The UK ranks highest for student satisfaction among the major English-language higher education study destinations, according to analysis of international student barometers released by Universities UK (UUK).
In The UK’s Competitive Advantage, 2017 Update, Universities UKcompares barometers covering the UK, the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands, and said the UK was the most likely destination to be recommended at every study level.
Vivienne Stern, Universities UK International Director, said, “The study highlights the UK’s strengths in the student experience, at every level, and across a wide range of measures: from the quality of teaching and the learning experience, through to the warmth of welcome received.”
The number of international students likely to recommend the UK as a study destination has increased across all study levels since the first barometer in 2008 and leaves the UK as the highest-ranking destination among those surveyed; followed by Germany and the Netherlands at undergraduate level; the Netherlands and the USA for postgraduate taught students; and Australia and Germany for research students.
Overall rates of satisfaction with the UK experience were 92 per cent for undergraduate, and 90 per cent for both postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students.
Looking at the top influencers for why international undergraduate students choose the UK, UUK said that the institution website was the most cited factor at 37 per cent, followed by family (36), friends (33), league tables (32) and agents (27).
However, in the key recruitment markets of China and India, agents were cited as the top influence – at 44 and 49 per cent respectively – while relatively few students from Germany or the USA used an agent.
“International students are an important part of university communities and bring diversity to the student experience. They provide a global perspective for home students and university staff and add to the quality of the overall university experience,” Vivienne said.
“It’s great to hear that UK universities are consistently providing international students with a world-class study experience. However, we mustn’t become complacent. This is a time of great change in the UK, and universities must make sure that the student experience, for both international and home students, remains central to their strategies.”
The full report is available on the Universities UK website.