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Hotcourses White Paper sheds light on international student demand in 2015

Hotcourses Director of Insights, Aaron Porter, discusses international student demand from diversification markets

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Hotcourses has published the first in a series of White Papers, written by Director of Insights, Aaron Porter. This paper offers an international overview based on the 23 million users of the Hotcourses international websites during 2015, with a particular focus on diversification markets. As the data relates to students that are searching for study, this provides a unique angle on in-year demand and at a national and institutional level can give real-time insights into the pipeline for applications.


In addition to offering an overview of key diversification markets such as Thailand, Indonesia, Brazil and Saudi Arabia there is also a high level examination on the three most established destination countries; the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia.


Key findings from the White Paper include:

  • During 2015 the United States (33.5%) remains the most popular destination for searches, followed by the United Kingdom (27.2%) and Australia (17.2%)
  • There is a significant decline in the proportion of students from Indonesia exploring study in Australia (from 15.4% to 11.5%). In the early part of 2015, there had been a number of high profile news stories where asylum seekers from Indonesia were refused entry to Australia, and this appears to have filtered through into the extent to which prospective students wish to study in that country.
  • Across all top 10 major destination countries the UK either flatlines or loses its share of searches from prospective students. This is in keeping with recent HESA data which shows the UK with a diminishing number of enrolments in six of its top 10 source countries. In the first half (January – June) of 2015, the UK received 27.5% of searches across all websites, this reduces to 26.9% by the second half of the year (July – December), an in-year fall of -0.6%. 


The report is also able to share 2015 data examining the implications of national policy such as the Brazil Science without Border programme and what that has meant for Brazilian demand for the US and other competitor destinations. Elsewhere it explores the ongoing implications of a tightening of visa and immigration policies in the United Kingdom and further developments in the ongoing relationship between Indonesia and Australia.


"This White Paper provides a valuable insight into key trends and analysis for students from diversification marketing looking to study overseas,” said Aaron Porter, Hotcourses Director of Insights. “As the international recruitment market becomes increasingly competitive, universities are looking to ensure they have access to robust and timely data to help with their strategy and planning.


“This report will make a useful contribution to the wider information that is available, and will be particularly helpful because it is so recent. While the United States remains the number one destination for students from diversification markets, the United Kingdom is coming under pressure in second place as other countries seek to position themselves as an attractive alternative."


For further information on the White Paper or Hotcourses Insights, please contact or click here to view the White Paper in full.

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About Author

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Katie Duncan is Editor of Hotcourses Abroad and is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and University of Exeter graduate. Having worked at an English language school in the UK, as an educational consultant in Spain and as a reporter in the international education sector, she is well placed to guide you through your study abroad journey. Katie grew up in Australia, which perhaps explains her unusual reptile collection, comprising of a bearded dragon (Bill) and tortoise (Matilda).