Counsellor Q&A: Thai perspectives on studying in the UK and attracting more Thai students to UK institutions Skip to main content

Three of IDP’s experienced education counsellors, who work directly with prospective Thai students, share their tips and advice on how institutions can better engage with the Thai market. The counsellors featured are Thanakan Paneeyachot, Khakhanang Simanuruk and Nahathai Sirivarothakul.

For further insights, read our other Thai-focused article featuring insights by our Hotcourses Thailand editor, Pattama Kuentak, on what content is most effective when aiming to attract more Thai students to your institution.

Our education counsellors interviewed in this article, from left to right: Khakhanang Simanuruk, Nahathai Sirivarothakul and Thanakan Paneeyachot.

1. How do Thai students perceive the UK as a study destination in relation to other key study destinations?

Thanakan: There are three top reasons I frequently get from my students. Firstly, the reputation of UK universities has been well known for a long time. Secondly, it’s very attractive to prospective students to study a one-year master’s degree in the UK, while many other destinations only have the option of studying a two-year programme. Finally, the UK’s admissions entry requirements are flexible - students still have many options to study in the UK, even when they have lower GPAs.

2. Which factors are most valued by Thai students for studying abroad?

Thanakan: Thai students choose to study abroad because they wish to further their qualifications for their future careers. They also want to live abroad and experience living in another country.

3. What are your top tips for UK institutions to engage with and support prospective Thai students?

Khakhanang: It’s vital for institutions to keep in touch with prospective students they’ve met at events by regularly sending emails to update and engage with them on any relevant information. Most students apply for more than one university, therefore if a student receives updates from your university, your university is more likely to stay top-of-mind for them.

4. What are some of the most common concerns and barriers for Thai students considering studying in the UK?

Khakhanang: Some of the key considerations for Thai students when deciding where to study include the ranking of an institution, the reputation of an institution among Thais, post-study job opportunities, what the career path after graduation may be and the availability of scholarships.

5. What messaging by institutions tends to sway Thai students to choose an institution?

Nahathai: Important messaging for institutions to share is their unique selling points, the availability of scholarships, details of their most popular courses and any relevant updated information. It’s also advisable for institutions to promote English language waivers and English internal tests that may be available.

6. How is FastLane (IDP’s offer in principle service) helping you to support prospective students?

Nahathai: We have used FastLane for a few applications and it’s been very helpful. It enables us to match prospective students to programmes and find university entry requirements straight away. More importantly, it is faster than the normal process of using the university’s online application, offering students a superior service.

Additional note for Irish institutions: Counsellor insights: For the Ireland market, institutions need to work harder on marketing channels to share the university’s information with agents to build product knowledge and confidence for counsellors who will meet prospective students. Irish institutions can also focus on being flexible with visa processing time and pre-sessional English, which is very common for Thai students.

Reach more Thai students today:

Share your most engaging student content with an audience of actively researching prospective Thai students on Hotcourses Thailand, one of our leading in-country, local language student websites, attracting 4.9m users in 2021.

You can also utilise our IQ data tools, which collate the search behaviours of 100m+ annual visitors to our suite of student-facing sites, for in-depth insights into the Thai market to help guide your marketing and recruitment strategies.

Get in touch with our client teams today to find out more. Subsequently to the creation of this article, Khakhanang Simanuruk has left IDP Connect.

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Franki Clemens
Franki Clemens31 May 2022