• Wednesday, July 17, 2024
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English-taught degrees surge 22% globally from 2021, ‘Big four’ countries share declines

English-taught degrees surge 22% globally from 2021, ‘Big four’ countries share declines

English-taught degree programs (ETPs) beyond the “Big Four” English-speaking destinations offer options for students seeking alternatives to Australia, Canada, the US, or the UK, given policy settings or high visa refusal rates in those nations.

While 78% of students from non-English speaking countries still enroll in colleges and universities in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia, the Big Four’s share of the English-taught programmarket has declined by 4% since 2021.

According to the report “Mapping English-taught Programmes Worldwide” by the British Council and Studyportals, there are 40,786 ETPs offered by over 1,700 universities outside the traditional Anglophone destinations, an increase of 48%. Globally, there has been a 22% increase in on-campus English-taught bachelor’s and master’s programs since 2021, with much of this growth occurring in non-traditional destinations.

The report, prepared by Studyportals, the British Council, and the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), builds on a 2021 Studyportals report and examines the evolving landscape of ETPS, according to researcher Karl Baldacchino.

The European Higher Education Area commands the highest share of ETPs outside the Big Four, with 50%. Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands offer the most ETPs in Europe, while Türkiye, Italy, and Portugal have seen the fastest growth. East Asia offers the second-highest number of ETPs outside the Big Four, with 12%.

Studyportals highlights that East Asia’s availability of ETPs now surpasses that of China, marking a significant shift from the 2021 report. This shift emphasizes the growing internationalization of programs, particularly those offered by Malaysian institutions. Additionally, South Africa offers more ETPs than China.

As ETPs increase in alternative destinations, the Big Four’s market share has decreased from 82% in 2021 to 78% in 2024. Despite this decline, they still dominate the majority of ETP offerings.

Edwin van Rest, co-founder and CEO of Studyportals, highlighted the significant shift in global education with the rise of ETPs outside traditional anglophone destinations. He notes that as universities worldwide adopt English as a medium of instruction, traditional student origin countries are becoming more attractive study destinations.

This expansion offers students more competitive and affordable opportunities and increases competition for established institutions amid stricter entry requirements and visa uncertainties.

Policy changes in Australia, Canada, and the UK, making it harder for students to obtain visas, further enhance the appeal of alternative destinations for ETPs. Studyportals elaborates that this trend broadens the array of academic programs available to prospective students globally.

The highest growth rate for ETPs from 2019 to 2024 is in Computer Science & IT (+63%), which includes AI, Machine Learning, Software Engineering, and Data Analytics. Natural Sciences & Mathematics and Agriculture & Forestry also saw significant growth (+62%). Other notable increases include Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences (+58%), Humanities (+58%), Medicine & Health (+57%), Engineering & Technology (+54%), and Education & Training (+50%).