Exporting “knowledge services”: we all deserve an award for this

The Guardian, reporting on a publication from the Work Foundation, comments that the UK’s exporting of “knowledge services”, which includes universities delivering courses to international students, is outstanding

the UK sells more knowledge services – which includes the money foreign students spend on British universities – as a proportion of total exports than any other major economy.

“Overall, the UK’s export performance is comparable to many other nations – unexceptional, in other words,” says the foundation. But, according to official government statistics, “our export performance in knowledge services … is truly outstanding. In 2005, the UK exported about £75bn of knowledge services – 170% up on a decade earlier (£28bn). This accounts today for about a quarter of all UK exports.”

A quarter of all exports! This really is a pretty staggering contribution. But are we going to be able to sustain it?