23 July 2019
The search engine educations.com, a branch of Educations Media Group, has released the results of a survey of 30,000 students from 192 countries. The report found that the most popular sources of information for current and prospective students are search engines, social media, and study abroad fairs. The preferred destination of international undergraduate and postgraduate students is the United States, followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Germany. It seems that university rankings are becoming less important as a source of information for students. Current undergraduate students indicated that reputation followed by ranking and teaching quality was most important for choosing a university. For prospective students, however, ranking is in third place behind teaching quality and cost of living.
The report also noted that Google searches for university rankings have been declining since 2010. A press release indicated that “students are using digital tools to narrow down their list of preferred schools themselves. They are increasingly interested in social media, student stories, video content, and search engines to inform their university choice.”
Meanwhile many world-class universities have found that it is no longer enough to use rankings to recruit students and are now investing in peer-to-peer marketing.