International research finds that 72% of UK students would consider studying abroad

News: 12th September 2012

As International students – let down by London Metropolitan – struggle to find places at university, The Student Room’s international survey, commissioned by the Student World, has found that UK students are eager to explore their overseas options too.

However a lack of information or central application system (like UCAS) for studying abroad means that 56% of university applicants don’t even know how to apply to an international university. In fact, the spring 2012 survey of 1,141 students, has found that 86% of them feel ill-informed about the options of studying overseas and would welcome more information.

The most desirable destinations for UK students to study are topped by North America (75%) and followed by Western Europe (64%), Australasia (56%), Northern Europe (42%) and Southern Europe (39%).

The Student Room also discovered the key factors that influence their decision of where to study and the results were very similar to that of a student choosing a domestic university.

Top of the list were:

  • The institution’s academic reputation (79% rated it very important)
  • Employers’ perception of the university awarding the degree (79%)
  • The standard of living (76%)

The student experience (74%) also featured highly as applicants seek to make the most of the time and money spent on a university education; surprisingly, English being the dominant language was only a ‘very important’ factor for 57% of the respondents.

Similar research was carried out in 2011, as the final intake of students under the old tuition fee system began their degrees. At that time the tuition fee debate was in full swing and 37.5% of students had reconsidered studying in the UK as a result. Since then organisations such as The Student Room have supported an initiative to better educate students and parents about the new fees. The result, just 25% of university applicants for 2012 reconsidered studying in the UK according to The Student Room’s latest research.

Jamie O’Connell, Marketing Director of The Student Room Group, said:

“This research once again demonstrates the clear demand from students for opportunities to study overseas and the ongoing the globalisation of education.”

“It’s important young people are able to make the right choices and are aware of all the options out there.”

“Traditional sources of information for young people such as parents and teachers potentially aren’t well informed on international study options are ill equipped to advise. Events like The Student World and online information sources such as The Student Room are great for getting the facts into students hands when they need them.”

Jemma Davies, from The Student World Fair, said:

“There are challenges to overcome and benefits to enjoy from studying abroad but students are being hampered from weighing up those considerations by a lack of information.”

“It is difficult to make an informed decision when universities are located overseas which is why meeting their representatives under one roof is a great step towards making the right choice.”

The Student Room has seen a significant rise in discussion across its international forums and has recently had to create specific areas to cope with the high demand for those interested in studying in North America, Australia and the Netherlands.

— ENDS —

For media information:

Kailan D’Arcy
Marketing Communications Manager
0203 617 4159

Notes to Editors:

The international research, commissioned by The Student World Fair, was carried out between May and July 2012 and surveyed 1,141 students and young people on The Student Room, with the majority being aged 16 to 20 years.

TheStudentRoom.co.uk (TSR) is the world’s largest online student and youth community, receiving around 5.5 million unique visitors a month. Students and youths aged 14-26 meet to get support, socialise, discuss and proactively research their academic choices, career decisions and every other aspect of life. In the past, discussions have been held between TSR’s members and David Cameron, the prime minister, as well as with leaders of all the other main political parties.

Find out more about studying abroad on The Student Room:

International Study Forum – http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=116
Study in Holland – http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=800
Study in Australia – http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=799
Study in North America – http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/forumdisplay.php?f=227