The release of this year’s annual QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey attempts to answer the questions, what motivates international students and what do students want from further study. The QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey was designed to establish the motivations, desires, and concerns of prospective postgraduate students worldwide.
The results of the survey indicate that employment prospects are significantly important to those considering enrolling in a postgraduate course. It also highlights the most popular countries to study in and how access to financial aid is still a significant influence on many postgraduate applicants.
Alternatively, keep reading for a summary of the survey’s main findings.
Employability a primary influence
This year’s QS World Grad School Tour Applicant Survey revealed that nearly 60% of all respondents worldwide would cite employability as one of the main reasons for deciding to take up further study. Add to this the drop to just 7% in the number of postgraduate applicants that would choose a postgraduate course based on proximity to their current country, it seems that – perhaps in response to the recent global economic recession – students are willing to travel to whichever university offers them the best chance to improve their employability prospects.
Where do postgraduate international students want to study?
The US and the UK remain the most popular destinations for postgraduate study from applicants in all regions – most likely due to their well-respected academic reputations. However, destinations such as Germany – and to a lesser degree Sweden, Norway and Denmark – have become increasingly popular postgraduate study destinations. All of these countries have low to non-existent tuition costs, representing a significant return on investment for those international students choosing to study there.
|Where do postgraduates want to study?|
|© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2015. www.TopUniversities.com
All rights reserved.
Despite knowing which country and postgraduate course offers the best chances for improved employability and return on investment, it’s all moot if the applicant cannot afford to pursue further study in the first place. Access to financial aid was cited by 57% of applicants as a significant concern when choosing a place to study.
|Reasons for choosing a place of study|
|Reason for Destination Choice||% Interested||Rank|
|International recognition of qualifications||63%||1|
|Scholarship / Financial aid availability||57%||2|
|Cultural Interest and lifestyle||52%||3|
|Would like to work there afterwards||47%||4|
|Improve language skills||38%||5|
|It is in (or is near to) the country I currently work in||7%||10|
|© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2015. www.TopUniversities.com All rights reserved.|
Top 5 reasons for students to select a university for postgraduate study
While this survey reveals some important regional differences, especially within Latin America, five primary concerns remain consistently dominant throughout. Students repeatedly cite an institution’s reputation in their chosen subject, an institution’s overall reputation, employability, funding availability, and location as being their main motivations for choosing an institution at which to study.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t some variation as students in the US were just as likely to cite cultural interest and lifestyle as international recognition of qualifications when choosing a specific study destination. So, although there is an overlaying concern regarding future career prospects, there are still other factors that influence institution choice.
You can view the survey in full at TopUniversities.com.