GLOBAL: North America's postgraduate appeal wanes

Europe is winning the battle to be the most popular region for postgraduate study, writes Michael Prest for The Independent. According to preliminary 2009 statistics compiled by QS, the private provider of higher education information services, North America has continued to slide in the esteem of prospective postgraduates. There has also been a noticeable increase in proportions studying international relations, communications and law, mainly at the expense of finance, accounting, management and economics subjects.

The analysis is based on information from the QS World Grad School Tour. The company takes universities wanting to attract postgraduates to student fairs it organises in about 60 cities around the world each year. The information is provided by prospective students who must register on the company's website and complete a questionnaire to attend a fair. QS has consistent data for the past four years, obtained from 40,000 to 60,000 students annually.

"We've noticed that Europe is becoming more popular," says David McClelland, senior operations manager at the QS World Grad School Tour. In general, 33.5% of postgraduate applicants preferred North America (the US and Canada), and 57% Europe in 2009, against 39% and 50% respectively in 2007. The trend is clear across most regions.
Full report on The Independent site