Blog feature image for blog on UniQuest COVID-19 student recruitment insights June

June data shows 100% year-on-year growth in international student demand

Insights from our year-on-year analysis of ~30k pre-application student enquiries

We’re now four months into a global pandemic and while things are starting to feel like they’re inching towards normal, a lot of uncertainty remains for prospective students and higher education institutions. To help universities gain as much clarity as possible on how current events are impacting their enrolment pipelines, we’re monitoring not just what students are saying, but how they’re actually behaving.

June findings

International student demand for our UK university partners doubled in June 2020 compared to June 2019, achieving the strongest year-on-year growth rate of any other month within the current recruitment cycle.

UniQuest international student demand trends graph October to June 2020

Even better, this spike in June reflects a positive growth trajectory across all global regions. Although demand from the Americas remains down year-on-year through June, the outlook has been consistently improving each month since March.

UniQuest international student demand trends by region graph October to June 2020

As we reported previously, India has been the leading driver of overall international student demand growth for several months. Despite signs of a slow-down across April and May, Indian student demand has rebounded to a triple-digit growth rate again in June. More unexpectedly, UK onshore international demand has outpaced India in terms of year-on-year growth (not in actual volumes) in June.

UniQuest international student demand trends by key market graph - October to June 2020


As universities welcome increases in international student demand it’s important that institutions have the resource, technology and processes in place to support students and nurture their interest throughout what are often long journeys to enrolment. Nearly 50% of the students we engage on behalf of our partners are asking about intakes more than 12 months away. Proactively and strategically communicating with these students across the 2021 recruitment pipeline and beyond is critical to ensuring they have an exceptional pre-enrolment experience and you reach your enrolment goals.

About the analysis

As part of our student conversion services, we track prospect, applicant and offer holder behaviour data in real-time to inform student engagement strategies and support our higher education partners in developing reliable enrolment forecasts.

Since February, we’ve been monitoring year-on-year student demand trends on a monthly basis with a particular interest in assessing how the coronavirus pandemic is influencing student behaviour throughout the recruitment funnel.

We will continue to publish these monthly trends here on the blog. In the meantime, follow us on LinkedIn for weekly insights to help you engage your prospective students in these uncertain times.