ApplyBoard records application boom and maps future industry trends

Between March and October of this year, applications to British establishments increased by more than 300% and Canadian applicants by more than 200%, the newspaper notes. In addition, requests in the United States increased by 750% compared to the same period in 2020.

“During 2021, ApplyBoard saw more students seeking study abroad programs than ever before, and program carry-overs have declined significantly,” the document said.

“It is clear that international students are eager to travel and study, and we have seen a sharp increase in the number of new students enrolled for fall 2021 and winter 2022 in destination markets. “

He also revealed that visa approval rates have rebounded from 2020, with Canadian rates rising 15 percentage points in the first half of 2021.

“The increase in the number of applications goes beyond the simple fact that students apply to several schools”

“The increase in the number of applications goes beyond the simple fact that students are applying to more than one school. We have also seen a significant increase in the number of students applying through our platform. [along with applications via recruitment partners]”said ApplyBoard.

When asked if institutions are prepared to handle the large increases in applications or if applications will result in enrollments, ApplyBoard said that “for many schools the constraint will be seats rather than students.”

“At the end of the day, at ApplyBoard, we remain committed to quality over quantity. We’re here to help students along their journey, but also to make sure students apply to the right programs that match their education and career goals, meaning our academic partners receive applications from the best possible quality.

“Speed ​​and volume are not mutually exclusive of quality, but quality must always be the priority. “

By 2030, China is expected to shift from a primary source market to its own destination market as the government strives to develop the country’s post-secondary education systems and institutions, while India is still expected to become the world’s largest middle market. class consumer market by 2030.

“The pandemic has shown the importance for institutions to diversify their recruitment base to protect themselves against the unpredictability of international relations and national policies. While India and China will remain major players in international education, it is essential that the industry keeps an eye on emerging markets, ”ApplyBoard said.

According to ApplyBoard’s internal modeling and industry data, emerging markets expected to experience strong growth are Nigeria, Kenya, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Egypt and Indonesia.

“As we look to the next 10 years, there are a few source markets that have the potential to reshape student recruitment for institutions in Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom and Australia,” suggests the report.

“Expanding recruitment and diversification efforts in these markets will not only help institutions grow and prosper, but also protect them from the volatility of international relations and domestic political conditions. “

Africa is set to continue to be a source of post-secondary student populations “well into the 21st century,” the newspaper notes.

Other countries on the continent that are expected to see growth in their young adult populations over the next 30 years are Mozambique, Uganda, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Niger and Sudan. While these countries have larger French-speaking populations, English-speaking institutions that “build strong recruiting teams and relationships in Africa over the next 10 years” could thrive, he noted.

Latin America – despite deeper economic recessions linked to the pandemic – remains a potential high-growth market over the next 30 years, especially Mexico, Brazil and Colombia.

Another market where the student market could explode “well before 2050” is Kazakhstan, the recruitment platform noted, with significant economic expansion before the pandemic and the government has set itself “the ambitious goal of allowing at least 20% of Kazakh students study abroad. ”.

However, ApplyBoard also suggested that traditional study destinations in North America, Australia and the UK will face “growing competition” from China and Russia, both of which have “established solid plans to recruit international students over the past five years ”.

Smaller destination markets, increasingly establishing themselves as regional hubs of international students, could become more dependent on international students as national populations decline, the document suggests. Destinations like Ireland, Spain, Germany, Japan, Netherlands and Malaysia are also positioning themselves as cheaper destinations than UK or US.

ApplyBoard also suggested that the cost of living and tuition fees are increasingly a concern for prospective students, with more than half of all students on the platform in the first 10 months of 2021 opting to show only programs with tuition fees of $ 30,000 or less per year, which was lower than before the pandemic.

“This clear trend shows that many international students are unwilling or unable to pay high tuition fees,” he said.

The document also charted the expected direction of the student recruitment industry, with agents – such as those with which ApplyBoard partners – expected to play an increasing role.

As the industry “continues to develop,” the trend towards an increasing number of active agents is set to continue, he suggested.

In a “new era” of professionalization of student recruitment, it will be essential to ensure that education officers have the skills and training they need to support students, the document says.

“It will be critical to ensure that education recruiting partners have the skills and training they need to support students.”

Within six months of launching its ApplyBoard Counseling Course, in which the company has invested more than C $ 2,000,000, more than 2,000 people had completed one or more of the four counseling courses, focused on Canada, the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

“As the industry recovers from the pandemic and embraces virtual recruiting as part of the new normal, it will be critical to ensure that education recruiting partners have the skills and training they need to helping students, ”the company added.

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