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Clear link between EU jobless rate and study abroad intent

A clear link has been unveiled by a specialist international education web portal between the jobless rate in an EU country and the proportion of students interested in studying abroad. Italian, Greek, Spanish and Portuguese students have all recorded a increase in interest in study abroad opportunities of around 150% in the last year, according to web analytics conducted by StudyPortals.eu.

Universities in northern and western Europe were confirming the trend; with some reporting increases in applications of up to 100% within a year

The EU-funded site, which attracts over 1.7 million users a month, offers comprehensive information about study abroad opportunities within the EU via its five sub-sites, such as BachelorsPortal.eu, MastersPortal.eu.

“These figures indicate a relation between students’ economic perspectives at home and their intent (ambition) to study – and ultimately work – in better performing economies,” said a spokesperson for the company. It said that universities in northern and western Europe were confirming the trend; with some reporting increases in applications of up to 100% within a year.

Diana Rabulea, International Marketing and Recruitment officer at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) says: “At the VUB, since 2010 we have seen a clear increase in students coming from Greece, Italy, and Spain. Compared to 2011, we received twice more applications from Greece, now accounting for almost 3% of all incoming applications.”

Edwin van Rest, CEO of StudyPortals.eu, told The PIE News that there was also clear evidence that UK students were more interested in finding out about HE opportunities within Europe.

“Study abroad interest has grown 122% in the UK, well above the EU average”

“Study abroad interest has grown 122% [in the UK], well above the EU average,” he said. “This is due to a clear increase in study abroad interest in undergraduate level, resulting from the large tuition fee increases.”

And as for the target of the study abroad intentions of these enterprising EU students, it seems that northern Europe, where fees are low – Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Scandinavia – is being favoured.

Germany is now the fourth-largest destination for international students, and they represent almost 12% of all students. Our recent story indicated, however, that Chinese students currently represent the biggest single nationality.

The proliferation of English-medium Masters has also helped fuel rising interest in considering overseas HE opportunities.


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