Most international students ‘don’t value’ two-year degrees

The finding comes from a survey of more than 2,700 international students who are considering or already studying in the UK, Australia and New Zealand

New findings suggest that there is a “remarkably low level” of understanding among prospective and current international students of the concept of two-year degrees. Research released by QS Enrolment Solutions (formerly Hobsons Solutions), the student recruitment and retention solutions company, finds that:

– Only 26% of respondents say they would be willing to pay more each year for such a programme

– More than half of the students that were surveyed (52%) said they would expect annual tuition fees for a two-year programme to be lower than for an equivalent three-year degree

– Just over a fifth (21%) of respondents said it should cost the same

 The research also found that there are small differences across regions and subject areas:

 – European students were the least likely to recognise the value of a two-year degree, with 61% of respondents saying that two-year degrees should cost less each year in tuition fees.

– When comparing by subject, Creative Arts and Social Studies had the highest percentage of students who felt a two-year degree programme should be less expensive, with 65% saying they would be less expensive

‘Higher education institutions need to think carefully about how to explain them with clarity and in a way that makes their value clear.”

Patrick Whitfield, Director UK & Europe at QS Enrolment Solutions said: “Whilst some see the value in two-year degrees and find them compelling, it is clear that there is confusion in the international student market about what two-year degrees offer. Though more research is needed to understand international student perceptions, it could be the case that there is a lack of knowledge about the fact that – in most cases – the student receives more teaching time each year, in order to attain the exact same degree but in a shorter period of time.

“Our research shows that there is more that universities can do to increase understanding of the benefits of two-year degrees as a viable alternative to traditional three-year programmes. Higher education institutions need to think carefully about how to explain them with clarity and in a way that makes their value clear.”

QS’ International Student Survey is the world’s largest survey of prospective international and EU studentss. To receive a copy visit www.internationalstudentsurvey.com.