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New team to help UK exploit international opportunities in education exports

A new team dedicated to capitalising on the growth of demand for UK education from abroad is being established, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock…

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A new team dedicated to capitalising on the growth of demand for UK education from abroad is being established, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock announced today.

Education UK will specifically target fast-growing markets such as India and the Middle East. The UK has an excellent reputation for education internationally, but isn’t currently exploiting this to the full.

The UK’s education sector has the potential to make a significant contribution to growth; education exports are currently worth more than £14bn annually. By 2020 this could rise to £21.5 billion, and to £27 billion by 2025.

Speaking on a visit to India to promote vocational education, Skills Minister Matthew Hancock said:

It is essential that we realise the potential of the largely untapped resource that is our education exports. There is a fast-growing demand for high-quality education, and we are lucky to have a dynamic and entrepreneurial sector that is well placed to contribute.

We are in a global race and other countries are presenting attractive and co-ordinated offers, so Education UK is a vital step in bringing together the UK sector to drive its international engagement, particularly on high-value opportunities.

Education UK will work on:

  • Researching, identifying and helping to develop trading opportunities for UK exports
  • Supporting UK providers to respond effectively to targeted international opportunities, by fostering the development of UK consortia for specific opportunities and helping them to prepare and promote bids
  • Ensuring large-scale complex commercial opportunities, which the UK is not currently well-equipped to respond to, are effectively pursued so UK organisations win the business.

The new unit will have 10 people, and as a joint BIS/UKTI initiative will be based at 1 Victoria Street in London.

Notes to editors:

  1. Increasing the UK’s education exports is a major strand in the Education Sector Industrial Strategy due to be published in early 2013.
  2. Education UK will be a jointly-funded UKTI/BIS unit and we will recruit a new Managing Director with private sector experience on a three year fixed-term contract.
  3. The Growth and Infrastructure Bill sets out a comprehensive series of reforms aimed at supporting businesses, developers, and first time buyers by slashing red tape that delays or discourages business investment, development or job creation.
  4. The government’s economic policy objective is to achieve ‘strong, sustainable and balanced growth that is more evenly shared across the country and between industries’. It set four ambitions in the ‘Plan for Growth’ (PDF 1.7MB), published at Budget 2011:
    • To create the most competitive tax system in the G20
    • To make the UK the best place in Europe to start, finance and grow a business
    • To encourage investment and exports as a route to a more balanced economy
    • To create a more educated workforce that is the most flexible in Europe.
  5. Work is underway across government to achieve these ambitions, including progress on more than 250 measures as part of the Growth Review. Developing an Industrial Strategy gives new impetus to this work by providing businesses, investors and the public with more clarity about the long-term direction in which the government wants the economy to travel.
Published 21 January 2013