By Lawrence de Guzman – Inquirer Research
The world’s “budget English teacher.” This was how a recent BBC News report described the Philippines in highlighting the relatively cheap access to education in the country compared to other English-speaking nations.
The report, written by Kate McGeown and posted online Monday, noted the surge in the number of foreign students attracted by the country’s competitive rates for English education, which cost only a fraction of the tuition in schools in the United States or Canada.
Aside from language students, the number of foreign graduate and postgraduate students in the country are reportedly on the rise, apparently recognizing that local universities are on par with global standards.
A check with the Bureau of Immigration Student Desk indicated that as of October 2012, a total of 24,680 foreigners had applied for study permits, which was more than thrice the applications in 2008, totaling 7,569.
The agency also expects the applications for full student visas to reach at least 23,000 by the end of the year, which is over four times the 2008 figure of 5,336 applications.
A major advantage for Filipinos is having a clear American accent, the report said, “partly because the Philippines was a US colony for five decades and partly because so many people here have spent time working in call centers that cater to a US market.”
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