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.”