The advent of a new administration in Washington DC is reportedly already fuelling an increase in applications from international students to US universities. The so-called ‘Biden Bump’ may go some way to addressing the falls in American global recruitment seen over the last few years. 

The way in which different countries have managed the pandemicand in particular the levels of restrictions placed on international travel, will also impact future patterns of global student mobility. 

Vaccine roll out in different parts of the world will no doubt be another factor that starts to influence how international students – and staff – think about their future plans. 

University World News recently talked about a ‘4th wave of international student mobility’ influenced increasingly by political factors – increased fees for EU students after Brexit being another example – with challenges for UK universities being balanced by opportunities for other countries. 

There are huge implications for the strategies employed both by national governments and by universities. And how higher education institutions work with governments has become increasingly important, as discussed in a recent session at our W100 Annual conference. 

Measuring country reputation is a challenge, and has become a popular focus for the rankings organisations, as well as the wider international education industry, with a wide range different destinations topping tables, including Canadathe US, the UK and even the UAE. 

The World 100 International Tracker pilot in 2020 asked prospective global students about how attractive countries are as a place to live and study.  The research took place in the midst of the pandemic – and respondents were asked to answer as they would have prior to the coronavirus outbreak. 

The UK scored highest amongst prospective students, followed by Canada and the USA.  Australia ranked fourth, with Germany leading the way amongst European countries in 5th place. 

W100 members have access to the full data from the International Tracker pilot – click here (and contact if you need a reminder of the log-in details).

The International Tracker for 2021 will be launched shortly, and this year’s research will help to understand whether students’ views on country reputation have shifted?  Will the US see some benefit? Will continuing border restrictions in Australia and Canada dent performance? 

The 2021 International Tracker will feature significant enhancements including the potential addition of new audiences and extra data from Times Higher Education. Click here to register your interest in attending a Webinar where we will be introducing the new Tracker.