Report: UK’s Education Sector Can Generate More Income with Technology

A new government report states that a broader, more innovative use of technology can help Britain generate further income from the international education sector, according to Antony Savvas of Computerworld UK.

The report, International Education: Global Growth and Prosperity, states that "UK companies are among the most innovative in the development of digital learning resources in schools and colleges," and that the nation "must maintain an environment that supports such innovation".

According to the report, the UK already hosts the annual British Educational Training and Technology (BETT) exhibition — "by far the largest and best attended educational technology event in the world," with "a reputation for showcasing cutting edge technology drawing on a large international audience."

The report said that the government recognizes education technology firms can face challenges accessing finance, as well as other support and that "it is committed to making it easier for small- and medium-sized businesses to access the right support".

UK Export Finance can help exporters and investors, typically in the form of insurance and guarantees, the report said.

The recent development of massive open online courses (MOOCs) in higher education has raised the prospect that new technology could fundamentally change how education is delivered, according to the report.

"At present the main players are based in the US, but their potential reach is truly global. Education is becoming a genuinely multinational sector, attracting more and more investors interested in large scale global expansion," the report said.

The report noted that the Open University, together with 21 other leading UK universities, the British Library, British Museum and British Council, will pioneer FutureLearn, which will be the first UK MOOC platform.

In addition, United Kingdom has released a new strategy to expand its education exports industry.

MercoPress reports that UK has developed the International Education Strategy, which will ensure that British schools, universities, colleges and education businesses continue to stay competitive in a global education market worth nearly £3 trillion ($4.5 trillion USD) annually.

The new strategy is designed to secure an extra £3 billion worth of contracts for the UK's education providers overseas, and attract almost 90,000 extra overseas university students by 2018, according to a Foreign Office release.

Also, the new strategy will strengthen education partnerships with other countries, particularly emerging economies, expand the Chevening Scholarship program that sees future global leaders study in the UK, and encourage more UK students to spend time overseas.

"Overseas students make a huge contribution to Britain. They boost our economy, and enhance our cultural life, which is why there is no cap on the number of legitimate students who can study here", said Business Secretary Vince Cable. He added that thanks to British world-class universities, "our network of UK alumni who are now in positions of influence around the world is impressive, opening doors that would not otherwise be possible. Today's strategy will help build on this success ensuring we continue to attract international students and promote the UK's expertise in education".

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