Global Student Destinations Survey 2019 shows that UK, USA, Canada and Australia remain the most popular destinations for higher education


New Delhi, October 14, 2019 – Findings from Cambridge International’s annual Student Destinations Survey reveal that the traditional English-speaking countries of UK, USA, Canada and Australia remain the most popular destinations for students worldwide, The Netherlands is also emerging as a popular destination. The research conducted by the world’s largest provider of international education programmes and qualifications for 5 to 19-year olds shows that the range of destinations that students are considering is changing and becoming broader.

Cambridge International has released the findings based on insights from 470 schools in 64 number of countries.

“Students now prefer to apply to countries like Australia and Canada as work visas and PR are easily processed post the completion of their degrees than USA and UK. Students prefer to take combination of subjects with Business and Sciences like Psychology or Law as they usually top up their degrees with an MBA program.” – Dr Arundhati Hoskeri Director, and Management Representative, MET Rishikul Vidyalaya, India

In India, the findings highlight that there is a steady increase in the number of students looking to pursue higher education in local universities, with Business & Management, Engineering, Computer Science / ICT, Economics and Accounting & Finance emerging as top courses.

The survey also revealed that Cambridge students in India are diversifying away from traditional STEM subjects and considering liberal arts programmes. This trend is supported by the broad curriculum provided by the board.

Globally, The University of Manchester, University of Toronto, University College London, King’s College London and Florida State University were the top universities selected by Cambridge International students. Engineering was the most popular subject, followed by business and management, medicine, and accounting and finance for students across the world.

Kevin Ebenezer, Cambridge International’s Head of Global Recognitions said about the survey, “This year, we saw a record number of schools participating in the survey and the findings have given us interesting insights into students’ preferences. We found that 54 per cent of the cohort progressed to universities in their own country – so continuing our work to extend university recognition in a local context is really important. The introduction of a March exam series in India, which enables students to meet local university deadlines, is evidence of how we use insights from surveys like this one to support the progression of Cambridge students to their preferred destinations”

He also added, “Engineering and Business are the most popular subject choices for our students worldwide. It’s refreshing to see that our curriculum in India is encouraging more students to consider liberal arts programmes as well as traditional STEM routes.”

“I have noticed more students conscientiously opting for universities in countries like Netherlands, France, Canada and Australia apart from the regular choices of US and UK. I have also noticed that students wishing to pursue their further study in the Sciences at the undergraduate & / post graduate level, select universities abroad / outside India. The other trend that I have observed is that the number of students looking at Indian Universities offering courses in humanities / management / commerce / law is steadily increasing. Also, with the flexibility in subject selection given to the students following the Cambridge curriculum, the students have got the added opportunity to select subjects that interest them rather than being restricted to the pre-defined subject choices. e.g., a pure science student has the flexibility to study Economics along with the Sciences. This flexibility has also given the students to look at career choices beyond the regular clichéd options.” Monica Nanda, Senior School Headmistress, Anand Niketan International School, India