Essay: International student decision-making
When asked about the factors that influence their decision to study abroad, most international students cited the need to obtain a better quality education as their main priority. This then raises questions about how the quality of higher education is assessed, given the fact that the US is enjoying the spoils of international students. Other top reasons for studying abroad include the desire to experience another culture and to gain internationally recognised qualifications. However, one also has to consider the effect of the internet and satellite television which could be considered as exporters of culture, and there is a possibility that these deciding factors will fall lower in the graph in Figure 6.0 as competition between institutions intensifies.
In addition to this, international students also made their decisions on the advantages they would gain in obtaining employment, and the improvement in their language skills. Both these points make is easy to see how and why countries like the US are able to attract more international students because, they offer further opportunities for them, as opposed to the UK, which lags behind in this area. What is even more interesting about Figure 6.0 is that international students have sufficient higher education places and degree programmes in their home countries, which means that they are not attracted to the UK for these reasons, neither are they attracted by shorter courses. In addition to seeking internationally recognised qualifications and quality, international students are also looking to experience a culture. Culture will affect how they relate to the local community and shape their perception on the country.
In all this section has demonstrated that international students have a complex set of deciding factors when assessing higher education institutions which comprise of a variables that include language, cost, and distance. The author was extremely grateful to the University of Leicester for providing this information
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