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.

international-student

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.

culture-yearning-international-students

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.

Key Trends Boosting Technology Adoption In Higher Education Sector

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

Futuristic learning spaces

(Source: http://www.olasikora.cz/)

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

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

Malaysia To Roll Out iCGPA Programme

Merdeka square Malaysia

(Source: http://images.placesonline.com/)

 

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.

Survey Shows Three-quarters Of Global Parents To Consider Studying Abroad

HSBC recently released its latest survey, Learning for Life, covering 5,500 parents in 16 countries around the world, showing that 77% would consider sending their child to study abroad either for undergraduate or postgraduate studies.
The latest installment of HSBC’s The Value of Education research series, Learning for Life is based on a comprehensive national survey of parents around the world who have at least one child aged 23 years old or younger. It was conducted online by Ipsos MORI in March and April 2015 (with supplemental in-person interviews in the UAE).
The 16 countries sample included countries popular for sending students abroad like Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and Turkey. Research showed that close to two thirds (64%) of parents would consider study abroad for their children’s undergraduate studies, with an even higher majority (70%) considering postgraduate study.

parents and students

(Source: http://stacyloliver.com/)

The report affirms that globally, parents in Asia are most receptive to send their child abroad for undergraduate study. Malaysia leads the way with four out of five parents (80%) open to the idea, followed by Hong Kong, Indonesia and Singapore at 74%. Expectedly, only around half of parents in western countries – Canada (51%), Australia (52%) and France (53%) – would consider sending their child to study abroad.

The survey also highlighted a number of key countries as probably hotspots for postgraduate demand – 88% of parents in India, followed by Turkey (83%), China and Malaysia (82%) lead the countries for those most likely to consider overseas postgraduate studies for their children.

Interestingly, nearly eight in ten (78%) parents believed their children’s prospect for becoming more knowledge as a strong benefit of a university education. Moreover, half of these parents believed their children has more opportunity today to study abroad as compared to their own generation, a promising trend on the increasing importance of higher education. Over half (51%) also saw studying abroad as a beneficial opportunity for their children to experience life and cultures abroad.

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

New Insights On How To Engage Millennials

The YMS 2015 (Youth Marketing Strategy) recently hosted its conference in London and released a compelling report. Organized by youth research firm, Voxburner, the report themed Youth Trends 2015, gave essential insights for educators marketing to their most valuable audience: millennials.

The report follows a recent online survey that Voxburner conducted to 1,156 English 16-24 year olds between December 2014 – February 2105 followed up with interviews with some of the respondents. While the survey was specific to British youths, the findings nonetheless shed interesting light on this very connected and younger, tech-savvy demographic in both developed and emerging economies.

Judging from the presentations at YMS 2015 by some 30 speakers from today’s largest brands like Facebook, Airbnb, Twitter and Spotify, the commentaries and shared opinions proport the report’s findings of the experience of these global brands and organisations.

Specifically for educators, the most interesting and pertinent insights from Youth Trends 2015 are:

Millennials are a more serious lot that you think when it comes to their career choice and making a positive and meaningful contribution on the world than all other generations. They view both travel and work coming as coming together to bring them a successful life.
Millennials seek guidance to reach their goals – from mentors, YouTube or other resources.
They are extremely discerning with brands, believing brands must be ethical and do good things in the world to deserve their time and loyalty.
They see themselves as busy people – very busy in fact – with their lives sped up further by multiple content channels within a space of hours or even minutes. Brands have very little time to make their brand matter to them.

 

Eager, inspired and hopeful

(Source: http://i.huffpost.com)

While we’ve read about or even experienced the differences between millennials (born between early 1980s & early 2000s) compared to other generations (Boomers & Gen Xers), the Youth Trends 2015 noticed that millennials are looking forward even as they live in the present. They plan their next steps carefully considering who they want to be, from what brands to engage with to which college to attend. On the flip side, boomers and Gen Xers spent less time worrying about their place in the world and their actions and were focused more in the present. Read more