fbpx
Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF

Recruiting in Sri Lanka

Nobody is entirely sure how many Sri Lankan students go abroad each year, but the feeling among some observers is that the official counts offered by important data sources such as UNESCO tend to understate the actual movement of students out of the country. With that caveat firmly in place, the UNESCO numbers, which tend to capture mainly students going abroad for higher education, still reflect a near doubling of outbound students over the past decade with just under 18,000 Sri Lankans studying abroad in 2016. Many market watchers, however, would also note Sri Lanka as among the fastest-growing emerging markets in the region. As we have highlighted in some of our recent coverage, the country has very strong fundamentals that will continue to drive demand for study abroad, including a large and growing college-aged population and brisk economic growth. The British Council has also tagged Sri Lanka as a market on the move in its latest outlook report. Sri Lanka is expected to have one of the fastest-growing territory enrolments in the world, with average annual growth of about 4.5% through 2027. The British Council also projects that outbound mobility from Sri Lanka will exceed 32,000 students by 2027, a roughly 80% increase over the current UNESCO benchmark. The majority of Sri Lankan students abroad opt to study in Australia, the US, or the UK, with a growing proportion also hosted by other destinations within Asia, notably India and Malaysia. Our recent discussion with Mohamed Sarjun Saleem reveals however that further shifts in demand are afoot as the market continues to expand. Mr Saleem is the Managing Director of the British Institute of Business Management Studies, an education institution and agency located in Colombo, Sri Lanka. We sat down with him recently for his views on this important sending market, and in our first interview segment below he highlights the growing popularity of European destinations among Sri Lankan students. Mr Saleem notes that higher education provision continues to expand in Sri Lanka, in part through an increasing field of international branch campuses or international degrees offered in partnership with local providers. However, he adds that demand for study abroad continues to grow in part because Sri Lankan parents want their kids to have an experience in a multicultural environment and to exposed to new cultures, technologies, and ideas. Our second interview segment below further highlights the value that Sri Lankan families place on higher education and how this is helping to shape both higher education provision within the country as well as a trends in study abroad. Mr Saleem goes on to note the importance of local agents in recruiting in Sri Lanka, and of the importance of scholarship support as well as practicum or work placements in the decision making of Sri Lankan students. In our final interview excerpt below, Mr Saleem comments on the relevance of the international schools sector in Sri Lanka, as well as the importance of missions in-country for overseas educators. “January and February and June-July are the best times of year to visit,” he advises, cautioning as well that, “If any institutions want to do some kind of promotions or workshops or seminars, it’s best in contact with the local agent, to organise something and to get an effective result.” For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • The rise of alternative destinations: Thailand, Poland, and the Philippines Read More
  • Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations Read More
  • ICEF Podcast: Start-ups in international education: disrupters or innovators? Read More

Most Popular

  • Canada’s foreign enrolment grew by more than 30% in 2022 Read More
  • Measuring cost of study and cost of living across study destinations Read More
  • Recruiting in the Emirates: Big goals, world-class education, and new scholarships Read More

Because you found this article interesting

The rise of alternative destinations: Thailand, Poland, and the Philippines A growing body of industry research shows that in 2024, international students are considering a wider range of...
Read more
France hosted 412,000 foreign students in 2022/23 Campus France has released its international student enrolment data for 2022/23, and in contrast to the double-digit percentage...
Read more
Hong Kong needs to build more student housing In his October 2023 address, Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee set out some ambitious goals for the...
Read more
Canadian immigration minister releases official cap figures and targets for 2024 In many respects, the implementation of Canada’s newly established cap on international student enrolment has been shrouded in...
Read more
Australia: Record-high foreign enrolment but tighter immigration settings now taking hold The Australian government has further increased its scrutiny of international student applicants in an effort to ensure incoming...
Read more
Business school survey again signals declining non-EU enrolment in UK The most recent survey from the Chartered Association of Business Schools in the UK reveals that, “International student...
Read more
US study visa refusals reached record levels in 2023 More than a third of prospective international students applying to study in the US last year were turned...
Read more
Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Since the Canadian government’s announcement in January that it would be capping the number of new study permits...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links