Business development and strategy (BD&S)

This key interest area focuses on the business development and strategic aspects of international education and relates to high-level, comprehensive, innovative or emerging international education strategies at the global, national, state/territory, institutional, organisational and/or sectoral levels. This includes major government initiatives, policies and regulations relating to international students and international education in general.


Topics under this KIA typically include:

  • emerging trends in international education on a global scale 
  • comprehensive internationalisation strategies 
  • examples of good practice in leadership and management of international education 
  • strategic approaches to identifying significant new business opportunities and emerging markets  
  • bilaterk and multilateral partnerships and alliances, including public/private partnerships 
  • innovative management structures and approaches  
  • national approaches to international education 
  • strategic responses to major challenges facing international education 
  • new forms of international education and internationalisation 
  • challenges and opportunities for providers 
  • embedding an entrepreneurial approach within business structures and fostering entrepreneurialism and a spirit of business innovation  
  • the use of technology to achieve business objectives and to streamline business practices 


Topics in BD&S may overlap with topics in marketing (MKT), but sessions in BD&S focus on high-level ideas, concepts, initiatives and strategies that aim to improve business outcomes, achieve organisational goals, increase growth, inform strategic decisions and pursue strategic opportunities; whereas sessions in MKT focus more on the processes for creating and communicating ideas designed to promote and sell international education offerings (including market research) and the recruitment of international students.   

Target audience

This KIA will be of interest to: 

  • senior staff with overarching responsibility for international education in their organisation  
  • senior staff responsible for setting strategic and operational objectives  
  • government officials 
  • delegates interested in keeping abreast of global trends and developments in international education  
  • delegates interested in identifying emerging markets, understanding changes in existing markets and becoming more informed about opportunities, competitor activities and challenges 
  • student recruitment agents 
  • marketing and recruitment staff 

Other AIEC key interest areas