Brits target tough markets abroad

November 27, 1998

The British Council is targeting new overseas higher education markets in the wake of the Southeast Asian crisis.

The council's Education Counselling Service, is spending nearly Pounds 1 million on promotion campaigns in South America, China, India, Russia, and Israel.

The British Council's distance-learning initiative, through which it is inviting British universities and colleges to bid for support in setting up "open learning" programmes abroad, is even taking on tough markets like Indonesia.

The moves come at a time when "British higher education plc" is facing growing competition from Australia and the United States for overseas students and franchising with overseas institutions.

Piera Gerrard, ECS deputy director, said the competition combined with problems in Southeast Asia have led the Council to be more proactive and expand the countries covered.

"We had already decided that was the direction we would take, but there is now more urgency because we need to replace the markets we have lost," she said.

ECS staff have been dispatched in target countries to schools and colleges considered to have the right number of students with enough spending power to afford British higher education.

The number of recruitment fairs and promotions events has been increased, and key foreign decision makers, opinion formers, and heads of institutions, have been invited to visit Britain.

Brazil, South Africa, Israel, Egypt, Pakistan and Indonesia, have meanwhile been identified as possible markets.

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