The “New Horizons” research, released by IDP Connect this month found that 79 per cent of students are only considering overseas on-campus options. Meanwhile, 18 per cent of students surveyed were comfortable commencing their studies online provided there was a pathway for on-campus learning, while only 10 per cent of respondents would consider a complete online-only study option.
New Horizons also investigated how student motivations and decision-making factors may be used as future levers to drive greater adoption of new ways of study across the international education sector. Migration incentives and post-study work rights were also found to be strong drivers that could be used to influence which courses and in which countries students chose to study.
The research found that the main motivational driver for students was their future career opportunities, while the factors that drove their decision of where and what to study, were financially driven. Students’ considerations included the ability to work part-time while studying, the affordability of tuition fees, and the cost of living.
The study also asked students about their willingness to study for an international qualification in their home country. In a result that reflects the ongoing effects of border closures and lockdowns, 66 per cent of students who had previously only considered overseas study said the opportunity to study at a highly-ranked institution increased the likelihood that they would consider home-country study.
Migration incentives and post-study work rights were also found to be strong drivers, with 65 per cent of students selecting access to post-study work rights in the country of their institution would make them more likely to consider studying in their home country, and 63 per cent said the ability to use their qualification as a pathway to migration made the study option more attractive.
Piyush Kumar, Regional Director, South Asia at IDP, said that despite the challenges of the pandemic, the results show students are very eager to begin their studies abroad, and are now considering where they will get the most return on their education.
“With its attractive post-study work policies and migration opportunities, Canada has once again proven to be the most popular destination among Indian students, with 45 per cent confirming the destination as their first choice. This is followed by USA (23 per cent) UK (17 per cent) and Australia (6 per cent),” Mr Kumar said.
“The closed border is no doubt contributing to the low score for Australia, however there is opportunity to win Indian students. For example, nearly six out of ten (56 per cent) students from India intending to study STEM, Allied Health and Hospitality courses would be likely to consider switching to Australia should migration incentives be made available.”
The overall findings are consistent with IDP Connect’s earlier Crossroads research series, and highlight a continued commitment to traditional modes of study. As students reignite their study ambitions, those study destinations and institutions that are able to offer on-campus options could benefit and accelerate their rebound from the pandemic.