The Education System Is Changing
The latest report of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) dedicated to education reveals the fierce competition between countries that receive foreign students. The diversification in offers is detrimental to those states that traditionally attracted most foreign young students.
In other words, the international education market is in full transformation, with a movement, slow but steady, to countries formerly absent or little present among the selected destinations for students from other states. The study covers the period spanning from 2000 to 2008. Thus, if during the reference range the U.S. have lost almost 10% in OECD’s rankings of market share, that of Great Britain fell by about 2% and Germany lost 3% market share, Russia increased by 2 points up to 4, 3%, outranking, for example, Japan which has a 3.8% share of the global education market. Less spectacular, the advances by one percentage point of Australia, South Korea and New Zealand is still significant on the long term. According to OECD experts, the Asia-Pacific region “promotes pro-active marketing policies” in the field of internationalization of the education system. Australia, Canada and New Zealand have applied, for example, measures to facilitate the installation on their territory of foreign students going there to study: their immigration cases are credited with extra points, “according to experts. The study also points out to three major factors to this change: technology, society and economy.
Education is for many countries an important business, since it not only brings foreign revenue to a country’s budget; it also more spent money to retailers, etc. At the opposite end, “the diminishing of the U.S. and UK market share finds its explanation in the high conditions required by schools for the foreign young people wishing to study.” The OECD report called “A look at the education system”, now in its 10th edition, highlights the need for increased investments in the educational process as a means to reduce unemployment and increase the incomes of the population.
Also, the report directly connects between the degree of national higher education funding and the increase in tax revenues. Thus, a university graduate “will bring during his active life $ 119,000 (93,000 euros) more than a high school graduate”, according to the authors of the study. Once the necessary training expenses are deducted 66,000 euros still remain, almost three times the volume of public investment per student for higher education.
The document also highlights various points:
- On average, throughout the OECD countries, 35% of citizens aged between 25 and 34 years hold a university degree, compared to 20% for age span of 55-64. South Korea, Canada and Japan are leaders in this category, along with Russia: in these states, more than half of people 25-34 have successfully completed the courses at a university.
- Unemployment among graduates of higher education has remained, throughout the recession, to 4% in all OECD countries, compared to 9% for high school graduates.
- Companies have practically doubled the costs for an experienced university graduate compared with the rest of the employees.
- Most of the foreign students come from China, India and Japan. Chinese youth prefer to study in the U.S. (110,246 students), the United Kingdom (45,356), Canada (30,275) and in Germany (25 472). The Indian students pick destination like the U.S. (94,664), the United Kingdom (25,901), New Zealand (5426) and Germany (3344). Japanese people prefer the U.S. (34,010), Germany (2234), Canada (2169) and France (1908).
- On average, OECD countries spend 5.7% of their Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for education. Brazil follows the same path, while China and India spend 3% of GDP for education.
In conclusion, the report specifies: “We think that pressure on our education system will grow substantially. On the one hand, industry will stress the need for employees who will meet the challenges of contributing actively to the business goals. This pressure from industry will in particular play its role for secondary and higher vocational training. Industry demands employees who are pro-active and competent to learn and relearn, and schools will have to respond to this demand. On the other hand, the education system itself will experience difficulties in keeping up the old teaching methods for students who think schools and traditional training is irrelevant to them”.11