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Africa in focus at UK ENIC conference

UK ENIC’s first annual conference since the start of the pandemic placed Africa at the centre of the future of international education sector.

Edward Paice delivers his keynote speech to the UKENIC22 Conference. Photo: ENIC

By 2050, 40% of all children born worldwide will be African

Director of the Africa Research Institute, Edward Paice, addressed the nearly 500 delegates from over 20 countries at the event in London on February 20, highlighting how the sector may be impacted by a African demographic ‘revolution’.

Making the case that Africa’s story increasingly drives world history, he explained that between 1950 and 2050, Africa’s population will have risen 11-fold. Global population in the same period will have increased by just 3.8 times, the author of Youthquake: Why African Demography Should Matter to the World emphasised.

By 2050, some 40% of all children born worldwide will be African, at which time the continent will be responsible for one third of the global labour supply. These facts have been largely overlooked by media in western countries, Paice told the conference.

Stuart Rennie from SJRENNIE Consulting set out how African students can be “excellent recruits” for UK universities in his workshop session.

“What we see is a time of increasing global discord: whether this means armed conflict, or civil unrest, or geopolitical tensions, or economic crises,” head of UK ENIC, Paul Norris, said in his conference welcome speech.

“Yet amid this upheaval there are success stories in the world: from high economic growth rates in regions like South Asia and Africa, to the rise of disruptor technologies, and changing global attitudes towards online and transnational education.”

“The profile of migration has changed toward high-growth, non-European regions”

Norris explained that demand has increased, but it has also changed.

“The profile of migration has changed toward high-growth, non-European regions,” he said.

“Facilitating this mobility requires UK ENIC to implement new approaches – digitisation and fraud prevention are key aspects here. But, also, the ability to evaluate new forms of learning, and to develop approaches to deal with disrupted learning.”

Other topics covered at the event include the UNESCO global recognition convention, international and cross-border qualifications, displaced learners, Latin America and many more.

The next UK ENIC face-to-face conference takes place on December 4-5 in London.

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