Local universities, including representatives from Enderun Colleges, WCC Aviation Co. Inc. and Asian Institute of Aviation, recently discussed and assessed opportunities for the country’s education sector after their participation at the World Education Expo Festival (WEEF) 2016 in Jakarta, Indonesia, on February 20 and 21.

During the WEEF 2016, Philippine universities and colleges had the opportunity to showcase the country’s premier education services to over 10,000 participating students in Indonesia’s largest education expo. WCC Aviation Co. already noted that over 10 Indonesian students are seeking higher education at their institution and several agencies already tapped Asian Institute of Aviation for possible partnerships.

DTI-EMB sees positive feedback from the participation as an opportunity for the country to further its efforts in promoting and strengthening marketing strategies for the country’s education services. EMB seeks to further tap regional and preferential-trading agreements to expand market access within existing trade partners to boost exports in the services sector other than the business-process outsourcing (BPO) industry.

According to the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), the Philippines can be the next higher education hub within the region. They noted that this ambitious plan is attainable since factors considered by foreign students for studying overseas are already present in the Philippines.

In 2012 the Philippines reached a total of 7,776 foreign students in higher education institutions, according to the Commission on Higher Education (Ched). Among the top foreign nationals studying in the Philippines are Korean, Iranian, Chinese, American and Indian. In the increase of foreign nationals seeking to study in the country, the Bureau of Immigration noted that this trend may be due to the proficiency of Filipino teachers in English and the use of English as a medium of instruction in the educational institutions.

In a survey conducted by Global English Corporation in 2012, Philippines ranked first with a Business English Index (BEI) of 7.11 among 76 countries represented worldwide. The Philippines is the lone country categorized under intermediate level and was followed by Norway (6.54) and Estonia (6.45).

Anthony Rivera, DTI-EMB assistant director said, “Schools and other institutions can coordinate with DTI’s initiatives to maximize different government-sponsored outbound business missions in tapping global markets. These are opportunities that we can use to strengthen other exports sector of the country.”

DTI-EMB said many local US aviation schools have recognized local universities’ instructional materials and curriculum being globally compliant. One of the top nationals getting higher education courses in aviation are students from Australia.

EMB said universities could tap the growing Middle East market for the country’s educational services.  The Bureau of Immigration (BI) emphasized that schools accredited by the Department of Education, the Ched, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, and Federation of Accrediting Agencies are only authorized to accept foreign students. □

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