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WSET hails growth in student numbers

The Wine and Spirit Education Trust has revealed that this year has been the 13th year of consecutive record growth in students taking up courses.

The WSET now provides courses in 66 countries (Photo: WSET)

The number of students that took courses in the 2014/15 academic year was 61,452,  9% increase on last year’s record-breaking figure.

The growth is spread out over all of the trust’s major markets, suggesting that the increased interest in wine and spirits is a global phenomenon that doesn’t appear to be slowing.

Candidate numbers in the UK, the biggest market for the WSET, were up 11% this year to 15,135. The US, which has overtaken China as the WSET’s second-largest market, grew 26% to 6,779 candidates.

Even despite the economic challenges in China over this year, student numbers still grew 13% to 6,598. France, Canada and Australia also saw double-digit growth.

The trust expanded its international network with the addition of course providers in Lebanon, Belarus, Paraguay, Ukraine and Ecuador, bringing the number of countries where WSET qualifications are available to 66.

Ian Harris, chief executive of WSET, commented: “Another year of strong growth demonstrates the increasing demand for WSET qualifications globally and the numbers are testament to the quality and relevance of WSET courses and qualifications.

“It is especially pleasing to see sustained growth in established markets, alongside rapid growth in some of our emerging markets,” he said.

Earlier this year, the WSET received recognition from Her Majesty the Queen with a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

On the award, Harris said, “Having our business recognised with a Queen’s Award only reinforces our position as market leader – a position that we, with the support of our Corporate Patrons and growing network of course providers, are committed to continue building.”

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