IIE Network - Fall 2013 - (Page 11)

FEATURE: MEGATRENDS Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education By Elizabeth Shepherd THE FUTURE IS difficult to predict with any degree of certainty, but forecasting mechanisms are popular across many sectors, international education being one. Retaining confidence in your chosen measurement and conviction that your hypothesis will be airtight as the unknown unfolds is the greatest challenge. Forecasting models that we have developed in the past have been proven wrong, in some cases very wrong, when things happen that are outside the parameters of those defined criteria. Our original models looked at how economics and demographics come together to impact international higher education’s future growth. Yet as the natural unpredictability of human interaction arose, when mathematics could not account for all possibilities, these models proved they were not airtight. The Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies describes megatrends as great forces in societal development that will affect all areas of general human growth and progress in years to come. These long term driving forces, or megatrends, have great importance now and there is confidence they will have great importance in the future. Apply this conceptual strategy of future planning to the world’s international education industry and what megatrends can be identified here? Since our first attempts at developing an international higher education forecasting model, we have been refining the list of core drivers that we believe will have a profound effect on the direction and growth of international higher education in the future. Although not an exhaustive or complete list, we have identified seven megatrends. 1. Demographic Shifts The world population’s current rate of aging is unprecedented throughout human history1 to date. Examples from developed economies allow us to understand more immediately the consequences of people growing older and living longer and the profound effect this will have on societal development. Converse to the increasing age of the world’s population is the growth in emerging and developing economies, particularly in India, the Middle East and North Africa, of younger populations. Add to this the increasing and rapid urbanization of many global regions from populations seeking better access to health care and education opportunities, and we add a further layer of complexity to the shifts in global demographics that are predicted to impact demand for and access to education for the changing needs of the world’s changing population. 3. Changes to Political Conditions Introduction of new policies and legislation, political reform agendas and increasing political tensions are regular and recurring across many nations’ political systems and can have a profound effect on national and international education provision. Most remarkable are changes to immigration policy, as seen in changes made to student visa criteria in the UK and Australia in 2010-2012. New legislation, for example the Foreign Education Providers bill in India, if passed will create unprecedented opportunities for providers of transnational education in the soon to be most populous country. The political reform seen most recently in Myanmar has prompted the government there to seek assistance from global partners to help them reform their higher education system. This again provides huge opportunity for growth and change, influence and restructure in a region that will only increase in importance in the future. Rising political tensions, recently for example between China and Japan and witnessed internally in Turkey, have and perhaps will cause shifts in regular patterns of student flows, reportedly to be potentially reducing and increasing student mobility in each case respectively. 2. Economic Dynamics Reports from economic analysts in the second quarter of 2013 suggest that the global economy is now slowly healing, led by the strengthening of the U.S. job market and China’s recovery from its earlier slowdown in GDP growth. The previously strong BRIC economies that gained so much attention since the height of their growth in 2010 have since slowed too, shifting the focus to CIVETS (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa), a group of emerging economies that are forecast to become increasingly important into 2014 and beyond. As these consumer markets grow, will the demand for education services for the newly wealthy increase? 4. Growth in Education Provision As emerging economies develop, greater emphasis is placed upon education to aid progress, empowering individuals and acting as a catalyst for further economic stability. China represents one of the greatest examples of national education expansion that the world has ever seen. Now with over three hundred universities, China has grown its internal education provision such that in 2012 China hosted 328,000 international students from all over the world. The top ten countries that international students came from to China were: South Korea, the United States, Japan, Thailand, Russia, Indonesia, Vietnam, India, Pakistan and Kazakhstan. To the world’s international host destination The Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies describes megatrends as great forces in societal development that will affect all areas of general human growth and progress in years to come. 11

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Network - Fall 2013

A Message from Allan E. Goodman
Megatrends: Predicting the Future of International Education
Considering Study Abroad’s Past to Prepare for its Future
The Promise of International Education: Building a More Just and Elevated Civil Society
Global Research and Commercialization: An Under-the-Radar Next Big Thing
Clustering Innovation and Industry: New Opportunities for Europe
Connecting the Dots: Integrating Engagement with International Stakeholders
The Rise of Real-time, Online International Recruitment
Hold on to Your Hats, MOOCs... Here Come the TOQUES!
The Global Youth Engagement Platform: A Peace Corps for the 21st Century
Growing Globally Competent Students to Achieve True Internationalization
Beyond Ourselves: Embracing Our Global Responsibilities
India: Expansion, Equity, Excellence
The Growing World of Collaborative Internationalization: Taking Partnerships to the Next Level
From Multi-national Universities to Education Hubs to Edu-glomerates?
Advertisers Index
Beyond the Numbers: The Who, How and What of Global Student Mobility

IIE Network - Fall 2013