- An agent survey showed that interest in international education is up by 73% in 2022 from the previous year.
- 71% of agents offer social media services to affiliate organizations.
- Canada, the USA, and the United Kingdom have risen in popularity among international students.
“The future is bright.” This is how the latest ICEF’s Agent Voice survey described the sector’s present rebound in international education.
According to the ICEF survey, interest in studying abroad has increased this year by 73%. The fact that student mobility is now gaining strength in several important study destinations is encouraging because it follows more than two years of a decline in student numbers as a result of the epidemic.
Students’ preferred study destinations
The ICEF analysis revealed that there is an uptick in demand for studying in popular countries including Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.
This is not surprising at all. Data from Canadian immigration revealed that immigration officials have finalized processing almost 560,000 student permit applications in 2021. As of now, the officials are processing study permits at a record pace with almost 360,000 of these applications completed this year as of the end of July. In addition, the 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study reported that 64% of Canadian postsecondary students remain somewhat optimistic about their employment outlook after college/university.
Meanwhile, IIE’s Spring 2022 Snapshot on International Educational Exchange showed that 65% of US colleges are receiving more student applications compared to last year.
Moreover, a 2022 survey conducted by Interstride–authored by Anna Esaki-Smith, Co-Founder of Education Rethink–titled “Is studying in the U.S. worth it? International students on the ‘value’ of their U.S. education experience,” said that studying in the United States is something that 84% of international students said they would suggest to their classmates back home, as opposed to the 5% who said the opposite.
We’ve also seen a surge in the UK. According to the latest UK Immigration Statistics, India has surpassed China as the largest nationality being issued sponsored study visas in the UK. Recent data reveal that nearly 118,000 Indian students received their student visas in the year ending June 2022 which is an 89% increase from the previous year. By contrast, as of June of this year, 31,400 Chinese students had applied to study in the UK, an increase of 29% from the year before.
In addition, the ICEF analysis said that although China, Malaysia, and Singapore struggle to keep students’ enthusiasm, Australia and New Zealand experienced neutral growth.
Agents’ expanding range of services
Agents are taking advantage of forging new alliances with various enterprises and institutes of higher learning abroad. In exchange, it enabled them to reach more potential students with their programs and services.
These global education agents are diversifying and becoming more adaptable in difficult situations to serve the expanding needs of the students. When it comes to processing fees, 74% of agents are helping their students facilitate tuition fee payments. Agents are also currently actively helping their students with more conventional services like travel assistance, lodging, and insurance.
Talking about leveling it up, 81% of the agents are providing digital marketing services and diversification into other key services, with 71% offering social media services, to provide a greater level of support.
Providing digital services is a smart move for the agents as the 2020 QS International Student Survey (ISS) shows that digital marketing activities top the students’ preference when conducting their higher education research, with 77% of the 78,000 students worldwide using the official website and 35% preferred browsing on social media channels. (SUNEETHA QURESHI)
Suneetha has worked for 15 years in the international education sector and 25 years overall for her work for other industries. As president of MSM, she fortifies its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray into edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She preserves the premium, value-adding services provided to each MSM partner institute, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application prescreening, and student and parent support through pioneering pre-departure briefing sessions.
She has an impeccable track record of successfully launching the representative offices in Asia and Africa of many North American and European higher education institutions. Her key strengths include hiring, training, and developing teams as evidenced by the successful results of the dedicated in-country college and university client teams.
Suneetha also has taken the lead in developing several initiatives at MSM, including building robust standard operating procedures, the Rise ‘n Shine team engagement platform, and the organization’s data analytics and audit segments.
- Mingjie, W. 2022. More Chinese students favor the UK for overseas study. China Daily. Retrieved from http://global.chinadaily.com.cn/a/202209/02/WS63115811a310fd2b29e758ed.html
- Singer, C. 2022. Canada Study Permits For International Students Processed At Record Pace. Canada Immigration News. Retrieved from https://www.cimmigrationnews.com/canada-study-permits-for-international-students-processed-at-record-pace/
- Smith, A. 2022. Is studying in the U.S. worth it? International students on the “value” of their U.S. education experience. Interstride. Retrieved from https://www.interstride.com/researchreport/
- 2022. 40% of students have considered withdrawing from their institution yet 64% remain optimistic for the future: 2022 Canadian Student Wellbeing Study provides insight into evolving student feelings. Studiosity. Retrieved from https://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/40-of-students-have-considered-withdrawing-from-their-institution-yet-64-remain-optimistic-for-the-future-2022-canadian-student-wellbeing-study-provides-insight-into-evolving-student-feelings-846834900.html
- 2022. Agents report interest in study abroad is up significantly this year. ICEF Monitor. Retrieved from https://monitor.icef.com/2022/07/agents-report-interest-in-study-abroad-up-significantly-this-year/
- 2022. Most US colleges report increasing numbers of international student applications for 2022/23. ICEF Monitor. Retrieved from https://monitor.icef.com/2022/06/most-us-colleges-report-increasing-numbers-of-international-student-applications-for-2022-23/
- 2022. India receives largest share of UK study, work, and visit visas. British High Commission New Delhi. Retrieved from https://www.gov.uk/government/news/india-receives-largest-share-of-uk-study-work-and-visit-visas
- 2021. How to measure the ROI of student recruitment events. QS. Retrieved from