Did any of you read the recent article published on the BBC called "Record numbers of international students"? This is definitely worth a read.
From my perspective the article echoed a lot of the points we have been making on that topic of online learning for some time.
The Unesco Institute of Statistics recently published data showing that the number of overseas student is rising at an annual rate of 12%. Total figures for 2009 are expected to rise to 3.43 million from 2.96 million.
We have ourselves witnessed a very big increase in the number of overseas students enquiring about studying with us and are teaching a growing number of students from various countries.
While we have many students from Europe (from countries like Portugal, Italy and Spain for instance) coming to London to study in our classrooms here, students from countries further afield more often than not opt to study with us online.
This very much echoes what was written in the BBC article: “there are now more overseas students taking UK degrees in their own countries than there are overseas students coming to study in the UK”.
This shift makes perfect sense for people who would not only have to cope with all the additional costs associated with travelling and living in the UK, but also because obtaining student visas can be difficult. An with the UK government’s proposed restriction to students visas, I suspect many more students from countries like India will be looking at the online options available.
There is one big caveat though. Online courses, in order to be a success, need to be of very high quality and the tuition delivered mustn’t be compromised by the fact that it is delivered remotely.
This is something that we have worked tirelessly to deliver through our online mentored programs. We wanted all our students who enroll in this program to receive the same benefits that our classroom students get. That meant making sure that the same tutors who deliver our classroom courses also deliver the mentoring and feedback that our online students get. It also meant building an online environment where online students could communicate with their classmates and tutors in the same way as they would do here in a real classroom. Let’s face it, we all know that the day-to-day interactions you get with other students in a class is a great part of the overall experience of a course.
I doubt very much that all the online programs available out there deliver what we do – shame.
For us, quality is paramount, and we simply weren’t prepared to compromise on that just because the courses were delivered online.
That’s why we also provide the same level of recruitment help to our mentored students once they finish the course. After all, that’s why they take the courses in the first place: to either get their first job in CG, or secure a better one.
For those of you from overseas who are considering taking our courses, why not check out our case studies? You will see many overseas escapees there who have gone on to achieve great things in the industry.
I’ll leave you with one final point: at a time when UK university tuition fees are hardly off the news, it is good to see that the UK still ranks very high as a destination for overseas students. It is in fact, the second biggest destination for students from abroad.