Newsletter issue: April 2016

Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence British Council
Dear colleagues:

There's been a dramatic expansion in the higher education sector in Vietnam in recent years, reflecting the aspirations of a growing middle class for greater prosperity. However, education quality remains a challenge and university graduate unemployment is rising. So, what do potential international students from Vietnam consider when making decisions about overseas study?

I'd like to bring your attention to this month's Student Insight Vietnam report, which focuses on the decision-making process of students from a country that is being transformed into a global manufacturing hub, with consumer demand fuelled by a rising per capita income. As you may know, each year we publish a suite of eight Student Insight reports, highlighting findings from our signature and on-going Student Insight decision-making survey that has been running since 2007. We find the factors that influence how students make overseas study decisions varies greatly from country to country, so please take a look at this latest report to understand the distinctive features of a market of current interest.

In addition, we have released a new tranche of Country Briefs, among them reports on Japan, the US, Greece and Mauritius. We feel nothing beats these reports for getting an easy-to-read as well as comprehensive overview of major markets and hope they remain a helpful resource in developing your recruitment strategies.

Best regards,

Anna Esaki-Smith
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Revelations & realities: new research 
Country Briefs 2016

The Country Brief series is one of the most popular among our Education Intelligence research offerings. For our worldwide audience and followers working across diverse roles with a range of responsibilities within the international education sector, the 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. There will be a total of 42 new reports in the 2016 series and the first six - covering Bangladesh, Greece, Japan, Mauritius, Nepal and the US - are now available. 

Student Insight Vietnam 2016

Our live, ongoing Student Insight survey helps us keep an ear to the ground when it comes to how students make study abroad decisions. More than 200,000 students from over 100 countries have shared information on the factors impacting their decision to study abroad. Country-specific Student Insight reports examine the issues influencing prospective students when considering destination and institution options, motivations, and the information sources used throughout the decision-making process. Now, an all-new Vietnam report has been added to the series. 
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Here are our top picks from the news on international higher education
New opportunity emerges as more Chinese students pursue art and design dreams in the US

While only six per cent of the 300,000 Chinese students studying in the US in 2014-2015 are pursuing fine and applied arts programmes, that number has more than tripled, indicating a significant opportunity.

Dutch government wants international students to stay

Changes to the Dutch Orientation Year visa permit gives non-EU graduates who have completed their studies in the Netherlands extra time to stay in the country and look for a work.

Indian technology institutes open admissions to foreign students

Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are welcoming overseas students for the first time, with thousands of new seats to be added across all IITs. International students will pay higher fees compared to the annual tuition of domestic students, and the government aims to see its leading institutions perform better in international rankings.

Why do French universities lag behind in international rankings?

Whenever universities such as Harvard, MIT, Oxford or Cambridge publish in a prestige journal, they promote their respective institution's brand and increase the credibility of the degrees awarded to students. This in turn attracts students, teachers and researchers worldwide. However, when French researchers publish a scientific paper, they don't necessary publicise their university affiliation. Why don't French institutions make a bigger impact on the world stage?

What your choice of degree means for your future earnings

A new report examining how new graduates fare when they leave university confirms that medicine and economics graduates earn the most, while creative arts graduates occupy the bottom of the earnings table. The study, published by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, finds a significant spread in how much graduates earn, even among those doing the same subject at the same institution.

Spotlight - the latest news and views 
Ten fast facts about Myanmar

Demand for education in this former British colony is high, especially among the wealthy and the small but expanding consumer class, driving consumer spending in areas such as school fees, learning materials and transport. The largest share of education spending goes towards private tuition and exam fees. Find out more about this month's market of focus.
Michael Carrier
Michael Carrier is a consultant for Cambridge English and other organisations. He has an MA in Applied Linguistics and an MBA and has worked in language education for many years in senior management at the International House World Organisation and the British Council. His focus is the application of digital technology to education, teacher development, and intercultural awareness, and he is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts.
What is your favorite conference and why?
I like a wide range of conferences for their different audiences and thematic sectors, but one of the ones I really enjoy most is the mEducation Symposium in Washington DC every autumn. It is supported by USAID, technology organisations and other donor agencies, and focuses on how new mobile technologies can bring new benefits to teachers and learners in the developing world. It is a conference full of hope and innovation, always very inspiring. And it is a key conference for colleagues from higher education who want to know where their future cohorts of students will come from - the developing world.
What is your current country of interest and why?
I help with ministry reform consultancy and teacher development in a range of countries, so it's difficult to choose one. I'm working on a proposal for Rwanda this week, which is a very inspiring country to work with - they have achieved so much in recent years, and both the people and the place are fascinating to get to know.
What is your greatest challenge?
Finding enough time in the day (and the week) to do what I need to do, plus what I want to do, plus make time to learn new things and meet new people. I need to stop sleeping.
What keeps you up at night?
Not wanting to sleep because there are so many interesting projects, organisations, boards and committees and books I want to work on.

More philosophically, how can we bring the education benefits we enjoyed to the under-served learners in low income and emerging economies? I feel I was given huge advantages in my UK education and I want to see that available for all learners, everywhere. At this stage of my career I am looking for new ways to give back, to help others have these benefits, so working pro-bono for various boards also keeps me up.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Indian and Thai curries; Fairport Convention concerts; listening to tapes of the Blues Band I had when I was younger; summer days with steamed shrimp in the beach resort of Rehoboth near my old home in Washington DC; not necessarily all at the same time!
Did you know that the latest figures from the Japan Student Services Organization shows that the number of international students in Japan topped 200,000 for the first time in 2015, as the numbers rose for the second consecutive year?

Find out more from our report, Country Brief - Japan 2016

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