LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A unique survey of almost 44,000 prospective international students recommends that UK Universities need to take a new approach to student marketing and recruitment to be able to compete globally. Hobsons ‘International Student Marketing and Recruitment Manifesto’, launched today, argues that Higher Education Institutions need to take a smarter, more personal and sustainable approach to international student recruitment. The fourth annual study by Hobsons – the largest of its kind – surveys students from 175 different countries who intend to study abroad.
In a more targeted survey as part of the UK report, the research found that over 80 per cent of EU students said they would find the UK less attractive and over a third of non-EU students reported that they would find the UK less attractive if the UK were to leave the EU.
- 82 per cent of EU students reported that they would find the UK less attractive.
- 35 per cent of non-EU students reported that they would find the UK less attractive.
What can be understood from this is the effect there could potentially be to the UK Universities sector as a result of ‘Brexit’ – the number of international student places which might be described as ‘at risk.’ According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 240,767 international students came to the UK in 2014/15, of which 60,955 were EU and 179,812 were non-EU. This suggests that a total of 113,116 international students could be ‘at risk’ of being put off , resulting in the UK Higher Education sector missing out on over £690m per annum. Within this figure, more non-EU students would be ‘put off’:
- 50,056 EU students could be ‘at risk.’
- 63,060 non-EU students could be ‘at risk.’
In terms of specific groups, Chinese, Indian and US students represent the three largest nationalities of international students coming to the UK. The national breakdown of the ‘at risk’ non-EU students for these groups suggest that:
- 20,178 or just over 34 per cent of Chinese students are ‘at risk’ of being put off
- 4,822 or just under 48 per cent of Indian students are ‘at risk’ of being put off
- 4,592 or 45 per cent of US students are ‘at risk’ of being put off
Jeremy Cooper, Managing Director of Hobsons EMEA, said: “Our approach recognises that, for universities in the UK, the market is tougher than ever before, and growth can no longer be depended on. The UK higher education sector has faced major challenges but international students still represent a significant, strategic opportunity for UK universities. In terms of the EU, the results of this survey demonstrate precisely what scale the impact of the EU referendum could be felt on.”
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