Monday, 5 November 2012

International Education - expanding horizons

                        Down memory lane… a decade long journey.
   Been there and done that enriches our experiences and helps us tread on this known path with informed certainty. A narration of the various trends in international education follows bellow.
I have been following these trends closely for about 12 years now, as a student in the 1990’s and later as a global admission consultant. I can vividly relate to  how international education has expanded and spread far and wide globally even to developing countries like South Africa , from being a mere concept synonymous with studying in the USA/UK as was the case with our grandparents, owing majorly due to lack of liberal foreign policies and the non- availability of English medium instruction.
Today globalization has evolved global education as well with a dearth of opportunities available to students and professionals with a wide array of subjects, locations, pricing to choose from.
Why International Education??
         The rise in the income levels and global opportunities in terms of social status
         New emerging fields  and Increased financing options
         Availability of low cost destinations like NZ and Singapore and Europe
         Preference of Global resources for jobs  
             You might be overwhelmed to know that the total number of students travelling to pursue global education each from India alone is around  100,00,000  !! and it is equally perplexing to choose from the 3000+ accredited universities that USA alone has to offer , leave aside the other colleges across the globe. So how does one rummage through this maze of information overload and be at the right place at the right time. Here my experience of been a student myself made me wonder what if there was able guidance provided to students to streamline their application process, answer their silliest of queries and guide and mentor them to gain admission to a reputed university.
            The year 2000 saw   a lot of players offering entrance test ( GRE/GMAT/SAT) preparation to necessary to secure admits to globally reputed universities but lacked the expertize of admission  consultants who could advice students/professionals in their choice of careers to make it large in the emerging global careers through Masters, Bachelors , MBA’s and PHD degrees. This advice was offered to students based on either:
·         the student merit and entrance test scores or
·         through tie-ups with Universities where the consultants were given hefty commission for routing students to these universities.
The number of students travelling abroad has grown by almost 10 – 30 % every year. The admission consulting market has seen a huge surge in terms of numbers and revenue esp since last decade , for example I have  counselled 250 students in year 2003 and 500 + students in years 2006 – 2009 each with a revenue growth of 5 times each year  starting with a  mere USD 200 per case to about USD 1000 per case.
            Having placed over 1000+ students globally since the past decade has given me the confidence of setting up .Since this industry has been plagued with lack of processes and systems here we would like to customise/automize the application process for students as much as possible by providing regular alerts, their own planner(with timelines)and also make it location independent and run the process through the use of online media like skype, live chat, webinars and videos conferences etc. for effective and prompt communication. We would also like to provide assistance to students with value added services e like Forex , bank loans , health insurance, ticketing, mobile / internet connectivity , courier etc. and are open to partnering with the best in the industry.
 What sets you apart in this competitive space of Global Admission Consulting is empathy for the students since you are handling someone’s career, fair play to provide what a student truly deserves and offering to be more than a mentor who grooms the student’s overall development since he/she would be working closely with you for almost over a year.
Future road map: There is an upward movement in this industry for those who would like to make this a career choice or business opportunity 
·         The Entrance Examination Training market is around US$ 2 billion in the US and US $ 200 million in India.
·         The US embassy in India has said that the number of student visas issued has increased by 18%, from 39 ,958 in 2010 to 46 ,982 in 2011
·         This could expand in the future and prove to be a lucrative investment option.

Hence it is but worth taking this less treaded professional path which touches the lives of so many youngsters who would be connected with you lifelong through a never erasable faith, trust, confidence and mutual collaboration thus generating great good will and word of mouth for future business expansion.

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