“As women’s enrollment in higher education has increased overall, so has their participation in global academic mobility.” This was according to an article by the Institute of International Education which went on to report that 48 percent of women were pursuing higher education overseas in 2012 as compared with 44 percent in 1999.
While that is certainly heartening for the parity of women in higher education, it would be of more interest to discover what studies they are pursuing abroad. In this article, I will focus on women studying in Europe as international students, specifically the programs in which they choose to apply in MSM partner institutions.
- MSM Unify reports 1,825 women applied to study in a European HEI in 2021
- A majority of female applicants (81.5%) chose a master’s degree program
- HEIs in Europe may attract more female international students by offering more master’s degree programs
A little bit about the data
M Square Media (MSM) is a global education management organization with many partner institutions in Canada, the US, and Europe. One of MSM’s specializations is recruitment and has more than 4,500 partner agents.
Because of the scope and magnitude of the market, MSM established MSM Unify, an international education marketplace that connects international students with higher education institutions and recruiting partners worldwide. Our partner agents and institutions use this platform to track and process student applications, among other things, and, as such, it is the perfect source for the latest data for this article.
I gathered student application data from MSM Unify focusing only on the institution, program, gender, and year. I included all postsecondary level programs in the survey to determine the most popular program for women per institution in 2021. Here are the results.
Focus on master’s degrees
Source: MSM Unify
A total of 1,825 women that applied through MSM Unify chose Europe as their study destination. Specifically, they chose the UK, Latvia, and Hungary. Within this population, 1,488 or 81.5% chose a master’s degree program. Just 324 or 17.75% chose a bachelor’s degree program, while 13 or 0.71% chose an associate or certificate program.
As you can see, the overwhelming choice of programs for women in general was for a master’s degree. The interesting thing about this becomes apparent once you look at what turned out to be the most popular programs for each of three MSM partner institutions in Europe.
Transport and Telecommunication Institute (Latvia)
In 2021, all women that applied to this institution chose Bachelor of Social Sciences in Business and Management. The program provides students with a foundation for a career in management or for being a business owner. However, students choose a specialization in their last year. The course requires 120 units taken over three years for full-time students. The tuition fee for full-time international students is between €2,700 and €3,000 ($3,180 and $3,533) per semester.
Transport and Telecommunication Institute (TNI) is an accredited non-state technical higher educational institution located on the campus of the University of Latvia in Riga, Latvia. It currently has 17 programs of study in information technology and computer science, transport and logistics, management, and business administration.
University of Pecs (Hungary)
Twenty-two percent of women that applied to this institution in 2021 chose the Bsc in Electrical Engineering program. The course helps students acquire competence in performing tasks in the design, evaluation, manufacture, control, and operation of electric and electronic facilities, equipment, and appliances. The course requires 105 units taken over seven semesters. The tuition fee for international students is $3.400 per semester.
The University of Pécs is an institution of higher education in the city of Pécs, Hungary and founded in 1367. The institution currently offers more than 300 training programs.
University of the West of England (UK)
Sixteen percent of women that applied to the University of the West of England chose the MSc International Management program, making it the most popular one for 2021. This course provides students with the skills, knowledge, and expertise required to play a managerial role in international organizations. The full-time course will take 12 months to complete. The annual tuition fee for international students is $18,577 (£13,500).
The University of the West of England is a public research university located in Bristol, England. It has five campuses, the biggest of which is the Frenchay Campus. It currently has more than 600 programs of study.
While the numbers show that an overwhelming number of women chose a master’s degree program when studying abroad in Europe, two out of three top programs identified for each institution are bachelor’s degree programs.
Of course, a majority of the women in the survey who chose a master’s degree applied to the University of West England. That suggests that HEIs in Europe wishing to attract more female international students may wish to offer more master’s degree programs. (SUNEETHA QURESHI)
#PartnerForLife #InternationalEducation #InternationalStudents #MSM #GlobalEducationForAll
Suneetha has more than 10 years of experience in the international education sector. As president of MSM GMO, she fortifies its business development outreach globally, particularly in the face of MSM’s foray in edtech-based recruitment via MSM Unify. She preserves the premium, value-adding services provided to each GMO partner institution, including dedicated teams on the ground, agent management, lead generation and inquiry management, application pre-screening, 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.