News from our markets
The advantage of having local staff on the ground in around 30 markets round the globe is that we can pick up some useful information on how the education market is developing, and how we can support UK clients in getting involved in projects which will support that strategic direction.
Below are some nuggets we picked up over the last few weeks.
The Portuguese government is encouraging all universities to internationalise, and whilst speaking to a number of university senior managers over the past few weeks we have picked up that there has been a significant increase in student numbers from Brazil coming to Portugal to study, and whilst most coming for undergraduate programmes want to study in Portuguese those coming for Masters are increasingly looking for courses taught in English. This means that universities are keen to develop double degree programmes with UK universities; these are 2 year Masters, with one year delivered by the UK university in the UK. We already have three under development, and we think this route offers UK universities the chance to tap into the potentially lucrative growth in Brazilian students coming to Europe to study.
We have seen a big rise in interest from a range of Czech universities looking to form double degree programmes with UK universities, these vary from leading state universities through to private universities. The laws in the Czech Republic mean that degree programmes delivered in Czech are free or very low cost, however there are no restrictions on the pricing of degree programmes taught in English and as a result Czech Universities are now looking to target non-EU students (particularly from the CIS markets). We have a number of Czech Universities looking for partners for this, and also for the development of joint research projects.
Most UK universities have seen a rise in the number of US students coming to study in the UK over the past couple of years. We have developed an innovative model where we license 2 years of undergraduate course material to US community colleges (from the OU unaccredited) and partner the community college with a specific UK university who takes the students into third year. We already have five UK universities taking part in this initiative and we think it could be a good way for UK universities to break into what has always been a difficult market.
We are also supporting a number of universities, colleges and Accrediting Bodies who are looking to exploit the opportunities created by the opening up of the apprenticeship market in the USA. We believe this will continue to be a major opportunity for UK education providers as local organisations look to quickly develop provision.
Both the Latvian and Lithuanian governments are actively trying to encourage UK universities to consider them as the base for an EU campus post BREXIT. They are also actively supporting the development of joint faculties between state universities and UK universities. We are working on a number of these projects at the moment, including supporting the development of two joint faculties and the creation of a strategic partnership between a state University and a UK university which would allow the UK institution to open a branch campus within the existing infrastructure.
In addition there is an initiative to support the development of vocational teaching which will see the commissioning of some substantial teacher training projects over the next 12 months.