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International Student Recruitment: Conversion Trends vs. Region 2018

Prospective students want to convert differently depending on where they're from. So how can international recruitment teams in higher education institutions utilize this in order to increase conversions?

Every year, schools and universities spend large amounts of money and time marketing to international students across the globe, with a range of conversion KPIs in mind, from clicking through to the university's website right through to enrollment. But how many of these expensive marketing avenues actually take into consideration the conversion trends of the students they're trying to convert?'s 2018 International Higher Education Report has found that, whether due to cultural, educational or other factors, these behavioral trends can differ quite dramatically depending on where the student is from.

The following statistics aim to get schools and universities thinking about the way they're currently marketing to international students, based on:

  • Which regions their current users are from
  • Which regions they're actually trying to target
  • How they're currently expecting students in those regions to convert
  • How students in those regions actually want to convert

Click-throughs vs. Region

The first major conversion type that we tracked were click-throughs (i.e. students clicking through to the university's website from their profile on In general, we're seeing this type of conversion grow in popularity over other conversion types, possibly due to the increasing need for faster, more easily-accessible information in today's modern, digitized world. Many students don't want to wait days or weeks for an email response from a university - they want quick, comprehensive information that they can consume right there and then while they're feeling inspired and motivated.

This is what we found in regards to click-throughs in different regions:

Information requests vs. Region

Another primary conversion type we track on our site is an information request - a form filled out by prospective students looking for further information about a program or university. This form is sent directly to the university's admission staff who take over the lead. Our results show that conversion rates for information requests are more consistently lower throughout major parts of the world. This could likely be attributed to the growing consciousness around personal data security issues, as well as websites becoming better developed and capable of communicating essential (and detailed) information more easily.

This is what we found in regards to information requests in different regions:

How can international recruitment teams use this type of information?

These statistics highlight just how important it can be to utilize analytics in order to determine where your target users are and how they like to convert. The trends you discover will give you a much stronger idea of how you can use effective web design and region-focused marketing campaigns to help grow conversion rates and blow your international recruitment KPIs out the water! Recruitment teams should be asking themselves:

  • How are our students wanting to convert?
  • How are we currently trying to get students to convert?
  • How can we better accommodate these conversion trends in our website design?
  • What can we do in our marketing efforts to meet the needs of both the students and our KPIs?

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Last update: 13 Dec 2019

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