UK education providers received a major boost with the announcement of 2 new initiatives to help the sector operate in overseas markets.
A new Education Advisory Group, run by the Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Skills Partnership, will help the sector unlock its commercial potential and meet the huge demand for British education around the world.
The UK is already a world-leader in education exports. British higher education (HE) is delivered in all but 5 countries in the world, and school-level curriculum is the most popular globally, with thousands of schools based upon the British model.
Despite this success, some areas, such as technical and vocational training education (TVET), have not kept pace with the huge potential for growth in overseas markets.
Member organisations of the UK Skills Partnership will now work together to address this and build the UK TVET sector’s capacity, reach and engagement in international markets.
Partners will include bodies such as the Association of Colleges, Universities UK and the Federation for Industry Sector Skills and Standards.
At the same time the DIT Education Advisory Group will provide a forum for senior leaders in the education sector to explore global trade and investment opportunities, and discuss how the government can support the UK education sector overseas.
It will consist of key representative bodies covering universities, vocational training organisations, international schools, education technology, early years education and English language training.
Minister for Investment Mark Garnier said:
“The UK is already a world-leader in education exports and this sector will be vital for our future trading relationships. We know the demand is there, and I want to see even more UK education providers exporting their expertise.
“So I’m delighted that we’re creating two new platforms to help the sector operate in overseas markets. As an international economic department we will work with the industry to unlock its exporting potential, and create a new generation of young people with a personal connection to Britain.”
In 2014 total UK education related exports climbed 18% in 4 years, rising to more than £18 billion.
DIT offers practical help and support to all exporters, whether looking to expand a large operation, or exploring overseas markets for the first time. Earlier this month, DIT took 5 institutions, including a UK university and colleges, on a 2 day trade mission to Colombia focussing on HE and professional technical and vocational training focussing in the oil and gas sector.
Latin America offers a range of exciting opportunities in this sector and delegates had the opportunity to take part in networking events and roundtables with key decision makers, universities and TVET institutions, raising the profile of UK excellence in Colombia and the wider region.