Global Wales identifies new priority country

Following Global Wales’ recent announcement that India has been selected as its next priority market, this week’s blog by Tracey Marenghi – Marketing and Communications Manager at Universities Wales, explores why India has so much opportunity to benefit Welsh HE’s international development.


With a successful first year coming to an end, the Global Wales partnership is excited to announce its new priority country.


Following consultation with Welsh universities and independent market research, Global Wales agreed that India will be added to the portfolio. India joins USA and Vietnam to become our third priority market.


India offers a wide, comprehensive set of opportunities that are closely aligned with Global Wales’ objectives:


        India is the second largest market for international student recruitment, and is a market that is now growing in Wales. Our universities already prioritise India in their own international strategies, including strong recruitment activity and agency partnerships, well established relationships and, in some cases, offices in country. 


        Since 2012 and following changes to immigration rules in the UK, recruitment from India declined by almost half. HESA 2017/18 data is illustrating the early signs of a reversal of this decline. By working together in a targeted way, Global Wales hopes to build on these advances to support the reversal in Indian student numbers in Wales.


        This market also offers the opportunity to work at state-level on system to system development as India reforms its higher education sector. This approach has been a real success for Global Wales in Vietnam, where the ability of our universities to collaborate with the Welsh Government, HEFCW and British Council to respond to Vietnam’s reform agenda has brought about opportunities for partnership development and significantly expanded our network.


Our Global Wales partners also have well-established platforms in India – the British Council education team is active in key regions and is about to embark on its own significant India UK Education Connections (IUEC) programme (2019-2022). The IUEC programme will build on its track record of developing innovative education and English projects in India, building institutional capacity and contributing to systemic change. Similarly, the Welsh Government has long-established Trade & Investment offices in India which can support and develop this agenda.


In addition, there is a strong profile of Indian companies operating in Wales such as Tata and Firstsources Solutions, and India offers a strong alumni pool and locations where some Welsh universities have offices.


The next step for Global Wales is to develop a targeted strategy for India which will be in place by October. We will evaluate the opportunities above, and bearing in mind the enormity of India’s higher education market, consider which priority region(s) to work with as well as priority subject areas or themes for collaboration.  It is important that we adopt a strategy that enhances, amplifies and builds on existing activity of universities and partners in Wales.


Year two of the Global Wales project promises exciting developments in India as well as the important task of continuing our developments in the US and Vietnam, where we expect to see the emerging impacts of our first year’s activity.