Rankings, Student Buyer Behaviour and some dancing…

On the penultimate evening of the conference I just wanted to quickly jot down my thoughts from today – if I can remember them that is, after all that dancing and the Journey to the Cosmos at the AIEC dinner!

Remembering that the Conference theme is ‘Inventing the Future’ I listened with interest to LinkedIn’s Michael Levine who presented on the use of LinkedIn’s data to harness the world’s first economic graph. This month LinkedIn launched their own university rankings and tools to help in the student decision making process. The rankings are based on career outcomes and users can search which schools are launching graduates into desirable jobs. The focus was also on alumni and how they can use the alumni tool to further validate their decision making, by asking alumni of their intended university to share their experiences. Both interesting new tools which I’ll be taking a look at in more detail.

Speaking of decision making… IDP’s Head of Research Lyndell Jacka presented excellent new research on International Student Buyer Behaviour and took us inside the minds of today’s international students. Just as an aside, I particularly liked a tweet that I saw earlier which said ‘It wouldn’t be AIEC without Lyndell’s little running men”! I must say I’m quite fond of them myself…

Lyndell took us through a fascinating selection of slides that pulled upon data collected from over 1,000 students who had used IDP’s services. The findings looked at student perceptions and student experience. Some slides considered Australia only and others looked at multi destinations (UK, US, New Zealand and Canada).

In comparison to last year there were no dramatic differences, although in terms of student perception Australia moved forward to equal the US for Affordability. Still with student perceptions, the US led the way for Quality of Education closely followed by the UK and Australia. New Zealand and Canada led the way for safety. In terms of Graduate Employment Opportunities the UK was lagging well behind (in fact the little running man looked as though he was about to expire..) and Australia was up in front marginally ahead of the US.

Looking at the gap between student expectations and experience, Australian students expectations had taken a downward shift with the US student experience improving and the UK staying about the same. Canada saw an improvement on last year.

An interesting new slide was on pathway programmes which showed that there was a low level of awareness of pathway programmes among students. The good news for overseas providers is that 72% of students said that they would look to study their pathway programme overseas.

There was so much information there to think about and Lyndell said an infographic would be available in the coming weeks so I’ll look forward to studying that in more detail.

I’m going to leave it there for tonight with the sounds of ‘Happy’ still ringing in my ears which the band played following a very persistent encore! What a great evening.



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