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British are coming in global hunt

date:Aug 12,2013 source:意腾留学网 editorial staff:linan clicks:

“Students and talented academics will go elsewhere if they do not feel welcome”NICOLA DANDRIDGE UNIVERSITIES UK AUSTRALIAN international education faces intensified competition on its doorstep as conflicting government policies force British institutions offshore.Transnational education is the key focus of Britain’s international education strategy released last week. The document highlights Indonesia as a key market alongside the Asian giants China and India, as well as Latin American behemoths Brazil and Mexico.

Russia, South Korea and some Middle Eastern and European nations are also targeted in schemes to increase offshore delivery and boost “ soft power” programs, as well as luring students on government scholarships.However, the strategy’s projection for onshore enrolment growth — 15- 20 per cent across five years — appears modest compared with Australia, where Michael Chaney’s International Education Advisory Council predicted a 30 per cent increase.

The strategy reflects Britain’s policy to reduce net migration to less than 100,000 from more than 250,000 when the Conservative- led government took office. Students are counted as migrants and constitute easily the biggest category, something lobbyists want reversed.

The new strategy acknowledges the effect of the anti- immigration stance on education exports. “ We know that there have been some perceptions that the UK does not welcome students as warmly as we used to,”the document says. “ Our challenge is to make sure prospective students know the UK is open for business. We have no cap on the number of students and no i ntention of introducing one.”However, with the 2015 election t i pped t o be f ought l argely on migration issues, British universities are focused offshore. The number of students wholly enrolled in overseas programs rose 13 per cent to about 570,000 in 2011- 12, the most recent year for which figures are available. In Australia, offshore enrolments rose 2.5 per cent to 82,000 last year.

International Education Association of Australia executive director Phil Honeywood said transnational education accounted for about 42 per cent of Britain’s international student population. In Australia, it constitutes 28 per cent.

Mr Honeywood said Britain was pursuing integrated contracts t o design and build schools and universities in Asia and Africa, as well as providing curriculum and teachers or teacher training, in a promotions strategy driven by the Trade Department rather than the education portfolio. “The UK clearly has a major domestic political problem in having international students in the country,” he said.

“The government has therefore decided to actively pursue the export of education to overseas markets. UK teaching staff and curriculum will be used for both revenue raising and soft diplomacy policies.“Peak group Universities UK said the 15- 20 per cent growth aspiration should be adopted as a cross- government target.” It is important to hear the government state so clearly that genuine international students are welcome,”chief executive Nicola Dandridge said in a statement.

However, there was still a risk that students could be caught up in efforts to “bear down”on immigration.
“Students and talented academics will go elsewhere if they do not feel welcome,” Ms Dandridge said.
English Australia chief executive Sue Blundell said the problem facing Australian institutions was similar: “You’ve got Austrade going out and promoting Australia as a destination and the Immigration Department making it harder ( with) increases in visa fees and new charges.“There are all these barriers being put i n place, and at same time the Chaney report is saying we’ve got to make ourselves more attractive. The UK’s got the same conflicts.”

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