Education agents expect to send more students to top destinations including the UK and US in the upcoming academic year than they did in the previous one, signalling that the sector is recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A new survey of 1,473 agents found that the UK is leading the way in terms of agent expectations, with 82% believing they will place more students there than last year.
Over half of respondents said they would send “significantly more” students to the UK (compared to the 31% that said “slightly more”), while only 29% indicated the same for the US and Australia.
But the majority of the agents surveyed still expect to send more students to universities in the US, Australia and Canada in 2022/23 than they did in the 2021/22 academic year.
The survey, conducted by pathway provider and university partnerships company INTO, also found that the average annual household income of students enquiring about study abroad was between US$40,000-60,000 globally, but was lower in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
“With recent strong student number growth coming from South Asia and Africa, institutions with a strong value proposition are best placed for taking advantage of the big opportunities for volume growth,” the report concluded.
Access to better quality education and better employment prospects were the key drivers for studying abroad according to agents – a result consistent with previous surveys.
“Employability has emerged as one of the most significant drivers for study abroad aspirants”
However there was a 12% drop from last year in the number of Chinese agents who named “post-study work after graduation” as a key motivating factor which, the report notes, “reflects a long-term decline in Chinese students staying abroad post-study”.
INTO chief executive Olivia Streatfeild said the findings indicated “the green shoots of recovery”.
“Employability has emerged as one of the most significant drivers for study abroad aspirants today,” Streatfeild continued.
“To ensure they get the return on investment they deserve, we must deliver programs that give them the career head start they need to succeed.”
The agents involved in the survey represented 80 countries with 30% of respondents from China and 25% from East Asia.