With the rapid expansion of student mobility, increasing competition (and the unpredictable impact of Brexit on the horizon), postgraduate student recruitment marketers would be well advised to look at diversifying the non-EU regions where their marketing activity is focused.
A recent study found that 60% of all non-EU international postgraduate enrolments came from the same five countries – with China remaining the giant for most Western countries, including the UK, for whom accounts 1 in 3 of the total inbound non-EU students.
But, having all your eggs in one basket is never a great idea…
Most of us are aware of the new kids on the block – a 2014 British Council report predicts that the four most likely countries expected to contribute inbound postgraduate over the next 10 years will be China, Nigeria, India and the US (contact us if you want to know about other specific regions) and most, if not all, will have included these regions as part of your international student recruitment strategy. But what about new, emerging markets?
If you can predict and move your marketing activity to the right region, at the right time, there is great potential to be one step ahead of your competitors.
In the increasingly competitive global marketplace, we look at five potential emerging markets (and one wild-card) for postgraduate student recruitment.
With their first ever Head of State who favours spending more on education than military defence, the third largest economy in South America, Colombia, is a ripe market. The British Council estimates that 11.5 million Colombians are studying the English language – 48% stating that they are doing so because it is a requirement for university.
Cost and access to high-quality secondary and undergraduate education remain the barriers to progressing to postgraduate study in the UK, but this is certainly one-to-watch.
Already one of the most populous countries in the world, Indonesia is primed for economic growth. According to a recent study by the Boston Consulting Group, Indonesia’s more affluent residents are set to almost double in size, from 74 million to 141 million.
With youth unemployment relatively high, and growing economic prosperity, postgraduate education will be on the minds of many young, affluent, ambitious Indonesians, who will want to stand out in the global jobs market.
Iran is a really interesting emerging market. The country is looking to build international relations in a new era of global cooperation, meaning that domestic universities will be open to building strategic links with UK institutions. Domestic demand far outstrips supply… a 2011 British Council study found that 900,000 Iranians applied for a Master’s course, but only 60,000 were offered a place.
Has Donald Trump scuppered this though? On the 13th October, he refused to ratify the 2015 Nuclear Arms Deal set up by his predecessor, which puts all of the above on a knife edge.
Demand outstrips supply in Nigeria which explains why it is the leading African nation for outbound students at undergraduate level. Nearly 1.6 million Nigerians applied for an undergraduate course in 2016, but only 450,000 were able study in their own nation.
The British Council predict that Nigeria will continue to grow in postgraduate student mobility as well, with a projected increase of 8.24% by 2024 for certain international markets – and with the UK the preferred study destination for many Nigerians – this translates to a projected 28,800 potential postgraduates by 2024.
Saudi Arabia is already one of the biggest growth markets for outbound postgraduate students in recent years, growing a massive 25.7% over the past five years. But, a dramatic shift in how the nation relates to the Western world could make this the next big outbound postgraduate nation.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has vowed to return the country to “moderate Islam” and establish an ambitious £381 billion economic zone by 2025. In the next ten years, over 5 million Saudi’s are due to enter the workforce, with no real prospect of employment. This new openness to international trade brings about the potential for strategic collaboration between HEI’s, and a cash-rich society that is primed for exploring postgraduate study options and international careers makes Saudi Arabia a definite on this list.
And, we couldn’t conclude without throwing in one wildcard to keep your eyes on…
Vietnam’s economy is growing at a similar rate to China, which has the result of increasing the nation’s upper and middle classes. This growing wealth allows parents to consider sending their children abroad, and already, Vietnamese undergraduates are starting to arrive around the rest of the world – with Japan and the US being seen as preferred destinations.
With growing prosperity and increased mobility of the nation’s undergraduates the prospect of postgraduates studying abroad makes Vietnam one-to-watch.
If you’re planning your international postgraduate student recruitment strategy and want our expert support, contact us today with your marketing challenge.
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