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The market for international higher education has been growing rapidly, with an estimated 2.5m students studying outside their home country. This growth has been driven by excess demand for higher education in developing countries spilling over into the universities of the developed world. The picture was starting to change by the middle of the decade, as Asian nations invested heavily in their domestic higher education sectors and the spread of English-medium instruction and the harmonisation of degree structures led by the Bologna process began to make the international higher education market more contestable. The current “global financial crisis” has disproportionately impacted the two largest exporters of higher education, the US and the UK, both of which are struggling with recession and ballooning fiscal deficits. This presentation explores the ways in which the GFC may accelerate recent trends and lead to a reshaping of the international higher education landscape.
QS Asia-Pacific Professional Leaders in Education (QS-APPLE) 5th Annual Conference, University of Malaya/Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, November 2009