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Thailand has moved from a low-income to an upper middle-income country in less than a generation, and the nation is striving to reach high-income status by 2037.
Like most countries around the world, however, Thailand has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, leading to more entrenched inequality across a variety of spectrums. This inequality includes education, where vast discrepancies exist between quality and completion of education. Nonetheless, Thailand’s economy is expected to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, with growing industries such as manufacturing (particularly electronics), tech and innovation, and tourism driving a need for highly skilled workers. (The World Bank in Thailand, 2021)
In good news, our real-time IDP Connect IQ data shows that the volume of Thai students considering an international qualification in Australia has increased by nearly 30% between December 2021 to March 2022.
Australia is also the most searched after destination for undergraduate students in Thailand, but is still behind the UK for post-graduate. This is an opportunity for Australian and New Zealand institutions to enhance their postgraduate offerings and attract more prospective students in this level of study.
Expert Insights: Q&A
We spoke with Pattama Kuentak, Hotcourses Thailand Editor, to hear her insights on how institutions can keep attracting prospective Thai students and optimise the way they engage with this growing audience to drive more interest and demand.
What are your top tips for institutions to engage with prospective Thai students?
Pattama: It’s important for institutions to have a presence on Thai social media and continue to engage with potential students via various platforms by answering questions and promoting relevant courses and facilities (including library and student-and-career services), so that students know what the experience at an institution would be like.
What messaging by institutions tends to drive high interest to the Hotcourses Thailand student website?
Pattama: Scholarships! Studying abroad can be a far-fetched idea for many Thai students because it’s expensive. But Thai students are also aspiring international students and global citizens at heart. By saying there are opportunities for them to achieve this dream will grab attention and impact on their institution choices.
Which media should institutions be on, and on which platforms should they have visibility to best engage with Thai students?
Pattama: Video is the most engaging medium, as they can see and listen to the stories of an institution. Although Thai prospective students are very tech savvy and tend to have most social media accounts, I would recommend using YouTube and TikTok as the main platforms – these platforms offer a high chance of visibility, as prospective students are very active in these spaces.
Although Generation Z – many of whom are prospective students - are turning away from Facebook and spending more time on video-based platforms, it doesn’t mean that Facebook isn’t necessary.
How can institutions use alumni stories and experiences to attract prospective students from Thailand?
Pattama: Alumni stories are some of the best ways to attract students because they tell personal stories from a unique perspective of each student. Institutions can pick alumni that have interesting and inspiring stories, whether it’s about their reason for choosing a certain university or their experiences on campus.
It could expand to their future goals and how the courses help them achieve those goals. These stories should come from different types of alumni with different backgrounds, so that prospective students see representations of people they may identify with, and eventually feel deeply connected with these stories.
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, which attracted 4.9m Thai users in 2021. Hotcourses Thailand offers users a wealth of study abroad information and an innovative course matcher tool that connects them to their ideal program to start their study-abroad journey.
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.
Reference: “The World Bank in Thailand” The World Bank, last updated September 2021, accessed 9 March 2022.