Megatrends - the future of international education, November 2013 ©

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Megatrends: The future of international education, November 2013


British Council

About this report

While the future is difficult to predict with any degree of certainty, forecasting mechanisms continue to be popular in the international education sector. Retaining confidence in your chosen measurement and conviction of your hypothesis is the greatest challenge as unexpected factors which fall outside the parameters of your defined criteria can undo the robustness of forecasting models. Economic and demographic data provide the best foundation upon which to base analysis and how these two drivers merge can oftentimes indicate the direction of international higher education’s future growth. However, as the natural unpredictability of human interaction arises, when mathematics cannot account for all possibilities, models of this kind are revealed to be less than airtight. Further investigation has shown that other factors outside of an increase in population with the capacity to fund overseas education will impact trends that emerge.

This international higher education forecasting model, refined over time, defines a list of core drivers that will have a profound effect on the direction and growth of international higher education in the future. Although not an exhaustive or complete list, this report identifies seven ‘Megatrends’.