Newsletter issue: December 2014

Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence British Council

Dear colleagues:


We're nearing the end of the year and wrapping up a few projects, perhaps most satisfyingly our Country Brief series with the addition this month of the Germany and Turkey entries. Considering the depth and breadth of information provided, it is not surprising that this 42-country series is the most popular in our fixed research portfolio.


As we prepare our 2015 research schedule, we'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support of our work this past year. Our most recent "macro-trends analysis" reports - on international student integration in the UK, postgraduate student mobility trends to 2024 and Japanese student attitudes towards overseas study -- have all garnered substantive media coverage and we hope that is reflective of relevance and usefulness to our stakeholders.


Next year, our research will include an examination of international students and the so-called "STEM" subjects of study as well as our annual Broadening Horizons report looking into UK and US student perceptions of overseas study. We look forward to tackling these important and timely issues.


Until then, the Education Intelligence team wishes you the happiest of holidays.



Anna Esaki-Smith

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quick links

Spotlight - the latest news and views 


New research: Revelations and realities 


News alerts  


Up close and personal with ... 


Did you know? 

Spotlight - the latest news and views 

Q&A with Anna Esaki-Smith, author of "Japan: Debunking the 'inward-looking' myth" 


Early in November, Education Intelligence presented the results of an important research initiative in London. The research, Japan: Debunking the 'inward-looking' myth, challenged the image of the 'stay-at-home' Japanese student and examined factors that have led to a fall in the number of Japanese students studying abroad in recent years. We spoke with the author of this free report about the key findings.


Ten fast facts about the Philippines 


Each month, the Education Intelligence newsletter profiles a market from our Country Brief series and provides ten engaging facts from the most current report. Azerbaijan was spotlighted in October - now we take a closer look at the country known as the 'text capital of the world' because of the large number of texts sent by its citizens in one day.

New research: Revelations and realities 

New Country Brief reports for Germany and Turkey now available 


The last two Country Brief reports in the 2014 series, Germany and Turkey, are now available for purchase and download. Refreshed annually to ensure they are up-to-date and reliable, Country Briefs provide a window into a country's education system, and a wider view of society and the influences impacting the higher education sector. Content includes macro-economic and socio-demographic indicators, educational expenditure, analyses of GDP, disposable income and employment by sector. 

Student Insight Taiwan 2014: Listen to what students have to say 


Using data from the ongoing Student Insight survey of students living in-country at the time they were reviewed, this report focuses on prospective students from Taiwan interested in studying abroad. As well as profiling potential students and the factors influencing their decision to study abroad, this report provides insight into the range of information sources used in the decision-making process, including family, friends, agents, search engines, websites and social networks. This Student Insight report provides valuable support to help drive the marketing and recruitment efforts of higher education institutions.


Further education and skills: Vietnam 


This special report provides an overview of government policy, reform efforts and the institutional framework for skills delivery, and examines the market size, structure, and the quality and scale of TVET services currently available in Vietnam. While providing perspective and insight into the country's TVET system, the report highlights the challenges and opportunities for international training providers, suppliers and educators in this dynamic market.

News alerts  

New push to tighten up on study abroad agents in China 


China is tightening up the licensing of China-based agents for overseas universities. The need to regulate the sector comes after a myriad of consumer complaints within China and overseas, reports University World News.


Indians in the US make the most because they studied the most 


A recent paper from the US Department of Labor spotlighted the diverse earnings dynamics among America's racial and ethnic groups. This simple takeaway is that those who identify as Indian have earnings that are head and shoulders above the rest.


Did growth in outbound Chinese mobility really slow in 2013? 


China is by far the world's largest source market for international students. But official figures for China's outbound mobility indicate growth from this key global market slowed notably in 2013. Is this the latest indicator of what might be a pattern of slower growth, or is the official student count not providing a full measure of a shifting pattern of demand?


US student body grows ever more international, but inequality persists  


Through its higher education system, the US student population is slowly shedding an unfortunate image it may have once had of being rather parochial. The US continues to be the destination of choice for students worldwide, with international student enrolment growing by 8 per cent last year, according to new figures released by the Institute of International Education (IIE) in its latest Open Doors report. However, the major challenges for US higher education remain - primarily fairness and access to opportunity.


Up close and personal with ... Daniel J. Guhr 

This month we talk with Dr. Daniel J. Guhr, founder and Managing Director of the Illuminate Consulting Group (ICG), an international science, research, and academic strategy consulting firm, who mulls over metrics and courting sleep.


Dr. Guhr currently serves on the Provost's Council of College Eight at the University of California at Santa Cruz; as a Commissioner for the City of San Carlos; and as a Board member of the European Commission's Climate Knowledge and Innovation Community (KIC) Alumni Association. He has been Managing Director of ICG since 2003. Prior to founding ICG, he worked as a strategy consultant with the Boston Consulting Group in Munich and San Francisco, and as a Director of Business Development with SAP in Silicon Valley. 

What is your favourite conference and why?
Rather than having one favourite conference, there are three qualities which make a conference worthwhile attending for me. First, will new and relevant information be presented? Second, is the conference "manageable" from a duration and location perspective? Third, is a conference focusing on serving its attendees well? Among the large conferences, the European Association of International Education (EAIE) conference offers all of the aforementioned in a nice package. The Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) tends to offer the best sessions on marketing and recruitment. Going Global, the British Council conference, is one of the few conferences which clearly pursues a given theme.
What is your current country of interest and why?
Frankly, none. International education seems to have become truly globalised over the last decade. As part of this process, we believe that thinking along "passport lines" alone is no longer helpful. It still matters with regard to study permits, but once students are seated in a classroom the question is no longer primarily which country they came from. Instead, we pursue a "functional" approach. For example, our academic performance research identified nine distinct categories of Chinese students. Each category can be mapped to comparable categories of students in other countries - for example, independent English-language International Baccalaureate schools. The function of shared attributes, motivations, and financial capabilities is more analytically relevant than nationality.
What is your greatest challenge?
Plain and simple: the disconcerting lack of data, both from a global as well as an institutional perspective. Without proper data and analysis, evidence-based decision-making becomes nearly impossible. Yet key international education metrics remain undefined, are not measured, or rely on anecdotes rather than at least proper modelling. A few examples: no one knows how many applications to institutions worldwide are submitted by prospective international education students every year. This number can easily exceed ten million, but how many are really submitted? How many contain fraudulent or incorrect information? Based on our research, easily one-third to one-half, but this cannot be determined with any certainty. On an institutional level, even highly-ranked universities continue to struggle with gathering critical international student information.
What keeps you up at night?
My three young children.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Sleep. See above.

Did you know? 

...that 2.14 million South African students are enrolled in post-secondary education, 49 percent of who are in tertiary programmes?


Find out more from our brand new Country Brief 2014.