University ranking top reason why international students choose to study in the UK, reveals poll

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8th January 2020 12:13 - Education

University ranking top reason why international students choose to study in the UK: Research has found that the top reason why international students choose to study in the UK is because of their institution’s university ranking. 

The ISEOS 2020 report published by Cturtle (the employment network for returnee international graduated across Asia) surveyed 16,830 students online as part of the study. Of these, 4,673 respondents studied in the UK, while 479 were educated in other European countries. The vast majority (95%) had finished their studies.

More than a third of respondents (36%) were from Malaysia, with 21% from India, 11% from Vietnam, and 10% from Singapore. 

Top reasons for choosing the UK

The research found that more than 8 in 10 of the students who went to university in the UK (83%) and a similar amount who studied in Europe (82%) said that they opted to study abroad in order to give themselves the best career opportunities following graduation. 

When considering where to study the survey found that university ranking was the top reason for choosing to be educated in the UK (57%) followed by the institution's location (51%), cost of study (41%) career opportunities (18%) and alumni engagement (10%). 

University ranking was also the top reason why students chose to study in Europe, selected by more than half (52%), followed by location (50%), cost (38%) and job opportunities (28%). Just 12% said that alumni engagement was a top reason for choosing to study in Europe. 

Main source of information for international study 

Although the figures were relatively comparable in terms of how students choose where to study, when students were asked about their main source of information throughout the research process, the study found some differences.  

More students who studied in Europe used education counsellors and agents as their primary source of information than those who chose to study in the UK (44% compared to 35%). 

People who studied in the UK relied on websites or contacts at the school more than those who were educated at European institutions (29% compared to 12%). Ten percent of international students studying in the UK said they turned to social media or online forums compared to 13% of those who studied in Europe, while recommendations from friends and family were also cited (10% UK vs 12% Europe) as well as past Alumni (6% vs 7%). 

When asked about how satisfied they were with the cost of their education versus what they feel they received for that cost, two thirds (65%) of UK-educated students said they were 'satisfied with the return on investment". This compared to almost three-quarters (74%) of those who studied in Europe.

The survey also found that 45% of UK-based students undertook a part-time job to support their studies compared to 52% of those who studied in Europe. The majority of respondents (87%)  who undertook study in the UK said that they felt safe on campus' while in Europe that figure was higher at 92%.

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