Thursday 16 May 2013

Two new market reports produced by the British Council in partnership with English UK have been released today. The reports, which focus on Japan and Russia, are a free resource for British Council accredited institutions, helping UK ELT providers to recruit students from overseas to courses in the UK.

The series of reports provide valuable new information which is vital for breaking into key ELT markets, such as gaps in the market and potential pitfalls.

The reports help British Council-accredited institutions to gain insights into how the education market works in target countries. Each report assists institutions in building closer connections and promoting their products to potential students and their influencers, overseas partners, study abroad agents and other stakeholders.

The reports reveal that for Russian students, the UK is still one of the most popular destinations for studying English abroad. However Japanese students are more likely to choose to study in America, Canada and Australia. Motivations for choosing the UK include its status as the birthplace of the English language, along with its history and culture. Reservations include strict visa policies.

Insights from the reports include:

  • Until the mid-1990s, the UK held the number two position after the USA for Japanese students studying English language abroad. Since then, Canadian and Australian governments, eager to increase enrolments to their respective countries, have successfully battled for market share in Japan
  • Japanese universities, corporations and individuals all view English as an essential foundation for a career
  • The image of UK institutions and the quality of English teaching is still very high in Japan
  • Russians view better study and employment prospects as the main reasons to study language abroad, but prestige is almost equally as important
  • The education system in the UK is perceived as world class by Russians
  • In Russia, the financial crisis had little impact on the industry – people continue to invest time and money in their education and in the education of their children

Anna Searle, Director of English at the British Council, said: “The British Council is committed to supporting the quality provision that the UK English language sector provides to overseas partners and students, and in promoting the value of the UK English language provision.

English language students are very important to the UK: they bring direct and indirect income into the UK economy, and their experiences in living and studying in the UK lead to a lifelong connection with the UK and its citizens. Building cultural relations connections is at the heart of our work: we are committed to building trust and engagement between people of different nations and cultures through the exchange of knowledge, ideas and experience. English language provides a tool to build that connection, highly valued across the world and increasingly in demand.

In identifying the need for English language specific market information, we have worked with English UK to prepare and present the kind of information through this series of reports that will help British Council accredited providers to gain insights into how the education market works in Japan and Russia.”

The British Council is committed to supporting the UK ELT industry and promoting the value of UK ELT schools through our network of offices and teaching centres overseas. It recognises the importance of foreign students in creating a life-long connection with the UK and its citizens along with their contribution to the UK economy. The British Council is planning a range of future titles in this series of reports.

Notes to Editor

For more information, please contact Nisha Pawar in the British Council Press Office on +44 (0)207 389 4967 or 

The market reports will be available online from next week and will be free of charge to British Council accredited institutions

About the British Council

The British Council creates international opportunities for the people of the UK and other countries and builds trust between them worldwide. We are a Royal Charter charity, established as the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations.

We work in more than 100 countries, and our 7000 staff – including 2000 teachers – work with thousands of professionals and policy makers and millions of young people every year through English, arts, education and society programmes.

We earn over 75% of our annual turnover of £739 million from services which customers pay for, education and development contracts we bid for and from partnerships. A UK Government grant provides the remaining 25%.  We match every £1 of core public funding with over £3 earned in pursuit of our charitable purpose.

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