According to a new report from QS Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), which surveyed 1,10,306 prospective international students, the biggest consideration of Indian aspirants (74%) are living costs, followed by getting a job (60%) and availability of scholarships (60%). Also Indian students expect the universities to provide information on placements and industry links, teaching staffs’ experience and qualifications as well as facilitate connections with existing international students.
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The 2022 International Student Survey (ISS) recommends that institutions tailor their recruitment strategies by providing insights on the priorities, concerns and needs of prospective students situated in a set of diverse key markets identified by the government in the IES, including China, India, Vietnam, Nigeria and Saudi Arabia.
Data draws on responses from over 1,10,000 prospective international students from 194 countries and territories around the world — over 63,000 of whom said they were interested in studying in the UK. The report suggests UK universities adopt a tailored approach to recruiting students from different target markets to sustain the success of the country’s International Education Strategy (IES).
Globally the report found that for prospective students from China and Saudi Arabia, safety was cited as the biggest concern about studying overseas. Meanwhile, candidates from India, Vietnam and Nigeria listed the cost of living as their top concern. For students from China, India and Saudi Arabia the most important priority when choosing a university was the offer of high-quality teaching, for students from Nigeria it was a welcoming study destination and for Vietnamese students it was the offer of a scholarship.
The report also cited that nearly 16% of the aspirants would like to stay back for three to six years after completing their course, while 13% expressed their intent on permanent stay in the country they study.
Vivienne Stern, director, Universities UK International, said: “This year’s Survey shows that we as a sector can do more to attract students from those source countries outside of the EU. We need to recognise and address the barriers that international students who plan to study in the UK face – ranging from delays in processing their study visa, to restrictions on international travel in their home country. It is vital that the UK Higher Education sector continues to appreciate the diverse nature of each year’s international student intake, working to cater for the individual needs of each prospective student.