International Education Strategy aims to Boost Number of Overseas Students in UK

The Department for Education (DfE) and Department for International Trade (DIT) have launched the International Education Strategy to set out the Government’s ambitions to:

increase the value of education exports to £35 billion per year by 2030; and

increase the total number of international students choosing to study in the UK higher education system each year to 600,000 by 2030.

The UK currently hosts around 460,000 international higher education students, and the education sector generates approximately £20 billion per year through education exports and transnational activity. The UK Government plans to increase both these figures by not only retaining existing markets, such as Europe, but by raising the profile of the education sector in global markets such as Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The strategy sets out the following five cross-cutting strategic actions to help the sector maximise the potential of UK education exports abroad:

Appoint an International Education Champion to: spearhead overseas activity, open international opportunities, develop strong international partnerships in new and established markets, and help tackle challenges and barriers.

Ensure Education is GREAT promotes the breadth and diversity of the UK education offer more fully to international audiences.

Continue to provide a welcoming environment for international students and develop an increasingly competitive offer. This includes extending the post-study leave period; considering where the visa process could be improved; supporting employment; and ensuring existing and prospective students continue to feel welcome.

Establish a whole-of-government approach by implementing a framework for ministerial engagement with the sector and formalised structures for coordination between government departments both domestically and overseas.

Provide a clearer picture of exports activity by improving the accuracy and coverage of annually published education exports data.

These strategic actions are supported by more specific actions, targeted at the respective needs and challenges of the different parts of the education sector. They are intended to help the UK build global market share across the education sector, from early years through to higher education.

Commenting on the strategy, Education Secretary Damian Hinds said:

“As we prepare to leave the EU it is more important than ever to reach out to our global partners and maximise the potential of our best assets – that includes our education offer and the international students this attracts.

“There is no limit to our potential and this strategy will help cement our status as a world-leader in education, while creating real benefits for the country and students across the globe.”

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