The US and UK have the highest perceived level of quality in education while Canada and New Zealand are viewed as the most affordable.
“In terms of the experience of studying, generally, Australia, Canada, USA and UK meet students’ expectations, including the key driver – quality of education,” said Lyndell Jacka, Head of Research at IDP Education.
“It is the economic and employment factors where the experience is less than satisfactory. Satisfaction with affordability, ability to work part-time and employment opportunities after graduation were lower than expectations for all countries rated.”
The US is considered to have the worst safety and student visa requirements
The annual research is based on an online survey that this year attracted 1,100 responses from students who used IDP services in August 2013.
Students gave their opinions about aspects of studying in the five leading English speaking study destinations: Canada, New Zealand, the UK, Australia and the US.
The UK follows the US in perceptions of quality of education but is thought to be the worst destination for affordability and post-graduate employment opportunities. The US is considered to have the worst safety and student visa requirements.
Meanwhile, Canada shares the lead in four out of the five criteria ranking high in perceptions of safety as well as government student visa requirements and policies.
New Zealand has the lowest level of perceived quality of education but is considered one of the best in terms of student visa regulations along with Australia.
Compared with last year, there has been marked increase in the use of online technology when researching study opportunities. More than three-quarters of respondents (77%) said they used two or more devices to access the internet, up from 56% in 2012.
Results also showed that students polled had a low awareness and usage of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). Eighty-three per cent said they were not aware of what a MOOC is.
“MOOCs are flexible supplements for knowledge discovery and preparation for study at university; not substitutes for existing approaches,” said the report.
Word-of-mouth continues to be the most powerful form of marketing for IDP; 93% of respondents said they recommended IDP to a friend mostly through face to face interaction.
Indian students made up the largest proportion of the survey’s participants, 44%, with the next largest cohort coming from China, 10%. Almost half (48%) were going on to study in Australia, then the UK (18%) and the USA (17%).