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Aus: rankings likely bearing on tuition fees

A recent study and analysis of the university sector in Australia has revealed a strong correlation between international university rankings and international student fees in the country.

Location, graduate outcomes and the student experience could also increase the value of the overall study experience at Australian universities, the report stated. Photo: Pexels

It was predicted that university rankings will remain an important parameter for universities in setting their fees in 2022

The report by Australian education marketing and data analysis consultancy Studymove has found that there is a strong connection on average between the ranking of an Australian university and the amount of fees it charges international students, .

According to Studymove’s managing director, Keri Ramirez, this correlation has been a steady pattern over the last few years.

Speaking to The PIE, Ramirez said that even though Covid-19 has been a significant disruptor for the HE sector, university rankings would continue to be a major defining factor in setting of fees for international students in 2022.

He advised that it would be beneficial for universities to have a flexible approach regarding setting the fees for the next academic year, as there are numerous variables and uncertainties currently in play.

“Fee setting decisions are complex and complicated however, this analysis provides a very interesting view of where universities sit on the scale considering both rankings and annual international tuition fees,” the report noted.

“However, we know that there are other elements such as location, graduate outcomes and the student experience, for example, which could also increase the value of the overall study experience at a university.”

“This analysis provides a view of where universities sit on the scale of both rankings and international tuition fees”

Studymove’s recent webinar focused on this topic, and was discussed among over 100 participants, mainly comprising student recruitment, marketing, and planning professionals from 30 Australian and New Zealand universities.

The discussion highlighted the need for universities to be pragmatic in their planning and outlook for 2022.

For instance, universities could use a price differentiation strategy across their different offerings for undergrad, postgrad, and international exchange students, as all these categories have had changes in their demand and commencement numbers during the pandemic period.

One of the key takeaways was around the high possibility of international travel opening up in the next year and the likelihood of large numbers of international students being able to make their way to Australia by the latter half of 2022.

Accordingly, the need for universities to look at their pricing strategies in more detail, stakeholders suggested.

Participants also anticipated that universities will continue assisting international students experiencing travel restrictions in the first half of 2022, through fee waivers and scholarships.

It was predicted that university rankings will remain an important parameter for universities in setting their fees in 2022. Universities may also look in more detail towards rankings by discipline area, to adjust their position against competitors.

Furthermore, it is expected that prospective international students would also consider looking at employability rankings and graduate outcomes of universities, as they increasingly seek programs that enhance career outcomes, the discussion and the report highlighted.

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