Cara Skikne

Record breaking number of students on Studyportals: late decisions and pent-up demand


In normal times, July and August are the low periods for international education choice: September enrolments have made their choices generally and new discovery picks up only in late August. 2021 turns out to be different: In July and August Studyportals broke multiple, all-time visitor records, peaking at 182,000 unique users on the day of 2 August alone. This represents a Year-on-Year (YoY) growth of over 57%! The biggest growth stems from Mastersportal where we achieved growth in unique users of 88% compared to the same Monday in 2020, a YoY registration growth of +66% vs 2020 and +116% vs 2019.  

Benchmark data from third-party Alexa  – showing the portion of the Internet traffic that a website has – confirms that Studyportals is increasing its lead on other study choice websites and rapidly expands its market share amongst students. It is great to see that our foundation of ‘putting students first continues to pay off.


Source: Alexa. Independent third party benchmark showing the Internet traffic of the largest international education websites. 

The growth numbers are the result of 

  • Students needing information to make their last minute choices for the fall enrolment – changing Covid-related visa, travel and campus restrictions partly driving their choice 
  • Pent up demand: students that have changed their plans since Covid erupted 
  • User-driven development by Studyportals and expanded marketing strategies, such as our integrations with Google, Social media and authoritative websites such as Times Higher Education where we power the course search 

Furthermore, we are using several remarketing methods where we re-engage students that have seen our portals to have them come back to continue their journey in finding a well-suited education programme.  

Especially our latest marketing efforts are showing amazing results. By optimising our marketing campaigns towards specific goals and remarketing students, we are seeing a substantial increase in our visitors.  

Our other focus area is on the student journey. Making sure that students coming in from different sources go through a logical journey, are offered relevant information and support and can really engage with our portals. We do this by improving the quality of our landing pages and presenting logical next steps for students to continue their journey on our portals. 

With our current growth rate, we are well on the way to reach 50+ million unique student users in 2021! When we started with three students, we never imagined we could have so much impact one day, it’s so fulfilling that together with all our university partners we are truly making education transparent globally. 

About the Alexa data set: 

Alexa operates one of the world’s largest global data panel which represents a sample of all Internet users. To generate the metrics, they count visits and pageviews for each site and apply data science to estimate what the total traffic and engagement for each site are. 

Alexa is owned by Amazon. You can use a part of their services for free for instance to verify website traffic or investigate channels that you might consider: is a competitor service to Alexa and provides similar insights 


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