As the world moves forward in terms of economic growth, along with being held back by conflict in some parts, international education is seen as growing in importance. This is the view shared by a host of leaders in the sector, as well as leaders in certain countries such as the United Kingdom.
This was the view of Alex Burghart, parliamentary undersecretary of state for skills, expressed this view as he spoke during the opening day of the UK’s HEF Conference. His view is reflected in a number of factors that all point to the growing importance international education has in our world today.
Countries like India, for instance, are increasingly giving importance to international education not only for higher education (college or university level) but for middle school or high school students as well.
The country’s growing economy equates to more capacity to afford international education, along with more accessible student loans that don’t require collateral.
China is yet another country that sees its population having increased income, as well as a growing population that is aged 18 years old or higher. A study by marketing agency Sinorbis suggests that Some 500,000 Chinese students would apply to the UK by the year 2030, with roughly half or 24,000 of them being accepted. This would translate to roughly 1 out of every 700 Chinese youths by 2030, up from 1 of every 1,200 youths at present.
The current conflict between Ukraine and Russia has led to numerous youngsters fleeing the country. This presents a huge opportunity for international education as many of these youths are looking for colleges and universities to continue or begin their higher education journey.
The UK, for instance, is now making it easy for Ukrainian students to extend their visas without leaving the country. Universities like Oxford and Worcester have likewise introduced pathway programs such as English language courses that help foreigners cope better and prepare them for college or university.
And then there is Australia, which announced scholarships for Ukrainian students wishing to study in the country.
All these are meant to help these students get back on their feet and get past the terrible effects the war has left on them, giving them a shot at a brighter future.
More work needed
While the international education industry targets $35 billion in revenues by the year 2030, there are still some things that need to be done in order to achieve this goal. From its present $25 billion worth, things like more optimized admissions processes by colleges and universities, as well as raising awareness about private finance options like more accessible student loans, are needed.
With all these, the international education sector seems well on its way to growth and being an important part of many international students’ brighter future.
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