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Increasing Global Access to Online Business Programs: A Look at the UK Market

By Chris Williams
UK Higher Ed Capitalizes on International Learner Opportunity

Internationalization is an increasingly important strategic priority for many institutions worldwide. Keypath extensively researches and monitors international online education trends and works with our university partners in the U.S., U.K., Canada and Australia to develop strategies to extend the reach of their online education degree programs. In this article, we explore how internationalization is impacting the U.K.’s higher education landscape.

 A rise in the number of U.K. universities offering online degrees over the past five years has also seen a change in the landscape as numbers from North America, Asia and Africa surge.

Analysis of the latest data from the Higher Education Statistical Authority (HESA)[1] reveals the extent of these increases. Since 2011 the numbers of American students studying at U.K. universities entirely via online degrees has increased by 26%, Canadian numbers have risen 41% and Australian and South African numbers have soared a staggering 125% and 135% respectively.

Rajay Naik, Europe CEO at Keypath Education, comments: “It’s clear we are experiencing a global boom in the number of students studying online degrees, and it is fantastic that so many are choosing UK institutions for distance learning. But it is also clear that we are in a very competitive race to attract the world’s best and brightest students to study with British universities.”

Tech Revolution in Online Learning in Emerging Markets

The growth in online degrees is being powered by greater digital connectivity in emerging markets such as Nigeria and Malaysia, as well as a demand for flexible working and learning in developed economies like the U.S., Hong Kong and Singapore. New digital offerings increasingly available via U.K. universities combine engaging study with the U.K. higher education sector’s world-class reputation for quality teaching and research. 

The top 5 locations for study at U.K. institutions where its residents undertook online degrees in 2015/16 are:

  • Singapore -  12,271
  • Hong Kong - 6,583
  • Nigeria - 5,252
  • Malaysia - 4,576
  • United States – 4,454

Whilst Singapore and Hong Kong have continuously occupied the top two spots in the rankings, Nigeria has experienced a steady 17% increase in the number of enrolled with UK universities and now finds itself in third position.

Keypath Education Works with Leading UK Universities to Capitalize on Global Learning Opportunities via Online Degrees

With the growing global demand for online degrees, Keypath Education supports universities with a unique online program management (OPM) service – funding, marketing, designing and supporting online degree programs on behalf of the university. Aston University’s triple accredited business school is the latest institution to expand its online degree offering[2] by partnering with Keypath. Professor Alec Cameron, Vice Chancellor of Aston University, comments, “We live in an increasingly global and technology-driven world where online degrees are a natural option for students and universities alike. Our partnership with Keypath has been hugely important in ensuring that we deliver high-quality course materials and an exceptional student experience. We have also been able to attract a diverse and impressive student body who would not have been able to benefit from Aston’s world-class teaching and learning. Over the years to come we are looking forward to attracting thousands of students onto these programmes and enabling students in ever every corner of the globe to have access to the very best of UK higher education without having to travel or leave their home town.” Read more about the partnership here.

For more information about Keypath and our online program management services, please contact Chris Williams, director of marketing, chris.williams@keypathedu.com.

 

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