Ranking countries attractiveness in terms of postgraduate education: an evaluation through the eyes of Turkish students

Nizamettin Bayyurt

Abstract

Attracting international students is crucial for a country's economy as well as tourism, culture and country brand. When international students choose a university for their education, they consider the quality of the university and the image created by the country where the university is located. However, country image can often be overshadowed by the quality of the university. Therefore, university selection studies cannot rank countries’ attractiveness impartially. There are many studies regarding university selection. Nevertheless, not many studies can be found in the literature focusing on country selection/attractiveness regardless of university features. The present study aims to explore the attractiveness of countries for international postgraduate students.

On the other hand, country selection for students is a difficult decision-making problem because a variety of criteria exists to consider. In this study, ten criteria have been compiled from the literature on studying abroad. They have been weighted with the opinions of the students in the Department of Industrial Engineering at Istanbul Technical University, Turkey. These criteria are scholarship opportunities, safe environment, tuition fees and subsistence costs, employment during and after studying, country popularity and awareness, quality of life, distance, language, ease of entry, and culture. Finally, thirteen countries that host the highest number of foreign students were evaluated by means of the Analytical Hierarchy Process. Results reveal that the UK is the most attractive country, while Canada comes second and Australia comes third for international students. The least attractive countries are South Korea, China and Japan.

Keywords

Postgraduate education, country attractiveness, AHP

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.26220/aca.3440

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