International students' decision-making process

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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to propose a theoretical model that integrates the different groups of factors which influence the decision-making process of international students, analysing different dimensions of this process and explaining those factors which determine students’ choice. Design/methodology/approach – A hypothetical model is presented which shows the purchase intention as an independent variable dependent on five factors: personal reasons; the effect of country image, influenced by city image; institution image; and the evaluation of the programme of study. The consideration, whether conscious or unconscious on the part of the prospective student, of the different elements making up the factors included in this study will determine the final choice made by that student. Findings – The limitations of this study stem from the nature of the study itself. As a theoretical model, it aims to integrate the factors identified in the existing literature. Thus, future research must try to examine the existing relationships among the aforementioned factors. In particular, it must analyse the weight of each factor on the purchase intention, and the relative importance of each element for the factor it belongs to. Therefore, determining the relative importance of each element and factor would constitute an important source of information for future work in international marketing. Originality/value – There are few studies which try to tackle the decision-making process of the prospective international student from an integrated point of view. This paper contributes to bridging that gap
Decision making, Higher education, International business, Overseas students
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International Journal of Educational Management, 2006, v. 20, n. 2, pp. 101-115