Newsletter issue: May 2015

Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence British Council

Dear colleagues:


Greetings from the NAFSA 2015 Annual Conference & Expo in Boston, Massachusetts! Education Intelligence launched a major research project, English in Latin America: An examination of policy and priorities in seven countries, at a breakfast event here that attracted stakeholders from across the Americas region. The project encompasses a series of individual country reports that examine the factors currently influencing the English language learning environment in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. The reports are available for download here:


Looking a bit ahead, Research Director Zainab Malik will be presenting findings from this year's Broadening Horizons: The value of the overseas experience, at the British Council's Going Global conference in London on 2 June. For the report, we surveyed students in the UK and US to gauge perceptions of drivers and barriers regarding overseas study and what was notable was respondent interest in traveling and having an adventure. If concerns of cost and lack of language skills are significantly addressed, could that interest be converted to a desire to study overseas? We hope our report might provide some insight into whether or how that might be done.


Best regards,

Anna Esaki-Smith

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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 

Launch of new research: English in Latin America at NAFSA 


English in Latin America: An examination of policy and priorities in seven countries, had a North American launch at the NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in Boston, Massachusetts. Education Intelligence produced a series of reports focusing on the English language learning environment in seven countries: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and Peru. The research aims to support policy and programme development by providing an in-depth, comprehensive assessment of national policies concerning English and the influencing factors at play. The reports contain a study of governmental policy impact, an English-language learning analysis, a survey of individuals and one of employers and in-country interviews with local stakeholders, with research being carried out between April 2014 and February 2015.


Download highlights or the full reports at


Ten fast facts about Brazil 


Singapore was in the spotlight for last month's newsletter - this time we take a look at Brazil, South America's largest country and the heavyweight champion of the coffee-producing world, responsible for roughly a third of total coffee production.


New research: Revelations and realities 

Access updated country profiles in the 2015 Country Brief series 


Our Country Briefs are refreshed annually to ensure they are up-to-date and reliable. In addition to providing a window into a country's education system, a Country Brief also presents a wider view of society and examines factors influencing international education. Content includes macro-economic and socio-economic indicators, educational expenditure, analyses of local education system and education demands. New and enhanced sections on local media and transnational education also feature. Reports covering Brazil, Greece, Ghana and Russia are also available now.

Further education and skills: Philippines 


This report provides an overview of government policy and the institutional framework for skills delivery, with intelligence on market size, structure, and the quality and scale of TVET services currently available in the Philippines. In addition to offering 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  

Fake diplomas, real cash - a company reaps millions 


A secretive Pakistani company is selling fake academic degrees on a global scale, a New York Times investigation has found.


New Arizona State-edX MOOC: Another blow to traditional college 


Arizona State University has announced that it will offer MOOCs for credit next autumn as part of a new initiative called the "Global Freshman Academy."


Russia, India to collaborate in higher education 


Top education institutions in India and Russia have established a first of its kind partnership, the "Russian-Indian Association of Institutions of Higher Education."


How unconventional, experiential learning is reshaping higher education 


Jason Ma, Forbes magazine contributor, and founder and CEO of ThreeEQ, a company that mentors young leaders, coaches parents, and consults CEOs, highlights a trend in the rising usefulness and impact of alternative, experiential learning that complements the curricula of more traditional college and university campuses.


Up close and personal with ... Shingo Ashizawa 

Professor Shingo Ashizawa is Professor of Regional Development Studies at Toyo University in Tokyo, where he is conducting research on the learning outcome assessment of international programmes. In our interview, the professor shares his thoughts about the merits of being a night owl, financial sustainability and the challenges of mastering his ballet technique.


What is your current country of interest and why?
I am trying to expand my network with the Scandinavian countries. Their education systems are quite sophisticated and I strongly believe that partnerships with these countries would have strong value for us. First, many of their higher education institutions provide programmes in English and so our students would not have to study the local language prior to their study abroad. Secondly, most Scandinavian countries do not charge high tuition fees, and that is quite helpful for Japanese students when they are considering enrolling as exchange students.
What is your greatest challenge?
It is my life's work to prove that internationalisation can be financially sustainable. In 2014, my university was selected as one of the 37 recipients of the Top Global University Fund, a 10-year government grant. In our application for the grant, we proposed that Toyo would create a sustainable business model by establishing a global education company serving every age group. Hopefully, we will be able to offer a good model of sustainable global education which is not dependent on too much government support.
What keeps you up at night?
My time at school is mostly taken up by teaching and attending meetings, and so the only way I can prepare for my classes or do my research, is by working late. Also, I often need to communicate with our partners overseas in different time zones, via email and Skype. The deadline pressure from grant applications for both my school and my own research also keeps me up at night. Another headache is the education of my 15 year old son. He spent four years in New York when he was younger and is most likely to choose a US college for his higher education. My wife, who is American, and I, will need to help him prepare for this, both academically and financially.
What's your guilty pleasure?
I have been practicing ballet for nearly 30 years, but it is a great challenge for me to find the time to practice. Ideally, I would like to take three or more lessons a week, but I can barely manage one weekly visit to the dance studio. I find this frustrating because it is difficult to maintain a certain level of dance technique, and it is easy to lose your dance skills if you do not practise often enough. If I plan more time for ballet, then I would feel guilty, especially because it would mean spending less time with my family.

Did you know? 

...that Hong Kong students are increasingly heading to regional destinations, including Taiwan and mainland China, and that Taiwan has overtaken the UK as the top destination for Hong Kong students according to the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority (HKEAA).


Find out more from our Country Brief series.