Education is going global and the economics are in place to make this happen. According to a study in 2013 by the British Government entitled International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity the field of international education is a growing trend that contributes significantly to the economic strength of the UK. Online education is a partner in ensuring that UK stays a leader in the educational market overseas.
The educational sectors are expected to grow in the future. Growth in primary and secondary education internationally is also growing. A majority of emerging societies are focused on increasing students in higher education to improve their economies. Universities will find their products in dire need in the future.
Exportation of the British educational system is worth about £17.5bn dollars annually. Such wealth is contributing to their economic development and now that financing is considered sustainable additional educational opportunities will be available. Britain exports higher education through bringing students to the country to study and exporting educational services.
Tuition paid by international students is around £3.9bn in tuition fees and £6.3bn in living expenses. The trend is expected to grow 15-20% over the next 5 years. This creates an incentive for them to continue improving upon their educational system.
They were able to find a balance in their visa system to help ensure that qualified applicants could make it into their educational systems while helping to ensure potential problems and visa abuse are reduced. The goal is to help qualified students come to the U.K. and stay to contribute to the economy.
Some of this growth is due to the fostering of educational technology. This includes the concept of distance education. The government will continue to support the development of educational technology and distance learning to help ensure that an adequate draw of students is available.
Britain appears to understand the concept of higher education as a potential system for not only increasing national wealth, exporting cultural norms but also raising poverty around the world. The American distance learning system could do the same and at a significantly higher level. This would help bypass the needs of visas and the gridlock revolving around immigration reform.
They have targeted China, India, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Turkey, Mexico, Indonesia and the Gulf as potential places where higher education has strong possibilities. Online education has the potential to go right into these areas without heavy outlays of campuses or sunk costs. Most of the students will be paying cash or findings alternative methods of financing that helps to create a ripe market without a heavy load on U.S. student loans.
The U.S. has an opportunity to hedge its traditional educational system with that of online distance learning. The demographics of the country are changing, people are in need of updating their skills, and developing countries are yearning for higher education. The potential advantages of online education are muted by traditionalist perspectives. This doesn’t mean the system can’t be improved or developed to a higher state but it does mean that many of the criticisms are counter-intuitive to the rising trends within the market. Online education has the potential to use new technologies to reach people from nearly every corner of the earth and thereby transform the learning process and potential strength of the American educational philosophy.
That still leaves the economic impact question open. Certainly online education doesn’t have residency requirements. However, it can act as a primer to encouraging students to immigrate to the U.S., conduct business with U.S. companies, or accept some of America’s most precious values of equality. Most importantly it provides international innovation opportunities and more willing participants in creating stronger global business opportunities.
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