How EU Universities are Welcoming International Students

In the wake of rising uncertainty about Brexit, higher education destinations across the EU are growing international student numbers by promoting messages of openness and inclusivity.

In the wake of rising uncertainty about Brexit, higher education destinations across the EU are growing international student numbers by promoting messages of openness and inclusivity.

Germany and France have both already harnessed this tactic to attract international students and attempt to unseat the UK as the second most popular host market in the world.

Such a response is likely to be highly appealing to international students seeking to study in the EU, given that a welcoming environment emerged as one of the most important factors when choosing a country (60%) in this year’s 2019 EU International Student Survey.

This is perhaps indicative of a wider political context that has seen a rise in anti-immigrant sentiment and far-right views across the globe.

As a result, students are perhaps actively seeking study destinations which they feel harbor open and tolerant attitudes to international students.

There are several effective strategies universities can adopt to spread the message that they are welcoming to international students.

Social media is undoubtedly an essential tool of communication for Generation Z. In our 2019 EU International Student Survey, 36% of respondents cited social media as one of the most useful sources of information when researching a university, appearing in the top five choices.

Moreover, campaigns like #WeAreInternational continue to demonstrate the power of social media with 86% of students stating that campaigns like #WeAreInternational had positively influenced their perceptions of studying in the UK.

Given the ongoing reach and impact of these campaigns at a global level, it’s vital that the higher education sector continues to invest in them to address concerns that the UK is unwelcoming.

Whilst the UK’s higher education sector must be tenacious as Brexit progresses, study destinations within the EU must also see this as an opportunity to boost their own international recruitment numbers.

It’s interesting to note that some prospective students outside the EU have viewed Brexit in a positive light, as they feel that once the UK leaves the EU they will be on a more level playing field with European applicants.

With new attitudes and political dynamics emerging, it is crucial that EU universities look ahead to understand the impact on international student recruitment, take advantage of heightened interest from prospective students, and rise to the international recruitment challenge.

To find out more about the attitudes and opinions of those international students seeking to study in the EU, download our 2019 EU International Student Survey.

2019-06-13T09:25:36+00:00

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