Over the last two decades, Asia has emerged as the epicentre of global economic growth, averaging roughly six per cent annual expansion. This trend is expected to continue unabated, with the IMF predicting that Asia will surpass the combined economic output of the United States and the European Union before 2030. Nevertheless, the rapid changes in these economies will present significant challenges, including the financial burdens of ageing populations and a need to upgrade economic activities to higher-value goods and services.

Against this backdrop, the British Council has conducted research seeking to identify the needs and goals of awarding bodies in the UK and match them to emerging opportunities in the British Council’s East Asia region. While there are numerous markets and industry opportunities emerging across the region, in order to limit the research to a manageable scope, this report focuses only on six East Asian markets and six broad sectors with strong growth trends and an alignment with reputed strengths in the UK.

This project was implemented in two phases, beginning in March 2016 with a survey of 115 UK Federation of Awarding Bodies members, asking about their exam distribution models, engagement in East Asia, strategies for future growth and the challenges they face. The second phase of the research involved follow-up interviews with key awarding bodies, as well as in-depth interviews with policymakers, industry leaders and channel partners. Additionally, extensive research on the relevant background, trends and development priorities of the key markets and sectors was undertaken.

This report only extracts Malaysia's findings in detail. Should you be interested in knowing more about the various key market profiles and findings in East Asia, please contact: Carol.Cao@britishcouncil.org.cn to obtain the additional key market profiles and findings.