Despite late resumption of business in mainland China, WSET (the Wine & Spirit Education Trust), the largest global provider of wine, spirits and sake qualifications, has reported that in the last academic year (2021-2022) students from a record 75 countries enrolled for a WSET qualification, taking their exams in 15 different languages.
While WSET’s wine courses remain the most popular with students, spirits and sake qualifications also continued to grow. 11% of candidates took digital courses through WSET’s Online Classroom.
In total, 117,000 students took a WSET qualification in 2021-2022, up 8% from last year. The US remained WSET’s largest market, registering over 23,000 candidates and showing 15% growth. In the EMEA region, the UK was the fastest growing and biggest market, notching up 36% growth with 20,000 candidates registered. The Netherlands, Germany and Spain also showed significant growth, with the Netherlands making it into WSET’s top ten markets for the first time.
In the APAC region, Australia, Singapore, Taiwan (China) and South Korea – all top 10 WSET markets – were the strongest performers.
Course providers in the Chinese Mainland were unable to resume business until the middle of July. WSET’s operation in mainland China was suspended in January last year due to its overseas NGO status, and it later resumed operation in January this year, but it was not until July course providers in the country were able to begin teaching again.
WSET Chief Executive Michelle Brampton says, “Despite the challenges of the last academic year, with the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic, business in the Chinese Mainland suspended and the customer service improvements we are making, I am delighted that more students than ever before were able to take one of our qualifications thanks to the support of our global network of course providers and commitment of the WSET team.”
Brampton adds, “In the four months since I have been CEO, I’ve seen WSET’s incredible potential and the way in which our qualifications empower students and change lives. Our task now is to strengthen the organisation’s foundations, so that we are in a strong position to give more students all over the world access to our learning experiences.”