It’s no secret that one of the reasons (but not the only one!) that universities and host countries want international students is for the money they bring. At a time when government funding for higher education is decreasing around the world, foreign students are often seen as the solution. Schools benefit from the higher tuition fees and countries benefit from students contributing to the local economy. This has led to an intense competition that has been heating up over recent months.
A new government report describes international education as “a key driver of Canada’s future prosperity” and it is necessary to “recognize the immediate benefits…which span economic growth, job creation, and increased exports and investment.” In 2010, international students in Canada spent more than $8 billion on tuition, accommodation and discretionary spending, supported 87,000 jobs and generated $455 million in government tax revenue.
The advisory panel has made its goal to increase the number of international students studying in Canada to 450,000 by 2022, double the amount of students today. Canada believes that its safe and multicultural learning environment with affordable tuition fees will enable it to compete with its main competitors for foreign students – the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand.
- Canadian report calls for doubling foreign students and surge in study abroad
- Canada must work quickly to make itself top destination for Asian students
- Canada’s hunt for foreign students just got fiercer
The UK is the second most popular destination for international students after the United States, but it saw its market share fall from 10.8% in 2000 to 9.9% in recent years. International students currently contribute £5 billion a year to the UK economy, a figure that rises to £8 billion when European Union students are included. Many government officials are calling to increase that amount to £17 billion by 2025 and are promising to create thousands of jobs for British workers.
However, there has also been some negative news coming out of the British Isles. In March 2011, the government promised to cut the number of students entering the UK by 80,000 a year by setting tougher entrance requirements. This is an attempt to crackdown on people that misuse the system to the enter the UK, but some analysts warn that this could have a detrimental effect on legitimate foreign students. To overcome this deficit, one of the possible paths for international growth often suggested is the expansion of branch campuses.
- Analysis: money is driving force of rise in foreign students seeking UK degree
- International students are good for the UK
- Are home students being rejected in place of wealthy international students?
To combat recent funding cuts, US public universities are eliminating programs, raising tuition and accepting more out-of-state students. These cash-strapped American schools are aggressively trying to take market share away from the UK and Australia. The strategy for many of these institutions is to compete on cost, emphasize the quality and reputation of America’s universities, and provide an integrated study and living experience. President Obama has also recently expanded work rights and VISA programs for foreign students in the STEM fields.
- Cash-strapped US universities eye Gulf students
- Michigan colleges go out of state for students: higher tuition boosts bottom line
- Region’s colleges look out of state for students, more tuition money
It’s tough times down under. For almost two decades Australian universities have recruited Asian students without competition. Australian universities often relied on this rich revenue stream to support their research programs and infrastructure. 20% of higher education students in Australia are from overseas, but Europe and the US might cause that number to drop. Along with increased competition, there is a concern that demand from Asia might have peaked, the high Aussie dollar makes it a relatively expensive option, student safety concerns linger, and there are some problems over visa processing.
- International students desert South Australia
- Indian students’ enrolments drop by 24 per cent in Australia
- Fall in overseas students costs $1bn
More Recent Headlines
- European countries compete to attract, and retain, foreign students
- Denmark: foreign students a lucrative business