UK International Student strategy sets 600K recruitment target


The UK government has released its new international education plan designed to help build back better after the pandemic. South Asia including Bangladesh is one of five countries to be targeted for international student recruitment over the next decade.


An update to the 2019 international education strategy suggests a renewed commitment to international student recruitment and an ambition to increase money generated from education exports by 75 percent. The announcement means that the UK government anticipates significant growth in international student numbers from India and Bangladesh. Other top five countries on the list include Indonesia, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam.


The UK government currently has a goal of growing its international student numbers to 600,000 in 2030. International education champion Sir Steve Smith said that the fact that the government’s targets had not changed because of the pandemic was “a statement of the confidence that government has in the strength of the education sector”.


The plan also has a focus on academic experience and job opportunities for international students and will see the government work with companies such as UCAS, UUKi, UKCISA, and the OfS to improve the international student experience. It lays out 14 points of action, which include a streamlined application process for international students, better support for international student experience, employability and finance, and alumni activity. All actions will be reviewed in early 2022.


The report also lays out the progress made since the international education plan was introduced in 2019, including the appointment of an international education champion, and the launch of the Education is a GREAT promotion.


“In these unprecedented times, having a proactive global education agenda is more important than ever so we can build back better from the pandemic,” universities minister Michelle Donelan said. “Our world-class education is a vital part of our economy and society, and we want to support universities, schools, colleges, and all aspects of the education sector to thrive across the globe.”

The initiatives will “enhance the experience of international students at our universities, from the moment they apply to the first steps of their careers.”


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