To all higher education institutions in the UK: Find out more and get involved in our 2020/21 study on the international student customer journey

International student choice and decision-making

The 2020/21 academic year isn’t like any before, however there is something to look forward to.

We are running, for the 7th time, our annual survey among new international students studying at UK Higher Education Institutions, with the ongoing support of the British Council and the GREAT/Study UK campaign. This survey explores the student customer journey, decision-making process and the UK’s perceived competitive strengths and weaknesses as a study destination. We had very good engagement from the sector in previous years, with up to 4,500 respondents from 70+ universities.

We very much appreciate the ongoing support from UK universities. We will be in touch directly in regards to the new wave of the research with institutions where we have direct contacts. If your institution has not participated in previous years or you wish to find out more about the research directly, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Each participating institution will receive a free summary report with opportunity for further in-depth analysis (e.g. by institution, citizenship), subject to response rates.


Contact Research Stories to express interest in the research.

Below is the indicative timeline of the research:

  • Fieldwork: January – March 2021
  • Student winners notified by April 2021
  • Summary headline reporting available by end of May 2021


What is the benefit to your institution?  

This is a unique opportunity to get valuable insight into your student base. All participating universities will receive a report of the headline findings free of charge  (see sample report here). This year in the light of Brexit, a dedicated section on EU students will be included in the report.

Universities will also benefit from the opportunity to request free of charge an institution specific analysis, depending on the number of respondents received per institution.

What is the benefit for the students?

Participating students will be given the opportunity to enter a prize draw to win one of the 3 gift cards worth £500 each at one of the following retailers: Apple, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Fortnum & Mason, Amazon.

How does it work?

Simply contact us and we will provide you with a link to the online survey which you can share with your new International students both EU and non-EU, via your own communication channels. We are including new International students who started/may finish their course outside UK, and those who study partly or wholly online.

There are no data protection issues as we will not have access to your students’ details.

Any personal data collected will be with the consent of participating students and will be used only to identify the winners of the prize draw. Research Stories abides by the Market Research Society (MRS) Code of Conduct (for more information please click here) and we are MRS Company Partners. All our research is GDPR compliant.

Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any queries or to request the survey link.