Tomorrow’s Big Spenders: The Global Student Market

February 2013

The global student base is expanding, as young people choose higher education in the face of an increasingly competitive job market. Whilst rising tuition and living costs mean many students are living on a tight budget, their combined purchasing power is impressive and brands are keen to capture the loyalty of these future big spenders as they become consumers in their own right. This report examines global student behaviour and spending habits, and the opportunities they present for marketers.

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Future big spenders

The global student base is forever expanding as young people choose higher education in the face of an increasingly competitive job market. Whilst rising tuition and living costs mean students are living on a tight budget, their combined purchasing power is impressive and brands are keen to capture the loyalty of these future big spenders as they become consumers in their own right.

Leaving home to begin university is a life-changing experience for young people. For many, it beings a sense of freedom, being the first time they live alone and have complete control over how they spend their money. In the absence of parental supervision of leisure activities and discretionary spending, students are free to experiment with their own budgets on a much greater scale than when they were at home. Furthermore, students usually have very active social lives – especially in the West – and will happily spend the lion’s share of their budget on going out and having fun.

Though students may be price sensitive and living on restricted budgets, they are a market worth tapping. These consumers will be among tomorrow’s largest spenders, and many companies are prepared to focus on building brand awareness among students in the hope of gaining life-long loyalty. 

This in-depth report examines global student behaviours, spending habits and the opportunities these present for marketers. It puts Euromonitor Survey data and relevant industry analysis into the wider context of the student market and considers strategic implications.

What this report includes

  • Top-level strategic analysis of how major consumer trends will influence global markets
  • Consumer insight
  • Impact across all relevant consumer markets
  • Unique graphics and case studies
  • Key market snapshots
  • Accompanying presentation to synthesise main findings
     

Why buy this report

  • Identify factors driving change now and in the future
  • Understand motivation
  • Forward-looking outlook
  • Briefings and presentation should provoke lively discussion at senior level
  • Take a step back from micro trends
  • Get up to date estimates and comment

Delivery format

PDF/Word
Downloadable from MyPages

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Student demographics
Chart 1 Leading Global Higher Education Markets 2012
Costs and spending power
Characteristics of Generation Y
Eating habits
Social life
Attitudes towards technology
Attitudes towards travel
Outlook

INTRODUCTION

First-time consumers
Student definition
Euromonitor International surveys
Annual Study 2011 Global Youth Survey
Overview of Generation Y
Echo boomers Summary 1 Generational Cohorts Great expectations Extended adolescence Diversity Tech Savvy Summary 2 Gen Y Characteristics

STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS

Number of students
Unprecedented growth Demand driven by emerging markets Chart 2 Major Markets: Higher Education Students as % Total Population 2012 Table 1 Major Markets: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012
Reasons for going into higher education
The problem of youth unemployment Chart 3 Major Markets: Youth Unemployment Rate by Country 2006-2011 Education considered key to success
International students
The boom in overseas study Debt crisis forces move from Southern to Northern Europe Many stay where they are US is largest host nation Chart 4 Major Markets: Number of Foreign Students in Leading Host Countries 2007/2012 Economic benefits Establishing overseas campuses Summary 3 The Most Overseas-friendly Countries for Universities, 2011
Adult learning
A rise in mature students Adult scholarships and self-learning in developing markets

FINANCE AND SPENDING POWER

Public and private spending on higher education
Table 2 Major Markets: Spending on Education Per Student in Higher Education 2007/2012
The costs to students
Chart 5 Major Markets: Education Costs as % Monthly Budget Among College Students, by Country
Financing education
Chart 6 Methods Used by College Students to Finance Education, by Region
Government aid
Table 3 Major Markets: Distribution of Financial Aid to Students in Selected Countries
Education loans
Table 4 Major Markets: Education Lending – Outstanding Balance by Country 2007/2012

STUDENT BEHAVIOUR

Eating habits
Later diners Opportunities to increase dayparts Greater propensity to snack Chart 7 When Students Eat – Global Meal preparation versus ready meals and takeaways No time for cooking Chart 8 Home Eating Habits – Global Chart 9 Reasons for Buying Ready Meals – Global Students as trend-setters Vegetarianism on the rise Allergies and food intolerance more common The importance of staying thin Chart 10 Dietary Restrictions – Global Weight loss products Table 5 Global Sales of Weight Management Products 2007/2012 Ethical shopping Chart 11 Willingness to Pay More for Specific Attributes – Global The growth of fair traded products Table 6 Fairtrade Sales in Leading Countries 2010/2011
Social life
Formative years Online socialising Chart 12 Factors Important for Happiness and Fulfilment – Global Social drinking Chart 13 Major Markets: Frequency of Alcohol Consumption Only a fifth of students drink alcohol regularly Energy drinks target the student market Chart 14 Alcohol Consumption – Global
Technology
Increasingly reliance on internet for research Chart 15 Time Spent Researching On-line for Educational Purposes by Gender Social networking is most popular on-line student activity Most students regularly stream or download music Chart 16 On-line Activities – Global Smartphones are a must Chart 17 Mobile Phone Activities – Global Rapid growth in sales of smart devices The emergence of tablets Chart 18 Global Sales of Smart Devices 2006/2011/2016 Apps for students Location-based services on the rise Summary 4 Useful Student Apps 2012
Student travel
Students travel on lower budgets but go further afield Travel apps improve the travel experience Gap year travel Students are keen clubbers
Students’ attitudes and aspirations
Attitudes to life Chart 19 Student Attitudes to Life – Global What makes for a happy life? Table 7 Factors That Make For a Happy Life, by Country

COUNTRY SNAPSHOTS

Brazil
Overview of student market Income and expenses Chart 20 Brazil: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Living Eating Chart 21 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in Brazil On-line activity Chart 22 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in Brazil
China
Overview of student market Income and expenses Living Chart 23 China: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Eating and drinking habits Chart 24 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in China On-line activity Chart 25 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in China
France
Overview of student market Income and expenses Chart 26 France: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Living Eating and drinking habits Chart 27 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in France On-line activity Chart 28 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in France
Germany
Overview of student market Income and expenses Chart 29 Germany: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Living Eating and drinking Chart 30 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in Germany On-line activity Chart 31 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in Germany
India
Overview of student market Chart 32 India: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Income and expenses Living Eating and drinking Chart 33 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in India On-line activity Chart 34 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in India
Japan
Overview of student market Income and expenses Chart 35 Japan: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Living Eating and drinking habits Chart 36 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in Japan On-line activity Chart 37 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in Japan
UK
Overview of student market Chart 38 UK: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Income and expenses Living Eating and drinking habits Chart 39 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in the UK On-line activity Chart 40 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in the UK
US
Overview of student market Chart 41 US: Number of Higher Education Students 2007-2012 Income and expenses Living Eating and drinking habits Chart 42 Eating Habits – Students vs Other Respondents in US On-line activity Chart 43 On-line Activities – Students vs Other Respondents in US

OUTLOOK AND IMPLICATIONS

Student market will continue to grow
Table 8 Major Markets: Forecast Number of Higher Education Students 2012-2017
A tough future ahead
Economic prospects still uncertain How students see the future Future workplace Chart 44 Important Job Qualities to College Students – Global Chart 45 Future Threats to Happiness Among College Students – Global
Commercial Opportunities
Electronic devices will replace stationery and books Chart 46 Forecast Global Sales of Portable Devices 2011/2016 Telecoms operators will battle for students’ custom Setting up home Convenience is key Targeting students with financial services Student travel will continue to grow Summary 5 Opportunities For Marketers
How to reach students
A direct approach is best Marketing to students on the go Games and competitions Chart 47 Influential Marketing Sources – Global Viral marketing The rise of Instagram Targeting students on their home ground
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