Dynamics of interest in higher education before and during ongoing war: Google Trends Analysis


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This paper explores how the war in Ukraine changed the interest in higher education of Ukrainians who stayed on the territory of Ukraine and emigrated to other countries. The methodology is based on Google Trends Analysis and peak approach with Google Trends Scale of Internet user inquiries about higher education from June 20, 2021 to June 20, 2023 with a middle point on February 24, 2022. Dynamics of changes in the queries of Internet users by keywords regarding studied higher education are: 1) exclusively from the territory of Ukraine; 2) from the territory of Poland, Slovakia, Germany, the Czech Republic, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Austria, i.e., top-10 countries by number of registered Ukrainian refugees according to the UN Refugee Agency. The key results are: 1) increased interest of Internet users in higher education after beginning of the full-scale war: Poland – 22.9%, Romania – 28.9%, Ukraine – 31.2%, Hungary – 32.4%, Slovakia – 35.8%, Moldova – 49.0% of average number of «university» inquiries; 2) increased requests for professional education (42.2%), distance education (25.6%), distance learning (34.1%) after February 24, 2022; 3) correlation between negative trends of interest per 32% from July 2021 (100 GT Scale) to July 2022 (68 GT Scale) in Ukraine and positive trends of this indicator in European counties in August 2022 (80-100 GT Scale). Chi-square test showed statistical significance of changes in interest in higher education (p-value = 0). Key findings demonstrate the following trends after February 24, 2022: distance learning development, increased Internet users’ orientation towards professional education for high-paying jobs, popularity of flexible schedules.

The educational outcomes in this publication were created with the support of the EU Erasmus+ program within the framework of projects ERASMUS-JMO-2021-HEI-TCH-RSCH-101048055 – «AICE – With Academic integrity to EU values: step by step to common Europe» and ERASMUS-JMO-2022-HEI-TCH-RSCH-101085198 «OSEE – Open Science and Education in Europe: success stories for Ukrainian academia».

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    • Table 1. List of keywords
    • Table 2. Dynamics of Internet inquiries of keywords about higher education in English and Ukrainian among internet users in Ukraine before and during the war
    • Table 3. List of terms and peaks according to Google Trends (GT) for individual terms
    • Table 4. Top-10 recipient European countries for refugees from Ukraine after February 24, 2022, billion people
    • Table 5. Dynamics of Internet inquiries of keywords “university”, “student”, and “bachelor” in top-10 European recipient counties for refugees from Ukraine before and during the war
    • Methodology
      Artem Artyukhov, Veronika Barvinok
    • Project administration
      Artem Artyukhov, Robert Rehak, Serhiy Lyeonov
    • Resources
      Artem Artyukhov, Yuliia Matvieieva, Serhiy Lyeonov
    • Software
      Artem Artyukhov, Veronika Barvinok, Serhiy Lyeonov
    • Supervision
      Artem Artyukhov, Yuliia Matvieieva
    • Writing – review & editing
      Artem Artyukhov, Robert Rehak, Serhiy Lyeonov
    • Conceptualization
      Veronika Barvinok, Robert Rehak, Yuliia Matvieieva, Serhiy Lyeonov
    • Formal Analysis
      Veronika Barvinok
    • Funding acquisition
      Veronika Barvinok
    • Investigation
      Veronika Barvinok, Robert Rehak
    • Visualization
      Veronika Barvinok, Robert Rehak
    • Writing – original draft
      Veronika Barvinok
    • Data curation
      Serhiy Lyeonov