UK universities ruthlessly flirt with Latin America but never commit. It is a perennial problem. Yes the region is attractive for its students, great weather and buoyant culture, yet there seems to be very few active universities attempting to tackle the recruitment landscape.
Latin America requires patience and consistency, two traits that many universities who want to see immediate return on investment do not have. If you want a quick win, you’re not going to find it here – and that is exactly what some contemporary university strategies embody.
Harsh realities aside, students of this region are passionate about a whole host of subjects including engineering, the environment and the arts, all of which are taught in UK institutions. With dwindling domestic and overseas scholarship opportunities though, the Latin American student has nowhere to turn apart from their own country.
Latin America has also never had extensive outward student mobility, largely due to the tight family communities and distance from the rest of the world. However, since Mexico, Chile and Colombia strengthened their education ties with the UK, these markets are taking proactive steps to mobilise their student populations.
Britain should surely welcome this more savvy and philanthropic type of student
Although this region is undoubtedly far and expensive to get to, there are many benefits to recruiting from here. Latin Americans, with their fierce and loyal natures, philanthropic ethos’ and deep love of community add a new texture to the international student sub terrain. In countries such as Colombia, you will find contrasting students in Bogota to Medellin and Cali, and agents who have a passion for the British education system.
Latin American students generally tend to return home post study, with few choosing to remain in the UK after graduation. Atypical of the western student, these alumni tend to seek solace in working in domestic industries that are geared up to serve the interests of their own economies and communities. Britain should surely welcome this more savvy and philanthropic type of student, adding to its already diverse student demographic.
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