An investigation of the factors determining student destination Choice for higher education in the United Arab Emirates
Ahmad, Syed Zamberi
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Previous studies on the destination choices of international students have mainly focused on the mobility of students from non-English-speaking countries to English-speaking countries, with limited attention being paid to the investigation of the factors that determine the ﬂow of international students in emerging education hubs in the Middle East. As a piece of country-speciﬁc research, this study attempts to explore why and how international students travel to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for higher education. The study uses, as its theoretical framework, the push–pull factor theory in determining the destination choice of international students, while the analytic hierarchy process method is employed to examine the relative importance of these factors in inﬂuencing the choices of the students. Given the highly competitive nature of transnational higher education markets, this study is of particular importance for educational authorities and higher education institutions in the UAE to gain a better understanding of the complex factors involved in students’ decision-making, which will enable them to determine recruitment and marketing strategies for attracting international students. The ﬁndings contribute to a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the higher education market in the UAE.