A report released by the British Council earlier this year reveals the 10 biggest current trends on the global higher education landscape. Although the report discusses these trends from a British point of view, we believe that the information will be interesting for international student professionals from all over the world.
So, let’s take a quick look into each trend below:
Drops in birth rates and ageing nations in developed countries have deep repercussions for the future of international education. According to the report, the only region in the world where numbers of young people will stay on the rise within the next decade is Africa. Will this fact turn Africa into the next big source market for international students?
Universal access to education
Despite many challenges and difficulties, access to education for children and young people all over the world improves every single day. Wider access to education by 2030 figures in the top 5 of the 17 goals listed in the 2015 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
Internationalization of institutions at the national level
Many governments all over the world set international student recruitment targets for their local universities. Well known examples include Canada (450,000 international students by 2022) and Taiwan (58,000 international students by 2019). While there are various reasons behind such policies, one thing is always clear. Attracting large numbers of international students has positive effect on local economies.
National funding for education
Government spending on education also plays a role in the shaping of international mobility patterns. For example, availability of national scholarships for higher education is an important consideration for many students looking to enrol abroad.
Cooperation between universities and companies
Employers look for candidates with job-ready skills. Higher education institutions need to be aware of this reality when designing their programs. Failure to meet companies’ demands for particular skills and experience opens a gap between graduates and potential employers. Cooperation between universities and private-sector companies is one way of addressing this gap.
Technology is changing the world around us and has now become an indispensable part of everyday life. What will be its impact on the future of global education? Online learning is just one aspect of the complex intersection between education and technology. What are the rest and how will they evolve in the years to come?
The 4th industrial revolution
As we move towards an automated world, we face challenges we’ve never encountered before. The 4th industrial revolution will change the concepts of job and workplace as we know them. Universities must embrace this dramatic transition and work towards ways of ensuring graduates are equipped with the skills they need for professions of the future.
Value for money
Universities around the world report that prospective students have become increasingly sensitive to aspects such as costs, employability and overall experience when choosing where to study. Factors such as ranking and reputation that used to have huge impact on student choices in the past, are now being replaced by scholarships availability and overall affordability of tuition.
Global use of English
English is undoubtedly the most popular language used for international communication in the world. However, there is no guarantee this will continue to be the case in the future. Universities that offer English-taught programs traditionally have higher international students profile than those that don’t. Will this continue to be the case if at one point and for some reason, English is not so popular and widely used anymore?
User Student experience
Nowadays, consumer or user experience is the main driver of success for all kinds of products and services! As a highly competitive global industry, international education is no exception. International students increasingly consider factors such as the overall experience they can get at a certain institutions. This spans well over education itself and covers various aspects such as diversity, inclusivity, safety, as well as quality of facilities and accommodation. Providing great student experience is the best way to secure successful student retention. And students’ demands and expectations are getting higher and higher!
Curious to go deeper? Get the full analysis for free from the British Council Education Intelligence website.