Countries need to develop sophisticated strategies to attract international students

by Ray Clancy on April 12, 2017

Countries like Australia, the United States, Canada, France and New Zealand are set to develop more sophisticated strategies to attract international students as the sector is becoming increasingly competitive.

The international student market is an expanding industry and students are becoming more selective in terms of choosing where to study, a new report suggest. It means that those countries trying to attract them have to offer more.

According to The Global Race for International Students report from the British Council, which looks at 10 key higher education markets outside of the UK, suggests it is essential to develop an encompassing strategy to internationalise education in order to be attractive to the very best students.

International students often have to pay more for their education at universities abroad in terms of higher fees and they want value for money and providers need to look at their global rankings as well as scholarships offered and student residence rights.

The report explains that patterns of student mobility are changing, with increasing investment in transnational education and new education technologies, adding that technology will change the way students learn and impact on student mobility.

‘As such, national policies will necessarily have to grow and be adjusted to envelop an even larger scope of strategies. However, the impetus for a Government to devise and implement an internationalisation policy may differ greatly from market to market,’ it points out.

The report finds that international education strategies that are well-integrated on a regional, as well as a national level, with other areas such as immigration and tourism are generally more comprehensive than those that are not.

‘A nation’s education industry is key to its economic prosperity as well as its long term international diplomacy, innovation and arts and culture,’ said Zainab Malik, research director at the British Council and report author.

‘Attracting internationally mobile students is pivotal to giving graduates the skills necessary to excel in a shifting economy. Government, the higher education sector and industry all benefit from joining together to create supportive policies that, in the end, provide students with the best opportunities for success,’ he added.

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, promoting knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries.

It is a charity that works with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society and governed by Royal Charter.

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