About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 4949-4958
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-695-3491-5
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain

PERSPECTIVES OF INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION AS A NATIONAL ACTIVITY

C. Tay

Chinese Culture University (TAIWAN)
In the past, education export was largely a national affair, if not an institutional affair. In recent years, trade in education is deemed an increasingly promising service export. Education is a billion dollar industry (Knight, 2002). However, the issue of education as an “export” has been largely absent from the debate on globalization because it was thought to be essentially a non-traded service. But this is not the case (Kurt Larsen, John P. Martin, et.al., 2002; United States International Trade Commission, 2011). Many OECD countries have explicitly or implicitly stated that they treat education exports as engines of national economic growth. And, indeed many of them have successfully seen growth in their education exports.
Education export is evolving fast to become a major service export industry in many countries and is becoming a crucial element in boosting OECD economies. International student mobility to OECD countries has doubled over the past 20 years. Between 1995 and 1999, the number of foreign students rose almost twice as fast as the total number of tertiary-level students in OECD countries (9% for the former as against 5% for the latter). Most international trade in higher education services takes place within the OECD area, which received 85% of the world’s international students (Larsen and Lancrin, 2002).

Many governments in the OECD area have already acknowledged education export as one of the biggest drivers in all modern economies. These governments have begun to explicitly and/or implicitly treat education exports as a precious “service trade commodity” that could be engines of national growth and export. Even though the U.S. currently receives the most number of international students worldwide, the U.S. government has historically treated education exports as more of an “institutional” activity, rather than a national exporting activity. The U.K. and Australia, the two other English-speaking and top exporters of education, have preemptively tapped into education as a service export industry over the years. These two nations have successfully pushed education exports into the top spots of their service exports sector.

The U.S. sees a promising future in the export of educational services in spite of the worldwide economic slowdown in recent years (United States International Trade Commission, 2011). A crucial element of winning the future is an increased focus on exports—and education is one of the most valuable exports for the U.S.(Sanchez, 2011). Douglass, et.al, (2011) state that higher education is the best export, not only because it is profitable and meets labor market and growth needs. Higher education also fulfills a diplomatic and cultural mission like no other form of trade. It diffuses the best of the U.S.’s values across the world, strengthens the U.S.’s image and international position and creates personal relationships which are ever so important in stabilizing the world’s global order.

This paper discusses how the U.S. may capture on making education ‘the major’ exporting service and build capacity in education exports. It also highlights some points of 'readied awareness' when taking this path, derived from experiences learnt from earlier education exporters and based upon historical statistical analysis. Finally, it provides some useful recommendations and directions for future growth in education exports.
@InProceedings{TAY2012PER,
author = {Tay, C.},
title = {PERSPECTIVES OF INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION AS A NATIONAL ACTIVITY},
series = {4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN12 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-695-3491-5},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {2-4 July, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {4949-4958}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Tay
TI - PERSPECTIVES OF INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION AS A NATIONAL ACTIVITY
SN - 978-84-695-3491-5/2340-1117
PY - 2012
Y1 - 2-4 July, 2012
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN12 Proceedings
SP - 4949
EP - 4958
ER -
C. Tay (2012) PERSPECTIVES OF INTERNATIONAL HIGHER EDUCATION AS A NATIONAL ACTIVITY, EDULEARN12 Proceedings, pp. 4949-4958.
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