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Students Online: Global Trends 2015 – Five Infographics

Students Online: Global Trends 2015 – Five Infographics main image

Our new Students Online: Global Trends report, published this week, explores how prospective students around the world are using online resources to research and compare universities. For a quick overview of key trends from this year’s survey, check out these five infographics…

1. What do prospective students use different online resources for?

This first infographic explores the roles played by different types of online resource when prospective students are seeking information. Rankings websites, for instance, are clearly the go-to place for comparing universities, while social networks are consulted as a source of ideas and inspiration.

How do prospective students use different online resources?

2. How do students prefer to communicate with universities?

You may suspect today’s prospective students simply want to send a Facebook message or a tweet – but in fact email remains their preferred communication channel in this context. If used effectively, email promises the perfect balance of personalized yet official responses.

How do prospective students prefer to communicate with universities?

3. What information do prospective students struggle to find online?

As this third infographic shows, many prospective students report difficulties finding information about funding. Across all study levels, a significant number also report challenges in accessing sufficient information about admissions, course content and student visas.


What information do prospective students struggle to find online?

4. How important is social media for prospective students?

The answer to this question largely depends on location. As this image shows, university applicants in Asia, Africa and Latin America are more likely to categorize social networks as an important part of their university research, compared to their less enthusiastic peers in the US, Canada and Europe.

How important is social media for prospective students?

5. How popular is the prospect of studying online?

Online education has been big news in recent years, but how many prospective students are really considering studying online? Among our survey respondents, there's a clear trend based on age. Older applicants are much more likely to be considering online study, with almost a third of the 30+ age group replying “yes” to this question.

How popular is online study?

For more key findings and regional analysis, including additional infographics and recommendations for universities, the full Students Online: Global Trends 2015 report is available to read online.

Written by Laura Bridgestock
The former editor of TopUniversities.com, Laura oversaw the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edited the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributed to market research reports, including 'How Do Students Use Rankings?'

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