|This refers to the global version of “The shape of things to come” report for non-UK institutions. If you are a UK institution, please click here|
Education is increasingly seen by governments as a major contributor to national wealth and economic development. In addition, the increasingly competitive external environment has called for continuous improvement of countries’ quality assurance standards and international benchmarking of their education systems. In order to maintain global relevance, internationalisation of both teaching and research have become critical objectives for most tertiary institutions.
The Shape of Things to Come: Higher Education Global Trends and Emerging Opportunities to 2020 provides a rigorous analysis of prevailing trends that are shaping higher education globally. It also looks into the next decade to determine how these will unfold.
The Shape of Things to Come details the impact of demographic and economic drivers on the changing higher education landscape in the next decade. It aims to identify the most significant emerging markets for international students and the fastest growing education systems, as well as predicting which countries’ systems will be most open for international collaboration in teaching and research.
This study draws on well established relationships between GDP growth and tertiary education enrolments. This relationship is particularly strong for emerging economies with GDP per capita less than USD 10,000 where a small increase in the GDP contributes to a significant rise in the enrolment rate. This research found strong correlation in certain countries between student and trade flows. In some countries, such as Canada, Japan, China, South Korea and India, the correlation is above 70%.
Another factor which is increasingly determining countries’ international relevance is the impact of their research base. This report synthesises the strong body of empirical evidence that internationally produced research is of highest quality (research citation has been used as a proxy for quality) - not least because it provides solutions to global challenges and benefits more than one nation. This study found that 80% of countries’ research impact is determined by their research collaboration rate. In addition Nobel prizes are increasingly won by researchers working in a country other than their country of birth. Over 60% of the winners in 2010 and 2011 had studied or carried out research abroad.
Particular importance is paid to the role of emerging economies. Parallel to their growing importance to world trade, they are becoming increasingly popular study destinations and have seen significant growth in research production (and increased rate of international collaboration) and internationally filed patents.
In order to maintain a high standard of teaching and research, catering for the needs of domestic and international student audiences on the one hand and resolving global research challenges on the other, significant and ongoing investment in education is required. In a growing number of countries, uncertainty and austerity are becoming the operating environment for education establishments. The Shape of Things to Come highlights the scope for more effective application of research excellence into commercial activities which are under-utilised resource for generating inward investment and research income from local and global companies. This study outlines practices of engagement between the higher education system and industry in different countries and draws international comparisons.
Internationalisation of education is at the heart of what the British Council does. The British Council continues to engage actively in policy debates in the UK and around the world, and is committed to engaging with institutions globally to collaborate in research, teaching and mobility opportunities with the UK.
Director Education & Society