- Australia ranked third in the world in high-quality teaching and achieving careers and eighth in students’ personal development.
- The survey revealed that the top three application barriers for international students were expensive tuition fees, lack of scholarship opportunities, and expensive application fees.
- 63% of the students are planning to use agency assistance to get to their dream international university.
Aspiring international students consider many factors before seriously pursuing their education abroad. More often than not, their academic journey starts by carefully sourcing information about institutions’ reputation, course offerings, accommodations, visa requirements, funding and scholarships, cultural inclusivity, security, and other pertinent information.
Once they narrow down their choices, the next big step is to select which country checks more of the boxes in their lists and which destination suits them well.
The students’ choice
In the International Student Survey Insights 2021-2022, over 10,000 students across 181 countries who were thinking about studying abroad at the time of the survey ranked their preferences on where to pursue their higher education overseas. From there, educations.com created rankings of the best countries to study internationally.
According to the released rankings, Australia tops the list, scoring 83.31 out of 100. The country ranked third in the world in high-quality teaching and achieving careers and eighth for its students’ personal development. As of March 2022, a total of 440,129 international students are studying in the country.
Australia’s universities have a reputation for world-class education as its 38 universities placed in the top 100 of the recent QS World University Rankings.
Furthermore, great work opportunities await its international students. For one thing, the temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders will allow them to work before their course of study commences. They will also be able to work more than 40 hours a fortnight in any economic sector.
For recent graduates, Australia now offers up to four years of Post-Study Work (PSW) rights to international students post completion of their respective bachelor’s degree and up to five years to Master’s degree holders.
Outside its universities, Australia takes pride in its natural beauty. With nine distinctive regions and twenty UNESCO World Heritage sites like the Great Barrier Reef, the Tasmanian Wilderness, and Uluṟu-Kata Tjuṯa National Park, dominating the list is not surprising at all.
Following Australia is Canada, another top-of-mind destination hub for international students across the globe. The survey noted that Canada is the leading destination study country in North America. It also ranked fifth in the world when it comes to its high-quality teaching and fourth in language learning.
According to Canada International Student Statistics, the number of international students enrolled in higher education only is currently 388,782 students and as per Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), there were 528,190 foreign students with study permits in 2020.
Germany came third in the survey results. Germany International Student Statistics 2022 stated that 416,437 international students are enrolled during Winter Semester 2020/2021 in Germany. “Deutschland is ranked third on our list of the best countries for international students and first in Europe for many reasons,” the survey noted. Aside from having some of the world’s oldest and most well-known universities in the world, Germany is home to awe-inspiring landscapes, mountains, castles, and beaches.
Meanwhile, quality education, a unique curriculum, a multicultural environment, and abundant opportunities are just some of the reasons why a considerable number of international students want to study in the United States. The US hosted 914,095 international students during the 2020/21 academic year.
“As a student in one of the many high-quality schools in the States, you’ll notice that even the universities are a melting pot of cultures, with domestic and international students alike coming from completely different backgrounds,” the survey added.
Switzerland and the United Kingdom are in the fifth and sixth spots, respectively, with 76.30% and 76.22% ratings. While the Swiss country ranked third for personal development and first in achieving career goals, the UK ranks first in the world when it comes to high-quality teaching from its prestigious universities and third in culture and lifestyle, giving its students experiences beyond academics.
Also included in the list are the Netherlands, France, New Zealand, and Spain. The common thing among these countries, aside from offering international students world-class international education and multicultural exposure, these study destinations give their students diverse experiences and adventure outside the universities.
Motivations and Challenges
When asked what the most important components in a study destination are, 64.97% of prospective students noted the living costs, 64.11% said the quality of education in the country, 50.09% considered language or culture, and 49.33% and 48.26% said post-study employment opportunities and safety and socio-political climate, respectively.
Citing the top reasons to study abroad, achieving their career goals leads with 49.61% followed by being able to develop themselves personally, with 47.01% of the votes..
The survey also revealed that the top three application barriers for the students were expensive tuition fees, no scholarship opportunities, and expensive application fees with 79.21%, 59.4%, and 38.06% of votes.
In relation to the importance of scholarships, 87.17% of these students answered that they cannot study abroad without a scholarship. Ergo, international education institutions, international education solutions providers, and agents must work mutually to promote international scholarships to students since a massive 90.99% of these students were interested in schools that promote international scholarships.
Furthermore, one of the important questions asked by aspiring international students after all the decisions have been made is what’s next? While a student can exert his time and energy in processing his applications independently, the survey found that over 63% of the students are planning to use agency assistance to get through their dream university. These students are opting for international education agents to help them with the application, visa processing, and other requirements.
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.
- 2022. Top 10 Places in the World to Study Abroad – 2022. educations.com. Retrieved from https://www.educations.com/top-10-lists/top-10-places-to-study-abroad-global-18096
- 2022. International Student Survey Insights 2021-2022. educations.com. Retrieved from https://institutions.educations.com/student-insights-2021#Demographic-Overview
- 2022. QS World University Rankings 2022. Top Universities. Retrieved from https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2022
- 2022. Are International Students Back? A Look at the Numbers. Savvy. Retrieved from https://www.savvy.com.au/are-international-students-back-a-look-at-the-numbers/#:~:text=This%20bucked%20a%20trend%20of,440%2C129%20as%20of%20March%202022.
- 2022. Canada International Student Statistics. Study in Canada. Retrieved from https://studying-in-canada.org/canada-international-student-statistics/
- 2022. Germany International Student Statistics 2022. Study in Germany. Retrieved from https://www.studying-in-germany.org/germany-international-student-statistics/#:~:text=Winter%20Semester%202020%2F2021%3A%20A,394%2C665%20international%20students%20in%20Germany
- Duffin, E. 2021. International Students in the US 2003-2021. Statista. Retrieved from https://www.statista.com/statistics/237681/international-students-in-the-us/
- Australia now offers up to 6 years of post-study work rights. IDP. Retrieved from https://www.idp.com/india/study-in-australia/post-study-work/
- Temporary relaxation of working hours for student visa holders. Australian Government Department of Home Affairs. Retrieved from https://immi.homeaffairs.gov.au/visas/getting-a-visa/visa-listing/student-500/temporary-relaxation-of-working-hours-for-student-visa-holders
- Top five reasons to study in Australia. Studies in Australia. Retrieved from https://www.studiesinaustralia.com/Blog/about-australia/top-five-reasons-to-study-in-australia