There is a superb article from Newley Purnell in the Chronicle of Higher Education this week noting the aggressive and progressive approach of Asian Universities in their fund raising. I follow the development of higher education in Asia closely – last year Asian Correspondent ran advertising campaigns with over 65 universities in the US, Asia, the UK and Australia with schools as diverse as Queensland University (Australia), Rutgers (United States) and Yonsei (South Korea).
Newley writes blogs at Siam Voices in Asian Correspondent but his insight into the huge amount of funding heading into new Asian education was a good one…local business man KC Chew has had a lot of success.
“In 2003 Mr. Chew, known as K.C., opened the first fund-raising office for the National University of Singapore. In just five years, the university raked in more than $1-billion from philanthropists and a government program that matched donations to universities. This was four times the amount raised in the 12 previous years.”
“Mr. Chew joined Nanyang Technological University in 2009 to bolster its efforts to raise private funds. The institution this month received roughly $117-million from the Lee Foundation, which was established by a Singaporean businessman. The private donation is reportedly the largest ever to a Singapore university.”
Both the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University have been liberated recently form government control creating further competition for the pursuit of international students.
So what is happening in the rest of the world affecting Asian students?
The international student scene in Asia is changing rapidly. International students is the third largest industry to Australia (more important than steel in financial terms) but as recently reported in Asian Correspondent by the Phillip Charlton (Head of the HTA) the federal government has failed to reform the local immigration laws to support sensible intake.
Education standards among Universities from Hong Kong through to Malaysia and Indonesia have increased dramatically in line with investment. India and China continue to invest heavily in education. Graduates in China are struggling to find work.
The United Kingdom (traditionally the third most popular destination for Asian students) has raised University fees. Recent student riots and negative PR have not made the plight of UK Recruitment Officers any easier. UK schools can expect a drop in numbers from Asia unless they market aggressively. Hybrid is working with a number of leading universities in Great Britain over the next two quarters to promote their very strong curriculum to Asian readers in the 18-30 YO demographic. We will be producing a comprehensive list of the Top 25 schools for Asian students based on cultural empathy, prestige and salaries salary / employment opportunity after graduation.
Universities in the US and Asian could be the big winners from the difficulties facing recruitment officers in Australia and the UK. But sometimes, difficulty leads to focus, sharper marketing and opportunity. Students in Asia spend up to 25% of their day online…if International departments are not trying to speak to them the way they want to be spoken to then they are not in the race.
Interesting fact: one runaway success of international recruitment (if not education standards) in recent years has been the University of Phoenix, owned by the Apollo Group. At the height of the BP oil spill media campaign last year BP spent $3.59 million (green dollars) in online advertising with Google. In the same month, Apollo spent almost double, $6.67 million, on promoting the University of Phoenix?!
Higher Education is big, big business and the online marketing is defining the winners.