At least 52 per cent students intending to study abroad now prefer specialised courses over reputation of a university when making a choice, according to a new study. The study commissioned by Western Union, a global financial service to NielsenIQ, also found that around 64 per cent students opt to study in countries and universities that do not have entrance exams or mandatory English proficiency tests.
A surprising trend observed in the study is students intending to study abroad now prefer specialised courses (52 per cent) over the reputation of a university when making a choice. They seek courses that are niche but slowly gaining importance, often looking beyond Ivy League universities that are unable to offer these courses.
"As it relates to obstacles, qualifying exams remain a big barrier for students (64 per cent), leading to students opting to study in countries and universities that do not have entrance exams or mandatory English proficiency tests. Money-related concerns, particularly budgeting and financial planning, are also key barriers expressed by both students and parents, playing a key deciding factor in the entire process," it added.
The study titled 'Education Overseas -- An Evolving Journey' found that nearly half (45 per cent) of the student respondents prioritise "self-dependence" and opportunities to "live life on their own terms" as key motivations to explore international learning opportunities.
"In a break from past behaviour, one in five (22 per cent) now prefer new and unconventional study destinations like Ireland, Turkey and Spain. Availability of specialisations like Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, Digital Marketing, Cybersecurity,
Ethical Hacking and Ecotechnology are taking precedence over traditional university courses for 52 per cent of students intending to study overseas," it said.
"Pandemic-induced hybrid learning is now mainstream with 46 per cent actually preferring such a model. Students now prioritise the opportunity to travel and explore other cultures (43 per cent) over better job opportunities and better education," it added.
The study surveyed 807 people, including students, parents, grandparents and career counsellors across 12 cities between January and June.
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