+617 10+135+1543+59

TRENDS IN SOCIAL MEDIA

All social channels are becoming more influential in the study abroad process for future students. YouTube and Snapchat are showing significant growth in South America amongst prospective students, while Facebook and Instagram are in decline. 43%

36%

18%

17%

11%

7%

5%

Facebook LinkedIn

Twitter

10%

6%

Snapchat YouTube

15%

13%

5%

Pinterest Instagram

Facebook LinkedIn

CURRENT STUDENTS

Twitter

5%

Snapchat YouTube

9%

Pinterest Instagram

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

MAJOR CONCERNS Worries about studying abroad are very similar from today’s prospective South American students as they were for previous students. Tuition fees, housing, and visa requirements are all of top concern.

24% PASSPORT

16%

increase in concern over tuition fees

increase in concern over housing

HOW DO THEY CHOOSE WHERE TO STUDY ABROAD? While country and study program were formerly tied for first place for South American students, programs are now taking a clear lead.

30% choose the country first

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22% choose the school first

48% choose the program first


WHERE DO SOUTH AMERICAN STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD?

#1

#6

United States

France

#2

#7

Canada

Australia

#3

#8

Spain

Ireland

#4

#9

United Kingdom

Mexico

#5

#10

Germany

Russia E D U C AT I O N S . C O M |

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TRENDS IN WESTERN EUROPE How are prospective Western European students different from students already enrolled abroad? To highlight trends, we asked students in both groups about their attitudes, priorities, and interest areas and have featured key differences between the two. Countries from the survey include: The United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, Monaco, and the Netherlands with over 2,400 responses included from this region.

KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT IN WESTERN EUROPE: • If the United Kingdom is a target market, be prepared for increasing concerns about student visas and eligibility for work visas after graduation. • Give international students a platform to review your university including their experience of the country. What the family and friends of students’ think about your country brand isn’t as important as what former international students have to say about your locale. • Create study abroad guides and articles. They are playing an increasingly important part in helping Western European students go abroad for studies and are a great way to intercept students early in their study abroad journey. • Western European students are more interested in university brand than many other regions and the trend is growing. Placing your university at the forefront of marketing campaigns before programs and country may work well. • Focus social marketing on YouTube and Instagram to reach the most students.

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4339+ 1017+ 13+ 2532+ 137+ 82+

INTEREST BY LEVEL OF STUDY

While Bachelor’s degrees may undergo a slight dip in interest, semester abroad programs, Master’s degrees, and PhDs are gaining traction with prospective Western European students. 43%

39%

Current students Prospective students

32%

25%

17%

13%

1 0%

1%

Bachelor’s Degree

Master’s Degree

8%

7%

3%

PhD

2%

Semester / Year

Language Course

Pathway / Access

INFLUENCES TO STUDY ABROAD

Western European students show a growing disinterest in using study abroad as an opportunity to study for free. They are also less inclined to see it as a means of getting away from their country of origin. They do, however, show an increasing interest in getting a visa to work in another country upon graduation.

100+R L 25+ 100+R L 100+R L 33+ -33%

-25%

+100%

33% less likely to cite opportunities to study for free as an influence

25% less likely to cite leaving their country of origin as an influence

100% more likely to cite getting a work visa after graduation as an influence

E D U C AT I O N S . C O M |

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21+112+836+616 19+105+836+715

TRENDS IN SOCIAL MEDIA

YouTube, Instagram and Facebook are the most frequently-cited social channel influencers for Western European students with a growing interest in Twitter and Snapchat. 36%

36%

21%

16%

11%

8%

Twitter

Snapchat YouTube

15%

10%

6%

2%

Facebook LinkedIn

19%

5%

Pinterest Instagram

Facebook LinkedIn

CURRENT STUDENTS

Twitter

8%

7%

Snapchat YouTube

Pinterest Instagram

PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

MAJOR CONCERNS

Western European prospective students are increasingly concerned about the general safety reputation, cost of living, and visa requirements of their potential study abroad choice. However housing, tuition fees, and language differences remain paramount concerns.

75%

82%

increase in concern over safety

increase in concern over cost of living

HOW DO THEY CHOOSE WHERE TO STUDY ABROAD? Western European students primarily choose the program of study and country first, before taking into consideration the university and its reputation.

40% choose the country first

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18% choose the school first

42% choose the program first


WHERE DO WESTERN EUROPEAN STUDENTS DREAM OF STUDYING ABROAD?

#1

#6

United States

France

#2

#7

Spain

Japan

#3

#8

Australia

United Kingdom

#4

#9

Canada

Mexico

#5

#10

Germany

Netherlands E D U C AT I O N S . C O M |

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INTERNATIONAL STUDENT MARKETING & RECRUITMENT SURVEY What are the biggest challenges higher education marketers face in recruiting international students, what’s on the horizon, and which marketing channels are helping them face these challenges? We asked over 100 public and private universities to share their insights in our 2018 International Student Marketing & Recruitment survey. We then used their answers to help shape our survey and this report.

TOP CHALLENGES IN INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT

PASSPORT

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

Brand Awareness and Exposure

Visa and Permits for Students

Finding Quality Applicants

Language of Programs

Reach in Focus Markets

TOP CHALLENGES EXPECTED IN THE NEXT 3-5 YEARS

27+2018 16 28%

Increasing Competition

Declining Volume of International Students

Visas, Entry-Exams, and Government Bureaucracy

18%

Country Brand and Reputation

18%

Language of Programs

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20%

E D U C AT I O N S . C O M

16%


HARDEST REGIONS TO REACH WITH CURRENT INTERNATIONAL STUDENT RECRUITMENT STRATEGY

#1

#2

#3

#4

#5

North America

Australasia

Northern Europe

South America

Western Europe

TOP CHANNELS USED TO GET IN FRONT OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

#1

#3

#2

Study Abroad Fairs and Exhibitions

Education Portals

Social Media

#4

#5

Email Campaigns

AdWords

MARKETING CAMPAIGNS WITH THE GREATEST RETURN ON INVESTMENT

100+R L27+ 100+R L25+ 100+R L20+ 100+R L 27+ 27%

27%

25%

21%

Education Portals

Social Media

AdWords

Email Campaigns

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RECOMMENDED CITATION educations.com (2018). International Higher Education Report: Student Trends 2018. Retrieved from: http://www.educations.com/student-trends-2018 38

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International Higher Education Report: Student Trends - 2018  
International Higher Education Report: Student Trends - 2018