A large global survey of 23,800 prospective international students from 195+ countries reveals that students’ methods for making study abroad decisions are once again changing.
According to a significant world survey conducted earlier this year, 56% of applicants began researching study abroad options less than six months before applying to college.
Approximately half of the respondent students were from Africa.
Two main highlights from the Keystone Education Group’s State of Student Recruitment Report for January–April 2023 are as follows:
- A growing number of students are conducting research on study abroad options less than six months before applying.
- 75 percent of students are concerned about their safety while studying abroad, particularly the possibility of racial discrimination.
African representation was on top:
Over fifty percent of the students who responded to the survey were African (52%), followed by Asian students (18%). Europe (14%), Latin America (7%), North America (4%), and the Middle East (4% each) contributed relatively less.
The remaining students were pursuing bachelor’s degrees (26%), doctoral/Ph.D. degrees (14%), and diplomas (5%), respectively.
Reasons for students aspiring to study abroad:
According to the analysis, students are realistic about studying abroad. The top motivation is career goals (53%), followed by the desire for personal development (46%), and access to higher educational opportunities (35%). Only 6% of students mentioned “having an adventure” as a motivation for their participation.
Similarly, when considering a particular programme, students are career-oriented and seek out internship opportunities (37%), a practical curriculum (24%), and “resume-enhancing” features (17%).
An extremely significant proportion of students expressed safety concerns. 75% of students said they were concerned for their safety while studying abroad, with the percentage rising to 85% among African students. The leading safety concern is racial discrimination.
Scholarships and financing information were the most desired content from universities (40%), reflecting students’ concerns about affordability, followed by visa and immigration information (12%) and cost of living and practical information (8%). According to Keystone, while studying abroad, the majority of students intend to work either part-time or full-time.