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By: An Hodgson

With populations ageing, the pool of potential students is dwindling. However, tertiary education is regarded by many as crucial in a competitive global job market, and rising parental incomes, growth in demand for overseas courses among consumers in emerging markets and an increase in adult learning are all helping to drive global demand. This new Population Strategy Briefing identifies trends in student demographics and behaviour, as well as opportunities for marketers of related products and services.

Key findings

Youth population stagnates…

Declining fertility rates and ageing demographics mean the global population base for young people of tertiary student age remained broadly stable in recent years, and is expected to rise only marginally in the five years to 2021.

…but enrolment continues to rise

Despite this, global enrolment rates in the tertiary sector have increased rapidly, driven by higher demand from emerging markets, where incomes are growing and many students are choosing to study abroad. In addition, there has been growing demand for adult learning as populations age and online courses improve.

Consumers take greater financial responsibility

Consumer expenditure on education continues to rise, fuelled by increasing tuition fees and higher demand in emerging markets. Governments are shifting more of the cost of tertiary education onto parents and students.

China sees strong growth in student numbers

In absolute terms, China and India have the biggest student bases, and are also among the fastest growth markets for tertiary education. By contrast, student numbers fell in the US and UK, where tuition fees are prohibitively high.

Limited spending power

The main problem facing marketers is that students tend to be on a very tight budget, with low disposable income. They prioritise things such as technology, convenience, value and experience, and are receptive to targeted offers.

The ongoing impact of technology

Digital technology will continue to impact the way people learn, and teaching establishments and students will increasingly embrace qualifications delivered over the internet rather than on campus, including MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses).

For much more

If you subscribe to Economies and Consumers, you can see the full report, Students of Tomorrow: Trends Driving Global Demand for Learning here and understand how the trends identified through our survey research and market analysis is impacting on global consumer markets.

Strategy Briefings offer unique insight into emerging trends world-wide. Aimed squarely at strategists and planners, they draw on Euromonitor International’s vast information resources and add new intensive research to give top line insight across markets and within consumer segments.

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