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40% universities are expecting a rise in student enrollment in 2021/22

With the pandemic impacting everything from school-leaving exams to admissions criteria, the ISC report studies how universities are adapting and what they can expect in terms of student enrollment.
BY BrainGain Magazine Staff Writer |   17-09-2021

BrainGain Magazine
Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

ISC Research surveyed 165 institutions in 23 countries for its report – ‘The Pathway from International School to Higher Education’. The report studied the impact of the pandemic and other factors on the international school pathway to higher education, as well as the changes higher education institutions have made to their recruitment strategies.

40% of the respondents said they were expecting more students. A majority of the HEIs expecting an increase were in the UK (46%), followed by US (16%), The Netherlands (13.5%), and Spain (8%).

According to the report, this increase is driven by deferrals from 2020, change in destination preferences, student acceptance of online options, and online recruitment efforts.

However, not all institutions are being able to embrace this period of disruption.

“This report calls for global exploration of challenges faced and changes being implemented by some institutions to identify effective models for change.”

To navigate the disruptions caused by the pandemic, universities reported adapting marketing and recruitment strategies replacing recruitment fairs with direct engagement on social media, virtual events and one-to-one sessions.

Admissions criteria are also undergoing changes but many universities are stuck with the pre-pandemic model. During the pandemic, the most prevalent admissions criteria for institutions were secondary school leaving qualifications, when transcripts were not available. Of the respondents, 48% HEIs said they were admitting new students without final exam grades or scores, 73% said they were relying on detailed interviews and 41% said they were using more references.

Language proficiency tests, strong references, personal statements, were also emphasized. Many universities also strongly recommended better career preparation by including internships and part-time jobs in the curriculum to improve career-readiness. The report “calls for transformation of the pathway of students as they leave school.”
 

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