The challenge to higher education internationalisation

The global landscape for higher education internationalisation is changing dramatically. What one might call ‘the era of higher education internationalisation’ over the past 25 years (1990–2015) that has characterised university thinking and action might either be finished or, at least, be on life support. 

 

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The unlimited growth of internationalisation of all kinds – including massive global student mobility, the expansion of branch campuses, franchised and joint degrees, the use of English as a language for teaching and research worldwide and many other elements – appears to have come to a rather abrupt end, especially in Europe and North America.

We have previously argued that Trumpism, Brexit and the rise of nationalist and anti-immigrant politics in Europe were changing the landscape of global higher education. Subsequent events have strengthened our conviction that we are seeing a fundamental shift in higher education internationalisation that will mean rethinking the entire international project of universities worldwide.

 

Continue reading on University World News. 

StudyPortals presents view on the future of international education

International student mobility will continue to grow but the ‘where and how’ will change, with new destinations and new delivery models taking over, and partnerships between institutions becoming crucial, a new report by StudyPortals argues.

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The cause for these changes lies in eight ‘megatrends’ that the report predicts will rock the global higher education sector.

Together with the boom in English-medium programmes in Europe and Asia, the ambitions of world-class universities in emerging countries and the evolution of transnational education models, will ‘shift the nature and direction of internationally mobile students’.

Continue reading on The Pie News. 

Singapore Asia’s #1 in Startup Mobility and Education in Asia: Youth Mobility Report

Singapore has been ranked Asia’s number one country for Start-up Mobility and in the Education sector according to a recent Youth Mobility Report (YMI) from the team behind the .asia top level domain.

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Singapore scored well with its highly educated workforce and ranked well in nurturing start-up talents. Singaporeans also enjoy a high degree of travel freedom according to the annual Henley Passport Index in which the country’s passport ranks the world’s second most powerful. This is also reflected in YMI.Asia, which ranks Singapore as number one in Inbound-Outbound Student Force, ahead of Hong Kong. Its competency in Education Mobility and an outstanding score in English Proficiency also helped Singapore to the number one position.

Continue reading on DomainPulse.

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.

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.

Studying Abroad: Cultural Preference Tops Academics for Gen Z

A research conducted by AFS Intercultural Programs concluded that Generation Z prefers the cultural aspect of studying abroad over considering the quality of education.

Over 5,000 students were surveyed from 27 countries around the world with ages ranging from 13 to 18 years old between March and December 2016.

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According to the study, 67% of the students have shown high value on the cultural experiences that are bound to come while studying abroad compared to the scholastics and education.

Daniel Obst, the president and CEO of AFS expressed that based on the findings, Generation Z students do not only want to travel overseas for the sake of it but actually want to experience what the local people of foreign countries experience. He adds that they are keen on having a ‘global’ status on their identity when compared to older generations.

Of the 67% of culture-yearning students, there are two groups. ‘Cultural hitchhikers’ or those whose primary focus is on cultural experience that does not have high financial resources make up 36% of the respondents. On the other hand, ‘cultural floaters’ or students with high financial resources and who intends to experience other cultures are 31% of the students.

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When broken down by nationality, three-quarters of the students who prefer culture more than academics are European, followed by 57% from Latin America, 58% from Southeast Asia and 72% from North America.

According to a report, Mapping Generation Z: Attitudes toward International Education Programs, AFS discovered that the top destinations of this generation were Anglophone or English-speaking countries to be most considered, achieving a percentage of 77% of students. The countries most preferred were the US, UK and Australia.

Western European countries like Germany, France and Italy faired 65% as favourable countries and China being the least favourable fairing 38% of the Gen Z students.

“These findings paint a picture of large growth potential for the traditionally popular English destinations and set the tone for increasing competitive pressures among them” the report noted.

Concerning security issues, 36% of students expressed their anxiety but after May 2016, the percentage increased to 52% as the terrorist attacks were publicised globally.

Other issues concerning studying abroad were making no friends, followed by homesickness and school re-entry requirements upon returning home, each shared by 48% of students.

None of the respondents had been on an international exchange before this but 60% has considered the possibility.

Hristo Banov, manager of the management information unit at AFS and the study’s lead researcher said that in order to increase the interest of students to study in foreign countries, it is important for information to travel by word of mouth.

He adds that, in today’s environment, ‘genuine, personal referral’ remains unchanged although students listen to experiences from immediate friends and family but also get to see the experiences of others from their extended social media footprint.

USA now home to 1 million international students

While a future count may be uncertain amongst the Trump presidency debacle, the Institute of International Education (IIE)’s Open Doors report portrays a continuing increase in the number of inbound international students.

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A 7% growth during the 2015/2016 years was put out by the Open Doors report, which drew its results from more than 3,000 prestigious higher education institutions in the USA.

China and India, as previewed in previous reports, hold the bulk of inbound international students, with Chinese students accountable for 31.5% of the entire international student population in the USA, with a 8.1% overall increase to a complete 328,547 students. Meanwhile, 24.9% more Indian students were reported to be coming in to the country as compared to the 2014/2015 numbers. Other countries such as Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Canada, among many others are too home to the highest number of foreign students in the USA, although a notable decrease in students was seen from Saudi Arabia and Canada. The biggest decrease in international students, however, was from Brazil, a decrease of 18.2%, which may be linked to the government’s Scientific Mobility Program freeze.

The total student population in the USA is now inclusive of 5% international students overall, who, according to the US Department of Commerce, contributed more than US$35 billion to the economy.

In terms of academic level, while both undergraduate (7%) and postgraduate (6%) students increased in numbers during 2015/2016, the highest increase, of 23% was seen in Optional Practical Training.

Courses pursued by a large part of the international student population were STEM subjects, which may lead to a possible correlation with the rise in students from India as well, seeing as how, as reported by IIE, more than three-quarters of Indian students tend to go into the STEM field. What was also noticeable of students originating from India was the higher number or graduate students (101,800) studying in the USA as compared to undergraduate students (19,300).

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On the opposite end, 313,000 USA students were reported to be studying abroad in 2015, a minute 3% increase, with two-thirds of the number belonging to the female gender, and 27% racial or ethnic minorities.

IIE President Allan Goodman, on the surpassing of the 1 million international students mark commented, “The Open Doors findings show that international students value the quality, diversity and strong reputation of US institutions and recognize that these institutions will give them opportunities that can help them not only in their education but also in their careers.”

Survey reveals what potential students look for when deciding on an MBA

A step up from previous years, the rise and potential of entrepreneurship is now one of the top reasons, among several others, as to why students wish to pursue an MBA.

Amidst several reports undermining the value of an MBA and its decline comes the Tomorrow’s MBA study, conducted by CarringtonCrisp and constituting of the voices and opinions of more than a 1000 potential MBA students from 82 countries.

One of the survey’s key findings were the reasons behind students wanting to pursue an MBA, of which the rise in earning potential took priority, while other factors such as employability and the want to be internationally recognised made the list as well. The desire to venture into entrepreneurship too topped the list as the fifth most significant reason, up from 10th place in last year’s survey. The sudden push of this specific topic of interest brings to mind the need for an MBA’s content to be tailored differently so as to support and acquire more students’ interests, that “Given this interest, schools should think about what they teach, career services provided and how they align programmes with this growing demand.”

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With the Kauffman Index of Start-up Activity reporting that 550,000 individuals emerge as entrepreneurs each month in America, it’s an easy task at a glimpse of the entrepreneurship boom in recent years. Several reasons, such as the ease with which ideas can now be brought to life, and a changing and more encouraging economy, entrepreneurs often tend to gain success, walking down such a path.

The survey also detailed several other findings, such as the number of women who are actively considering working towards an MBA, making up to a complete 42% of the total candidate number, the highest to be recorded in previous surveys. Andrew Crisp, owner of CarringtonCrisp, highlights the advance in technology as a vital factor in allowing more women to pursue an MBA, with methods such as online distance learning now easily accessible to the overall population, such as for women “who’ve come out of the labour force for a while – maybe they’ve been having children – to do an MBA without having to sit in a classroom of men who are trying to get into a finance career, with everything that goes with the culture of some of the big finance houses,” says Crisp.

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Following up on this, Crisp additionally remarks that it would be the successful schools who realise that it is integral to market to both potential male and female candidates, keeping in mind the difference in each gender’s perceptions and opinions of what they look for in an MBA and the additional services offered to them. A fine example of this is the difference both genders hold in valuing assistance while in search of an internship, with female candidates ranking at 72% while male candidates ranked at a lower 60%.

The essentiality of career services being part of an MBA course too was present in the findings, with 72% of individuals desiring for help in planning a career which would make them more employable in the near future.

On the topic of what can be called an “MBA 2.0,” –which seeks to be more flexible and look into the changing and growing interests of potential candidates –technology’s advance has been quite a game-changer, with the survey reporting that, as it now stands, more than a quarter of potential candidates prefer flexible or online MBAs, instead of the usual one-year, full-time MBA.

As a final note, Crisp advises schools offering MBAs that “It’s not necessarily the longest running programmes that are going to be the best; it’s going to be the ones that are quickest to adapt, that embrace the new technology, that use it to best effect to deliver a really outstanding online experience.”

Education The Gateway For Growth For Indonesia

A recent World Bank report highlighted that Indonesia is currently facing a developmental crossroad. It has now grown to one the world’s 20 largest economies in the world and aims to be the top 10 largest economies globally by 2030; certainly bold and bodacious goals. Looking at growing major trends and developments not only in Indonesia but also the region – particularly a growing middle class, rapid urbanization, strong growth in the region and an opening up of regional markets in Southeast Asia with the Asian Economic Corridor (AEC) – this has resulted in new challenges as well as strong opportunities for Indonesia, especially in the country’s education sector.

Critical to be competitive

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The World Bank believes that having a skilled labor force would be crucial to leverage on the country’s existing opportunities. The World Bank further adds,

“Without the right skills, opening up to ASEAN may pose a problem more than an opportunity [whereby] without the right skills or urban migrants, urbanization will not bring about the benefits of scale. [If youths don’t possess the right skills,] the growing demand for higher quality products and services may be met by importing them rather than increasing the value added of Indonesian firms.”

It is clear that for Indonesia future’s success, the country will need to have a serious look at improving its state of education – simplifying access to all levels of education and improved parity of graduate skills to its future labor requirements.

While general unemployment rates in Indonesia has been on a downward trend in recent years (ranging from 6-9& over recent years, and 5.9% in 2014), it is increasingly worrying to note that unemployment rate is highest among high school and higher education graduates (aged between 12 – 24 years old). In fact, the unemployment rate for those aged between 15 – 24 is alarmingly far above the national average. Fresh graduates from high schools, colleges and vocational schools are finding it difficult to secure a job in the national workforce. Read more

Study Reveals Most Popular Online Recruiting Strategies Of US Colleges

The always-insightful consulting and research firm Noel-Levitz is out this year with two new studies that nicely add to the current research on online recruiting practices and the motivations and concerns of prospective international students.

[Originally published on ICEF at http://monitor.icef.com/2014/11/study-reveals-popular-online-recruiting-strategies-us-colleges/ ]

The first, 2014 E-Recruiting Practices Report for Four-Year and Two-Year Institutions, draws on a survey of 258 US colleges and universities to provide a summary of the online recruiting strategies most commonly used among US institutions. A second study, 2014 International E-Expectations Report, surveyed more than 2,400 prospective international students (from 164 countries) in order to map the major preferences, concerns, and requirements of students planning to study in the US.

The two papers, while not explicitly companions of one another, nevertheless make interesting reading when placed side by side. They are both heavily oriented to the US market but many of the insights they provide will be useful to those recruiting or referring students outside of the US as well.

Top recruiting practices

Noel-Levitz asked institutional respondents to indicate which of 28 common e-recruiting practices – other than social media – that they used most frequently. The following table summarises the ten top-ranked options, broken down by type of institution.

Most popular e-recruiting practices by institution type. Source: Noel-Levitz Read more