5th July 2017
Inside the secret and lucrative world of 'the super tutor'
Education services bring in £17.5bn a year to the UK economy, but what is driving the demand for a British education and why are some parents willing to spend thousands of pounds to secure a "super tutor" for their child?
Hiring an English tutor is increasingly common in many countries, particularly for those who want their children to go to an overseas private secondary school, he says.
The fact that he "sounds a bit posh" and went to a top London school are "valuable trading cards" in an international industry which is "a lot about image as well as actual background," he says.
This kind of tutoring is one of the British education services that makes a valuable contribution to the UK economy. Collectively, education exports were worth a whopping £17.5bn in 2011, the most recent figure available. This includes education products and services, income from international students in higher education as well as schools and English language lessons.
School-leavers ‘not ready for reality of college life’
Many new students are arriving at university in poor shape mentally for the challenges ahead, with two thirds reporting anxiety, more than half having trouble sleeping and a quarter suffering panic attacks in the past year, according to research.
Questioning prospective students revealed a number of important areas where expectations of university life were out of step with the reality. Two thirds of applicants expected to spend more time in lectures than they did in school lessons, seemingly unaware that for some courses there are only a few hours of contact a week.
Most believed that they had a good grip of finances, but more than half did not know how to pay a bill and underestimated living costs, particularly rent.
Only a third of applicants with a mental health condition declared it, or intended to. They believed that the university would alert their parents if there were any problems whereas in reality, universities face a legal minefield if they attempt to involve parents in health matters for students, who are legally adults.
The report produced by the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi) think tank and Unite Students, the provider of student accommodation, is the first to try to establish the expectations and state of mind of prospective students before they start.
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