“The challenges this time round, in a much more competitive environment, are to learn from the mistakes made last time, and build sustainable financial models “
Who could have predicted, even just a year ago, that internationalisation would need to be back at the top of university agendas in the way that it was in many institutions throughout the 2000s? So asks Vincenzo Raimo, pro-vice-chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Reading.
Full-degree, on-shore, international students were the growth engine of UK universities in the 2000s.
If HEIs wanted to grow and prosper there were limited opportunities to do so at home: student numbers were highly regulated and growth capped; so by definition university income was also effectively capped. Surpluses were almost non-existent.
By the start of this decade, international was starting to look a little less attractive and its dominant position as our universities’ growth engine was waning.
“But we didn’t predict the changes: Brexit and the potential losses it could incur; and the burgeoning debate around fees and growth among UK politicians”