Post-study work options main reason for international students rejecting UK

Overseas applicants also cited the UK’s attitude to international students as a factor dissuading them from choosing a university in the country

September 15, 2015
student work visa
Source: iStock

The lack of work opportunities after studying is the main factor dissuading prospective international students from applying to or accepting a place at a UK university, according to a survey.

Nearly a third (32 per cent) of prospective overseas students who enquired about applying to a UK university, or who had applied, chose to study in a different country, with the highest proportion (36 per cent) of these students citing post-study work options as the main reason for rejecting the UK.

This was closely followed by the job prospects in their destination country (31 per cent), the ability to get permanent residency in the destination country after studying (29 per cent), the job prospects in their home country post-study (24 per cent), and the ability to work while studying (23 per cent), according to a survey of 17,336 prospective international students from 210 countries by Hobsons, which helps universities to recruit and retain students.

The main non-work related factor for students who chose not to study in the UK was the country’s attitude to international students (22.5 per cent).

Overall, the four main criteria that prospective international students cited as an influence when choosing one country over another were: the international recognition of qualifications (52 per cent), quality of education compared with their home country (51 per cent), availability of scholarships (43 per cent) and the ability to work while studying (28 per cent).

The International Student Survey 2015 reveals that of those students who considered studying in the UK but chose to go elsewhere, just 5 per cent chose to study in their home country,  3 per cent decided not to study at all and 27 per cent chose another country altogether. Of those in the latter group, the highest proportion (28 per cent) picked a university in the United States, followed by Canada and Germany (both 11 per cent).

The students were also asked how often they want to be contacted by institutions during all stages of the application cycle including after the initial enquiry, after submitting an application, after receiving an offer and once they have started at the institution. At each stage, the highest proportion of students (between 40 per cent and 53 per cent) said that they would prefer weekly communication from universities.

Overall, 35 per cent of those considering the UK as a university destination said that they planned to use an education agent during their enrolment process. However, the results differed widely across different countries, with 49 per cent of students from Malaysia, 47 per cent from China and 45 per cent from Hong Kong stating that they planned to use an agent, compared with just 21 per cent from Canada and 24 per cent from the US.

Among those students who used an agent, 33 per cent said that they contacted their agent after deciding to study abroad, 18 per cent after they had chosen an institution and 16 per cent after they had selected a course or country. Only 1 per cent of respondents said that an agent was the primary influence on their decision to study in a particular country.

ellie.bothwell@tesglobal.com

Download the full Hobsons report

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Reader's comments (1)

Great coverage of our report – highlighting the important issues that international students face when choosing where to study. If anyone wants any further information then you can download the full report here: http://www.hobsonssolutions.com/EMEA/ISS2015

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A group of flamingos and a Marabou stork

A right-wing philosopher in Texas tells John Gill how a minority of students can shut down debates and intimidate lecturers – and why he backs Trump

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands