Elements Influencing Students’ Selection of International Universities for Higher Studies on Scale of Hedonic and Utilitarian Value

M. Awais Mehmood
Bahria University

Faisal Aftab, Hamza Javaid, Hoda Mahmoud AboAlsamh
College of Business Administration, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal


Purpose: Pakistan has been one of the prime destinations for the recruitment of students by foreign universities. Over 50,000 students from Pakistan join foreign HEIs (Higher Educational Institutes) every year. Design/methodology/approach: This research has tried to understand the student selection criteria, based on consumer behavior theory of hedonic and utilitarian value. The in-depth interview with the education consultants in Pakistan has identified several internal and external elements related to the foreign HEIs, which students seriously consider before making the selection. The authors further classified these elements on their utilitarian and hedonic scale through focused groups specifying the functional and/or symbolic perception of these elements. Findings: The study reveals that foreign student fees, ease of admission, countries’ immigration rules settlements after studies in shapes of jobs and permanent citizen status, and word of mouth were the key considerations to make the admission decisions. Originality/value: There is a dearth of research that gives an insight into the selection process through which Pakistani students’ select foreign universities. The study provides value to universities and government policymakers for promoting their own country’s HEIs to international students. There is a dearth of research in the selection process through which students select foreign universities.

Keywords: Consumer, Behavior, Admissions, Hedonic, Utilitarian