Indian students have been dissuaded from entering British higher education over recent years due to Home Office and UK Border Agency visa restrictions. Significant numbers have shunned the UK and chosen to study in the United States and Australia as a result. However, new online degree courses could change all of that.
Keypath Education – a world leader in education marketing and online enablement – has launched its European operations this week promising a multimillion pound investment in UK universities. Keypath, which delivered marketing and technology services for over 4000 universities since 1989 as PlattForm, has said that it has seen considerable interest from UK universities in launching online degrees, and that this would be their sole focus until 2017.
In June the company announced the appointment of Rajay Naik as CEO (Europe) to lead the expansion. Naik previously spent five years as a Director at The Open University and before that was a member of Lord Browne’s landmark higher education review. Speaking exclusively to Asian Voice this week he forecasted “substantial and strategic innovation” by Britain’s universities over the coming years:
“We enjoy some of the best universities on the planet and technology is offering our sector an incredible opportunity to expand, innovate and enhance the student experience. We are proud of our reputation for quality and the new brand allows us to unify our global operations whilst concentrating our focus on online higher education. We are looking forward to working closely with more British universities over the coming years and contributing to the continued success of UK higher education.”
Keypath research, design, launch, market and deliver online degree programmes for their university partners in the UK, United States and Australia. British universities have expanded online offerings in recent years but their breadth of provision is tiny in comparison to the United States where over twenty-one millions students study for degrees online.
Naik, an architect of the FutureLearn platform which offers free courses from over 70 partners, says that is set to change: “The global ambition of our universities continues to expand and they appreciate the constraints of conventional campuses. Higher quality online degree programmes allows universities to innovate, students to have more choice and our sector and economy to prosper.”
Rajay Naik, who has been a part of the Asian Voice Youth Conference, a few years back, further elaborated on the advantages of online degrees. “Students in Mumbai, Montreal and Munich can study with a UK university without needing to leave their home, job or family. It opens up a world of opportunities, particularly for those who do not have the financial ability to leave their home to go to university."
Keypath Education now has more than 600 employees in offices throughout the world, including London, Coventry, Chicago, Kansas City, Toronto and Melbourne. They expect that their partnerships with the UK’s universities will mean their investment in British education will rise to many millions of pounds by 2016/2017.