UUK International report: UK ranks 1st among its competitors for international students’ overall satisfaction with support services and overall living experience

22 June 2017

Research launched today by Universities UK International, based on the results of i-graduate’s International Student Barometer (ISB) examines the experience of international students in the UK and key competitor nations. Findings include: 

  • International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination. The UK ranks 1st compared to the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands for recommendation from international students – this is true at all levels of study* (undergraduate (UG), postgraduate taught (PGT), postgraduate research (PGR)). 
  • International student satisfaction in the UK overall is higher than in any other of these countries, again at every level*. Satisfaction is particularly high among international UG students in the UK (92%), and this is increasing year-on-year. 
  • The UK ranks 1st among its competitors for international students’ overall satisfaction with support services and overall living experience at their UK university. 
  • The reputation of the institution is the most important factor in international students’ decision to choose the UK at the UG and PGT level (93% and 95% respectively).  For PGR students, the most important factor is the research quality (97%). 
  • 14% of international UG students used a social networking site to help them choose where to study. This has grown from 8% in 2012. 

The report: ‘The UK’s competitive advantage 2017’ is based on data collected from over 137,000 respondents. 

For UG and PGT students, the reputation and quality of institutions are key factors influencing the decision to study in the UK. PGR students cited the quality of the research at their chosen institution as the most important factor.

There has been an overall growth of 6% in the proportion of international UG students using social media to help them choose where to study since 2012. However, this varies considerably according to location. Prospective students in Vietnam (26%) were most likely to use social media, followed by those in Poland (21%) and Bulgaria (20%). At the other end of the spectrum only 5% of those in South Korea used social media to inform their decision.
 
The biggest influencers on international UG choice were an institution’s website (37%), family (36%) and friends (33%).
 
View the full report. 

 
* The Netherlands is not included in rankings or comparisons at the PGR level as the sample size was deemed too low for inclusion.  It is included at UG and PGT levels.


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