New Report: Emerging Markets for International Student Recruitment | Top Universities

New Report: Emerging Markets for International Student Recruitment

By Laura Bridgestock

Updated Updated

In response to demand for more information about emerging markets for international student recruitment, the QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey 2016 focuses on trends in 11 potential growth markets.

While China, India and South Korea still account for more than a quarter of all international student enrolments, universities worldwide are seeking to diversify their international intakes – to avoid becoming overly dependent on too few sending nations, and to keep pace with changing trends in student mobility.

Amongst the countries most often looked to as the next big source countries for international student recruitment are Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia and Turkey. The report explores these countries alongside other nations with large young populations and the potential to send an increasing number of students abroad in the coming years: Mexico, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, the Philippines, Bangladesh and Pakistan.

Trends explored in the report include:

Master’s study as professional versus academic pathway

While most master’s applicants say their primary motivation is career progression, survey respondents in several locations – most notably Bangladesh and Pakistan – are more likely to be driven by the desire to progress to a higher qualification, such as a PhD. For universities seeking to boost student recruitment, this suggests two separate approaches should be taken, depending on the market, with master’s study framed either as part of an academic track, or as a professional qualification.

The importance of post-study work opportunities

Overall, the survey has seen growing numbers of applicants across the world say they are influenced by a desire to stay and seek work when choosing a study destination. Among the emerging markets explored in the report, post-study work opportunities appear to have a stronger impact on the destination choices of applicants in the Philippines, Brazil and Turkey, while carrying less weight for those in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Indonesia.

Subject-specific versus overall reputation

Those in the profiled Latin American markets are more likely to be attracted by a strong reputation in their own subject when choosing an institution, as are applicants in Turkey and Indonesia. Overall institutional reputation has a stronger pull in the profiled African markets, as well as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Meanwhile employment outcomes are most often prioritized by Turkish, Nigerian and Indonesian applicants, while cultural interest and lifestyle are particularly high priorities for those in the profiled Latin American countries.

The report also explores the demographic profile of applicants in each country; differences at master’s and PhD level; 10-year career targets; and the importance of factors such as language development, networking, costs and funding. It can be accessed online in full.

This article was originally published in . It was last updated in

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