Curtin Sydney College - a Navitas-owned centre

How is the on-campus pathways market evolving?

Posted on Apr 20, 2012 by Julian Hall

With numerous obstacles facing the academic pathways sector in recent years, such as government curbs on student immigration and the need for pathway colleges to readjust to “Highly Trusted Sponsor” status in the UK, observers might have considered that private operations working in tandem with HE had had their fill of government restrictions.

On the contrary, academic pathways are flourishing; true to their literal meaning, pathways have found a way through these obstacles and the story is generally one of growth and expanding opportunity.
On-campus provision of pathway programmes – enabling international students to get to know a campus while honing their language and study skills prior to a degree course – is one of the fast-developing areas of the wider international education sector. Underlying consolidation and expansion, of course, is the fact that the number of students wishing to study abroad is set to continue rising through the next decade and beyond.

“There are 157.5 million students in tertiary education today, that’s larger than the entire population of Nigeria or Russia; in 1970 there were just 28 million,” says Tim O’Brien, director of INTO Knowledge at INTO University Partnerships. The company provides pathways, English language and higher education programmes in partnership with universities in the UK, US and China under a joint venture model.

“In the last decade alone,” adds O’Brien, “the number of students studying outside their home country has gone from 2.5 million to 3.7 million and by 2025, it is projected to reach 8 million. The global demand for higher education only seems to be going one way.”

In the last seven years, in line with factors including the growth of household income in some Asian countries and capacity issues regarding tertiary education in countries such as India and China, all the major pathway players have reported growth, albeit with some wobbles.

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