Ukraine - Education Ukraine - Education
With nearly 5.7 million students in a country the size of Texas, Ukraine is among the largest and most talented international student markets in Europe.
After decades of standing in Russia's shadow, Western institutions are gradually taking more notice of Ukrainian students. The country ranks fourth in the world in the number of people with a higher education, and the literacy rate is 100 percent among its youngest generations. According to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Report, Ukraine ranks 31 out of 144 countries in primary school enrollment, 41st in secondary education, and 13th in higher education. In 2016/17 the number of students in primary and secondary school reached 3,846,000, in vocational school – 285,800 and in higher education – 1,586,700 students.
Despite its track record in producing talented, literate students, over the last twenty years Ukraine’s educational system has suffered, which in turn has caused increasing numbers of students to look for study abroad programs. Between 2009 and 2016 the number of Ukrainians studying abroad increased by 129 percent to reach 59,648 students studying in 34 countries. The most attractive countries to study are Poland, Germany, Russia, Canada, Italy, Czech Republic, USA, Spain, Austria, France and Hungary.
According to the most recent Open Doors Report of the Institute of International Education, 1,817 Ukrainian students went to the U.S. to study in 2016-2017, which is 8.2 percent more than in 2015-2016. 45 percent of Ukrainians studying in the U.S. pursue bachelor degrees, 36 percent enroll in master's programs, 13 percent take optional practical training, and six percent go for non-degree programs.
To gain more insight into Ukraine’s international student market, in the summer of 2016 the U.S. Commercial Service in Kyiv (CS Kyiv) conducted two online surveys regarding the demand for study abroad programs – one among Ukrainian students and one among Ukrainian education companies (i.e. agents).
The survey results revealed that the most popular destinations for prospective students are the U.S., followed by Canada, the U.K, and Western Europe. When selecting a country, Ukrainians base their decisions on a country's reputation for helping a student with career preparation and the strength of a country's overall education system. When comparing schools, prospective students consider first the quality and then the cost of tuition. The most popular programs for Ukrainians are Master's Degrees, English courses, and Bachelor Degrees. Due to a limited number of high-quality business education programs in Ukraine, business administration is the number one field of study for Ukrainian international students. Regarding competition for U.S. universities, according to agents, Canada is the U.S.' primary competitor in recruiting Ukrainians to study in primary and higher education programs, whereas the U.K. is the major competitor for language schools and programs.
There are many recruiting agents in Ukraine and numerous small agencies dominate the market. Most agents concentrate their efforts on serving students who plan to use their parent's income or personal savings to pay for their education.
Sub-Sector Best Prospects
- Higher Education
- Secondary Education
Of the students who have not already studied abroad in the past five years, 70 percent report that they plan to study abroad in the next three years. At the same time, more than half of the recruiting agents indicate that interest in studying abroad grew by an average 37 percent among Ukrainian students in 2016 comparing to 2015. Agents experiencing growth say it was due to increased awareness of international educational programs and the favorable perceptions regarding the return on investment in an international education. Agents experiencing a decline in interest say it was due to the increasing cost of living and tuition fees abroad as well as the poor economic situation in Ukraine. While it is impossible to predict the future, historical growth trends combined with the positive experience of the most agents probably mean that student interest in international education is indeed growing.
The market for training services in Ukraine has been actively developing since 2000. The most popular are entrepreneurship, personal development and customized corporate trainings. The market is mostly represented by local players and coaches. However, the “Big Four” corporations – Deloitte&Touch, Ernst&Young, KPMG and Price Waterhouse Coopers have their offices in Kyiv as well. Moreover, well-known coaches such as Nick Vujicic and Jordan Belfort have visited Ukraine and gave lectures in the last three years.
There are no educational trade events on a national level in Ukraine. The educational companies organize their own fairs and invite international schools to participate. Usually these fairs take place in October and February.