‘Australia does it better than most’: leading the way in marketing and recruitment
“A strategic focus on international enrolments is critical if countries want to stay competitive in the international student market”
Denis Whelan, APAC vice president of sales at international education resources, services and technology company Hobsons shares his thoughts on why he believes Australian institutions are so successful attracting students from overseas in comparison to the US, in light of Hobsons’ most recent report.
International students are savvy consumers, looking for the best return on what is often a significant financial investment. While an international education provides the opportunity to become a truly global citizen – building strong networks and leadership skills across borders – what students really want is tangible outcomes from their international degree.
When it comes down to it, the most important factor for international students is being able to get a job upon graduation or continue to advance their academic journey.
Hobsons’ latest research report, The ‘Return on Investment’ of an International Degree: A Survey of Prospective International Students to the USA, reveals that more than half of all international students rate getting a job as the most important factor for a university degree.
When it comes to attracting and converting overseas potential students, Australia does it better than most, leading the way in best-practice international education marketing and recruitment.
“This visa arrangement gives Australian universities a major competitive advantage over competitors like the US and Canada”
Currently in Australia, a post-study work visa gives bachelor degree graduates a two-year visa to stay and work in the country. This visa arrangement gives Australian universities a major competitive advantage over competitors like the United States and Canada.
Australia also provides the opportunity for students to work part-time while studying, which assists with living expenses while also giving them the opportunity to gain professional experience.
When it comes to choosing a university, prospective international students look for quality of education that will guarantee them a job at the end of their study. Universities that can demonstrate strong graduate employment outcomes are highly sought after.
In this respect, while the United States can boast some of the world’s top universities for teaching and research, it struggles to demonstrate solid job opportunities for graduates.
“Students considering studying in the United States are less optimistic about the employment options an overseas degree will provide than students considering Australia”
Hobsons’ research found students considering studying in the United States are less optimistic about the employment options an overseas degree will provide than students considering Australia.
Demonstrating direct pathways to employment after graduation has been an area where rival markets, such as Australia, have consistently outperformed the United States.
A strategic focus on international enrolments is critical if countries want to stay competitive in the international student market. Ultimately, this comes down to understanding what students want from an international education – as well as the factors that make them choose not to study in a particular destination – and marketing themselves accordingly.
There is no doubt, understanding students’ definition of return on investment is the key competitive advantage every university needs, regardless of where it is located.