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Global Trends in International Student Recruitment 2017

Identifying key influencers in the decision-making process, new research methods and most preferred communication channels.


International Student Admissions Service (ISAS) interviewed 1,623 students who are currently researching education options abroad through their free student advice and support service. The respondents came from a variety of countries from across the globe and were seeking a range of education opportunities.

This is the second annual report to have been published by ISAS since 2016. The 2017 findings reveal surprising, yet encouraging, behavioural shifts with regards to the way student’s research international education options. A new division has also been added to the report, which explores whether a country’s change in political stance alters its attractiveness as a study abroad option (looking specifically at the UK and the USA).

Top findings within the report:

  • The amount of international students looking to study overseas more than a year in advance of enrolment has increased by 17% since 2016
  • Around 60% of prospective students are not planning on visiting any of their top university choices
  • 42% of the respondents hadn’t been engaged with via any digital communication channels by their top international education choices and a third hadn’t been contacted via offline methods either
  • 88% of prospective students want to be communicated with via an email by their top university choice and 31% want to receive a telephone call
  • Students want university and college websites to be more transparent about international education costs and application fees.