A roadmap for building more diversity in your international enrolment

For the past couple of years at least, institutions and schools that aim to build their foreign enrolments have heard the prevailing wisdom about how to recruit: diversify. Which is shorthand, in many cases, for “diversify beyond China and India.”

It’s not that China and India are no longer major drivers of enrolment growth for many countries – they definitely still are. For example, China alone has accounted for about half of overall enrolment growth in the US for the past 15 years. And in 2015/16, between one-third and one-half of international students in the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK were from China and India.

But the history of international education tells us that nothing is perennially stable. Political instability, economic crises, a shifting geopolitical landscape, currency fluctuations, visa and post-study work rights policies, natural disasters, and increased domestic higher education capacity are all capable of disrupting student mobility patterns.

Continue reading on ICEF Monitor. 

Government unveils plans for two-year bachelor degrees

The United Kingdom government has announced plans for two-year accelerated bachelor degrees that it claims could save students up to £25,000 (US$33,000) compared with taking the degree over three years in the normal way. 

Accelerated degrees will offer the same qualifications and will be quality assured in the same way as a standard degree, but delivered over a shorter, usually two-year timespan, according to the proposals, which have been set out for consultation.

The plan would allow institutions to charge up to 20% more each year for accelerated degrees, but the overall tuition fee cost of the degree to the student would be 20% less than the same degree over three years.
This means that the total tuition fee cost would be £5,500 lower than for a standard three-year course. However, the government argues that, since students taking the accelerated course would finish a year early and the average first year salary after graduating is £19,000, there is a potential £25,000 benefit overall to the student.

Continue reading on University World News. 

A global recognition convention for academic mobility

The 39th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO last month gave the green light to continue the work on UNESCO’s academic mobility convention, the Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications, with the aim of formally adopting the new convention by UNESCO’s next general conference in November 2019.

Why should this be of interest to the academic community? Over the past generation, there has been an explosion in international student mobility worldwide. According to the OECD, the number of international students in higher education has risen from 0.8 million in the late 1970s to 4.6 million in 2015.

This increase has been accompanied by a growth in interregional student mobility, with 2.5 million international students studying in a country outside their region of origin, according to UNESCO in the preliminary report on a potential global convention.

Continue reading on University World News. 

What rankings are most important to students?

It has long been held that global university rankings are important to students, and that, particularly in some markets, they play a significant role in student decision-making for study abroad. This is partly why rankings occupy a prominent spot in the imaginations of recruiters, and why they remain a subject of enduring interest and debate in international education circles. However, this understanding has been tempered in recent years by new insights into the factors that drive student choice.

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And from time to time we get more specific insights into how students look at international rankings. In 2015, for example, a QS study highlighted student demand for more in-depth comparisons – that is, beyond what conventional ranking schemes are able to provide. The same study also clearly demonstrated that when students look at rankings, they are often looking for indicators of employment outcomes. The underlying ranking scheme has a role to play in this in that a better-ranked institution, for some students, translates into a more compelling addition to one’s CV or allows the student to leverage a positive perception of the institution on the part of employers.

Even so, the overall impression you get from such studies is that students are drilling harder into ranking methodologies, and are looking beyond the headlines into some of the more detailed findings, particularly with respect to subject-level rankings and graduate outcomes.

Continue reading on ICEF Monitor.

New Zealand visa office closures shift emphasis to online processing

In a series of related announcements over the past year, the New Zealand government has set a clear course toward a much more centralised processing model for visas, including student visas. The new approach will rely heavily on online and telephone access to visa applications and related services, with much of the processing occurring “on shore” – that is, within New Zealand itself.

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The government began closing public service offices for visa processing across New Zealand late last year. Four offices were shut down at that time, and the process of winding up public counters continues this year. Another office in Wellington was closed on 17 November, the Christchurch location will close on 21 December, and the one remaining office, the central branch in Auckland, is scheduled to shut its doors by June 2018.

On the closure of the Wellington office, as in all other such cases this year, those requiring visa services within New Zealand are being directed to alternate channels. “Apply online if possible using our Online Services, or send your completed application by post or courier to the address provided for your application type on our Office and Fees Finder,” says an accompanying statement from Immigration New Zealand. “If you are in the Wellington area and require any assistance with your current or upcoming immigration application, call the Immigration Contact Centre.”

Continue reading on ICEF Monitor.

Mapping the trends that will shape international student mobility

A new British Council report sets out the key trends that are shaping both higher education demand and international student mobility. “We are at a tipping point in the global higher education system. Students have more choices than ever,” says the British Council’s Director Education Rebecca Hughes. “Beyond and behind traditional student recruitment lie drivers of change that are shifting the very nature of how we view and deliver higher education: they are indicative of a larger movement in the education sector, in line with an uncertain and rapidly changing future.”

The full report, 10 trends: Transformative changes in higher education outlines the ten global trends that the authors have judged will have the greatest impact on higher education in the future.

These include some major shifts in demographics around the world. The British Council highlights in particular the influence of ageing populations in many regions. Simply put: greater life expectancy combined with lower fertility rates means that populations in many countries are getting older, and, in the process, the key 15-to-24-year-old college-aged cohorts are shrinking.

Youth population projections by global region, 2010–2100. Source: United Nations, British Council

Youth population projections by global region, 2010–2100. Source: United Nations, British Council

 

Continue reading on ICEF Monitor.

British Accreditation Council new scheme for offshore ELT

The UK’s British Accreditation Council is developing an international English language education accreditation scheme it claims will be “quite unique” in the English language teaching industry.

L to R: Paul Fear, CEO; Rosie Fairfax, accreditation and quality enhancement manager; Diana Morriss, chief inspector

L to R: Paul Fear, CEO; Rosie Fairfax, accreditation and quality enhancement manager; Diana Morriss, chief inspector

Set to be launched in early 2018, the standards will target large organisations around the globe that primarily offer English language training offshore.

CEO of BAC, Paul Fear, told The PIE News that the organisation had liaised with a range of UK and international academics, as well as two chains of language schools, to create a set of world-leading standards.

The BAC would not be looking to compete with any accreditation bodies in the UK, he said, but offer a new choice for educators working globally and focus on quality assurance and transparency, with quality assessment linked to CEFR benchmarks.

Continue reading on The Pie News.

Brexit ‘not all bad’ say int’l education experts

Brexit is looming, but there is still much for the higher education sector to be positive about, such as a high prioritisation of research collaboration, according to a panel of industry experts who spoke last week at the Cambridge Assessment English international admissions seminar.

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Representatives from Universities UK InternationalUCASBritish CouncilQSand some of the UK’s leading HEIs shared the viewpoints on the topic of discussion: ‘Brexit – one year later’.

While most Europeans working in academia remember feeling shocked when the news of the ‘leave’ vote hit home, head of European engagement at UUKi, Anne May Janssen, was not one of them.

“When the referendum happened most people didn’t expect [the outcome]. I must say I did,” Janssen told the 100 strong crowd of HE international recruitment professionals.

“There was a sense of mourning and disbelief in Brussels, but the way Theresa May spoke… the speeches she gave about the advantage of programs that promote science, education and culture, were actually quite encouraging.”

Janssen added that “signals are very positive” as both the UK government and EU are continuing to talk about the importance of collaboration and research.

While 2016 brought damning news for some HEIs – some lower-ranked institutions were said to be seeing significant declines in EU numbers – , UCAS, the UK’s university application service, experienced an all-time high in non-UK EU student applications.

Continue reading on The Pie News.

Australia: International students to face English language tests

International students will be tested on their grasp of the English language under a scheme to be introduced in 2018.

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Education Minister Simon Birmingham told an education conference in Hobart on Thursday the government will introduce new English language standards for students in 2018.

English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students will have to formally assess students where they provide direct entry to a tertiary course.

At the moment, students can pass a course without proof and then start university studies.

Continue reading on SkyNews.

Why ‘glocalisation’ is in and ‘internationalisation’ is on its way out

The need for higher education institutions to shift away from the western paradigm of knowledge which it has been subdued under for the past 40 years has now become crucial. 

Better quality of life through better education

 

Internationalisation and the hidden agenda 

Internationalisation has been at the forefront of global education for decades now, regardless of international scholars continuously speaking out against it. For the past 40 years, as an increasing number of students enrol in these institutions, a constant flow of knowledge is transferred to them from superiors and well-learnt lecturers. However, there has been criticism concerning said knowledge – that it only pertains to a first-world western base of knowledge and ideologies, pushing out other geographical forms of knowledge in order to focus on one mere source.

It was recently discovered that the international higher education industry had failed to meet the 2015 Millennium Development Goals, being unable to lead social change and upraise educational standards. This in turn brings about the questions as to whether the intended concept of internalisation is misleading or far too in-tune with western ideologies to produce results otherwise. Instead, it is easy to assume that such a concept of internalisation merely works towards sustaining western economies.

By far, the world has only seen the internalisation of higher education become increasingly significant, and a highly profitable industry in its own right; which, once analysed, might prove to be the outcome of an intelligently bound agenda formed from our western counterparts.

 

A step forward with Glocalisation 

Glocalisation, on the other hand, has been the buzzword amongst higher education institutions for a while now; a combination of ‘globalisation’ and ‘localisation,’ with the aim to build glocal communities and sustainable living worldwide by working towards enabling a better quality of life through high education standards and values.

It dismisses the core aims internalisation had set out to achieve and failed, and instead encourages the exchange of a diverse cultural knowledge base amongst said glocal communities. In keeping with the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), international higher education communities are encouraged to adopt a more diverse agenda in order to act as a catalyst for social transformation – with a more inclusive knowledge base, this time around, encompassing all aspects of learning and education.

With glocalisation, the higher education communication must move away from the hegemonic conception of learning, where focus is placed only on upholding the English language and various western ideologies for further profits extorted from foreign students. Both First and Third-World communities and institutions must align to create quality and diverse knowledge bases to create a glocal community worldwide.

 

(Source: University World News)