There is a TV show here in the UK called The Apprentice, which is my favourite TV programme contestants prove their business acumen in tasks to win a coveted job. It finished this year with a candidate who had previously lied on his CV about his educational background scooping the prize job of UK£100,000 (US$200,000).
He was embarrased about his educational background (or lack of it) in the workplace, he said, suggesting that it is commonplace in the UK to have a degree when working in a professional context. Indeed, with close to 50 per cent of students in the UK now entering higher education, this seems a reasonable claim. And it is not only the UK which is exhibiting such an appetite for higher-level learning.
In our article on the prospects for longevity in the industry, we report high demand for university places in countries with rapidly developing populations and economies such as China, Vietnam and India is one reason for the rising demand for English language tuition. Many students in such countries are turning their attentions to education options overseas predominantly in an English-speaking country but not exclusively because their chances of studying at home are low.
As well as established education providers such as the UK and USA, Asian and Middle Eastern destinations are increasingly likely to be considered, given their English-medium education offered, as well as European countries such as the Netherlands and Germany, where fees are low and education provision can be bilingual or in English.
How easy it is to enter a country is of course a consideration for international students along with many other factors such as price, culture and connections with a particular place. For this reason, it is understandable that a major change to the UK visa system expected to happen in next spring has UK schools worried about a possible impact on enrolments, given that a slight fee increase is likely .
They will be pleased to discover, then, that agencies are sanguine that this will have no real adverse effect on business; rather, a transparent visa system might be a good thing
Talking of connections with a country, I think the decision by Aussie company, Navitas, to enlist a famous Australian cricketer to promote its programmes to an Asian audience is a great marketing tactic. Linking a cricket fanbase which is sizable to aspirational education in Australia might score very highly indeed.