With the advent of the new era of technology over the last two decades, perhaps the most oft-cited buzzwords circling around both academia and businesses is “innovation”. However, its usage is anything but consistent. While it can mean encouraging a team to think creatively with disruptive ideas, it can also mean an organization consistently creating new ideas or products or even that its internal processes and procedures are different from its competitors.
– Canada new Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) for visitors from visa-exempt countries
– All prospective international students planning to study in Canada are affected
– The Electronic Travel Authorization will be mandatory from March 15, 2016; applications can be done online from August 1, 2015
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.
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
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
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.
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.
The “Horizon Report > 2015 Higher Education Edition” report by New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative studies key developments in education technology pertaining to the higher education sector. The report predicts emerging edtech trends that will shape and impact higher learning for the next five years.
For this report, an expert panel of 56 technology experts across 17 countries explored trends, policies, technologies as well as challenges in the near, mid and long term in the higher ed landscape. From these discussions, six trends and six technologies were identified as being the most likely to impact technology-planning and decision-making for varsities over the next five years.
Trends Boosting the Adoption of Technology in Higher Education
Short term: 1 – 2 years
Rising Use of Blended Learning
Blended learning – where students learning through content and material delivered via digital and online media – has given rise to non-traditional schools and students the freedom to learn in alternative ways. The focus on data collection allows in-depth understanding of students and customization of instruction with more flexibility and ease to deliver course materials and support. Online learning will continue to mature leading to more stability and recognized acceptance thereby driving growth in this area. Read more
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
The number of students pursuing international study for higher education are at an all-time for popular study countries like US, UK and Australia. Much of this growth has been attributed to the increase in overall demand, led primarily by students from emerging countries like China, India, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Another factor contributing to this trend is the Internet, by making it easier for students to file queries – through forms, social media or email – to multiple schools at once. Moreover, centralized application systems and online applications gives additional convenience and ease for prospects to file a wide field of applications.
The web is home a tremendous amount of information about pursuing education; in turn, this has resulted in a new prospect category known as the “stealth applicant.” These are applicants who remain anonymous until the point of application and hence remain out of the tracking and communications processes of schools. Some even go as far as not to opt in to formal enquiries hence preventing schools from contacting them. Others are more comfortable to find the information they need online prior to submitting their application.
As you can imagine, these factors are a big headache and troubling concern for educational institutions as they struggle to acquire, qualify and manage prospect students. In addition, these factors are seemingly pointing to lower yield rates as well – the number of enquiries that convert to paying students.
The Higher Education Ministry of Malaysia recently announced that it is now ready to roll out its new grading system, an initiative the ministry has been working on over the last 6 years.Some 300 students from five public universities will take part in the pilot programme for the implementation of the new student assessment system, Integrated Cumulative Grade Point Average (iCGPA). Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh stated that between 40 to 60 new students in each programme will take part in this roll out starting from the intake in September 2015.
“The five universities that will take part in the pilot project are Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Universiti Malaysia Kelantan (UMK) and Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP)”, he added.
Idris said that iCGPA concept was something the ministry explored since 2009, collaborating with experts from public universities including UKM and UiTM and getting advice from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA), while the Ministry of Higher Education facilitating the entire process. He added, “The efforts have been time consuming in view of the data, research and efforts required to this initiative a success.”
According to Idris, the mission of the iCGPA is to help overcome the discrepancy between the quality of graduates and requirements of employers, with the current system solely measuring academic ability. “We always hear comments wanting graduates who are holistic, have entrepreneurial characteristics and well balanced. This is what we hope to create through iCGPA,” he told reporters.
The new system will offer a more comprehensive and holistic approach covering areas such as academic understanding and skills, critical and scientific thinking, communication and social skills, teamwork, entrepreneurship and leadership. It will also include assessing fields like humanity, ethics, morality, information management and inculcate lifelong learning, all of which will be reported in student scorecards via the “Spider Web” method, listing down students’ performance. In addition, the assessment goes beyond the classroom and also covers activities on campus.
When asked to why only such a small number – 0.0075% of the 40,000 students enrolled in public universities – were included in this pilot programme, Idris mentioned it was due to the fact that only one faculty is chosen per university.
He further added, “We are still in discussion with universities and will look at how ready the faculties are to apply the system before making a decision.”
MQA’s Chief Executive Officer, Datuk Prof Dr Rujhan Mustafa said, “MQA supports the Higher Education Ministry’s intention to implement the iCGPA [as] it allows the employer to have an idea of the true potential of graduates.”
The iCGPA marks one of the plans under Shift 1 of Malaysia’s Education Blueprint 2015-2025, also known as Higher Education Blueprint, which was launched in April 2015.
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