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International Student Admissions Service uncovers the student perspective on researching study abroad options and deciding where to enrol

ISAS publishes its annual report called Global Trends in International Student Recruitment 2017. 

LONDON, 18 MAY 2017 –International Student Admissions Service (ISAS), the free study abroad student advice and support service, has today published its latest marketing insights into Global Trends in International Student Recruitment 2017. The unique survey, which is tailored toward international education providers, is based on the answers of more than 1,600 phone interviews with students who were considering continuing their education in another country.

This is the second annual report to be published by ISAS since 2016, which allowed the experts to identify noticeable behavioral shifts in the way that student’s research international education options today. An additional division has been added to the 2017 report to reveal whether a country’s change in political stance alters its attractiveness as a study abroad option for students.

Key findings include:

2017 has given birth to a more independent prospective student when it comes to researching study abroad options

The majority of students are relying on their own research (primarily through search engines and education portals) to get advice about where and what to study. Only 6% claimed to use their own high school or college advisor to seek guidance.

The amount of prospective international students has also widened with the number of students looking to study overseas more than one year in advance of enrolment, increasing by 17% since 2016.

Universities are missing out on communication opportunities with prospective international students

Email was voted as the top communication channel that students wanted to engage with international universities through. A phone call was voted as the second most popular method, yet only 26% of respondents had had a conversation with one of their top university choices this way.

Students had also adopted more digital outlets, such as Whatsapp, as a means to have conversations with international universities. Yet the majority of international admissions departments are still limiting their digital activity to email only and 42% of students hadn’t been contacted via online methods at all.

The United Kingdom and the United States remain favourites in the study abroad destination rankings

Nearly 1/3 of students that had considered the UK as an attractive study abroad option before it voted to leave the EU said that Brexit had made the country a less desirable choice. However, more than half weren’t deterred by Britain’s decision to leave.

Universities should now take steps to help mitigate the issues for international students that are caused by the political change by providing the most relevant information to them. Tuition fees & financial aid for international students that choose to study in the UK post Brexit was the information that respondents said they were most interested in understanding more about.

Education providers in the United States were faced with the threat of fewer international students enrolling to study with them since the election of controversial presidential candidate, Donald Trump in 2016. Yet our research indicates that the United States is still a popular choice, coming in at second place in the most desired study-abroad destinations.

Read the report in full by visiting BigChoice Group or download the PDF version here:


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For further information, please contact:

Anna Hammond

Head of B2B Marketing, BigChoice Group

Phone: +44 (0)20 7840 2982 E-mail:

International Student Admissions Service

The International Student Admissions Service (ISAS), powered by BigChoice Group, is a unique and innovative service that connects universities across the world with prospective international students.

What we do for students ISAS offers a ‘one stop’ advice service specifically for students wanting to study abroad. Our team of trained admission advisors are equipped to provide international students and their parents with the kind of independent advice and guidance they need to make the right decisions about where, and what, to study. Our service is entirely free of charge to students and there are no sign-up fees or hidden charges for the student at any stage. ISAS is funded solely by our education provider clients.

What we do for education provider clients Our international education partners are all accredited colleges and universities from 40 different countries. Each institution is actively seeking to attract international students as part of their strategic internationalisation plans and all welcome the opportunity to speak with students from outside of the country in which they are based. Our international student recruitment and marketing team are experts in the provision of international student admissions solutions for universities & colleges. Unlike commission-based agencies, each candidate provided to our clients has already been through a robust screening process with the international student admissions experts in order to find them a good match. This means that all the candidates are fully-qualified and ready to be converted into international applicants by the time you are introduced.

To learn more about ISAS’s products and services, visit: or