Recent research by Cturtle, an employment network for international graduates and alumni who have studied in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada and New Zealand, has explored what international students deem the most important factors when choosing a university.
When students were asked why they chose the institution they studied at, the two top factors were location and ranking position. Price was also an important factor but things such as the ease of getting a visa and alumni engagement were deemed less important.
The International Student Employment Outcomes and Satisfaction 2020 Global Comparison Report collated responses from 16,830 international graduates from China, India, Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand on what they were most satisfied about with their country of education and what job prospects are like for international students.
Overall, alumni were most likely to recommend Canada and New Zealand as good study abroad destinations, driven mostly by feeling welcome and the satisfaction of working in the country. The UK was the least recommended country by alumni, however it still had a good score for its job opportunities and the satisfaction of working.
The top reason for choosing to study abroad was to improve career outcomes, with 81 per cent of respondents across the countries stating this as their main reason for choosing to study abroad.
In general, alumni who studied in Canada and the US were the most satisfied with job opportunities in their country. However, the alumni found the UK the most difficult market in which to work and stay on after graduation.
In terms of the satisfaction of overall living costs, Canada had the highest satisfaction rates followed by Europe. Canada also came out on top for rental costs and public transport costs while the UK and Australia came last in all three categories.
When participants were asked how satisfied they felt by the overall sense of feeling welcome in the country, Canada and New Zealand were the highest rated nations. The UK was the lowest performing country in this category.
The report also found that students from different countries of origin place greater importance on different factors when recommending their country of education.
For example, students from China, Hong Kong and Singapore felt that feeling welcome was the most important factor, while students from India thought that overall satisfaction with working in the country of education, work opportunities available after graduation related to studies, and equal job opportunities as an international student were the most important factors.