BROADENING HORIZONS: Breaking through the barriers to overseas study, a new research report produced by Education Intelligence, the British Council’s global research arm, provides an unprecedented look into the perceived barriers to overseas study on the part of UK and US students.Inadequate access to information about overseas education opportunities was cited as one of the main reasons why students didn’t pursue overseas study, as were perceptions of higher cost.
To gain the best possible sample of UK and US students, Education Intelligence partnered with the National Union of Students in the UK and Zinch, the largest online network of college-seekers in the US. In total, the study garnered over 10,800 responses to an online self-completion survey from October through December 2012. The report was launched at the British Council’s “Going Global” conference for the world’s leading education leaders, being held from 4 to 6 March this year in Dubai.
Some key findings from the research:
- 20 per cent of UK respondents are considering study overseas, while 56 per cent of US respondents are considering the same
- Only 24 per cent of UK students and 22 per cent of US students felt they had enough resources to make an informed decision about overseas study
- When asked to describe themselves, 44 per cent of UK respondents considering study overseas said they wanted to work for an international company and live overseas; 66 per cent of US respondents considering overseas study described themselves as wanting to have fun travelling and exploring other cultures
- 29 per cent of UK students considering studying overseas selected the US as their first choice destination, while 22 per cent of US student chose the UK
- The main reasons for these choices included both host destinations having world class institutions as well as students wanting to travel to that country and experience living in that culture
- 82 per cent of UK students and 79 per cent of US students considering overseas study said they felt comfortable using a foreign language
- Cost, concerns obtaining a visa, and difficulty leaving family and friends were the factors cited by UK students as barriers to pursuing overseas study. US respondents noted cost, language ability and difficulty leaving family and friends