This paper will introduce the status of current international student market of the higher education in UK, the analysis will give the strategy of implementing a established college for the oversea students. The research focuses on the strategic recommendations and the decision making. The aim is to demonstrate how to reach at these recommendations.
Higher education works much like a key: it opens doors that are closed without it. Higher education comes in several forms however and what may work for one person may not be the right approach for another. Most people who seek higher education do so in order to either get a good job right from the beginning or to get a better job after being in the work force for some time. Also there are some people seek a higher education just for getting a quality education.
For a long time now, universities in the UK have been distinguished for their ability to maintain excellent standards in the field of higher education, both in terms of course content and student welfare. Over 150 universities and colleges equipped with the latest facilities for teaching and research offer a wide range of courses. Every year students from all around the world throng the UK's universities and colleges, desirous of a better standard of higher education and greater career prospects. It is a long history of welcoming international students to study in its universities and colleges that last year there were 1.8 million full-time undergraduate students in higher education, which included over 104,000 international students. The study of trends in higher education by Universities UK found a 48% increase in the number of international students between the year 2000 and 2006. In 2007/08, 229,640 students came from outside the European Union, compared with 117,290 in 1998/99.The most these students are from China, India, Pakistan and Philippine. China remained the "most significant" provider of students to the UK. A total of 19,385 Chinese students enrolled on first degree courses in the UK and 21,990 took up places for post-graduate study. Students who come from outside the EU have to pay more for courses than their European peers. The Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK report found that, between 2006/07 and 2007/08, universities saw a 10% rise in their income. In total, £1.88 billion of UK universities' income came from non-EU students in 2007/08, while government research grants accounted for £1.76 billion.
To run a new college of higher education in London as a strategic manager, you have to understand what the purpose of it to students and how to achieve the goal of the college being successful.
The structure of the higher education system in UK:
Three types of entities impart higher education in the UK- colleges, universities and institutions of higher education. Non-university higher education institutes also provide degree and other post-graduate courses, but they have to fulfil certain criteria to attain university status.
The various qualifications offered by universities in the UK can be broadly classified into four divisions like degree courses, vocational training, diplomas and postgraduate courses. There are also sandwich courses whereby part-time work and real experience is sandwiched or interspersed between the course duration. While the first degree courses in arts and science are of 3-4 years duration, the diplomas and vocational courses are generally completed in 1-2 years with the Vocational and Technical Education Councils conferring the degree certificate. Postgraduate study may be in one of two forms - either as a work of independent research under supervision or a taught course lasting one or two years.
The strengths and opportunities of studying the higher education for the international students:
UK higher education system provides one of the most valuable education of the whole world.
Higher education is about taking students' education to the next level: learning new things and getting to where they want to be.
A higher education qualification could help students take charge of their future by building skills and confidence and opening up new opportunities - whatever stage of life you are at. Even if no one else you know is thinking about going into higher education, it could still be the right choice for you.
There are currently over two million higher education students in the UK. Higher education courses are offered at around 130 universities and higher education colleges, and many further education colleges.
With more than 50,000 courses in a variety of academic and work-related subjects - including many that let you combine more than one subject - there's bound to be one that suits you.
Higher education could benefit you in a number of ways. University or college lets you experience a rich cultural and social scene, meeting a variety of people while studying something you love.
A higher education qualification can also lead to increased earning potential, a wider range of opportunities and a more rewarding career. Many employers target graduates in their recruitment campaigns.
And on average, graduates tend to earn substantially more than people with A-levels who did not go to university. Projected over a working lifetime, the difference is something like £100,000 before tax at today's valuation.
The weaknesses and threats of the higher education in UK:
The government restriction for getting a visa, international students are now expected to show that they can afford their tuition fees 28 days before they apply, have at least an extra £600 a month and £400 for each dependant in living expenses, and to keep it all in a bank account in their own name for the first year of their study. They also need a biometric identity card and have to have received their exam results by the time they apply. Also the new visa system caused Thousands of university places could be left unfilled and institutions millions of pounds out of pocket, because high fee-paying international students are being blocked from starting degrees.
Income from foreign students is crucial to UK universities and colleges. Overseas students contribute £4bn a year in fees, according to the UK Council for International Student Affairs. The higher education Statistics Agency says more than 8% of the total income of UK universities comes from international students' fees. Without it, universities would have more departments closing, worse infrastructure and less investment in libraries, at a time of huge financial pressure, it is the international student income which is enabling universities to invest, expand and survive."
The competition of the higher education between countries is intense: American and Australian high educations are also providing a comprehensive teaching level and studying atmosphere to the international students.
In this ever-changing world of higher education, where new theories of knowledge and new technologies are emerging, UK higher education should more concentrate on the needs of the oversea students market. For example: India student market. Be it the US, UK, Australia or New Zealand, the number of Indian students going to study overseas has risen largely. The education system abroad happens to be very different than what prevails in India. With the Indian economy growing at 7% annually, jobs are being created in India and the middle class is growing. Inevitably, this is leading to an increased level of prosperity, thereby increasing the affordability of an expensive overseas education, and dramatically increasing the career aspirations of a growing number of Indians. It becomes the second largest source of students studying the higher education in the universities and colleges of UK. It lays lot of emphasis on the practical aspects of education thus making the students techno savvy and more practical. The largest source of the students market is China. The Chinese students are coming to UK study basic on the education here is comprehensive. With the culture and education background difference, the Chinese students could have a greater competitive edge in a UK and potentially global labor market. But with Chinese higher education is getting improved, such as teaching skilled personnel and expanding scientific and technical knowledge had been assigned the higher priority, more Chinese now decide studying domestically.
If a new college of high education want to be successful in such amount of the UK institutions, a new product must be considered in the first place, this can be used by PORTER'S FORCES MODEL to explain:
The bargaining power of suppliers
The colleges play the suppliers roll here. The power of the colleges of higher education is to provide the education such as teaching, research and social services activities of universities.
The bargaining power of buyers
The students will be the buyers in this place. They provide the power of purchasing different level of the education as where they want to be.
The whole higher education system is the industry. That includes undergraduate and postgraduate education, as well as vocational education and training, and the facilities that they are with.
The threat of new entrants
To a college, the threats will be the competition for the attractiveness of the students' interests and the price of the tuition.
The threat of substitute products
As an established college, the most threat is the competition of what kind of teaching level that you can provide to your students, how useful and supportive that to them in the future career, that is also a key element of a college business running.
Basic on those major points to run a new college of higher education, especially we concentrate on the oversea students market that we need to improve the circumstances that already existing into a new level, which is more different than other colleges:
1. Provide a 3-6 months language training course to the oversea students who are from the non-speaking English countries or have not finished the degree from their own countries but want to continue studying in the UK, and who want to apply studying in the UK for a higher education as well. For example: The International English Language Testing System (IELTS). This is a test of English for non-native speakers and is widely recognized as a language requirement for further and higher education. The courses are designed for international students intending to study at the institutions of higher education. The aims of the course are:
To improve students' command of general academic and subject-specific English.
To develop the study skills necessary to succeed at a UK university.
To help students adapt to living and studying in a UK higher education environment.
To help students meet the English language conditions for entrance into UK universities.
We will provide an interview before the students start the IELTS course, our teachers will evaluate the English level of each student and to decide how long they need to be trained. After they pass the IELTS test they will be accepted to the next level of their studying.
2. Provide the education consulting service. Foreign education consultants play a vital role in fulfilling the students' dreams. They act as navigators to the whole process:
This is first step for the student to take the right decision for the bright career. Consulting is part where the student gets exact idea towards his/her career. Consulting is not just giving or taking the information, it is making up the decision. Such kind of Consulting can only given by the higher education consultant. To know where and when to go: generally student will always get confusion to which country he should go. In this case consultancy is best place to clear doubts, a student never knows which is the best place for his field, at this point consultancy can suggest him according to his interest towards the subject, after he decides the place to go, he should also know when would be his admissions begins because every country will not go with same time for admissions.
Selection of University: a good University selection can only done by consultant because student might have an idea about 1 or 2 universities as they friends are in the same universities, but a consultant is a person will know the best university for the course, because they will be dealing so many universities. Selection of course: In this part always student will check for the booming course but not for the future settlement. But only a consultant can guide the student for the best course to settle his career. For example: a student from IT back ground planning to go for MBA HR which is irrelevant for his back ground, that makes his career in wrong path. But after his completion of the course he will have experience in HR only for 1 year, so student will have less chance to get the best jobs. If the student is going for similar course which matches to his field that helps to get the best job because he will be much familiar with the subject.
Safety: when a student applies from the consultancy will have confidence for his process, because consultant is a person will have direct tie up for the university and college. If the student applies from his own he will never know where is going wrong at the final stage the result would be visa rejection.
Financial Estimation: when student is planning to go abroad for higher studies they will not have exact idea about financial estimation. Once they meet the consultant they will come to know the required documents, what is the amount to be spend for their education and cost of living, and the amount to be shown to the embassy.
Career in abroad: generally students will not know what is the real life living abroad. But before going to study in abroad student should be aware of abroad education. So that student might get prepared before leaving the country. This awareness can only given by the consultant.
Jobs awareness in abroad: job awareness can be given by consultant .students think a good job is only when they work with good software companies. But consultant can give the good suggestion what kind of a job student can get. What is amount he earns per week. Students do not know the rules followed in aboard. This is an important section to be known by the student because they may not have similar rules as like in China. So first student should know the rules such as how many hours can they work etc. This complete information can only given by consultant.
Visa assistance: this is the main part for the student to study abroad. Because without visa entry clearance students are not allowed to enter in to the country. In this part students should be very careful with perfect documentation, this documentation part can only do perfectly when they had good experience in this field. Experience people nothing but a consultant. If the student is doing documentation he will have 99 % chance to get the visa. If the student goes on his own, he may not guarantee for his visa because the file is complete or incomplete a student will never know.
3. Provide a simulation interview and the CV writing skill training. When you apply a job, first you need to hand in your CV first. A good CV makes a important impression. This job might wanted by a million other eager people, so your application has to stand out from the crowd. The majority CVs are usually dull and boring, and people create them as historical documents, rather than as marketing tools. The training will teach you how to write CV in a right way and create your own personal way, cause your CV has about 7 seconds to make a visual impression. You can dramatically boost your chances of getting an interview by making your CV looks and " sounds " special. For example:
Use good paper
Design a personal logo
Fiddle with the layout or make it easy on the eye
Edit it ruthlessly (people always put in too much detail)
Highlight the bits that relate to the job you are going for
Put "who you are now" at the beginning of your CV
Leave education and qualifications for the end
The interview is what to happen next and it will be your judgement, which is fail or pass. So the simulation interview training will give you the practicing opportunity to experience yourself in the job interview, the teacher will play the role as the interview officer of the organization where you would apply your career to. Through the practice you will find out the lack of your interview skills and the teachers will help you to cover your shortage. This also provides you a chance to be yourself under this kind of pressure and use your self-disclosure to create empathy. With more experience you gain by each time of practicing training you would be more prepared and encouraged to your real job interview. This training is good for people who do not have enough self-confidence or who have different background of culture. For example: most Chinese students have this problem. When they are going to have an interview they would become really nervous and trying to prepare every answers of what they think the interviewer would like to question them. Knowing yourself what you want to be and where you want to go are the most important key, do not confuse yourself with too much answers because the answers and questions could be changeable at the same time by both of you and interviewer. The training would makes you to understand what matters is what you speak about something that you feel really strongly about. If you feel strongly about it you will sound enthusiastic, authentic, engaged and alive. These are what the most Chinese students need for their career, when they get the core meaning of how to well present themselves in front of other people that they could be very successful in all fields of the business forces.
4. Provide a teaching training programme to the students who are willing to stay in the teaching field. More and more students are interest with being a teacher. In this field, plenty of colleges and universities are offering variant teaching vacancies as the teaching source are needed. Such as developing countries, they need people with higher education to teach their young generation with the technical, science able skills to help their country growing wildly. So with this aims many of international students are going back their countries with the different vision and background of the studying after graduate the higher education abroad to make their country be stronger and more modernized in the not far future.
5. Cooperating with some job agencies. The job agency is the most popular source by offering all type of job vacancies from thousands organisations. The college will provide all the information of the students to the agency regularly. According by their data base they will easily find out what type of the employee that each organisation needs. And also in the other hand, the college will give the job vacancy list to students who enquire for job opportunities, it can help them save lots of time on researching for jobs. It is convenience for both side of students and organisations who are looking for a chance to work and who are looking for employee to work for. This will be the key recommendation to attract more students who can have more shortcuts for finding a job rather then wasting time in somewhere else to study in this college. This also will be the competition weapon in this financial recession.
6. Creating an education partnership with the colleges in Asian countries, such as China, India. This is the most strategic action we need to move on. Considering with how many Chinese students are coming to study in UK every year, we will offer them a convenient shortcut to have a fantastic education here in UK. And that will bring a big wealth to Britain - which grows like a cash cow, if students' cost of living (averaged at £8,000 a year) is taken into account, that the benefit can be imagined. Britain can persuade more Chinese students to come here to study, rather than to other Western countries. Getting the marketing strategy right is the toughest part, and the University of Birmingham is well practiced at it. "We've focused on building a partnership with China," says Andrea Edwards, director of international development. "We pulled back from attending recruitment exhibitions and focused our attention instead on developing undergraduate links. Our new approach is about developing new training programme and hosting Chinese delegations in an effort to build a more collaborative approach. We want a mutually beneficial relationship of equals."
7. Helping the students who have financial problems get student loan. Most colleges are not involved with students' financial disaster. This college will offer the student loan to the students who need the help to cover their living expenses during some of their studying period, especially in their last study year. For most international students, the tuition fee rates will be higher than the standard ones charged to UK students. Whether students pay the standard rate or the international rate depends on whether they are classed as what are called a 'home' student or an 'international' student. On top of tuition fees, there are of course accommodation costs and day-to-day living expenses to be accounted for. There may also be other costs which are particular to international students, such as:
International travel costs to get to the UK and to visit home
Visa application fee
EU and EEA students classed as 'home' students can in fact apply for some of the standard financial package which all UK students are entitled to. International students, however, can't usually apply for these grants and loans. With this in mind it's important for international students to assess whether they are in a financial position to study in the UK. It's also worth students investigating any financial support that may be available in their home country to help them study abroad. There are a limited amount of grants and scholarships which are aimed at international students. Obviously the competition for these awards is usually very stiff.
So the college provides with this loan to the students when they pass the assessment that can be easier to finish their whole studying journey and find a good job as soon as they can. To the both side of students and college, this would be a business investment. Saving students' time to graduate on time gives the returns on this investment. And it is one good reason why students should not take it as an expense but an investment.
8. One way to help fund study in the UK from abroad is by undertaking part-time work alongside study. However, it's important to know your working rights before starting any work. Students from European Union and EEA countries can work in the UK in the same way as home students. For other students, their ability to work depends on their visa. When any international student has received their visa, information about working restrictions should have been made clear. However, if there is any doubt it's always best to check with a college advisor first. Most universities and institutions now employ staff to exclusively provide information and assistance to international students. For international students whose visa does allow them to work, there are still usually restrictions so it's important to clarify exactly what these are before undertaking any work. Base on those points of students' visa restriction and part-time jobs are competitive, we would offer some part-time job to students on their holiday time. For example: the library have lots of books have not been referenced in the lab-system, all the employee are busy at the moment, this will be the chance to give those students who are looking for a part-time job on their holiday and they would be excited with having this chance.
9. The accommodation is such important for the oversea students studying in UK. Most students when first come to UK do not know where should go and stay, some other students even may have been here for a while still can not find the right ones for themselves. London is one of the most expensive cities for living in the world, consider with this basic need of students the college will cooperate with some local estate-agency in order to give the students a cheaper accommodation and safer living atmosphere. Also by a large number of students eating out all the time, we will help to find some food stores where can give our students the best discount to save the living expense for them. We will arrange the airport picking-up as well in order to save the students journey.
10. The college will provide a communicating opportunity by setting a question and answer board in the canteen. This would help the students from different culture background can easily learn and understand each other, also can exchange and share all the student information. With discuss all the information on their lunch-time, everyone can leave the opinion there. This will stimulate a greater studying inspiration in this college.
Basic on the implement of these strategic recommendations which I have given above, running a new college in this particular economy time like us, we have already been more focus on the employability our college would give to the students who are studying the higher education here.
Employability is seen as much wider than graduates securing graduate level employment on completion of their formal studies or providing careers advice to students. Employability spans issues such as:
Curriculum design, pedagogies and teaching styles, developing necessary personal skills and creating industry relevant content;
Developing the individual: Personal development planning; introducing creativity and enterprise, individuals taking control of their learning and future plans.
Engaging employers in meaningful contributions in the higher education curriculum.
Entrepreneurship and the development of the skills of "being enterprising", provides students with an attitude towards learning, which rewards and supports innovation, change and development. It is also about developing a "spirit of entrepreneurship". This is meant to provide not just economic benefits (meeting the needs of business) but also social benefits (meeting the needs of society)
The employability agenda has been addressed in different ways by different higher education institutions The UK has been developing solutions and initiatives in the area of employability and entrepreneurship and is currently consolidating activity. Universities and colleges are challenged with helping to develop the global citizen for the 21st century and partnership work in this area will benefit the development of both national and international models.