International schools are a “major asset” to British global positioning, and the UK schools sector is expected to “grasp the opportunities” to expand globally, a conference has heard – The Pie reports.
Sir Steve Smith, the UK’s international education champion, told the 2021 Council of British International Schools online gathering:
“You are genuinely world leading and an absolutely major asset for the UK’s global positioning.
“As we emerge from this crisis in the months and years to come, in government we are determined to help the UK schools sector grasp the opportunities that lie ahead.
“There is of course already a particularly strong representation of UK schools in the Middle East, China and parts of South East Asia, and we think that there will be further opportunities, not only in these geographies, but also elsewhere,” he said.
As part of the government’s International Education Strategy, Smith will initially focus on growth in India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Vietnam and Saudi Arabia, and international schools will play a key role in the UK’s transnational education, he said.
“There will be additional countries added to that list and I shall also look to be playing a role in some countries where there is already a well-established UK education presence, but where it is crucial that we maintain and increase our engagement,” he said.
Smith said he expected transnational education (TNE) to “grow significantly” in the next few years.
He said he has been surprised to learn that schools are the biggest player in TNE, with £1.2bn of earnings compared to only £650m of earnings for universities.
He said that for schools that represented growth of 106 per cent in TNE income between 2010 and 2018.