Inside the minds of international candidates

This year we spoke to thousands of students who are either planning to study abroad or online or have already completed that journey and asked them: how do you research a programme before applying for it?

Our past surveys have shown that researching online is more pervasive by a landslide, but this year’s results dig deeper into how candidates feel about their experience with educational websites and other digital products that guide them in their search.

Researching online

Another growing trend recruiters marketing to international candidates need to keep an eye out for is that candidates are increasingly using their mobile phones to do their search. While the number was not very high just a few years ago this year nearly 40% of candidates say they prefer to use their mobile phones to research a programme.

Trust and Relationships with Digital Products

Growing up with the internet means that the digital native generation today are less suspicious of brands speaking to them digitally. In fact, a resounding 64% of candidates say they really appreciate seeing advertisements on social media about programmes or universities that they had been researching.

Interest and motivations

It’s also perhaps no surprise that the top concern for candidates across the board is the location or origin of the study abroad or online programme. However, the top motivations that drive candidates to seek higher education can be split into two camps: those who want to (1) increase their job prospects (Europe and Australasia) and (2) to experience a new culture (all other regions). Ultimately, the candidate pool today are getting smarter, sharper and more discerning. They know what they like, and they know what they want. Finding the way to get their attention, and to keep it, is the first step to building a relationship with them that can lead to successful enrollment.

To read the report and find out more, download it here.