New gateway page to our information bases and new features for our subscriber members go live 18 March


The new International Qualifications Hub page, the new gateway page to the UK NARIC International Qualifications information bases for subscriber members, goes live on 18 March.

Subscriber members will see the new Hub when they log in to access the IQ information bases. The IQ Hub gives a clearer navigation structure and makes it easier to find the different information bases, and switch between them.

A new feature for subscriber members is the Preferences button at the top right of the Hub page. This allows you to toggle on/off the photographs on the country file pages, and the world map on the country/region selector list. This is a useful feature for users who want less scrolling to access the textual information or the selector lists.

You can save your image preferences so that they are maintained from session to session.  You can change your image preferences at any time.

The Hub also offers the new feature of UK NARIC News Alerts – on the right hand side of the Hub page. This gives you the very latest updates and revisions to the information bases. Clicking through to the Latest Updates will give you all recent updates and revisions in full.

Our third new feature on the Hub is the World News Feed – below the UK NARIC News Alerts. This is your early warning service, featuring media reports and announcements of changes – new, very recent or pending – in education systems or qualifications around the world. Clicking through the links takes you to the reports in full – useful early information and awareness on changes coming through. Clicking on News Feed Updates will give you all the World News Feed stories.


Oil price drop fallout could hit UK universities


crane-494257_1280In recent years, UK universities have been able to rely upon a generously funded recruitment well – students backed by government-funded scholarships in oil producing countries, underwritten by 100 dollar a barrel revenues. But the oil price collapse to 60 dollars a barrel may mean this is a stream that is set to run dry. HEFCE data published this week shows that in 2013, Iraq rose to become the third largest contributing country for postgraduate research students in the UK, with 610 entrants, almost double the 2012 intake. Libya rose by 37 per cent to 245 entrants. Increases in government sponsorships account for most of the growth. Deutsche Bank and IMF figures quoted by the BBC show Libya requiring an oil price of 184 dollars a barrel to balance their national budget. Iraq requires 101 dollars a barrel. An oil price recovery to 100 dollar a barrel levels is unlikely inside 5 years, say analysts, with US shale oil producers pumping 4 million barrels a day into the market, and Saudi Arabia unwilling to support cuts in Middle East production. Many consequences are emerging from the oil price drop. It is possible that some of the effects could extend to UK HE. — UK NARIC will be presenting data and analysis on new and alternative prospective markets for student recruitment at our Emerging International Markets seminar event in London on March 13.


Are Africa and Middle East the new areas of growth for UK?


Latest figures from UK NARIC (2011 vs. 2010) highlight that there has been a reduction in the usage of service related to Southern Asia , while there has been an increase for Africa and the Middle East.

Using data on page views of UK NARIC online databases, enquiries from members and individual assessments, a noticeable drop in numbers from South Asian countries has been identified.  This region has seen a drop in all three areas while Africa and the Middle East have experienced increases.

Other significant changes include a large increase in the proportion of individual assessments from the EU, while the other regions have remained steady.

“These are really interesting statistics,” commented Tim Buttress, Deputy Director, Policy and Communication, “we’re looking to illustrate in more depth how our customers are using our products and we can use this information to see where any changes are occurring.  We’ve seen a small overall reduction in the number of individuals using our service, but that is to be expected with the immigration changes.  On the other hand, our databases are being used more heavily and members are also submitting more enquiries.”

“Southern Asia has traditionally been a central market for us and we still receive a lot of enquiries from this region, but in 2011 we did notice a slight downturn in numbers.  Africa and the Middle East exhibited steady growth across all areas of our service, while on the individual assessment side applications from the EU grew significantly, in fact they are now comparable with the number we receive from Southern Asia.”

If you would like more information about the information included in this blog, please get in touch!

 

Tim Buttress, March 2012


Spotlight: Indonesia


Based upon data from usage of the UK NARIC service, we present a new set of articles, designed to provide a brief perspective of emerging recruitment markets for education providers.

As the world’s fourth most populous nation consisting of approximately 17,500 islands, Indonesia is one of the countries showing a marked increase in the number of views within the International Comparisons database.

During 2011, Indonesia received 6692 views; an increase of 869, 15% higher than the previous year. These figures continue a trend on the 2010 figures, which witnessed a 17% growth from 2009.

International Comparisons usage data contributes towards UK NARIC’s market information on non-traditional countries of interest. There are a number of possible reasons behind the growth of interest in Indonesia, including:

Some Key Market Facts:

Key Educational Development:

In terms of educational developments, implementation of the Indonesian National Qualifications Framework, locally known as the KKNI (Kerangka Kualifikasi Nasional Indonesia) is underway. Introduced in 2011, the framework benchmarks qualifications to nine levels: Bachelors, Master’s and Doctorates placed at levels six, eight and nine respectively. The primary aim of the development is to increase transparency, facilitate mobility and enhance understanding of the Indonesian education system in years to come. For more information, see http://www.mext.go.jp/component/b_menu/houdou/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2011/10/07/1311780_7.pdf.

Interesting Fact:

28% of the population is under 15 years old. (Global Health Facts.org)