Gateway to India

Last December, civil service head Jessica McDonald announced education deputy minister Emery Dosdall had been named British Columbia's new education and skills development trade commissioner. According to that announcement, Mr. Dosdall will be responsible for implemtning "government's strategic international and skills development initiatives for that Asia Pacific Gateway." And it looks like that means promoting the province's post-secondary education system in India. Because last week, the advanced education ministry quietly announced it was looking for a contractor to "gather relevant information about the education market in India, identify opportunities to expand BC's engagement with India and recommend the most effective ways to increase international education business with this market. The study must be sufficiently concrete and focused to be a springboard for an enhanced marketing effort in India." The following is a complete copy of the relevant portion of that request for proposal.

Post Secondary International Education Committee
India Education Market Study

1. Background

The Post Secondary International Education Committee (PSIEC) is a collaborative organization within which the Ministry of Advanced Education (AVED), the post secondary system and other stakeholders coordinate marketing for the sector. The International Education Strategy includes a key goal of developing and implementing Marketing Strategies to promote international education as a significant economic sector.

International education includes a variety of activities, such as:
* Recruiting international students and faculty to BC as a study and/or work destination,
* Assisting BC students and educator to study and/or teach abroad,
* Developing partnerships between institutions on dual-degree programs and research, and
* Exporting BC developed off shore schools or branch campuses, curricula and other educational services and products to other countries.

The advanced education sector is committed to facilitating a coordinated approach to promoting and marketing international education, in a trade context, to overseas markets. As part of this process, PSIEC is commissioning market research studies to identify the best educational opportunities and develop the marketing tools to engage in priority and emerging education markets. Such research will be used to focus BC's education marketing efforts and lead to the development of an overall marketing strategy.

In December 2007, a large group of representatives from BC"˜s post-secondary institutions, education sector associations, provincial and federal government departments responsible for international education participated in an Education Marketing Roundtable to discuss and identify new emerging and priority markets. The selection of India as the new priority market was an outcome of the Roundtable. Mexico, Brazil, Gulf States and the United States, with a focus on certain regions, were selected as the new markets of interest.

2. Purpose of study

The purpose of the study is to gather relevant information about the education market in India, identify opportunities to expand BC's engagement with India and recommend the most effective ways to increase international education business with this market. The study must be sufficiently concrete and focused to be a springboard for an enhanced marketing effort in India.

The study should present a discussion about the present level of engagement, by BC and other international institutions, and the potential demand. The study should provide a clear picture of potential educational opportunities in different regions throughout India. It should be noted that the Ministry of Economic Development has designated Chandigarh, Mumbai and Bangalore as priority markets; unless there are pressing reasons not to, the marketing focus for the advanced education sector should be consistent. Post secondary system has also expressed interest in Chennai, Cochin and New Delhi. The study must focus this market intelligence into an implementable market plan for India.

3. Description of study

The Indian Education Market Study will be used by the PSIEC and post-secondary institutions to focus effective initiatives to expand marketing, promotion and entry into India. The scope of this project should include essential ground work research and information about the following:

1. How can the PSIEC and BC post-secondary institutions recruit more international students from India? What are the needs and desires of Indian students who are planning to study abroad? How do Indian students make decisions about selecting location and post-secondary institutions as a study destination? What marketing and promotional activities and media will be most useful in recruitment?
2. How can BC post-secondary institutions evaluate and recognize Indian credentials? Are there differences between private and public degrees?
3. What are the best ways to develop partnerships with institutions in BC? How can BC post-secondary institutions establish new relations with Indian institutions? Given the varying levels of quality in Indian institutions, are there types of institutions that would not be appropriate as potential partners?
4. What are the benefits of establishing government to government relations, memoranda of understanding? If so, which levels of the Indian government should AVED pursue relations with?
5. What are the benefits of working with reputable third party agents? How can BC institutions partner with reputable third party agents?

The final report must include the following content:

* Executive Summary

* Opportunities across various international education activities
* Student Recruitment"”estimated annual expenditure of Indian students (post-secondary level) and/or education delivered in BC/Canada to Indian students
* Transnational Delivery"”education delivered by Canada to local students in India
* Advanced education"”academic and/or vocational programs, research, faculty/student exchanges, co-operative education, internships, 2+ 2 programs,
off-shore schools, distance education

* Challenges, barriers, limitations, considerations for developing in this market, and how to overcome these

* Information on the Indian Education System (please include discussion about any regional differences, if any) necessary to focus our efforts appropriately

* Market Environment
* Annual expenditure by local institutions, governments, students on international education, estimate size of the market, if possible
* BC and/or Canadian market share/rank
* Market entry considerations
* Use of agents, institution/institution and/or government/government MOU
* Government regulations
* Cost/expenses
* Government regulations

* Competitive environment--international and national
* Branding and marketing issues
* Government support
* Other

* Future prospects (short term, i.e. within five years, and long term, i.e. within the next decade).

* Set of recommendations regarding an effective marketing strategy, the components of that strategy, and the key regions of India on which to focus this marketing effort.

* Appendix with all data tabulations upon which analysis is based

* Reading resources/useful internet sites

* Bibliography/references

* Signed consent forms of all participants who contributed quotations to the final document

4. List of roles and responsibilities

The consultant is responsible for:

* Consultation with the local and Canadian embassy, consulate or high commission, and other contacts in India
* Consultation with post-secondary institutions and sector organization staff as necessary, as well as appropriate authorities and specialists in the province
* Developing a research plan for PSIEC approval
* Data collection, analysis, assessment of its trustworthiness
* Determination of findings, conclusions and recommendations
* Report generation.

5. Project deliverables

* Final report including all elements identified above. Report should be provided in MS Word format (print and electronic copy).
* Presentation of results to AVED staff.

6. Project timelines

Consultant is advised to provide workplan and timeline with staged progress goals. The proposal should clearly indicate key deliverables, with indication of expected completion dates for each stage of the research project. A substantive portion of the report in at least draft form should be completed by August 8, 2008. The project should be completed in its entirety by Aug 29, 2008.

7. Project cost

Please provide a costing model and work schedule for the above deliverables.

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