Chelsea Samantha
3 years ago

77% growth in the number of English-taught programmes outside the Big Four study destinations


Almost one in five English-taught programmes are now offered outside of the Big Four study destinations (UK, US, Australia, and Canada), according to the first global overview published by British Council and Studyportals.
Eindhoven, Netherlands, 1 December 2021 – The British Council and Studyportals launched the first global report showcasing the growth of English-taught programmes. The report identified over 27,874 full degree study programmes taught in English outside the Big Four study destinations (UK, US, Australia and Canada), a growth of over 77% compared to January 2017.
This growth has significant implications for international student mobility and means that prospective students have access to more programmes in a wider range of destinations than ever before, in many cases with very competitive value-for-money.
Sara Pierson, Director Examinations at the British Council says:
“British Council’s work supports institutions around the world by developing and testing people’s English language ability – and by 2025 we anticipate we’ll be supporting 10% of the world’s English learners. This latest report demonstrates the ongoing importance of English as a medium of instruction – and prompts us all to consider the changes happening to the international education landscape and the impact they may have.”
Edwin van Rest, founder and CEO of Studyportals says:
“We knew from our growing partners and previous research we had conducted with ACA, EAIE and the IIE that the landscape of international education was changing. This global research shows just how quickly universities around the world are adapting to teaching in English and therefore offering students more diverse study options than ever before. We believe this will make global talent corridors more distributed and symmetrical – good news for students, for GDP and for a more equal and connected global society.”
The report investigates the growth across different dimensions, from geographical differences to growth over time, differences across study methods (online and on-campus), disciplines and even formats (part-time, full-time) and English level requirements.
Report highlights:
• Ranked and top-ranked universities are more likely to offer English-taught full degrees
• The vast majority of English-taught programmes are offered with the European Higher Education Area region (63.0%), and the Chinese region (12.2%)
• The Chinese region and Sub-Saharan Africa region are introducing English-taught programmes at a fast rate, doubling their number of programmes since January 2017
• Countries that stand out in terms of the number of English-taught programmes are the Netherlands, Germany, and China
• The fastest growth of programmes has been among disciplines like Environmental Studies & Earth Sciences, Arts, Design & Architecture, Humanities, and Education & Training
For more information, or to arrange interviews on the report:
Contact Studyportals – Cara Skikne | | +31 684847508
Contact the British Council – Stacie Bowers | | +44 7535803178
About Studyportals
Studyportals is the global study choice platform. We help students find and compare all their education options globally and make an informed choice. We help institutions to optimise their classroom from a quantity, quality and diversity perspective, on the basis of results. Over 50 million students annually from 220 countries and territories worldwide choose between 207,000+ programmes from over 3,700 universities in almost 117 countries, which allows us to help our clients with best practice from all over the world. Our mission is to empower the world to choose education.
About the British Council The British Council is the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 67 million people directly and 745 million people overall including online, and through broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.
The British Council is a proud co-owner of IELTS, the world’s most popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. More than 11,000 organisations around the world recognise IELTS and trust the accuracy of assessment across the four key English language skills.
About the report
The report examines the growth of English-taught full degree programmes and answers questions such as:
• What is the role of English in international education?
• How is the supply of English-taught programmes changing over time?
• Are there regional differences in the provision of English-taught programmes?
• How many higher education institutions are offering English-taught programmes across different regions and countries?
• Are ranked universities more likely to offer English-taught programmes than non-ranked ones?
• Are there city hubs globally where most English-taught programmes are concentrated?
• Is there an equal distribution of programmes across all disciplines, or are they skewed towards certain disciplines?
• Are more programmes taught in English offered at the undergraduate or postgraduate level?
• Which regions are more likely to offer programmes online taught in English?
• Are some regions offering more flexibility in terms of part-time study programmes taught in English?
• Are there differences in the level of English requirements across different destinations?

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