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Stella Mach recently completed an internship in the International Trade Administration’s Office of Service Industries. She studied Economics and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia.
Education is a huge American service industry, and a major contributor to U.S. exports. Foreign students studying in the United States accounted for nearly $23 billion of U.S. exports in 2012.
The International Trade Administration (ITA) works closely with the education industry to support these exports and continue to draw foreign students to the United States. While supporting traditional models of education, ITA is also closely watching the industry evolve and is paying close attention to new avenues of education.
One trend we are watching closely is the proliferation of massive open online courses (MOOCs).
Bill Gates, whose foundation has been heavily involved in education, said in July that he sees MOOCs as “a global phenomenon.” They have added an interesting new dimension to education, allowing classes to reach across the globe to students around the world.
In less than two years, MOOCs have attracted millions of students from around the globe and partnered with dozens of top-ranking schools worldwide.
It’s interesting to note that 72 percent of the student body at Coursera, one company getting involved in MOOCs, comes from outside the United States. Further, 42 percent of these foreign students come from countries outside of Europe and BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China).
So, the growth of these courses could result in a measurable increase in U.S. education exports, and could increase exports to non-traditional markets.
ITA is closely monitoring this new industry as MOOCs continue to evolve. Our team of education services specialists regularly partners with the education industry, leading trade missions and partnering with education organizations. We’re excited to see how this new education service will affect the industry and support new U.S. exports.
To learn more about MOOCs and ITA’s efforts to increase U.S. education exports, visit our website, or contact Education Services Specialist John Siegmund. Whether or not MOOCs will indeed be the next “global phenomenon,” stay tuned with ITA to find out!