Newsletter issue: January 2014

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Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence, British Council

Dear colleagues,


We are on the cusp of the Chinese New Year, which begins on 31 January, during which we will pass from the Year of the Snake to the Year of the Horse. This lunar holiday is observed in countries throughout Asia that have significant Chinese populations, and celebrations focus on delectable meals with families and the exchange of lai see packets, red envelopes which signify good luck, filled with brand new bills. The banks in Hong Kong are overflowing with customers lining up to get fresh cash so they can wish their loved ones the best of luck in the coming year.


Traditionally, each of the animals represented in the Chinese zodiac have specific characteristics and the horse's qualities are perceived to be intelligence and warm-hearted-ness, with an eagerness for self-improvement. That's what we are shooting for here at Education Intelligence, to continually better our offer, with two new Student Insight country reports on the UK and US this month, as well as two Hot Topics on students' digital behaviour and China as a host destination. We hope you find this new research informative and helpful, and that they bring you luck when creating your own internationalisation strategies!


Kung Hei Fat Choy!


Best regards,  

Anna Esaki-Smith

Editorial Director

Education Intelligence, British Council  

quick links

Spotlight - the latest news and views 


New research: Revelations and realities 


Up close and person with... 


News alerts  


Did you know? 

Spotlight - the latest news and views 

Global agenda 


The Education Intelligence diary is bursting over the next few months, and the team will be clocking up serious air miles as they travel to meet with industry peers around the world, and share the latest news and research. First up is the IELTS Global Business Conference in Cardiff on 24 January, the Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA) Annual Conference in Washington, DC in February, and the Asia Pacific Association for International Education (APAIE) Conference in Seoul in March. We'll share more details about what the Education Intelligence team gets up to at these events in subsequent newsletters.


Website revamp 


The Education Intelligence website is currently under construction, and we're working hard to ensure that the new site has lots of enhancements that will make it even more useful and engaging. Look for information on the launch date, and what you can expect in upcoming newsletters and on the website. In the meantime, the online store is still open for business - you can buy the latest reports and other of our other research at any time.


The winner of the Student Insight survey is... 


Khin Moe Myint, from Burma has won an iPad mini after taking part in the Student Insight survey. By completing the survey, the 17-year old student was also in the running to win an iPad, and we're delighted to say that her efforts have paid off. Congratulations, Khin Moe!


Currently studying tourism at college, Khin Moe explains, "The tourism industry is a service industry that is flourishing in our country, and I would like to be part of this, and help others." She is planning to study tourism in Singapore in the near future, and would like to attend Ngee Ann Polytechnic in 2014. "I am not sure whether I will get the invitation for the entrance exam because only 10 per cent of international students are invited," says Khin Moe. "If I cannot join Ngee Ann in 2014, I am sure I will be a Ngee Ann student in 2015 with the support of the international education agency." She believes that studying abroad "is a good way to get a better education." However, Khin Moe is clearly a free spirit and would relish the opportunity to "stand on my own two feet." She elaborates: "I like the independent life. I'd like to be qualified and educated, and want to earn a high income." She adds another item to her list of reasons for wanting to study abroad: "I can meet all kinds of people!"


New research: Revelations and realities 

Latest publication 


Student Insight UK 


This Student Insight report profiles prospective students in the UK, spotlighting those interested in studying abroad. Featuring highlights from data gathered from an online self-completion survey of more than 2,200 UK students, the report includes research conducted by the British Council's Education Intelligence in partnership with the National Union of Students. A valuable resource, this report helps identify the strategies and tactics most likely to be effective in supporting higher education institutions' marketing and recruitment efforts, while potentially attracting students who may otherwise not be contemplating overseas study.


Student Insight US 


This Student Insight report profiles prospective US students, with a focus on those interested in studying abroad. Based on data gathered from an online, self-completion survey of more than 8,600 American students, the report provides a better understanding of the factors important to prospective US students considering study abroad and the resources used in their decision-making process. Influences affecting students who may otherwise not be contemplating overseas study are also explored.


Student Insight Hot Topics - A review of student digital usage: Five major markets 


This Student Insight Hot Topics report examines online activity and social networking in five major markets for international student recruitment: China, India, Nigeria, Russia and South Korea. In addition to a better understanding of the global social media landscape, higher education institutions and suppliers will obtain insights which can help them develop online marketing activities and digital strategies to support effective student recruitment efforts in these important markets.


Student Insight Hot Topics: China as a host destination 


The world's most populous nation and one of the fastest-growing economies, is also the leading outbound education market for international students. Now China aspires to become a preferred destination for the growing number of students studying towards higher education qualifications outside their home countries. The Chinese government has made clear its ambition to host over 500,000 international students by 2020, and make China the largest destination for international students in Asia. All indications suggest that this is on the way to becoming a reality. The latest Hot Topics report examines the competitive environment, and the range of factors and influences that are contributing to China's emerging role as a significant regional and international study destination.



Look out for our upcoming reports 


TitlePublication Date
Inside Guide: Trinidad & TobagoFebruary 2014
Partnership Access: Cross-border partnerships - KazakhstanMarch 2014

up close and person with...Michelle Dwyer 

As Commercial and Quality Director of the University of Liverpool English Language Centre, Michelle Dwyer is responsible for marketing the Centre, maintaining quality standards and running short, commercial courses within the Centre. A graduate of Hull University, she took her postgraduate teaching diploma at Manchester University and also holds a postgraduate certificate in Business Administration from Liverpool John Moores University. She has taught English since 1981 in Sweden, Malaysia and for many years at Liverpool University. Alongside her management responsibilities, Michelle continues to help overseas students at the University improve their English, as well as contributing to the Masters in TESOL.

What is your favourite conference and why?
I only took up my post as Commercial and Quality Director in March last year, so this December was the first opportunity I had to attend the Services for International Education Marketing (SIEM) conference. For me, it struck exactly the right balance. The sessions were packed with useful information that was immediately relevant to my work. I was able to meet individually with British Council staff who could answer my specific questions about individual markets, and the conference provided me with an opportunity to meet many like-minded people who share my passions and concerns.
What is your current country of interest and why?
At present we are working a lot with partners in China, a situation that one would expect given that Liverpool University has a campus in Suzhou, China. The move towards internationalisation and the drive to recruit more overseas students across campuses in China has led to a need to upskill faculty staff in terms of their ability to deliver teaching programmes in English. With our expertise in teaching English for specific purposes and our links to academic departments, we are in an ideal position to offer programmes designed to improve participants' English in the specific areas needed to increase their confidence in the classroom, and give them opportunities to connect with British academics working in their areas of interest.
What is your greatest challenge?
Keeping all the balls in the air! I have responsibility for quality, marketing and the administration of short, commercial courses, and I also contribute to teaching both within the English Language Centre and the School of English, so there are always a lot of competing demands on my time. On the other hand, I enjoy the variety in my role, and the opportunities I have to meet and work with so many different people from all around the world.
What keeps you up at night?
The English Language Centre has recently applied for British Council Accreditation. My role in guiding us through the process is complex and challenging, and made all the more so by the need to balance the requirements of the accreditation scheme with our place within the systems adopted by the wider university. Sometimes I lose sleep over how to reconcile the two.
What's your guilty pleasure?
I suffer from migraine and have been told by my doctor not to eat chocolate. I have followed his advice for over 30 years, but I do sometimes treat myself to a bar of white chocolate and have convinced myself that that doesn't really count.

News alerts  

What's next in student recruitment for the year ahead? 


How will the development of new channels to attract foreign students affect international education in 2014? Not surprisingly, technology is set to be omnipresent and play a crucial role in how institutions communicate with prospective students this year. With new sites launching, there will be many innovative channels open for business. Expect to also see more non-traditional players offering recruitment services globally. Social networks will play an expanding role, and free web-based courses will continue to increase access to education while providing new marketing and recruitment channels for traditional brick-and-mortar institutions.


Affordability is the key to expanding international higher education  


Huge new markets for international students are opening up in Asia and the Middle East as parents search for affordable, quality higher education for their children and question the wisdom of sending them to Western universities for three of four years of study.


did you know? 

...that there were 4,500 government scholarships made available to Kuwaiti students heading overseas to world-class institutions in 2012/13?


Find out more from our brand new Country Brief 2013