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An Increase of Interest in Europe and A Shift Towards STEM

clock iconCreated At:14 June, 2023
write iconCreated By:Hagar Samir

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Students from Pakistan and Bangladesh report a shift in interest, in which they’re now more interested in education across continental Europe. This region maintains a “strong appeal” for international students. However, according to new research, it is believed that government policy and other factors are affecting students’ choices.

In addition, there has been a huge shift, as most programme preferences are now leaning towards artificial intelligence, data science and big data, business intelligence and analysis, entrepreneurship, and engineering management. 

According to data collected in the year up to May 2023, there is a report, Studyportals Destination Europe report, that delves into usual trends in master’s and bachelor’s programmes, in addition to taking a closer look at the disciplines of business and management. 

The company remarked that approximately one in five students looking to study in Europe are interested in the discipline. 

Germany “holds a significant global market share of student interest”; however, the analysis found a “drop in relative demand” for its programmes. In addition, Norway has seen the “largest decline” in relative demand. This drop is most likely due to the introduction of tuition fees, according to the news.

On the other hand, Italy continues to grow in its popularity among international students at both the bachelor’s and master’s levels.

The research divided the interests of the students into two categories: master's and bachelor's.

Studyportals highlighted that the annual 50+ million visitors across its nine portals is a huge deal, as it gives the company a new perspective on student demand. This perspective involves the city level, the destination of interest, and study disciplines.

The report stated, “By understanding the preferences of prospective students, universities can strategically develop and promote relevant programmes, ensuring they meet the evolving needs of international students”.

At a bachelor’s level, the design-related programmes saw a “significant decline” in interest, with AI programs seeing notable increases.

On a similar note, at a master’s level, the interest in international relations has dropped significantly, and students are leaning towards data science and big data-type programmes.

There is also a 13.1% drop in interest in bachelor's programs in the UK compared with a 6.1% rise in masters, despite not being included in the analysis due to the prevalence of English-taught programmes. 

There are several warnings that the United Kingdom is at risk because of international students opting for master’s programmes over bachelor’s level courses.

Researchers noted a 19.7% drop in students interested in Norway at a bachelor’s level, in addition to a 5.5% fall in the Netherlands. However, there is a “small to moderate” increase in other countries; Finland (+36.7%), Austria (+32%) and Belgium (26.4%). 

At a master’s level, Norway also had a setback, with an 18.2% decline. France and Germany saw a decline as well, while Czechia, Hungary, and Italy all witnessed a rising interest. 

On a positive note, according to a paper, Portugal witnessed a huge increase in interest, both at a bachelor’s and a master’s level.

At both master’s and bachelor’s levels, the percentage of interest from Indian students has declined since 2019. This is interesting because governments including Australia, the UK, and the US want to build tighter ties with the country that recently became the world’s most populous.

The report added, “Although India generates the largest share of relative demand [at bachelor’s level], this fluctuates drastically and has gradually declined overall. Conversely, you can see that Bangladesh and Pakistan have increased their share of the interest.”

The research follows a similar direction in master’s degrees, where India shows a “general decline in interest year-on-year, with Bangladesh and Pakistan, alongside students in Turkey and Iran, showing strong demand to study master’s programs”.

Regarding bachelor’s levels, Computer Science has the most growth (+12%), while Business increased slightly. Social Science had a “moderate decline despite maintaining a large proportion of the overall demand”. 

Business and Management are still the most popular fields for master’s students, these subjects are followed by Social Sciences and Engineering and Technology. 

The interest in Artificial Intelligence is still prominent with 20%, followed by Health Sciences, Computer Science and Informatics, and Information Technology, which are all seeing jumps in interest.

STEM also dominates in master’s programmes, specifying Data Sciences and Big Data, Health Science, Biology, and Software Engineering.

Germany, France, and the Netherlands all had a decrease in the number of visits. On the other hand, Italy has gained more popularity in master’s business programmes over the past year by 21.5%.

Italy has a remarkable increase in interest in business bachelor’s programmes. Finnland, however, had the biggest increase; it had a 21.5% the past year alone, which is huge. 

Spain, Denmark, and France all have an increase; they all saw moderate growth for their bachelor’s business programmes.


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