An educations.com study has revealed tuition cost and housing as the top factors impacting global study abroad.
The study entitled “International Higher Education Report 2019: Student Trends” focused on various factors which impact the decisions made by students deciding where to study abroad.
32,000 students representing 192 nationalities were surveyed by educations.com.
The factors explored also included the various influences behind the choice to study abroad, and those elements underpinning students’ choice of country, institution and programmes.
Alongside tuition cost and housing, when choosing a country to study abroad, North American prospective students prioritise the safety, friendliness, and lifestyle far more than students enrolling in previous years.
This is a very similar case for Northern European students, who are influenced predominately by these factors, alongside a country’s cost of living.
However, they also place a “gut feeling” about the destination country as the fourth most significant priority.
Tuition cost more influential than passion for a subject for North American students
The findings include the fact that, while North American students are increasingly focusing on experiencing a new culture as a reason to study abroad, ‘tuition cost is the number one factor that North American students take into consideration – even over choosing a subject they are deeply passionate about and interested in.’
Other factors prioritised by prospective students include lifestyle, leisure opportunities and social for South American students; the openness of a country’s culture for Southeast Asian students; and both the reputation of the schools and their standard of teaching are factors, which are steadily rising in importance for Western European prospective students.
Housing a decisive factor for Western European students
Amongst Western European students, the number of individuals whose decision has been influenced by housing options has risen from 2% to 31%.
For prospective Western European students, the top reason for to choosing an education abroad is now to experience a new culture, as part of desiring their own personal development.
Yet for these students, the number of individuals whose decision has been influenced by cost-associated factors, specifically housing options, has risen sharply from 2-31%.
Other trends seem to hint at the importance of modernisation for academic institutions, with Middle Eastern students 37% more interested in the flexibility of studies (in terms of blended learning and part-time options), and Southeast Asian students are a staggering 88% more likely to cite the ability to study for free as an influencing factor.
The study also found that the United States is the top ‘dream’ study abroad destination for international students.
Josephine Walbank is a reporter for Global Education Times (GET News) with a focus on education in the UK, Asia-Pacific, and Americas, and student experience and lifestyle news.
Josephine is an experienced journalist who previously served as the Editor-in-Chief of The Falmouth Anchor. She is also the former Deputy Editor of Voices, the Falmouth & Exeter Students’ Union’s publication, and has written for various food and lifestyle publications.
You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org