US/Turkish collaborations: bringing vocational schools into the global education sector

In the past three years I’ve had the great opportunity to give invited lectures, teach a graduate summer school course, and run research workshops at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey.

This has been a wonderful occasion for me to listen to, and engage with, lively and committed scholars and students around processes of globalization, Turkey’s application to the EU for accession, and the geo-strategic role of Turkey situated as it is between Asia and Europe.

So it was with great interest that I read in the Observatory for Borderless Higher Education’s (OBHE) latest bulletin; that Turkey had signed a deal with the US-based Community Colleges for International Development, Inc. An Association for Global Education to put into place an exchange between US and Turkish vocational schools.

The OBHE report was based on a lead article carried in the World Bulletin. For the Turkish Higher Education Council (YÖK), these collaborative partnerships will be instituted in 7-8 Turkish vocational schools in an attempt to improve the curriculum in Turkish vocational schools.

According to the Chairperson of YÖK, Professor Yusuf Ziya Ozcan:

Vocational schools are the engines of our economy. If these schools train the work force needed by our economy and industry, most of the problems in Turkey will be solved. If we can guide some of our high-school graduates to get further education at vocational schools instead of universities, this will diminish the crowds waiting at the doors of universities as well.

Operationalizing the program means that Turkish students would spend their first year in Turkey and get their second-year education at a U.S. vocational school, whilst US students would have a chance to spend a year in Turkey.

But, why the US and not Europe, as a model for vocational education? And why build student mobility into a vocational school program?

According to Professor Ozcan:

…the best thing to do on this issue was to get support from a country where vocational education system functioned smoothly, and therefore, they decided to pay a visit to USA.

This move by the Turkish Higher Education Council to collaborate on vocational education might be read in a number of ways. For instance, Turkey’s education system has historically had close links to US, particularly through its (former) private schools and universities. This is thus business as usual, only applied to a different sector – vocational schools.

Turkey is also a popular destination for US students studying abroad as part of their undergraduate program (see Kavita Pandit’s entry on dual degree programs between Turkey and SUNY/USA). The university residence where I stayed whilst teaching at Bogazici in 2007 was buzzing with undergraduate students from the US. Thus, this new exchange initiative might be viewed as further strengthening already existing ties along channels that are already established.

Adding a component of student mobility to vocational education in Turkey might make that sector more attractive to prospective students, whilst generating the kind of knowledge and demeanor global firms think is important in its intermediary labor force. This would give Turkey’s intermediary labor a competitive advantage in the churn for flexible skilled workers in the global economy.

This deal can also be read as the outcome of an ambivalence by Turkey and its education institutions toward Europe and its regionalizing project, and vice versa. And while there are serious moves in Turkish universities, toward implementing Europe’s Bologna Process in higher education, it seems Turkey–like a number of countries around the world–is weighing up its response to the globalizing education models that are circulating so that they keep a foot in both camps – the USA and Europe.

Susan Robertson

China: from ‘emerging contender’ to ‘serious player’ in cross-border student mobility

Last year we carried a series of reports (see here, here and here) on the global distribution of student mobility. While the US and the UK had the lion’s share of this market, with 22% and 12% respectively, we noted China had made big gains. With 7% of the global market and in 6th place overall, it was an ’emerging contender’ to be taken seriously, with trends suggesting that it was a serious player as a net ‘exporter’ and importer of education services.

So it was with great interest I read today’s Chronicle of Higher Education report by reporter Mara Hvistendahl, on China now being ranked in 5th place (behind the US, UK, France and Germany) as an “importer” of foreign students. See this OECD chart, from its new Education at a Glance 2008 report, to situate this development trend and China’s current position [recall that China is not an OECD member country].

As the Chronicle report notes, this is a far cry from China’s 33 overseas students in 1950.

Given, too, that in 1997 there were only 39,000 foreign students whilst in 2007 there were some 195,000, this 5-fold increase in numbers in 10 years (Chinese Ministry of Education and the China Scholarship Council) represents a staggering achievement and the one that is likely to continue. So, how has China achieved this. According to the Chronicle report:

To attract students, China offers competitive packages, replete with living stipends, health insurance, and, sometimes, travel expenses. In 2007 the China Scholarship Council awarded 10,000 full scholarships — at a cost of 360 million yuan ($52-million) — to international students. By 2010 the council aims to double the number of awards.

Two-fifths of the 2007 grants went to students in Asia. In a separate scholarship program that reflects its global political strategy, China is using its strengths in science and technology to appeal to students in the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia, forming partnerships with governments in those regions to sponsor students in medicine, engineering, and agriculture.

But there are other factors as well pushing China up the ladder as an education destination. China is increasing regarded as a strategic destination by American students and the US government for study abroad. Figures reported by Institute of International Education fact-sheet on student mobility to and from the US show an increase of 38% in US students going to China in just 1 year (2005/2006). This also represents a profound shift in Sino-American educational relations.

In sum, these figures reflect the outcome of an overall strategy by China (perversely aided by the US’s own global trade and diplomacy agenda):

  • to develop a world class higher education system;
  • to internationalize Chinese higher education;
  • to stem the tide of students flowing out of China;
  • to attract half a million students to China by 2020; and
  • to advance Chinese interests through higher education diplomacy.

If realized, this would put China at the top of the exporting nations along with the US. It will also register China as a global higher education player with global impact. Without doubt this will change the geo-politics of global higher education.

Susan Robertson

Trouble ahead? US Council of Graduate Schools survey reports overseas student applications slow to 3%

A US Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) survey out this week paints a potentially worrying picture for all countries dependent on income generated by transborder higher education, whether because of fees income, or as a result of the brain-power transnational students contribute to R&D in the host economy. As we know, many graduate students, particularly from India and China, have tended to stay on in their host country once completing their graduate studies, making an important contribution to the host country’s economic productivity. However, what happens if student numbers decline?

According to this 2008 CGS survey, the number of foreign students applying to American graduate schools increased by only 3 per cent from 2007 to 2008, following growth of 9 per cent last year and 12 per cent in 2006. This is despite considerable efforts over the past couple of years in reviewing the visa restrictions imposed after 9/11. This had not only discouraged potential applicants, but very lengthy processing times created a disincentive to potential applicants. Other efforts to turn around the decline in students coming to the US included more funding for international students and attention to recruitment. What, then, is going on? Is this evidence of trouble ahead? Let’s, first, look at the pattern reported in the CGS 2008 Survey.

While the US still has the lion’s share of the global graduate market (65% of graduate students studying abroad study in the US), the CGS report (see table below) shows that while there was strong growth – 12 per cent – in applications from both China and the Middle East, these have to be compared to gains of 19 per cent and 17 per cent last year, respectively. There was no growth in applications from India after a 12 per cent increase last year. China and India are the two countries that annually send the most graduate students to the US.

In terms of fields of study, applications to sciences and engineering – fields considered critical to maintaining US economic competitiveness – are experiencing sharply decelerating rates of growth.

With fewer international applicants in 2008 compared to 2003 to the US, and the total number of international applications down by 16 per cent since that year, policymakers and institutions directly affected must be wondering what more they need to do avoid major trouble ahead. Have current efforts been insufficient? Or, do these developments signal other currents that are not directly linked to the effects of 9/11?

In an interview published by the Financial Times on April 10th, 2008, Bill Russel, Dean of the Graduate School at Princeton University, observed:

…many of the nations that typically send a large number of students to US graduate schools – namely China, India, and countries in the Middle East – are rapidly building their own PhD programmes, and that career opportunities in those countries have also expanded. “There are a lot of different changes that are taking place,” he said. “It’s hard to say what the world is going to look like ten years down the road”

GlobalHigherEd has been tracking these developments in the Middle East, Asia and also Europe. As the idea of building knowledge-based economies becomes more and more embedded in government policies, as higher education institutions compete to become world class, as new models for constructing competitive higher education/industry linkages are explored, as the strategies to exploit or return the knowledge and skills of the diasporas are mobilized, and higher education becomes part of the global services market, old linkages will not be sufficient to retain a position as a preferred destination. Instead, governments and institutions will need to review their strategies and build infrastructures that enable them to monitor and advance their interests if they want to be part of the race.

Susan Robertson

‘Branding’ global higher education services in the Netherlands

Governments are increasingly turning to ‘branding’ their higher education sector in order to promote them as globally competitive knowledge services sectors, and to secure a competitive advantage on the basis of imagined lifestyles, access of cultural experiences, a quality education, and so on. New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia, to name just a few countries, have all been busy identifying and packaging the unique image they want to project in order to generate ‘brand value’.

The Netherlands is no exception. It is actively promoting itself as a major European destination, with offices in Beijing, Taipei, Jakarta, Ho Chi Minh City and Mexico City. Offices in Bangkok and Moscow are due to open in 2008. According to the Institute of International Education’s Atlas of Student Mobility, the Netherlands currently has around 2% of the world market of international students, with some 42,000 students enrolled in higher education programs in the Netherlands.

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‘Study in Holland’ was launched in January of this year as the official brand for the Netherlands. According to Nuffic, the Netherlands Organization for International Cooperation in Higher Education,

The logo combines traditional symbols of Holland – the tulip and the windmill – with symbols for higher education and research. The tagline is ‘Study in Holland: open to international minds’. The brand was developed by Fabrique Communication & Design, and international students played an important role in selecting the final design.

Nuffic also notes that:

Research has shown that international students choose the Netherlands because of the academic quality and the cosmopolitan atmosphere. For their part, Dutch higher education institutions consider the international staff and student populations an important part of their quality assurance policy.

The brand can be used by higher education institutions who are accredited by the Netherlands-Flemish Accreditation Organization (NVAO). They must also have signed up to the Code of Conduct, which is a set of minimum standards for the teaching and care provided to international students in the Netherlands.

Aside from a large number of programs (especially graduate) where teaching is in English, an important element of the Dutch brand not explicitly featured is the relatively low student fee which international students are charged (in comparison to the USA, Australia and UK). Low fees can be a comparative advantage. However, in the case of the Netherlands, the low fee is also a signal of a particular social welfare regime and social ethic. It conjures up European values, a European social model, and so on which is part of its ‘cosmopolitan’ attraction.

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However, according to a Nuffic Report issued on the 4th March this year, this is about to change in the 2008-9 academic year. Non European Economic Area (EEA) students will face a doubling of fees for professional and vocational programs in Dutch universities presenting the further penetration of fee increases in university programs. This means that fees that sit currently at around 3,500 euro are estimated to almost double taking them to around 7,000 euro (US $11,000). Universities like the University of Amsterdam had already moved to increase fees in academic programs over a year ago taking them well into the 9,000 euro mark.

What will be interesting in 2008-9 is to see how these moves impact on brand image and brand managing. After all, we can package a brand and project it, however the ‘consumers’ also have their own often more pragmatic reasons for choosing one course and place over another. Playing around with the actual product, such as the cost of fees and so on, has major implications for the take up of the brand and must surely create a headache for brand managers.

Susan Robertson

Freefall in the Australian higher education market?

Today’s report by Geoff Maslen for the University World News (9th December) – on whether the Australia’s A$11 billion a year education export market is facing a potentially catastrophic fall – must have Australian politicians and university managers shaking in their boots. The figures, it seems, are in something of a free-fall….and any spinning out of control is likely to leave a pretty large hole in the economy. As Maslen notes:

Foreign students now contribute $2.4 billion a year to university coffers. Yet the flow of new students arriving in Australia to undertake university courses has plummeted from double digit increases in the early 2000s to low single-digit increases.

In the first years to 2007, the number of overseas students undertaking university award courses on campuses in Australia jumped by more than 50% to hit 175,000 for the first time. But, over that period, annual enrolment growth fell successively from 17% to 12% to 8% and this year it is down to less than 4%.

Maslen goes on to suggest that a major reason contributing to the fall is the change in the visa processes tied to the skilled migration program. Large numbers of students come to Australia from India and China with the express purpose of gaining permanent residency once they have completed their studies. However, it seems that employers have been complaining about the poor levels of English competence amongst these students, making them unsuitable for much more than casual work. As a result, students who apply to stay on will face stricter tests of their English language competence following completion of their studies and as part of their application for permanent residence.

Maslen may well be right here. However, GlobalHigherEd can’t help but think that this isn’t  the major reason, especially as it is referring to students applying to stay on once they have completed studies, rather than those who are planning to come in the first place and who may at this point feel a lot more confident about their ability to learn and use English.

What surely must also be an important factor in this mix is the growing levels of competitiveness from those who were once smaller players in the education export business – countries like France and Germany – for example, who are now regarded as potentially desirable destinations given a move toward English language instruction at the graduate level and with lower fees and moderate living costs and who are wooing Chinese students.

The USA, too, has had time to reflect on its own position, and is now reporting an increase in overseas student numbers following the post Sept 11 period when things were definitely heading in the wrong direction. US higher education institutions have invested in people and new processes in an attempt to turn around the decline in numbers and it seems that, at least for some institutions, this is paying off.

Finally, relative currency exchange trends are clearly not moving in Australia’s favour in comparison to the country’s competitors, especially the US.

What is clear is that, once in the game, there is absolutely no room for complacency – or the outcomes are potentially catastrophic, not only for the economy but for the institutions most directly affected.

Susan Robertson

US student mobility: cultural enrichment and national security

Record numbers of US students are studying abroad. The Institute of International Education‘s latest report, Open Doors 2007 (IIE), provides details of the 150% increase in US student mobility over the last ten years with an 8.5% rise in 2005-2006. Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education have detailed coverage of the findings.

Looking below the headline figures a number of features become clear. As the US Department of State website highlights, most students take part in programs of eight weeks or less, just over a third stay for an entire semester and only 5.5% are away for a year or more. Europe is the most popular destination but there have been big jumps in numbers going to Latin America (particularly Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Costa Rica and Ecuador), Asia (in China, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong numbers have seen large increases), Africa (Tanzania saw a 19% increase ). In the Middle East students have been increasingly mobile into Israel and Jordan.

Looking at the numbers and destinations it becomes hard not to see a pattern emerging. US students are being funded through IIE administered programs into countries with particular affinities with the US. In addition, one new source of funding is the US Department of State’s National Security Language Initiative program which targets mobility for learning Arabic, Chinese, Hindi and Persian and other ‘critically’ needed foreign languages.

The rhetoric which surrounds the celebration of these trends is familiar. So Condoleeza Rice says that mobility:

Expands young people’s opportunities, enriches their lives, and demonstrates our respect for other cultures

While Under Secretary of State Karen Hughes is especially proud of IIE programs which:

By reaching out to students of more modest means, has produced truly remarkable gains in the numbers of US citizens from minority communities who can now aspire to the life-changing experience of study abroad.

If we draw together a number of features of US student mobility patterns we can start to ask some important questions about the objectives which are served by mobility. The top three majors of US students studying abroad are the social sciences, business and management, and humanities, so why are math, science and technology majors nowhere near as mobile.? The majority of students follow well worn paths to countries with cultural, economic and political affinities with the US but is there a growing trend towards mobility into countries with developing importance for US interests? Students still tend to be mobile for very short periods of time; how does the dynamic of State Department funding for critical language (and cultural) understanding interact with the necessarily brief exposure of less than eight weeks?

With hard power and soft power increasingly on the march, it seems that we need to keep on thinking about what is at stake when we talk about student mobility. Mobility is always from somewhere to somewhere and for some purpose. US student mobility patterns suggest that we need to keep looking at the cultural and political in addition to the economic. There is a link between cultural enrichment and national security and EU policy in Central Asia suggests it is a link which is not only made in the US.

Peter D. Jones

Competitive advantage and the mobile international student

Last week GlobalHigherEd featured a series of stories on the different players battling for market share in the global higher education market. We reviewed the recently published report by the Observatory of Borderless Higher Education (OBHE).

Today’s Inside Higher Ed also features a story from this report, drawing particular attention to the competitive advantages of the different players. These include whether students require a visa for short study visits, the cost of tuition (low or moderate), living costs (low or moderate), and whether there are programs available to foreign students to help them to prepare for study before they start classes – presumably language classes.

As we pointed out last week, France and Germany ‘scrub up’ well as possible study destinations – particularly for short periods. They have low tuition fees and moderate living costs, and their visa system would be present few problems for undergraduates wanting a short period of ‘study abroad’ . This might also be a useful tactic in luring back students to enrol in a graduate program, particularly if their experience is a positive one.

University of BristolBy comparison, the UK – a Major Player in the field like the US and Australia –scores only one tick in the competitive advantage box; that is, in their provision of programs to help students prepare for study. The downside for the prospective student is that the UK has a high living cost and high tuition fees. It does, however, have a relatively high brand image and ‘esteem’ value – something that Inside Higher Ed fails to point out.

As the market gets tighter, GlobalHigherEd agrees with Inside Higher Ed – that there are important strategic decisions to be made by institutions and countries if they want to not only stay competitive but increase market share. How might a nation go about making itself a desirable destination in this highly lucrative market? Alternatively, a country might currently be a desirable destination, but at present there are limited financial returns (aside from the not inconsequential returns through cost of living). The issue here for these low (or no) fee countries, such as Germany, France and Finland, is whether to respond to pressures to charge fees. Currently their figures of international students are multiplying rapidly – by more than 500% over the past five or so years. Will putting a fee structure into place for international students simply turn the tap off? This dilemma is likely to cause university administrators  more than a minor headache.

Susan Robertson

Battling for market share 3: ‘Evolving Destinations’ and international student mobility

This week GlobalHigherEd has been running a series of in-depth reports on the battle for market share of higher education. Our reports draw from a major study released last week by the Observatory of Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) on International Student Mobility: Patterns and Trends. The Observatory report identifies four categories: (1) Major Players; (2) Middle Powers; (3) Emerging Destinations, and (4) Emerging Contenders.

Today we look at the third category – ‘Evolving Destinations’.

Japan, Canada and New Zealand are viewed as evolving destinations with 5%, 5% and 3% respectively of market share. Between them, these 3 have around 13% (or 327,000 of the 2.7 million in total) of global market share (compared with 45% for the Major Players and 20% for the Middle Powers). The reason for the OBHE report locating these 3 countries into this category is that:

  • they have patterns of peak and decline
  • they rely on 1 or 2 source countries.

For instance, in Japan’s case, 63% of Japan’s international students come from China (74,292) with only a small distribution (aside from South Korea who send 15,974) from around the Asian region. In order to boost numbers and widen distribution, the Japanese government has tasked a subcommittee of the Education Rebuilding Council with the job of finding more than 1 million by 2025. Making Japan more attractive as a destination will be achieved by teaching more courses in English, a more flexible system of credit transfer system, and more funding for foreign scholars. No doubt Japan will also be intrigued by the Bologna Process as one strategy that Europe has pursued to this end.

Canada has 5% of market share, and rising, benefiting from the visa problems facing students entering the USA since September 11. Canada, however is dependent upon only a few source countries; for instance it recruits a high proportion of South Korean students (19% of total overseas enrollments). However, it has faced declining numbers of students coming from Japan, China and Hong Kong. It would interesting to follow this case more closely, as Canada has a very high standard of living and competitive student fees. There is a suggestion that the fact that there is not have a strong central (Federal) government initiative to position it as a global player, as in the case of Australia, is a strategic weakness (see also our recent report on Canada).

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New Zealand owns around 3% of market share and in the peak years, it has had as much as 10%. However, since 2004, NZ has experienced negative growth, fed by a decline in the numbers of students coming from China. What are the causes of the decline? The OBHE report notes:

In comparison with the rest of the major host nations, New Zealand has a limited higher education capacity with only eight publicly funded institutions and lower brand visibility …[and] with a rising exchange rate the country may not be the low cost destination it is at present.

In order to overcome problems of visibility and ‘brand’ recognition, the New Zealand government have developed their own brand images and marketing strategies – around what they call ‘Brand New Zealand’.

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What we learn from the case of these 3 ‘Evolving Destinations’ is that they have to operate in a very sophisticated and potentially volatile market. Diversifying the number of source countries is one strategy. However, this cannot overcome local issues of capacity (NZ), or problems associated with the organization of political systems (Canada).

However, it will be particularly interesting to see what happens to Japan’s higher education system over the next decade. One thing for sure is that while China is a major importer for the moment, any intentions that it has of reversing this and becoming an attractive destination itself will cause a major headache for most of the players in the global higher education field.

Susan Robertson

Battling for market share 2: the ‘Middle Powers’ and international student mobility

Yesterday GlobalHigherEd ran the first of 4 in-depth reports on battle for market share of higher education – on the Major Players. Our reports draw from a major study released this week by the Observatory of Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) on International Student Mobility: Patterns and Trends. The Observatory report identifies four categories: (1) the Major Players; (2) the Middle Powers; (3) the Emerging Destinations, and (4) the Emerging Contenders.

Today we look at the ‘Middle Powers’.

The Middle Players are Germany and France who share, with 20% of the total amount of all foreign students (compared with the Major players who have 45%). In contrast to the Major Players who attract students from all over the world, the Middle Players attract students from regional European countries, or those where there are strong cultural and historical ties – for instance in the case of France – Morocco, Algeria and Senegal.

Sciences Po, Paris, France

Sciences Po, Paris, FranceHowever, both Germany and France have also managed to significantly increase their numbers of students from China – one of the two major target destinations for recruiting – by around 500% over the past 8-10 years.

In 1997, Germany recruited 4980 students – by 2006 they had recruited 26,390. Similarly, France recruited a mere 1,374 students from China in 1999 – by 2005 its numbers had increased to 15,963. Compare this trend with the US – who in 1997 recruited 42,503 – increasing to only 62,583 in 2006. Only Australia and the UK have figures close to those of France and Germany in relation to an expanding share of the Chinese market. The OBHE also notes that these two Middle Powers have failed to target India, making them less strategic in their approach to the market.

However, the advantage that these Middle Powers have, at least for the moment, is their value for money (low fees and affordable living costs) and the move to teaching in English (see our report last week). The question is, how long that advantage might last? The European Commission is pressing its Member States to consider imposing or increasing student fees in order to augment flagging higher education budgets.

Given the above developments, GlobalHigherEd sees a tension emerging between (i) attracting talent for the knowledge economy (stream lined visa systems for retention, R&D infrastructures etc) , (ii) being an attractive destination for higher education (aka low fees, low living costs, high quality product), and (iii) getting a higher return to the institution and the economy by way of fees.

The question for these Middle Powers is how to become major global players, and what might be the costs and benefits in doing so.

Source: OBHE (2007) International Student Mobility: Patterns and Trends.

Susan Robertson

Battling for market share 1: the ‘Major Players’ and international student mobility

The battle is on for market share in the international student market. This week we reported on major study released by the Observatory of Borderless Higher Education (OBHE) on the players in the field, and market share – International Student Mobility: Patterns and Trends. The Observatory report identifies four categories: (1) the Major Players; (2) the Middle Powers; (3) the Emerging Destinations, and (4) the Emerging Contenders. Over the course of this week, GlobalHigherEd will report in more depth on each of these 4 categories, starting with the ‘Major Players’.

The Major Players are the US, UK and Australia, with 45% of the total amount of all foreign students, or 1.2 out of 2.7 million students. The US dominates the market, with a wopping 22% share. Its students come from all over the world, though Asia generates 58% of the total international student figure. However, of particular interest, says the Observatory Report, is that

…India, China, Japan and South Korea…make up around 70% of the per year regional total for Asia, and 40% of the total number of overseas students studying at US institutions.

While the overall share for the US is large, by comparison, the US’s performance is fading relative to levels of growth amongst some of the other Major Players and Middle Powers. Contrast these figures. During 1999-2005, overseas enrollments to the US grew by 17%. However, in the UK they grew by 29%, Australia 42%, Germany 46%, and in France 81%! Each country though, including France (see below), draws upon differential sources (apart from China) to support these growth rates.

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Source: OBHE (2007) International Student Mobility: Patterns and Trends.

The US can boast world class institutions and high brand visibility, but it cannot be complacent. September 11 has caused uncertainty about the US as a destination, and visa restrictions have made matters worse. While these are currently being addressed, there is little doubt that this has done considerable damage to the US’s overall position.

Nor can the UK feel confident about its own levels of growth (whose overall share is 12%), the Observatory Report notes. There has been decline in numbers of students coming from what were traditionally strong source countries, especially Malaysia. Some of the reason for this is the very high cost of living in the UK and creeping fees. Added to this, countries like Australia have targetted the Malaysian market, including setting up campuses in Malaysia. In response, UK universities have sought to target the Chinese market more directly, as GlobalHigherEd reported recently.

The third Major Player is Australia with 11% share of the global market. The Australian government has invested large sums in gathering high quality information about developments in the global higher education marketplace and strategically marketed its institutions (see our earlier posting on this theme). It is also, relative to the UK and US, affordable. However, it has become concerned by countries like Singapore, Malaysia, the Middle East and China–all important sending countries to Australia–taking lessons from Australia, and seeking to establishing themselves as regional hubs and major players in the field.

The Major Players cannot afford to lose their share in the jostle for a wider share, in large part as higher education institutions have come to depend on these sources of funding. Anything that destabilizes market share, as we saw with the US, will cause more than a ripple in the sector…

Susan Robertson