Monday 06 March 2017


The UK has a unique opportunity to increase higher education engagement in Latin America via not only student mobility, but also transnational education and English language learning, says a newly published British Council report. 

Latin America: Mapping mobility and higher education opportunities forecasts a steady growth in demand for tertiary education and English from the local populations, despite slowed economic and tertiary-aged population growth, with Brazil, Colombia and Mexico offering the strongest overall opportunities for engagement.

The research, conducted in partnership with Oxford Economics, presents forecasts to 2025 for demographic, economic and tertiary enrolment trends focusing on eight key markets: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.  Policy-neutral mobility projections are also analysed. 

 The UK’s market share of students from the key markets has decreased since 2000 and it is now the sixth most popular destination after the US, Spain, France, Germany and Italy.  However, the report projects that the UK will increase its market share of outbound students over the next decade, with the largest increases coming from Chile, Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, due in part to a growing middle class in Latin America and the current and expected weakness of sterling.

The report also calls attention to engagement via transnational education as an alternate way to access Latin American students who wish to stay in the region. The UK currently has more international students enrolled in its transnational programmes abroad than in the UK itself.  Other opportunities lie in language delivery, training and partnerships as numerous governments in the Latin American region continue to emphasise the importance of English language.

Zainab Malik, Research Director for Education Intelligence at the British Council and report author said:

“Latin America experienced a period of strong growth supported by a robust commodity sector but the region has recently seen a period of economic and political transition.  As such, while opportunities continue to exist for higher education engagement due to an expanding middle class and a focus on quality education, an informed and contextual strategy is key for future UK engagement.”

Notes to Editor

Journalists should email to obtain a copy of the report. 

About the British Council

The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We create friendly knowledge and understanding between the people of the UK and other countries. Using the UK’s cultural resources we make a positive contribution to the countries we work with – changing lives by creating opportunities, building connections and engendering trust.

We work with over 100 countries across the world in the fields of arts and culture, English language, education and civil society. Each year we reach over 20 million people face-to-face and more than 500 million people online, via broadcasts and publications.

Founded in 1934, we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. The majority of our income is raised delivering a range of projects and contracts in English teaching and examinations, education and development contracts and from partnerships with public and private organisations. Eighteen per cent of our funding is received from the UK government.