Monday, January 15, 2007


Al llegar a esta Universidad nos llamó la atención la gran cantidad de estudiantes asiáticos que participaban de las actividades extracurriculares preparadas para ellos. Todos bailaban, cantaban al son de una canción en inglés.

Ésto me trajo a la memoria el siguiente texto: Asian Students flocking to Australia

Australia is growing in popularity among Asian students, while the UK and the US are losing ground as the place to study for a degree, claims an international survey.

Three quarters of Asian students polled in Australia said it was their first choice, compared to less than half when the same survey was carried out by JWT Education in 2000.

The UK and American parts of the survey, covering students from the main higher education markets in Asia, have yet to be carried out, but JWT partner Allison Doorbar expects them to show that the UK is no longer the preferred destination it was, despite still being seen as offering the best education in the world.

She said: "Australian universities have done a really good job of promoting Australia as well as their own universities."

Australia was seen as good value for money and was attracting the more price-sensitive students, said Ms Doorbar.

Australia's overseas student enrolments have doubled since 2000 to 200,000 at a time when they have declined in the US and the UK's share of the global market is declining.

Reflecting this increase, Australia's education exports rose 17.8% last year and were valued at more than $5bn for the first nine months of 2004.

Ms Doorbar said that the London bombings and the government's decision to raise student visa charges and abolish appeals did not yet appear to be affecting student attitudes in Asia.

But she believed this effect was seen in the US following the terrorist attacks on September 11 and a clampdown on foreign students, which made them feel unwelcome. As a result, applications to American universities declined. She said this could happen in the UK and if students found it hard to get visas they would question whether the country really wanted them.

Another factor in Australia's growing popularity was the wish of some members of the growing Asian middle class to settle in the country after studying there, she said.

Her report, published last week, said: "The relative costs of studying in Australia, as opposed to other destinations, continue to be a leading reason students choose to study in Australia (34% said they selected Australia because they thought living expenses were relatively less expensive and 22% made their decision because tuition fees were cheaper).

"Australia is perceived by international students studying here to offer the third highest standard of education behind the UK and the USA, but ahead of other destinations like Canada, NZ [New Zealand] and Germany."

Ms Doorbar added that despite the emergence of transnational education programmes, 81% of students did not consider undertaking a foreign degree in their home country. "Perhaps the concern that these programmes are going to diminish the number of foreign students is a bit premature," she commented.

Donald MacLeodMonday October 17, 2005 Guardian Unlimited


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