Ambitious UK International Education Strategy focuses on increasing international education by focusing on key markets, improving the international student experience, and supporting opportunities in online education.
Study Group is pleased to see the UK government’s renewed commitment to the importance of international education detailed in its latest International Education Strategy.
The Strategy reinforces the ambitious target of increasing education exports by 75% to £35 billion a year by 2030 and highlights India as crucial to these ambitions.
This aim is expected to be achieved by:
- Increasing international students in the UK and English language teaching overseas.
- Ensuring “clearer, more accessible” information and advice tailored to international students’ needs.
- Improving the application process for overseas students.
- Improving the international student experience and the academic experience.
- A greater focus on the UK graduate outcomes and employability.
- Identifying alternative student finance.
- Addressing market barriers to the growth of UK education exports to facilitate the expansion of trans national education.
- Exploring options for a global UK alumni network.
The UK Universities Minister Michelle Donelan said the Strategy reflected a global outlook in relation to education:
“Our world-class education is a vital part of our economy and society, and we want to support universities, schools, colleges and all aspects of the education sector to thrive across the globe.”
The UK government and education providers will focus on developing greater international education opportunities in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam, while noting the ongoing importance of Chinese students who currently make up the largest proportion of international students in the UK.
Welcoming the Strategy, Study Group CEO Emma Lancaster said,
“As one of the leading providers of international education providing pathway and foundation programmes with universities around the world, we are delighted to see the UK continue to take a positive approach to the opportunities for expanding high-quality international education.
“Students across the world have long looked to the UK and its excellent universities as a place of opportunity, but if we are to achieve our potential to be global leaders in international education then we have to work hard to remove barriers to study and support areas of opportunity.
“This means we need policies and practices that welcome international students in word and deed, from the point they begin to consider study options and apply for study places and visas through to their experiences and support after graduation via post study work and entrepreneurship.”
The Strategy also focuses for the first time on:
- Identifying and resolving barriers that prevent the recognition of online and blended learning internationally, an area of growing importance to international education.
Study Group CEO Emma Lancaster also praised the recognition of opportunities, which might be available to students in this area.
“Throughout the pandemic, education around the world has had to rapidly develop its online education offer to support students unable to travel or to participate in in-person teaching, due to public health restrictions. But the importance of blended and online learning should not be limited to responding to emergencies.
“Through our own experience of new online initiatives around international student induction, study skills support, and academic English language development focused on particular subject areas, we have seen how valuable this approach is for students in complementing a face-to-face experience and helping to improve their confidence and attainment.
“Without a doubt, we will be learning from and building on this experience and are already working on new initiatives in this area, guided by those who have academic expertise in this area, like Dr David LeFevre and our specialist online education company Insendi, which already works with leading global universities, such as ETH Zurich and Johns Hopkins in the United States to deliver leading-edge executive education online. It is our ambition that this quality of experience can be expanded to include other international students, both in support of studies in the UK and through new programmes that meet their needs and aspirations.”
The UK International Education Strategy was first published in March 2019 and was welcomed as a more positive and coordinated approach to international education, reinforced by the reintroduction of post study work visas for international students in the UK. It is a joint report from the Department for Education and the Department for International Trade with cross-government support, and has been developed with input from the UK education sector, international students and the International Education Champion, Sir Steve Smith.
The government will work on implementation with bodies such as UCAS, the UK Council for International Student Affairs, the Office for Students, Universities UK International and the Confederation of British Industry, as well as pathway providers and international students themselves.
The Strategy is expected to play a crucial role in the development of education and the UK economy after the pandemic. As Minister for Exports Graham Stuart explains:
“It’s vital we help the UK’s world-renowned education industry to build back better by exporting our brilliant goods, services, skills and innovation across the globe.”
About Study Group:
Study Group’s mission is to be the leading provider of international education and its vision is to build a better world through education.
Study Group partners with 39 universities worldwide, to deliver academic pathway programmes (e.g., Foundation Year, International Year 1/Diploma and Pre-Masters courses), which broaden access to high-quality, global Higher Education opportunities for thousands of international students every year, across all subject areas.
Over the past 25 years, we have established a market-leading position in the international education sector, with the highest number of partners within the global top 200 university ranking located in the UK, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. Our partners include leading ‘Russell Group’ UK universities and ‘Group of Eight’ Australian Higher Education Institutions.
In February 2020, Study Group acquired Insendi to enhance the organisation’s education technology expertise and deliver transformative experiential, intuitive and accessible online learning experiences for students with the best, most pedagogically powerful digital tools available. In December 2020, Study Group was named Pathway Company of the Year at the Global Education Investor Awards: studygroup.com
Insendi is an innovation-led EdTech company, which helps institutions implement new models of high-impact, transformational online and blended education.
Insendi’s central offering is a learning experience platform designed to enable universities to deliver premium online and blended courses. It offers a broad range of pedagogical tools and functionalities which enable educators to craft engaging and effective ‘human centred’ learning experiences via an intuitive, uncluttered interface: insendi.com