US Graduate programs growth led by international students

Highlights

  • Between the fall of 2013 and fall of 2014, first-time graduate enrolment in the US went up by 3.5%
  • Over the same period, first-time enrolment for international students grew by 11.2%
  • Over two-thirds of the growth over the past decade has been fuelled by international students
  • The main focus areas for international students in the US is in STEM fields

the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience

(Source: http://bigs-neuroscience.de/)

Earlier this month, the US Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) reported that first-time graduate enrolment in the country went up by 3.5%. The growth, tracked between the fall of 2013 and fall 2014, is the largest one-year increase since 2009. While this bodes well for future enrolment trends, America’s graduate enrolment remain below its peak in 2009 growing only by 0.4% between 2013 to 2014. Read more

US new bill pushes colleges to be accredited to have foreign students

In recent weeks, The Chronicle of Higher Education recently reported that the US House of Representatives has passed a bill that would require all colleges and universities in the US that enrol foreign students with the issuance of I-20’s to be accredited.

Lawmakers in the US approved the H.R. 3120 bill, making it mandatory for all institutions of higher education enrolling 25 foreign students or more, to have certified accreditation, nationally or regionally, that is recognized by the US Department of Education.

(Source: http://www.ndtv.com/)

This move comes as part of the effort by the US to close a major loophole in the foreign student visa system passed in the wake of 9/11 attacks, wherebyfraudulent colleges have taken in foreign students by the thousands by luring them the right to work in the United States. Senator Chuck Grassley said, “This is a national security matter. Foreign student visas were issued to terrorists who attacked the United States both in 1993 and on September 11.” Representative Zoe Lofgren lauded the approval of the bill by the US House of Representative, believing that the accreditation requirements will prevent unauthorized institutions from deceiving genuine foreign seeking education in the United States. He further added, “In addition, this requirement will prevent fly-by-night institutions from engaging in student-visa fraud to smuggle or traffic persons into the country.” Read more

US Education Department releases College Scorecard: Yay or Nay?

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)

The US Department of Education recently released the College Score – an online portal aimed to help prospective students get the best bang for their education dollars by finding the college that fits them. Following President’ Obama’s recent State of the Union address, the College Scorecard is part of the US government’s efforts to hold higher learning institutions accountable for cost, value and quality, to help students choose schools that meet their needs – from affordability, to educational and career goals. Read more

Weak Currencies Spark Fears of Reduced International Enrolment

Source: www.inquisitr.com

Over the last three months, currencies in Asian and other emerging economies have taken a beating, including countries like Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. This comes on the backdrop of China’s stock market crash (and continued decline and economic contraction), extreme volatility and dropping commodity prices, which has seen the confidence of the middle-class shrink tremendously. This has sparked fears on possible knock-on effects on international student recruitment by universities from popular study destinations like the United States, Australia and United Kingdom.

The recent slide of currencies have led to fears by some countries – namely Malaysia and Thailand – following the recent Asian financial crisis in 1997 that saw currencies from Thailand, Malaysia and South Korea losing as much as half their value against the US dollar. During that time, many Asian students (and parents) halted plans for overseas study and opted to study in each of their domestic markets instead.

While the current currency crisis has not yet shown signs to be as severe as that experienced in the late 90s in Asia, the effects this time are much more widespread, with the two Asian giants, China and India, affected. Read more

International Minded Student Community

In the world of higher education around the world, internalization has been a big topic. According to last year’s EAIE Barometer, a research done collectively by Europe’s leading research company, Ecorys, and EAIE to study the state of internalization in Europe, the main factors are as follows:

– Strategic partnerships

– Improved recruitment and services for international students

– Boost quality of international courses

What’s important to note is that while much discourse on internationalization have happened, the same cannot be said on preparing students to thrive in this new-age global higher education environment.

The stepped up efforts to recruit international students is something to be lauded. That said, it is in fact international students that lack the global outlook and curiosity to discover new cultures. As a result, it is not unusual that international students remain relatively segregated within their own communities as they lack confidence and language ability to take part in discussions and activities.

Domestic students – students from the host country – would need to play their part as well to take full advantage of this new opportunities. That would mean domestic students need to genuinely engage their new foreign friends to make them feel welcomed and at home. As one can imagine, it’s a big step for anyone to uproot and live in a new country. Therefore, any assistance and warm hospitality from those in host countries would certainly be welcomed and helpful to ease the onboarding journey of international students.

 

Internationally-minded Students

(Image: kateescott.wordpress.com)

(Image: kateescott.wordpress.com)

Students play a crucial role to potentially impact the university’s international climate in a meaningful way. Domestic and international students must have an open mind to learn other cultures, be proficient in multiple languages, engage in meaningful discourse with professors and classmates on global issues, as well as be confident enough to showcase their unique culture and viewpoints.

More important than just being international, students must be internationally-minded. Though we have seen increased efforts and initiatives to prepare students with a more global outlook, there are only few noteworthy large scale programs, apart from the International Baccalaureate, or IB.

Read more

Australia Moves To Streamline Student Visa System

australia student visa

(Source: http://www.ausblue.co.th)

Students eyeing to study in Australia now have more reasons to rejoice. The Australian government has recently announced that by the middle of next year, international students applying to study in Australia will undergo a simpler student visa process than its current process. This announcement comes after the UK government recently tabled new rules to shove work rights for non-EU higher education students, a move which drew stark responses and criticism by UK’s industry experts.

This move follows the recent release of a report, “Future directions for streamlined visa processing”, where consultations led to a simplified student framework (SSVF) to replace the current framework, now set to expire on June 30, 2016.
Some of the key notable changes include: Read more

Easyuni’s Founder Shares Insight On Common Problems Entrepreneurs Face When Starting A Business

For all the Facebooks, Instagrams, Googles and Pinterests that now take up our headlines (and headspace), the bleak fact remains that almost 9 out of 10 startups fail. To outsiders, there is a perceived sense of flair, charm and possibly sexiness in being an entrepreneur and pursuing one’s dream. However most actual entrepreneurs will actually tell you that is all but a delusional perception. They’ll tell you about the blood, sweat and tears. They will speak about the sacrifices they’ve had to make – like not seeing their family enough, getting less sleep, etc. And many more.

In a recent article by AgilityIO titled “3 Problems 50 Entrepreneurs Faced when Scaling Their Startups”, Easyuni’s Co-Founder & CEO, Edwin Tay shared his insights on the major difficulties he personally faced when he started his company, Easyuni.com, Malaysia’s No.1 education website that connects students and parents to universities and courses around the world. Read on to find out the hustle Edwin underwent to get the initial traction for the company, alongside many other valuable advice from other startup CEOs.

Top 3 Problems 50 Entrepreneurs Faced when Scaling Their Startups

Read more

Regional Rankings Still A Key Measure Of Academic Influence

Asian students

(Source: http://thelibertarianrepublic.com)

Based on the latest rankings for higher education, almost one in eight of the global’s top 200 universities are from Asia, as ranked in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2014/15. A similar pattern holds true for the QS World University Rankings 2014/15 where one in five universities in the top 200 are from Asia. This year alone, the region further added four additional institutions to the THE’s Top 200; at this pace, a quarter of the world’s best universities could be Asia by 2040, excluding Australian universities, which some consider as part of the Asian block. The gains Asian universities have made in recent years provide an interesting trend of the growing influence of higher learning in the region.
Editor of Times Higher Education Rankings, Phil Baty says, “The world expects that Asia will be the next global higher education superpower.”

These numbers are no mere matter methodology. Instead, the growing number of institutions from emerging economies brings to light the acceleration of higher education and more importantly, the significant investments in building capacity and capabilities for teaching and research. It is in recent years that we’re feeling the impact in terms of mobility.

As an example, enrollment in the US from China has experienced a shift in recent years. More Chinese students are pursuing undergraduate programs in the US while overall demand for US graduate programs – traditionally the core of enrollment of Chinese to the US – has dipped. While there are several factors that contribute to this, perhaps the most profound is the growing strength of academics of universities in China, and across the region. This growth is in tandem with the efforts China has pumped into its higher education sector, more specifically its graduate education, across thousands of universities. With the majority of its professors having received a Western education, the calibre, style and quality of teaching very much mirrors that of the West as well. In short, Chinese students have better access to world-class graduate studies at home; as such, more and more students are making that choice. Read more

UK Government Shove Work Rights For Non-EU Further Education Students

This week the British government tabled new rules that will no longer allow non-EU further education (FE) students currently pursuing their studies in the UK to work part-time. Non-EU FE students – those enrolled in non-degree post-secondary programs – will now also be required to leave the country upon completion of their studies and must apply for a work visa from outside the UK.

immigrants in London

(Source: www.dailymail.co.uk)

The Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules was tabled by UK’s Home Secretary, Theresa May in the British House of Commons earlier this week on 13th July 2015. James Brokenshire, UK’s Minister of Immigration made a statement to the House stating the reason behind the reform to the student visa system is to reduce net migration and tackle abuse of those that use the visa as a backdoor to the country’s job market.

Some of the key policies that were confirmed and tabled this week include:
– Effective 3rd August 2015, new non-EU students enrolled at public English FE colleges will not be allowed to work for up to 10 hours per week (or full-time between semesters)
– From 12th November 2015, FE students can only apply for work visa at the conclusion of their studies outside of the country (UK), meaning they must leave the country first
– Also commencing from 12th November 2015, FE visas will be reduced to two years from its current three. FE students are also not allowed to extend their visas unless they can showcase good progress in their studies and unless their institution is affiliated with a university.

The reforms on the student visa system were initially brought forth last week by two government ministers, which was subsequently reported in the British media over the weekend. It was initially understood that the reforms would apply to all non-EU students in the UK; however, official statements this week confirm confining the impact to students only enrolled in FE programs. Read more

Asia – The Next Superpower Of Higher Education?

chenese graduates
(Source: www.askbennychinese.com)

In the world of higher education, there has been much discourse and claims of a shifting global movement gravitated towards Asia. Indeed, it is not unusual to also hear and read about the region’s profound transformation and rise over the past half-century since the 70s to the present day.

Asia has undergone unprecedented economic growth over the last few decades resulting in driving major social and demographic change as well as institutional reform. In some countries, for the most part, this has brought about greater stability, infrastructure and more sound policies and regulations. The rise of a large and growing middle class together with increased openness, market reforms and regional initiatives such as ASEAN to unite and increase its global competitiveness has brought about greater interconnectedness amongst Asian countries and the rest of the world.

The higher education sector in the region has also reflected these dynamics, which is no surprise considering the economic boom in many fast-growing Asian countries is linked to a knowledge-based economy – knowledge production, advanced skills and an overall rising demand for higher education. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020, China alone will account for 30% of the world’s university graduates aged between 25 to 34 years old. Asia’s third largest economy, India is also projected to add 300 million people to the workforce in the next 2 decades – that, by the way, is the equivalent size of the entire population of the United States. On top of these big players, let’s not forget hot emerging countries that have undergone strong transformation or are part of the global competition and experienced rapid economic growth and taken steps to internationalize their higher education institutions, such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. Let’s look at the higher education landscape in Asia from the view of international engagement between Asian countries versus the rest of the world as well as domestic higher education developments of Asian countries.

A recent Open Doors 2014 statistics show a clear pattern that affirms the surge in mobility out of Asia, as well as into Asia. Delving deeper, we see many Asian faculty who return to leadership positions in their countries having obtained their PhDs from either US or European universities. On top of that, there is an increasingly growing segment of post-secondary students in Asia that plan to study abroad, likely in the US, Australia or Europe. This isn’t surprising. Consider this – Asian students make up a whopping 64% of the total international student body in the US. What does all this mean for Asia’s higher education landscape? Read more