A report presented at the NAFSA conference in Washington DC has revealed that Canada has surpassed the United Kingdom as the most popular choice for studying abroad.
The State of Student Recruitment 2023 by Keystone surveyed 23,856 students, more than half of whom were from Africa, which indicated a significant increase in Canada's popularity (29%) as a study destination. About 16.1% of students selected Canada as their preferred country for pursuing higher education.
The report also highlighted that 14.8% of students chose the United States as their top destination, while 14.4% preferred the UK. Germany and Australia were chosen by 6% and 5.4% of students, respectively.
When considering undergraduate and postgraduate studies separately, about 20% of students preferred the United States for undergraduate studies and the UK ranked highest with 18.2% for postgraduate studies.
Despite the positive trend, more than three-quarters of the surveyed students expressed the belief that studying abroad is generally too expensive.
Adam Rennison, head of business development at Keystone's subsidiary UniQuest, acknowledged the unexpected rebound in the study abroad sector. He mentioned the increased interest in undergraduate programs, which had caught some universities off guard due to separate admissions teams for different study levels.
While the overall popularity of the UK as a study destination has dropped by 20% since 2022, Rennison defended the country's ability to attract students, even in light of recent government measures to limit migration and restrict dependents of master's students.
The report also noted a decline in the popularity of hybrid classes, which constituted 32% of preferred program modes in 2022 but decreased to 27% in 2023.
English remained the major language of instruction, with 85% of students studying in English. French accounted for 6% of classes, while Spanish and German each represented 2%.
Comparing data from 2021 to 2023, the report indicated an increase in the number of students prioritizing career goals as their primary motivation, rising from 50% to 53%. In contrast, there was a significant decline in the importance placed on experiencing a new culture as a motivation for studying abroad.
The report also highlighted the growing emphasis on internships and career outcomes. Internships were identified as the most crucial factor in program selection, as stated by 36.9% of respondents. The program's potential to enhance the students' resumes was the third most important factor.
Notably, there was a 23% increase in students researching degree options abroad within six months of applying, reaching 56%.
The report indicated mixed reactions among institutions regarding quicker application timelines. While some universities continue with traditional processes, others are exploring management services and partnerships for admissions to adapt to the increased demand.
The report also revealed a 16% rise in the number of students planning to work part-time during their degrees, reaching 65%.
As younger generations consider university options, there has been a 6% increase in the use of social media for researching courses. However, search engines like Google and university listing platforms remain the primary methods for finding programs.
Source: The PIE News
Get Expert Help in Applying for Canadian Universities!