The Department for Education and Department for International Trade has presented the new UK’s International Education Strategy on 6th February 2021. This is the updated version of the first edition of 2019. This publication is done with the ambition to ‘help the education sector to build back better from the pandemic.
International Education Strategy of UK
An updated International Education Strategy introduced by the UK. It promises to “boost” the country’s education exports. It also states that it remains committed to achieving the two original goals as decided in the IES published in March 2019:
- To significantly grow the UK’s education exports to £35 billion per year by 2030
- To target the number of international students studying in the UK to 600,000, by 2030.
The government said, by boosting global growth opportunities, the plan will help the education sector to build back better from the pandemic. It outlines 14 actions. The main 9 actions are essential for international students to know. They are:
1. International Education Champion
The Priority countries of International Education Champion’s are India, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Nigeria. These priorities show where there is essential potential for growth and could open up opportunities and overcome barriers to that potential. The countries kept on 2nd priority for the International Education Champion are Brazil, Mexico, Pakistan, Europe, China and Hong Kong.
2. Free trade agreements
They will promote the education of the UK in future Free trade agreements. It will also ensure that the sector’s views are represented.
3.The streamlined application process for international students
The Department for Education will work with the sector and the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service to ensure that there is clearer, more accessible information for international students wishing to study in the UK. This will include information and advice modified according to the needs of the student, including links to the immigration system.
4. Financial options for international students
Universities UK International(UUKi) will bring alternative finance providers, sector and student representatives together, to increase the financial options for international students.
5. The academic experience of international students
The Office for Students together with the UK Council for International Student Affairs will research the positive impact international students have on local students. They will also learn long-term lessons from their response to the COVID pandemic on provider-level delivery and engagement of students. Thus it will launch a new project that will aim to find ‘what works’ to help international students to get a fulfilling academic experience in the UK.
6. Employability of international students
The UK Council for International Student Affairs will associate with the Confederation of British Industry, Universities UK International, and key education and employer groups to encourage international student employability. This group will build an understanding of the skills needed in the UK, international labour markets, and identify the barriers to international graduate employability.
7. International Qualified Teacher Status
The Department for Education will work with teacher training providers to set up a new international teaching qualification. The ‘International Qualified Teacher Status’, will provide an opportunity for teachers around the world to train to world-respected domestic standards. This will spread the high-quality teaching in the UK, and provide opportunities to build long-lasting relationships around the world.
8. Market barriers
The Department for Education( DfE ), the Department for International Trade(DIT) and the International Education Champion will work with the British Council and the sector to overcome the market hurdles for the exposure of UK education exports. This will help to ease the expansion of transnational education(TNE), including online and mixed learning methods.
9. Developing investment opportunities in the UK education sector
The Department for International Trade(DIT) will develop its investment offer and look for opportunities in the education sector, beyond EdTech.
Through this release, the experts stated that the education sector of the UK will be expanded thus moving from recovery to long-lasting growth. One thing is very clear in the updated version of the International Education Strategy that unity and collective strength is the only way to recover.
Implementation of the International Education Strategy
There are several plans for implementing the strategies as they have planned for international education for 2021. The plans and steps implemented are.
- The government has taken necessary steps to create the building blocks. It is done by improving the immigration regime, strengthening the promotion of the UK’s education with the help of the Study UK campaign and through its building of the International Education Champion.
- Ensuring the safety of the health of all students, domestic as well as international, during the coronavirus pandemic will be on the top of the list.
- The UK is committed to delivering a world-class student experience, from academic and research excellence through to student incorporation on-campus.
- The changes to the requirements for the short-term study will also make it easier for students. International students will be able to study in the UK for less than 6 months as a visitor, without the need to obtain a specific short-term Study visa.
- In addition to a large number of scholarships and bursaries already available for international students, access to alternative student finance will help a wide range of international students to study in UK.
Statements from HMG International Education Champion
Professor Sir Steve Smith said his task is clear: to champion UK education overseas.
- Over the next few years, he said he will be working closely with the sector, government colleagues and the UK’s committed administrations to present their world-class education to international partners, consumers and investors.
- He also added that he will work closely with overseas governments and officials to strengthen government-to-government partnerships. Thus helping to open new international opportunities and working to resolve market access barriers.
His Words “I can assure you that I will passionately support every part of the sector’s ambitions and will work tirelessly to advance its interests” brings a positive note for the international students as well.
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