It’s a Good Time to Be in Agency Business – and 2017 Is Looking Even Better

Agency Business Facts

If you have always wanted to be in the Education and Migration Industry, NOW is the right time!

As countries like Australia and Canada have made their visa processes simpler, people are more eager to migrate and study abroad than ever before. The following factors reveal why 2017 is going to be a good year for education and migration agencies.

Visa Processes Are Made Simpler

Attracting international students to study and work is no small task. It requires the country’s education system to be highly competitive, affordable, and future-oriented.

Many countries around the world are re-assessing their visa processes, to make it easier for people to apply. Australia has implemented the Simplified Student Visa Framework and Canada has increased the number of migrants it will accept, including fast-tracking processes to permanent residency.

As Europe continues to recruit the best and brightest from around the world, you can also expect more policy changes in the United States (US), like extending residency rights for tertiary students at the end of their degrees.

Human Movement Intensifies

According to the International Organization for Migration’s ‘Global Migration Trends Factsheet 2015’, the number of international migrants worldwide in that year was the highest ever at 244 million (up from 232 million in 2013).

The story of humanity is essentially the story of human movement. – Patrick Kingsley

Germany became the second most popular destination for international migrants globally after the US, with approximately 12 million foreign-born people living in the country in 2015.

As education and living standards gradually increase in poorer parts of the world, combined with lower transportation costs, many potential migrants are able to finance.

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Transcending Global Boundaries

The education sector seems to have limitless possibilities – from providing internship opportunities to building global partnerships with governments, NGOs, industries and universities.

The field of international education transcends boundaries through the mobility of students studying abroad. It includes a comprehensive approach to education that prepares students to be actively engaged in an interconnected world.

The Growth of Tertiary Education Worldwide

According to the British Council’s ‘Shape of things to come’, total global tertiary enrollments will grow by 1.4 percent per year until 2020.

Following China and India, other countries with significant forecast growth in tertiary enrollments over the next decade will include Brazil (+2.6 million), Indonesia (+2.3 million), Nigeria (+1.4 million), Philippines (+0.7 million), among others.

Growth of Tertiary Education
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Until 2020, Australia is set to lead the growth in tertiary education by attracting over 50,000 international students. By 2020, international students will continue to visit the US, United Kingdom (UK), Australia, Japan, Canada, Germany, and France.

It is also possible in the longer term that countries like China, Singapore, and Malaysia will become the fastest growing study destinations.

Technological Impact on Higher Education

It is not about the technology; it’s about sharing knowledge and information, communicating efficiently, building learning communities and creating a culture of professionalism… – Marion Ginapolis

ICEF Monitor has frequently looked at how technology affects international student recruitment.  Social media, virtual tours, mobile-optimized websites and many other forms of technology are making students more curious about what their colleges and universities are offering.

Many universities around the world are now embracing interactive technology, as the demand from students grows. A recent study by Adobe shows that universities in the UK are increasingly under pressure to offer students access to the latest technology, in line with the fees they will be paying.

According to McGraw-Hill Education’s 2015-2016 survey, students prefer real time feedback through platforms like social media. This developing digital trend in higher education, with the use of technology is set to improve all aspects of the student experience.

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Apart from established technologies like collaborative learning platforms and instruction modes driven by multimedia, several other forms of education content delivery methods are also emerging. For instance:

Adaptive Learning

Adaptive learning is a more personalized, technology-enabled, and data-driven approach to learning. It has the potential to customize students’ pathways through curriculum, and give instructors the freedom to use class time in more creative and productive ways. It aims to improve retention, measure student learning, improve education, and aid the achievement of better outcomes.

Growing Demand for Online Education

ELearning is changing. And, we will see new models, new technologies and designs emerge. So, let’s drop the “e” – or at least give it a new and wider definition. – Elliot Masie

Education counselors and agencies must be aware of the fact that many young people are now opting for non-traditional forms of education as well. This will probably require you to change your approach to education counseling.

The rising popularity of electronic learning is to do with the growth of cloud technology, as many businesses and education institutions are turning to this platform. Cloud-based systems are the perfect environment for a virtual classroom. They offer seamless access to information, easily shareable data, and foster a means for tracking multi-user collaboration.

The global market volume for e-learning is already at $91 billion and is set to grow by 20 percent annually through 2017, according to Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.

The Future is Bright

There are 4.5 million international students globally, and growing, which is set to reach 7 million – 8 million by 2025. Unlikely countries are also gaining ground in the education market. Japan is targeting 300,000 students by 2020 and Malaysia expects 250,000 by 2025.

Tertiary education
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Australia

Australia has bounced back since 2012, a period that saw its image tarnished worldwide, due to incidents of racism against Indian students in Melbourne. The government even cracked down on fake visas and low-quality courses, eventually drawing attention to other important issues about the visa process itself.

Since then, Australia has streamlined its visa process, to make it easier and quicker for the applicants. Brexit and a fall in its currency value has helped further. Education is this country’s second-biggest export industry, worth approximately AUD 20 billion in 2015.

Canada

Learning from Australia’s experience, Canada’s government is encouraging its colleges and universities to attract more students from overseas.

Many other approaches have also changed in the past decade. Graduates who find jobs can now automatically stay in Canada for up to three years. Later, if they choose to apply for permanent residency, this work experience becomes a bonus.

Moreover, collaboration among universities, colleges, and the immigration department has brought down visa-rejection rates for Indian students. The number of Indian students travelling to Canada for polytechnic courses was 14,000 last year.

United Kingdom

Since Brexit, UK’s higher education sector faces a sense of uncertainty. Almost one-third of international students say they are less likely to study there, as the country feels “less welcoming.”

Total income from non-EU international students during 2014-2015 was nearly 26 percent of all income reported by English institutions. The Higher Education Funding Council for England said it expects the sector to be worth £4.6 billion in the year 2017-2018.

Despite negativity due to Brexit, many international students, even those from EU countries, still value British degrees, and a weakening pound sterling may cause them to re-evaluate their decision.

Apart from a few exceptions worldwide, the education and migration industry will grow and mature. To be successful in this sector, you must look to adapt quickly to the rapid changes and adopt newer technologies, to make the transitions smoother.