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Educational Tourism in Europe - May 2011

Educational tourism, or ‘study tourism’ as it is sometimes called, used to refer only to the student population who travelled overseas to attend college or university. Nowadays, the definition is broader. While educational tourism could fall into a number of other themed categories of the travel industry – special interest holidays, learning holidays, cultural holidays and so on – for the purpose of this report, ‘educational tourism’ will be the umbrella term for a number of diverse activities that have a learning (or teaching) element.

As defined in this report, educational tourism focuses on students pursuing their post-secondary education in Europe (aged roughly between 21-26), as well as adults mastering a new skill. Seniors who take learning holidays are also analysed.

Educational tourism generates revenues for the travel industry, either directly or indirectly, and while hard data are hard to come by – educational tourism is a tiny niche market – it is worth looking at the factors that govern the movement of people around Europe to further their higher education (in the case of students) or to learn something new (adults).

Today, few Europeans remain in the place they grew up. They travel to other cities to complete their post-secondary education (or to find employment) and in so doing, spend money on transport, food and accommodation, thus contributing to the tourism economy (domestic and international). In the case of the student population, they frequently take advantage of the time they spend away from home to travel around Europe, becoming leisure travellers in the process and often, the tourists of tomorrow.

In the past decade, the enlargement of the European Union (EU) and the harmonisation of educational standards across Europe have opened up a world of new destinations. This report, therefore, will look at some of the countries that make up the EU-27 (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovenia, Slovakia and the UK). Non-EU countries are mentioned in passing.

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Table of contents

  1. Introduction

      • Definition of educational tourism
      • Data Sources

        • Top Ten EU-27 Destinations for Foreign Arrivals

            • Figure 1: Top 10 EU-27 destinations for international overnight arrivals, 2006-10
        • Overview of Higher Education in Europe

            • Who are the students in higher education?
              • Figure 2: Select European countries showing size of populations and number of students in tertiary education, 2008
          • Streamlining the European Education System

            • The Bologna Process
              • Erasmus
                  • Figure 3: Top 10 among 31* European countries for outbound Erasmus students, 2004/05-2008/09
                • Other exchange programmes
                  • Rotary International – Group Study Exchange
                    • Peace Fellowship Scholarship
                    • Top Three European Destinations for Foreign Students

                        • Figure 4: Number of foreign students in tertiary education, in the three leading European destinations, 2003-07*
                      • UK
                        • Figure 5: Foreign students at UK higher education institutions by region of domicile, showing % increase, 2008/09 and 2009/10
                      • Source countries of European students in the UK
                        • Figure 6: Top 10 EU countries of domicile for foreign students attending higher education institutions in the UK, 2008/09 and 2009/10
                      • Source countries of overseas students in the UK
                        • Figure 7: Top 10 non-EU countries of domicile for foreign students attending higher education institutions in the UK, 2008/09 and 2009/10
                      • Germany
                        • France
                        • Student Visas

                          • Non-EU nationals
                            • EU nationals
                            • Impact of University Fees on Country Choice

                              • European nationals
                                • Foreign nationals
                                • Language Schools

                                    • Teaching English as a Second Language
                                      • Demand for TESL teachers
                                        • What do language schools offer?
                                          • The Bell Educational Trust
                                            • Alpha College of English, Dublin
                                              • Pueblo Ingles, Madrid
                                              • Educational Holidays

                                                  • What constitutes an educational holiday?
                                                    • Coombe Farm Studios, Devon
                                                      • Holidaybreak plc
                                                      • Educational Cruises

                                                        • Cruise industry overview
                                                          • The European cruise industry
                                                            • Figure 8: Number of European holidaymakers choosing a cruise in 2010 by country, showing change in market share from 2009-10
                                                          • Themed cruises
                                                            • Insight Cruises
                                                              • Voyages of Discovery
                                                                • Educational cruises for children
                                                                  • Voyages of Discovery School Cruises
                                                                    • Educational cruises for seniors
                                                                    • Who Are Europe’s Senior Travellers?

                                                                        • The oldest Europeans
                                                                          • Figure 9: Projected percentages for the over-65 population in key European source markets for international tourism, showing estimates at five-year intervals, 2010-30
                                                                        • Tailor-made for mature travellers
                                                                          • Grand UK Holidays
                                                                            • Road Scholar
                                                                            • What Next?

                                                                              Educational Tourism in Europe - May 2011

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