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Financing international student mobility

Elaine Daly Elaine Daly

International student fees can significantly boost Higher Education Institutions’ (HEI) financial results. But competition is increasing for a piece of this lucrative market. Are you using the right techniques to capitalise on it?

The challenge for HEIs is to become more attractive than their competitors. With more data available online than ever before, students can compare institutions at the touch of a button, pushing HEIs to work harder to attract the savvy, price-sensitive international student audience.

The primary financial factor affecting where students choose to study is tuition fees. They will consider paying costly fees as long as the reputation of both institution and country are exceptional – hence a strong international student population in Australia, the UK and the US. But let’s not forget living costs. The price of transport and accommodation needs to be right too.

Our recommendations:

  • Follow the leaders: learn from other industries and develop robust financial models which protect and grow the income you receive from international students;
  • Provide an incentive to study: offer extra financial support to reduce the cost of living for international students
  • Be diligent: consider your international enterprise options. Assess the financial risks of partnerships and overseas campuses. And recognise the challenges of working in regions with different social and ethical norms.