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Canada is leading in international students’ perceptions of being an attractive destination and preferences, according to the latest survey conducted by global higher education placement agency IDP Education.
The Emerging Futures report was based on the responses of 10,149 IDP Education clients from 93 countries, and compared perceptions of the five major English-speaking higher education destinations as well as reasons for studying abroad and choice of destination.
Students rated Canada as clearly the highest on perceptions of graduate employment opportunities, post-study work policies and welfare, and slightly ahead of rival destinations for value for money.
Graphic source - IDP Connect
The USA and the UK were perceived as offering the highest-quality education.
Canada was also the first-choice destination for 27 per cent of the students surveyed, followed by the USA (20), the UK and Australia (both 19).
New Zealand’s prolonged border closure would appear to have impacted on its perception among students – the destination ranked lowest on four of the categories, and was first-choice destination for only four per cent of students surveyed.
When asked why they had chosen their first-choice destination (with multiple answers possible), high quality of education was cited by 63 per cent, followed by opportunities after graduation (52), supports international students (48), and part-time work opportunities (44).
More than 30 per cent of the students for each of the major destinations said that they intended to work in that country after graduation.
However, Canada’s migration pathways appeared to be an attraction for international students – 30 per cent of those who chose Canada as first-choice said that they intended to apply for permanent residency. The next highest was those who chose New Zealand (23), followed by Australia (19).
Simon Emmett, CEO of IDP Connect, said that the results highlighted the increasingly competitive nature of the global sector and the importance of return on investment for students.
“The results of this comprehensive research are clear. For competing destinations to remain competitive, they must deliver a positive experience and positive outcomes for students, whilst improving the ways in which they communicate this with future students,” he said. Canada ranked first for students on several factors in the IDP report.
“Tomorrow’s international students are motivated by the return on investment of their education, the countries in which institutions, governments and, most importantly, employers can work together to develop the right offer to students and best practice in post-study employment, will benefit the most from the next generation of skilled and highly educated students, in turn fulfilling their labour market needs and the needs of their economies.”