Based on a “mystery shopper” analysis of 445 leading world universities, StudyPortals found that recruitment processes in the UK and Ireland were the easiest for applicants to use.
For its report, titled Through Student Eyes, the Netherlands-based degree course listing service employed a team of nine students to test the websites and customer services of various universities listed in the top 500 of world university league tables.
Asked to identify key information about two randomly-selected English language master’s courses, the student researchers found that the websites of UK and Irish universities were easy to use and contained the right information for potential applicants.
When contacted, 60 per cent of UK and Irish universities responded within a day and nearly 80 per cent responded within four days.
Just over 10 per cent of UK and Irish universites failed to respond to an email enquiry from the research team – compared to more than 60 per cent of universities in China and 30 per cent of universities in Australia.
Overall, UK and Irish universities were rated the highest when their websites and customer services were considered, ahead of universities in the Benelux and Scandinavian regions, which also scored strongly, followed by those in Australia and New Zealand and then in the US and Canada.
The report, which was supported by the British Council, was published at the European Association for International Education’s annual conference in Prague on 17 September.