November 19, 2015
WEBA (World Educate Business Association) is the international organisation in the Education Business Partnerships field. WEBA encourages Educational Consultants (AGENTS) to join the association and be part of the first worldwide organisation. Richard Affolter, CEO of WEBA, tells us about the organisation and the international education in whole.

— Mr. Affolter, how and when was created the idea of setting up WEBA? What are the main activities of the company?

— In 2002 a number of Educational Consultants from around the world met and agreed to establish an organisation that would provide international business marketing in the educational field with an international voice of their own - an organisation that might provide collective support and leadership and an organization committed to ensuring education business activity of a high quality internationally.
— What is the key difference of WEBA Company from its competitors?

— WEBA (World Educate Business Association) is one of the important organisation in the international voice for Education Business Partnerships working around the world. Our company is a member of Associate and Business Members, (AGENTS, EDUCATION PROVIDERS, STUDY ABROAD COUNSELLORS). We organize Institution Agents Workshops, Student Fairs, MBA Fair, and Partnerships & Economics Education Forum.
— The students from which countries do usually study abroad? Which countries are the most attractive in terms of getting there higher education?

— Today academic mobility is one of the key concepts of modern educational process, if we talk about the students’ academic mobility. The UK and the USA are still remain the main destinations for study abroad follow by Australia and you can find in this list such countries as Germany, Russia and France follow by Canada. The main reason why they have decided to study abroad is to improve their language skills and to get an international degree.
— Which motives do people usually have when they have decided to get higher or postgraduate education abroad?

— If we talk today about the situation at the market, students have decided to study abroad because there are lots of possibilities of further employment abroad or in Russia. I can add that there are some professions that can be studied only abroad. Some of the students choose it because of the credibility and prestige of a particular university.
— How do you estimate the place of the Russian Federation in the global educational space? Is the specialist (including foreign) in-demand, if he/she has graduated from the university in Russia?

— Yes, absolutely. Russia is one of the leader economic countries in the world. If we consider BRICS Economies Rankings we can find a good number of the Russian Universities in the top 100 which include such universities as Lomonosov Moscow State University, National Research Nuclear University MEPhl (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Novosibirsk State University, Saint Petersburg State University, Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, Ufa State Aviation Technical University, Bauman Moscow State Technical University etc.
— Nowadays, the Russian universities are striking for the attracting more foreign students. But not all the universities cope up with this issue. What are the reasons, in your opinion, which can prevent the increase in the number of foreign students in the Russian universities?

— 90 450 foreign students studied in Russia in 2005, 120 000 foreign students in 2009, 173 000 foreign students in 2012; moreover, the number of such students increase every year. Russian Universities should focus on the following countries in order to recruit international students: China, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Turkey and African countries such Nigeria, Angola, Zambia, Kenya, Ghana and Cameroon. In addition, Russian Universities should start to work more with the agents all around the world in order to create a bigger network of clients.
— In your opinion, how will develop the higher education field in the world in the next 20-30 years?

— The process of preparing young professionals will become more unifying, common and open. Many experts predict that the priority fields will be online study mode and the whole process of the students’ education will be most focused on practice.