DIAC and BMI Media unveiled market research study titled Transnational Student Mobility and Future Employment Trends in 2017.The research was announced as part of the inaugural for UAE International Education Week. The objective of the study was to provide a better understanding of transnational student needs and future employment preferences across a wide selection of developing countries in the GCC, Asia and South America. The study looked at the factors that motivate potential students worldwide: where they would like to study; the reasons why; perceived obstacles and more. Survey responses were collected and analyzed from 2,700 students aged 17 to 25 from 50 countries.
One of the key findings of the study measured UAE against established educational destinations such as Sweden, Netherlands and more. The study shows that UAE is similar in popularity to Sweden, Netherlands, Switzerland and New Zealand and outranked leading global players such as Singapore, Switzerland, China and South Korea as a preferred study destination. The study also found that the foremost reason for students choosing an international study destination was the quality of education. Students are driven to overseas study due to limited education options in their home country and the fact that employers place greater value on international qualifications. Another major reason cited for international education travel was employment. Students perceive higher education as an investment in their future and view international study as a platform to gain international experience. In fact, a staggering 69% of respondents stated that they intend to stay in the country of study, at least for the medium term; presenting an opportunity for leading education hubs seeking to attract educated skilled workers and retain intellectual capital. Notably, when respondents were asked about extra-curricular activities, work experience was listed as the most important activity for students. In fact, one of the main deterrents for studying abroad is employment issues with many students choosing destinations – UAE, Australia, Canada and Ireland – that allow them to work while studying. Extra-curricular clubs and career fairs were also ranked very highly, representing students looking for activities that increase their chances of gaining employment or networking opportunities for same.
The launch of the market research study is a key highlight of the inaugural UAE International Education Week. Held from 18 to 23 October, the week includes a series of workshops, fairs and private meetings such as the Gulf International Schools Workshop, UAE Global Educations Fairs, and the BMI Gulf Scholarship Summit.
Designed to support Dubai’s growing reputation as a global education hub, UAE International Education Week aims to attract regional and transnational students to Dubai by providing essential information on how to select the best institution, course, and country for higher education.