Findings at a glance:
The UK's competitive advantage 2017 is based on data collected from over 137,000 respondents.Social media is fastest growing influence on the international student journey:
The report examines the influencing factors for prospective international students in their choice of study destination. For UG and PGT students, the reputation and quality of institutions are key factors influencing the decision to study in the UK. PGR students cited the quality of the research at their chosen institution as the most important factor.
There has been an overall growth of 6% in the proportion of international UG students using social media to help them choose where to study since 2012. However, this varies considerably according to location. Prospective students in Vietnam (26%) were most likely to use social media, followed by those in Poland (21%) and Bulgaria (20%). At the other end of the spectrum only 5% of those in South Korea used social media to inform their decision.
The biggest influencers on international UG choice were an institution's website (37%), family (36%) and friends (33%).
This is the second iteration of The UK's competitive advantage report which echoes previous findings that the UK is ranked first for recommendation by international students. The ISB has collected data from over 3 million students in over 1,400 institutions across 33 countries since its inception.
Commenting on the report, Director of UUKi, Vivienne Stern, said:
"This study highlights the UK's strength in the student experience, at every level, and across a wide range of measures: from the quality of teaching and the learning experience, through to the warmth of welcome received. International students are an important part of university communities and bring diversity to the student experience. They provide a global perspective for home students and university staff and add to the quality of the overall university experience. It's great to hear that UK universities are consistently providing international students with a world-class study experience. However, we mustn't become complacent. This is a time of great change in the UK and universities must make sure that the student experience, for both international and home students, remains central to their strategies."