The UK is still a popular destination, but students are increasingly considering other countries
Earlier this year, the Advanced HE/HEPI Student Academic Experience Survey reported that international students were more satisfied with their UK undergraduate courses than their counterparts who had home fee status.
But while this may be true of international students already studying at a UK university, our recent interviews with some of our counsellors reminded us that, as students begin the process of applying to university in the UK, they’re increasingly weighing up the value of a UK degree alongside the degree programmes offered by other countries.
For example, at the International School of the Stockholm Region in Sweden, IBDP Coordinator and guidance counsellor Phil Spires told us that the UK was increasingly competing with the Netherlands and Sweden itself for his students’ attention.
Phil also noted that Brexit is also still having an effect on students’ perceptions of the UK as a study destination, with some students worried that it has negatively affected their ability to access a UK higher education.
There were similarities at the British International School of Ho Chi Minh City. Here, outgoing guidance counsellor Simon Finnigan noted that, in some cases the UK was a fallback option for a number of his students, especially when compared to destinations like South Korea and Hong Kong.
Counterintuitively, this isn’t necessarily bad news for the UK. Simon also told us that the simplicity of the UCAS applications process means that his students were highly likely to apply to at least one UK university.
In short, for many international schools, the UK is often a leading choice for students - but there’s no guarantee it will be the first choice.