According to a recent Student Survey… it’s a question of quality
In February 2007, the British Council launched the on-line global Student Decision Making Survey, which asks potential students a range of questions. These are students in their home country who are interested in studying abroad or pursuing a foreign qualification in their home country. The survey captures why students want to study overseas, what they are looking for in an institution, location and course, where they look for information and much more.
Throughout 2007, the survey was run in over 30 countries, on-line and at education exhibitions, attracting over 32,000 respondents. This was built upon in 2008, and a further 40,000 responses were captured. The British Council continues to collect data from prospective students every day.
At the end of 2010, the data collected from 115,000 students in 200 countries showed that the quality of a UK education was a major factor in persuading them to travel to the UK to study.
What influences an overseas student’s decision to travel abroad to study?
- 59% of those heading for the UK said the quality of education available in the UK was the key.
- 38% of those heading for the US were most likely to focus on their career prospects.
- 25% of those heading for Germany saw low tuition fees as a priority.
- 24% of those heading for Australia and Canada considered the opportunity to work whilst studying a major factor.
50% of all students studying outside their home nations travel to one of five countries to study
- 19% travel to study in the US
- 10% travel to study in the UK
- 7% travel to study in Australia
- 7% travel to study in Germany
- 7% travel to study in France
Low tuition fees are not a major consideration for many
Interestingly, only 10% said that low tuition fees were in their top three considerations, leading the study to conclude that the “cost of studying overseas does not feature strongly when students are choosing a study destination”.
UK is a market leader
The report notes that, whilst it faces increasing competition from other nations providing an education for overseas students, the UK is still “a market leader” in university services.
To register your application to become an international student… contact UKUS via the Online UKUS Registration Form
Student Visa Hurdle
The British Council survey throws up some interesting points on quality and work options.
Whilst the visas did not appear to be a major factor in the survey, to students from poorer countries obtaining a student visa is one of the main considerations when choosing where to study.
A British, German or French student wishing to study at an American or Canadian university would barely think about obtaining a student visa when making a decision, and the thought of being refused a US visa would not even enter their minds.
Contrast that with the perception of a student from Africa, Bangladesh, Pakistan or the Philippines, where even the idea of obtaining a visitor visa for the US or Canada seems like an impossible dream then you begin to understand how the ‘visa hurdle’ loom large in their minds.
Despite recent changes, the UK still has a simple, transparent points based system (PBS) for student visa applications.
In the UK, all a student has to do is gain 40 points (and demonstrate a relatively low level of English language capability) under the streamlined and transparent ’Points Based System’, 30 of which comes from a Tier 4 licensed Sponsoring educational provider (which can be checked on the Tier 4 Sponsors Register) and 10 by demonstrating sufficient funds, and a student visa is virtually guaranteed.
British Embassy Visa Sections take a matter of weeks or days to grant a UK student visas (which can be obtain by applying online), rather than months for some countries, and rarely involve an interview. Almost 300,000 student visas were granted in 2010 for UK Universities, Colleges and private Schools and the sector is worth billions to the British economy.
International students studying at Universities and government colleges will retain the right to work part time up to 20 hours per week and full time during vacations.
The UK is also a multi-cultural, tolerant society where migrants and students will find a safe environment in which to study or work.