The growing competition for UK universities from new types of education providers has been highlighted in a report from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
It shows the world’s largest private providers by their 2011 revenues from education. Leading the pack with revenues of $7 billion (£4.6 billion) is UK‑based Pearson, which owns the examination board Edexcel.
The vast majority of the other private providers are headquartered in the US, but they operate across Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Americas, says the report, International Education – Global Growth and Prosperity, published on 29 July.
The expansion of such multinational providers in recent years is a response to the “rapidly growing global demand for education”, which state provision is unable to meet on its own, the report says.
Such companies – which include the Apollo Group, the parent of the UK’s BPP University – usually rely on large-scale operations transferable across borders as well as economies of scale and specialist developing technologies, the study adds.
Notes: Country in brackets denotes registered headquarters