US, UK set to lose market share of mobile students in next decade

The US and the UK will see their market shares of globally mobile students decline over the next decade as provision of education in traditional origin countries increases alongside their own ambitions to attract foreign students, according to a study by the British Council.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 12.02.52

Although the US and UK won’t be knocked from their top destination perches, the report urges both to bring in more diverse nationalities in order to stay afloat amid increasing competition to attract mobile students.

The Shape of International Education to 2025 draws on United Nations demographic data to predict how the landscape of global education will change over the next ten years. Looking at wealth and growing youth populations, it forecasts where in the world globally mobile student populations will grow.

“The UK faces a challenge in reaching students who may have previously considered the UK but are now choosing to stay closer to home”

Even though by 2025 India will have the largest 18 to 22 year old population in the world, up 3.9 million to 119 million, the report argues that China will hold its position as the world’s top source market for international students.

Looking long-term, the report adds that traditional receiving markets “cannot ignore” Africa’s booming youth population, set to overtake Asia’s by 2078.

“As incomes increase and the middle classes grow in these countries, and as local policies on basic and international education are further developed, it is the institutions and countries that are currently engaged in these markets that will benefit most,” the report says.

In Ethiopia, an additional 3.9 million 18-22 year olds (to 13 million) alongside government initiatives to reach middle-income status will see demand for higher education grow by 10% year-on-year to 2025, it predicts.

There will also be “smaller but still significant growth” in 18-22 year olds in countries such as Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique.

Nigeria will see the biggest spike in this age group, with a projected increase of nearly 50% to 23 million between 2012 and 2025.

Meanwhile, Indonesia is predicted to see rapid growth in its tertiary-aged population, up 3.7 million to 24 million.

According to the OECD, in 2013, the US host 19% globally mobile students and the UK 10%. The report forecasts that although tthey will remain the biggest receiving countries of international students, better in-country provision and an increase in regional mobility programmes will erode their dominance on the global market.

“Young people have an increasing number of study options and the UK faces a challenge in reaching students who may have previously considered the UK but are now choosing to stay closer to home,” commented Zainab Malik, director of research at the British Council’s Education Intelligence unit.

“Markets are not only providing local options for their young talent, but also for international students regionally and globally”

Asia, for example, is set to become “even more of a hotbed of international education activity in the next ten years” as the middle-class booms and local provision grows, commented Malik.

“Markets are not only providing local options for their young talent, but also for international students regionally and globally,” the report states, noting that many have linked policies to attract international students to national prosperity agendas.

For example, Japan hopes to attract 300,000 international students by 2020, while Korea aims to enrol 200,000 foreign students by 2023.

New forms of provision including transnational models and digital technologies, shifting political situations and changing exchange rates all make it difficult to predict how the global international landscape will look in ten years’ time, the report acknowledges.

However, it stresses that in order to account for booming youth populations, traditional host destinations must diversify their strategies to “not only account for the countries rich with both income and students, but also those that are developing their own economies and education strategies for future prosperity”.

[Source:-The Pie News]