Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF

An agent’s perspective on recruiting in Nepal

Nepal’s outbound student numbers continued their rapid growth trajectory in 2018. Following on from strong gains the previous year, many global and regional study destinations reported a large increase in Nepalese enrolments for 2018. In Australia, for example, where Nepal is now the third-largest sending market (after only China and India), student numbers increased by 51% year-over-year from 2017 and total Nepalese enrolment in Australia is now approaching 50,000 students. Japan saw strong growth last year as well. Nepal is also the third-ranked sending market for Japan (after only China and Vietnam), and the country’s institutions welcomed a 13% increase in Nepalese numbers last year – for a total enrolment of 24,300 in 2018 – which followed a 10% increase the year before. And colleges and schools in the US saw their Nepalese enrolments increase by more than 14% last year to surpass 13,000 students. Nepal held its position last year as the US’s second-largest sending market in South and Central Asia, after only India. As even these three examples reflect, the number of outbound students from Nepal now certainly exceeds 80,000. There are no reliable figures as to the total number of Nepalese students abroad, but even just working backwards from the data reported by a few top study destinations paints a picture of a rapidly growing market and one of the most important South Asian source countries for international students. We recently sat down with Manish Dahal, the director of the Kathmandu-based education agency May Education Consultancy for his insights on this rapidly growing market. As he notes in our opening interview segment below, “The driving factors behind the high demand is that international degrees matter in Nepal. [Employers] give the first priority to people educated abroad.” Mr Dahal explains that Nepalese students are considering a wider range of study destinations these days, including those within the region, notably India, where Nepalese students do not require a study visa. Even so, the success rate of Nepalese students in obtaining student visas for other major host countries, such as Australia and the US, remains a major factor in the appeal of those destinations as well. In our final interview segment below, Mr Dahal recommends that educators visit Nepal to build their local networks and learn about the market firsthand. Looking ahead, he sees continued growth for the future because of the very high value that the country’s students, parents, and employers place on international degrees. For additional background, please see:

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