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Changing Trends in Overseas Tertiary Education Choices for Malaysian and Indonesian Students & Senior Executives

2nd International Entrepreneur & Family Business
Association World Conference 2009 / UIBL 2009
Kuala Lumpur, October 2009
Synopsis of Spire’s address to the conference

Changing Trends in Overseas Tertiary Education Choices for Malaysian and Indonesian Students & Senior Executives

Synopsis

Jeffrey Bahar, Spire’s Managing Director for Southeast Asia, highlighted interesting perspectives on the changing trends in overseas graduate and post graduate education choices for Indonesian and Malaysian students and top executives at the 2nd International Entrepreneur & Family Business Association World Conference 2009 / UIBL 2009.

Spire Research and Consulting has undertaken a comprehensive survey in Indonesia’s overseas education sector, encompassing interviews with international schools & universities established in Indonesia, education agents promoting overseas education and potential students seeking anoverseas education.

Notable trends in overseas higher education for Indonesian and Malaysian students include the following:

Owners of successful family-owned businesses would typically allow their children to inherit their businesses. In order to prepare for succession, their children are often sent overseas for tertiary or even secondary education.
Each year, more than four million new Indonesian students pursue tertiary education programs, with about 0.75% of the total, or 30,000 students, electing to pursue overseas education programs.
The relative lack of local government or NGO funding sources means that the international student segment is largely self-funded, a fact that limits its reach to the children of families with their own businesses or families headed by very senior professionals or managers.
University and country selection have seen changing patterns, with Australia and New Zealand universities gaining in popularity due to proximity and more affordable living and tuition budget requirements.
With Singapore as the most popular overseas education location choice for both Indonesian and Malaysian students, it is no wonder that the total number of international students in Singapore climbed from 50,000 in 2001 to almost 100,000 in 2008, with Indonesians and Malaysians at the top of the country rankings.

Executive MBA programs are gaining popularity among the children of family-business owners. There is also a growing trend of experienced, senior executives pursuing post-graduate studies. The children of business owners may have the time and budget to opt for full-time, residential programs whereas senior executives may choose shorter programs or distance-learning programs, due to their busy schedules.

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