From education to employment

UK education suppliers experience unprecedented export sales growth

Caroline Wright, Director General of BESA

In the week that 16 BESA members travel to SE Asia, independent research commissioned by BESA shows that UK education exports are set to hit a record £845 million in 2018/19.

This annual increase of 14.7% year on year is the seventh consecutive year of growth and the second year in a row with a double digit gain. It is also the highest percentage growth in a single year this decade.

The research also shows that:

  • Exports in 2018 are up 14.7% to £845 million
  • In 2017 these figures showed growth of 12.3% to £737 million
  • BESA members are more likely to export than non BESA members – 53% of members export vs 45% of non-members
  • The educational resource marketplace is made up by a large proportion of small companies with a large percent of sales coming from export activity
  • Whilst some companies only glean a small percentage of their total revenue from exports, there are others where it accounts for nearly 100%

The independent research was conducted by C3 Education who surveyed both BESA members and non-member companies which together represented two thirds of the educational suppliers’ market by value. The survey is conducted annually and compared against data gathered by BESA as a pre-requisite for membership, in order to provide a robust snapshot of current activity as well as giving us the ability to track trends over time.

Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade, Graham Stuart MP said:

“Our goods and expertise in the education sector are second to none. BESA has shown just how great the demand is for UK educational supplies and educational technology globally, which will play an important role in increasing education exports to £35 billion per year by 2030, as set out in our International Education Strategy.

“DIT is here to help businesses that want to sell their goods and services abroad, whether that be through financial support or trade visits. I encourage businesses in the sector to reach out to DIT and continue to look globally.”

Caroline Wright, Director General of BESA, said:

“These figures demonstrate the importance of international trade to the educational suppliers’ market. The availability of DIT grants and support is vital to our members, particularly those smaller companies, who wish to take advantage of these export opportunities.

“We are proud to work in partnership with the DIT as Trade Challenge Partner to help UK companies gain access to new markets and business around the world, which we do through a comprehensive programme of international trade visits, conferences and events.

“In 2018/2019 we will have administered 130 DIT grants, and taken 200+ UK companies with us to attend 10 international shows. With this level of interest and continuing pressure on budgets amongst UK schools, we anticipate this trend to continue in the next 12 months”.

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