A third of prospective international applicants to UK universities consult Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings when choosing where to apply.
A survey of 17,336 prospective international students from 210 countries, carried out by Hobsons, found that students primarily use a small number of “powerhouse rankings systems”. The THE ranking was consulted by 33 per cent of prospective students overall, and was the most-referred to league table by students in India (45 per cent).
The International Student Survey from Hobsons said that academic reputation or ranking was the most important criterion for prospective international students when choosing between two institutions.
Honor Paddock, Hobsons’ director of client success, said: “These findings reinforce what we already know, that while the UK remains a popular destination for international students in an increasingly fierce and globalised HE sector it becomes more important to understand the market itself.
“Higher education institutions must therefore place a renewed emphasis on employability through soft skills and combine this with providing context around rankings, which communicate value not just by how high they are but in a tangible way through industry accreditations, alumni success or differentiators against competitors.”
In the overall table of university rankings, the THE ranking was second only to the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), which was consulted by 43 per cent of prospective international students.