Does University Ranking Matter? Choosing a University in the Digital Era

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2 Citations (Scopus)


Each year, final year high school students choose the university that they would prefer to attend. Past studies have found that family, friends, course availability, university reputation, distances from home, and job prospects were factors affecting students’ choice of university. However, the relative weight of these factors might have changed in the digital era; also, electronic word of mouth was ignored in the past. The purpose of this study was to identify the important factors affecting students’ university choice. We distributed a questionnaire which was completed by 472 Form 6 secondary school students in Hong Kong. Conjoint analysis was used to simulate a real situation and what human beings would do: human being usually make up their mind using a few criteria at the same time. The contribution of the study is that it reveals that electronic word of mouth is the most influential factor, followed by peer influence and university reputation, in choosing a university.

Original languageEnglish
Article number229
JournalEducation Sciences
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 23 Mar 2022


  • conjoint analysis
  • electronic word of mouth (eWOM)
  • peer influence
  • reputation
  • university choice


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