The trends highlighted by UK NARIC last year seem to be continuing.
The latest figures from UK NARIC and UK NCP confirm that the trend for increased mobility of citizens from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece and that the UK is experiencing an increase in the number of people expressing an interest in coming to the UK to work, practice or study.
|UK NARIC Assessments|
|Country||2009 assmts||2009 rank||2010 assmts||2010 rank||2011 assmts||2011 rank||2012 assmts||2012 rank|
|UK NCP Enquiries|
|Country||2009 enqs||% of total||2010 enqs||% of total||2011 enqs||% of total||2012 enqs||% of total|
Figures for 2009 for UK NCP are unavailable.
The data from UK NARIC and UK NCP show that there have been significant increases in assessments and enquiries:
|Country||UK NARIC% change2009 – 12||UK NCP% change2010 – 12|
|Greece||+ 158%||+ 112%|
|Italy||+ 45%||+ 95%|
|Portugal||+ 72%||+ 120%|
|Spain||+ 141%||+ 300%|
The increases experienced by these countries far outstrips the performance of any other countries in the region.
Based on figures from 2009, 2010 and 2011 we have been able to model the demand for UK NARIC assessments in 2013. The figures below are based on real application figures for the first quarter of 2013:
|UK NARIC Assessments|
|Country||Jan 2013||Feb 2013||Mar 2013||Total||2013 Total Projected||2013 Projected v 2012 Real|
Data from UK NARIC and UK NCP shows that there has been a considerable increase in the number of assessments and enquiries from Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain. While this data does not definitely mean that the individuals submitting these requests do actually come to the UK to work, study or practice, there is a definite link between them.
The increases from Spain and Greece have been particularly noticeable and these may well be linked to the economic difficulties that these countries have been experiencing.
Whatever the reason, it does mean that employers, universities, colleges and professional bodies have a wider pool of highly qualified and highly talented individuals available to choose from.
Tim Buttress, June 2013
The 2009 figures from UNESCO showed that there were 3.3 million outwardly mobile students across the world.
The regions with the largest number of mobile students are East Asia and the Pacific, North America and Western Europe, while the regions with the lowest number of mobile students are Latin America and the Caribbean, the Arab States and Sub-Saharan Africa. For each of these six regions, North America and Western Europe are the top destinations. Taking a closer look at the UNESCO figures for English speaking African countries, the UK is second most popular destination; South Africa being the first.
In terms of UK NARIC assessments, the region as a whole also accounts for around 10% of the total number undertaken every year. The number of assessments we have undertaken for applicants from these countries (plus the overall ranking) over the past four years highlights some interesting points:
The total number of assessments has fallen by nearly 30% over the past four years (5319 in 2008 and 3757 in 2011). In terms of individual assessments, both Nigeria and South Africa have been in the top ten for the whole period. However, whilst numbers from Nigeria have held relatively steady, those from South Africa have declined by nearly 50% in these four years.
It is nonetheless still the case that these two countries account for around 71% of all applications made from this region.
Qualification level of migrants
The table below shows the breakdown of the level of South African and Nigerian qualifications submitted during 2011:
|Below Level 3 on the UK Qualifications Framework (QCF)||Senior School Certificate, The West African Senior School Certificate, Nigeria Certificate of Education, Advanced Certificate in Secretarial Studies||34%||N2 Engineering Studies, N3 Certificate in Engineering Drawing, National Certificate : Business Management||38%|
|A level and Sub-Degree Equivalents (QCF Levels 3, 4 and 5)||Registered Nurse, Diploma in Computer Education, Higher National Diploma in Electrical Electronics||17%||National Certificate N5 in Business Management, National Diploma in Industrial Engineering||14%|
|British Bachelor level||Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) (1990)||42%||Bachelor of Arts, Baccalaureus Legum||40%|
|Postgraduate||Postgraduate Diploma in Education, Master of Science in Mathematics, Doctor of Philosophy||8%||Post Graduate Certificate in Education, Bachelor of Veterinary Science, Master of Education, Philosophiae Doctor (Chemistry)||7%|
The spread of qualifications from these countries is very interesting; nearly half are above Bachelor level, but a considerable proportion are below Level 3 on the UK QCF, in contrast to the overall average.
Tim Buttress, February 2013
Turkey is situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Bordered by eight countries, Turkey is a major regional power and is becoming increasingly integrated with the West through its membership of NATO, the Council of Europe and the G-20.
Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership: it began full membership negotiations with the European Union in 2005, having been an associate member of the European Economic Community since 1963 and having joined the EU Customs Union in 1995.
Closer ties with the EU, which may or may not lead to membership, are driving educational redevelopment in many forms, including a qualification structure, professional qualification recognition and VET reform. Turkey has also been heavily involved with the Lifelong Learning Programme, and it has been estimated that, between 2007-13, almost 250,000 Turks will have benefitted from EU education and training programmes.
However, it still retains close ties with the Middle East, the Turkic States of Central Asia and African countries. The population is roughly 80 million, with a relatively young age profile: 26.6% are under 15 years old (as a comparison, 18% of the UK population is below 15).
In the last decade, Turkey has enjoyed robust economic growth, per capita GDP rising more than fourfold (in 2011, for instance, the growth figure stood at 8.8%). At the time of writing, Turkey is the world’s 16th and Europe’s 6th biggest economy.
UK NARIC data
Turkey has been one of the most popular country files on the International Comparisons database in recent years. In 2011, Turkey received 9,921 views. This figure represents a 3.2% fall on the 2010 figure (10,240), but is an increase on 2009 (9,778).
“The figures for Turkey are intriguing. We see a lot of traffic to the relevant pages on International Comparisons and we get a lot of individuals coming to us with Turkish qualifications; but there aren’t that many applications coming through UCAS. The most recent figures show that there were only 450 applications and the country doesn’t feature in their top 50 countries.” commented Tim Buttress, Deputy Director Policy and Communications at UK NARIC.
Visa data may demonstrate why. According to the UED (Association of International Education Counsellors, in Turkey), there are now more than 55,000 Turkish nationals studying abroad, with 55% of these relating to language courses. English language courses in the UK have always been particularly popular (and likewise constitute the bulk of visa applications), although recent visa restrictions and costs have led to an increase in interest in other study destinations such as Malta.
Traditionally at higher education level, the most popular destination is the USA. According to UNESCO, Germany, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and the UK make up the rest of the top five study destinations.
Higher Education in Turkey
The higher education sector is currently experiencing considerable expansion. There are now roughly 170 universities, about 75 of which are run by private foundations. In terms of student numbers, there are now more than 2 million higher education students, of which more than 1 million are in undergraduate programmes and ½ million are in higher vocational schools. Only 9% of students are enrolled at the private, foundation universities, indicating the increased specialisation of these institutions.
An increasing global view and focus on quality assurance within higher education is beginning to pay dividends too: in terms of reputation, Middle East Technical University featured in the top 100 ranked universities in the 2012 THE study.
Nonetheless, this provision does not meet domestic demand for education and helps to explain the high numbers of students seeking to travel abroad to study each year. In 2009, for instance, 1.65 million university applications were made, but places for only 330,000 (20%) were available.
Turkey as an International Student Destination
Turkey is itself fast becoming an established destination country for international students. Statistics from the ÖSYM (Student Selection and Placement Center) show that there were 16,000 international students at Turkish universities in 2005-06 and that the number had increased to almost 27,000 by the 2010-11 academic year.
The admission of more foreign students has been stimulated by a governmental drive to play a greater role in the Islamic world, with offers of low tuition fees and generous scholarships. Additionally, in 2010, TUPA (Turkish Universities Promotion Agency) was formed to promote Turkish universities across the world and to attract international students. The Foreign Economic Relations Board’s (DEK) Business Education Council aims to increase the number of international students to 100,000 by 2015.
|Other language(s)||Kurdish and other minority languages|
|Population (world ranking)||17 (Jan-12)|
|GDP (purchasing power parity)||$ 1,053,000,000,000 (Jan-11)|
|GDP (per capita world ranking)||107 (Jan-11)|
|Compulsory education||Eight years, covering primary and basic education (ages 6 to 14). However, see Education Reforms below.|
|Academic year||School begins in late September and extends through to early June, with some variations between urban and rural areas. Universities usually organise the academic year into two semesters, usually between October – January and between March – July.|
|Education laws||New “4+4+4” Bill, proposing an extension of compulsory school education to 12 years and a reintroduction of more progression pathways at ‘middle school’ level – which has proved controversial as it will re-open progression at age 10 into imam hatip (religious-oriented) middle schools.|
|Total (foreign students)||47,275 (2009)|
|Percentage of world total||1.4% (2009)|
|Top Destinations||USA (12,612), Australia (7,648), France (5,803), Russian Fed. (3,518), Japan (2,895) – 2009|
|UK NARIC Data|
|Number of Member Enquiries 2011||73|
|Member Enquiries 2011 rank||48th|
|Number of Individual Assessments 2011||237|
|Individual Assessments 2011 rank||32nd|
|Number of database page views 2011||9,921|
|Database page views 2011 rank||24th|
|Number of database page views 2010||10,240|
|Database page views 2010 rank||25th|
Please note that since this article has been published immigration guidance has changed. Please see our post UK NARIC’s Visas and Nationality Service launches on 6 April which contains more up-to-date information.
Since the introduction of the UK NARIC blog in November 2011, the most popular article we have written is ‘How a UK NARIC Statement of Comparability can help’ . Following on from the popularity of the article, here at UK NARIC we thought it a good idea to expand on the points made and further explain what a Statement of Comparability is, what is can do, how it can help; and perhaps equally importantly, what it is not and cannot do.
What is a Statement of Comparability?
Let’s start at the beginning – the purpose of the Statement of Comparability. The idea is that an individual from overseas comes (or is interested in coming) to the UK to study, gain employment or migrate. In order to do this, they need to prove to the admitting institution / potential employer / UK Border Agency* that they have a certain level of education or expertise. However, understanding the level of the qualifications the individual holds and what they can bring to the table is often the first stumbling block: here at UK NARIC, we can provide an assessment and compare the overseas award to a suitable and fair level within the UK national qualification framework. This will then allow the admitting institution / potential employer / UK Border Agency to understand, in more familiar terms, how the award compares to a UK level of education. The document we provide that contains this comparability, together with details of the awarding body, year of completion and title of award, is the Statement of Comparability.
Is UK NARIC’s decision final?
The comparability itself is merely our expert opinion derived from our considerable knowledge and experience which has been developed in close co-operation with universities in the UK as well as other NARICs and relevant authorities. It is not, as is often mistaken, a legally binding decision. A Statement provides details of the professional rights the qualification confers in the country of origin and forms the first stage in a two-stage process of professional recognition. Professional recognition in the UK is conducted by competent authorities such as the Teaching Agency and the Engineering Council.
Can UK NARIC provide a translation?
Usually, in order for UK NARIC to provide a Statement of Comparability, we request both the original language documents as well as certified translations. However, for certain languages, we can offer our Translation Waiver Service (TWS). The purpose of this service is to allow individuals to send solely the original language documents, thus removing the additional time and expense of certified translations. The full list of languages that are covered under the TWS can be found on the UK NARIC website. It is really important to clarify that the TWS is NOT a translation service – the idea is purely to save individuals time and money by allowing them to send their awards in the original language only.
Does the Statement of Comparability expire?
Another question we are regularly asked is whether the Statement of Comparability has an expiry date. The answer to this is no – it does not! However, as our information is reviewed on a rolling basis, it is possible that an assessment may change over time: new information or evidence may come to light that means we have to review a certain award or even an entire education system. The assessments provided are as accurate as possible, but are based on data available at the time of assessment only.
*Please check the Home Office website to ensure that you have the most up-to-date information.
Further to the Application Trends from Western Europe, there are some interesting statistics which highlight the same points from the membership enquiries we receive.
Universities and Colleges make up over 66% of UK NARIC’s membership. Whilst the number of enquiries UK NARIC receives from members is significantly lower, it does give a stronger indication of the spread of applications being received. The following two tables show how enquiries from Western Europe have changed over the past three years:
|Country||2008 assmts||2008 rank||2009 assmts||2009 rank||2010 assmts||2010 rank||2011 assmts||2011 rank|
|W. Europe Total||2,576||2,859||+ 11%|
2008 Figures are not currently available.
The membership enquiry and individual application figures from UK NARIC support reports that the economic troubles in certain countries within the Euro-zone mean that well qualified individuals are increasingly coming to the UK to work and / or study.
Those wishing to come to the UK to work, study or practice might find the following pages detailing how UK NARIC can help in Spanish, Italian, French, German, Romanian, Polish, Czech, Russian and Turkish useful. An English version of the page is also available.
Tim Buttress, August 2012 (updated June 2013)
The increasing mobility of the European workforce in recent years can be noticed through an increase in the number of individuals applying to UK NARIC from Western Europe. In 2008, the region accounted for 8.5% of applications; in 2011, the figure had risen to 13.5%. The total number of applications from the region exceeded 5,000, similar to the total from India or Pakistan.
The number of assessments we have undertaken for applicants from these countries (plus the overall ranking) over the past four years highlights some interesting points:
In 2009, UK NARIC began providing a comparable academic level for some UK professional qualifications, in response to the number of these awards being sent through.
It has been reported that the financial troubles besetting certain European economies have led increasing numbers of highly qualified individuals to seek employment outside of their own countries. These figures appear to confirm this trend. Taking a closer look at the number of individuals applying for assessments from those countries that have been hardest hit by the economic downturn better highlights the increases:
|W. Europe Total||3,647||5,050||+ 38%|
Only Portugal shows a decline while Greece, Ireland, Italy and Spain show significant increases. By contrast, applications from other major European countries such as France, Germany and Netherlands have remained steady or declined slightly.
Qualification level of migrants
Spain, Italy and Ireland are significant source countries, all of them within the top 25 in the County League table. They have all seen a significant rise in the number of applications they generate. A breakdown of the level of qualifications submitted from these countries during 2011 is shown below:
|Spain (766)||Italy (647)||Ireland (442)||Global|
|Below Level 3 on the UK Qualifications Framework (QCF)||Título de Graduada en Educación Secundaria, Bachillerato Unificado y Polivalente (BUP)||20%||Diploma di Maestro d`Arte, Attestato di Qualifica Professionale – Special- izzazione Estetista||11%||Leaving Certificate, Junior Certificate||27%||23%|
|A level and Sub-Degree Equivalents (QCF Levels 3, 4 and 5)||Maestra, Especialidad de Educación Musical, Técnica Superior en Información y Comercial- ización Turística||35%||Diploma di Esame di Stato, Diploma di Infermiere Professionale (Nursing)||35%||National Diploma in Design in Interior Architecture, Higher Certificate in Engineering||33%||25%|
|British Bachelor level||Título de Licenciado / Título de Ingeniero / Título de Arquitecto||23%||Laurea, Laurea in Ingegneria||35%||Bachelor of Science, Higher Diploma in Arts||29%||34%|
|Postgraduate||Máster en Físcia Aplicada, Máster Universitario en Profesor/a de Educación Secundaria||2%||Diploma di Special- izzazione per L`Insegna-
mento Secondario, Diploma di Specialista in Medicina Interna: Medicina d`Urgenza
|17%||Master of Science, Certificate of Membership / Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland||5%||10%|
|No comparison available||20%||2%||7%||8%|
The distribution of enquiries for the three countries highlights that:
- Italians coming to the UK are more likely to be postgraduates than the global average
- Irish applicants are more likely to apply with school or vocational qualifications, and
- It is not possible to provide a comparison for 20% of Spanish cases because applications were not completed or because qualifications were not recognised by the education authorities in Spain (such as the Técnico Superior en Prevención de Riesgos Laborales).
Tim Buttress, August 2012