The Wine & Spirit Education Trust is delighted to announce another record year for the number of candidates who sat for a WSET qualification in a 12 month period.
The number of candidates in academic year 2013/14 (to 31st July) was 56,215 – this represents an increase of 16% over the candidate numbers in the previous twelve month period.
Commenting on this result, Ian Harris, Chief Executive of WSET, said:
WSET continues to go from strength to strength, and a figure in excess of 56,000 students clearly makes WSET the biggest organisation of its kind in the world.
"But just as important as the increase in numbers of students, the reputation of our qualifications is higher than it has ever been. Having conducted extensive research through Wine Intelligence in our major markets of UK, USA and Greater China last year, we know that the WSET is well-known, and that the key to our continued success is for our qualifications to remain the bench-mark for wine- and spirit education by ensuring that the content of all our courses is up-to-date and relevant to the global industry we serve. The WSET has very rigorous quality standards, and every one of its 600+ centres around the world (“Approved Programme Providers”) is monitored to ensure that their educational delivery is of the highest possible quality, and that the examinations are administered to the exacting standards we require."
Harris continued: “Much of our growth in the five years up to 2013 was driven by the boom in Greater China, but along with many of the multinational wine and spirit companies, we have seen a slowdown in the growth rate – particularly in mainland China. I am therefore particularly pleased that the student numbers in all of WSET’s top 10 markets, including China, showed double-digit growth in 2013/14 versus the previous year, demonstrating the universal appeal of WSET programs, both for professionals within the global industry and also for consumers who
are keen to learn more about the wide variety of wines and spirits being produced around the world”.