Singapore surges in popularity for business students


Everyone is aware of the American dream and the student desire to move to USA, but there are contenders rising with quality education and high-demand, especially in the world of business education. Two such countries are Singapore and Canada, where studies have revealed a massive surge in popularity among international business students while traffic continues to decline in the US, as observed in previous years.

A primary reason for USA’s fall as an attractive destination for education is also in the light of Covid-19 where countries like New Zealand have been recognized to tackle the pandemic gracefully among many others while the US continues to struggle to contain it, alongside other legislative changes in the region.

The latest edition of the Business of Branding Study was conducted on 1,442 respondents from across 50 countries between the months of May and June 2020 by Carrington Crisp and EFMD, where Singapore deems to be one of the top five international study destinations, alongside Canada, USA, UK and Australia.

The statistical results of the study are as such:

  • 38% to 48% of students are considering Canada for their education about this year as compared with last year.


  • Singapore’s rise is also obvious when compared: it was chosen by 15% in the last round of the study and selected by 40% this year.


  • US has bounced back from a decline in popularity over previous years (50% in 2019, 62% in 2018 and 67% in 2017).


  • Contrary to what the study reveals, the US (81%) and UK (79%) still score the highest for the quality of their academic institutions followed by France in third (45%).


  • Additionally, international students view the Netherlands (54%) as the most welcoming country, followed by the UK (48%), Spain (37%), Canada and Germany (36%).


  • In consideration to visas, Germany (64%) is viewed as the easiest country to get one for, followed by Spain (56%), Netherlands (54%) and France (48%).


  • Conversely, the four perceived as hardest to get visas for are China (2%), Japan (3%), India (5%) and the US (7%).


This shift in surge seems evident as awareness grows and Singapore is seen as an important global business centre with an international outlook. As per the study, irrespective of the fact that international student movement has been put on halt due the present scenario of a pandemic, the impact of country-brand decision making may be greater than ever.

A word-to-word description by Andrew Crisp, author of the study has been summarized:

“Having invested heavily in its education system, Singapore is seen increasingly as an important global business centre with an international outlook.”

“It has been perceived to be coping well with the pandemic, at least in the early stages, and with problems in Hong Kong is perhaps seen as a good alternative for those interested in studying in Asia.”

“There has been a lot of turbulence and it may be that international students anticipate a Trump loss in November and a return to more stable policies for international students. It could be the perception that short term issues whether political or health-related, which might have put them off, may be coming to an end.”

“Both the US and UK have always had well-renowned universities and business schools, and these have continued to attract international students despite any domestic issues. For the UK specifically, the reintroduction of the two-year post-study work visa has made it more attractive.”

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