Study tracks the increasing popularity of alternate credentials

One in four higher education institutions in North America now offer badges and three in four say that such alternate credentials are “strategically important to their future.” These are some of the headline findings of a new study from Pearson and UPCEA.

Percentage of UPCEA/Pearson survey respondents offering various types of alternate credentials, 2016 and 2017. Source: UPCEA

Percentage of UPCEA/Pearson survey respondents offering various types of alternate credentials, 2016 and 2017. Source: UPCEA

The study tracks the growing footprint of alternative credentials – which are defined as “something other than the associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degree” – in the professional, continuing, and online education offerings of North American universities and colleges.

“Perhaps it’s time to see if there are different ways to prepare contemporary students for an increasingly complex knowledge and information economy, using methods that take less time, cost less money, and lead more directly to quality employment,” says UPCEA President Wayne Smutz. “At least some employers are beginning to think this might be the case, as they express frustration over not being able to find qualified employees for their vacant jobs. It is this possibility to improve the way we prepare students that drives the increasing exploration of alternative credentials, such as certificates [and] badges.”

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What makes a real international university ranking?

Around the world university rectors, presidents and managers are bracing themselves for the next wave of classifications called, rightly or wrongly, ‘rankings’. But before the new ranking wave rolls in, we should ask what makes a real international university ranking?

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The first international university ranking was produced by Asiaweek in 1999 and 2000, to be followed in 2003 by the Shanghai Jiao Tong University’s Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). The Webometrics Ranking and the Times Higher Education – Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings both started in 2004. Since then, international university rankings have proliferated.

The IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence, whose mission is ‘to act as a repository of information about rankings and to keep track of the constantly evolving and diverse world of rankings’, commissioned the Perspektywy Education Foundation (Poland) to prepare a comprehensive IREG Inventory on International Rankings that would serve stakeholders such as students, faculty, administrators and policy-makers.

Continue reading on University World News. 

International school students considering a wider range of study abroad destinations

Two reports about to be released by ISC Research highlight that an increasing number of families from non-English-speaking countries are selecting education for their children in the language of English from the very earliest age to increase their success through higher education. Coupled with this, many parents throughout Asia are choosing Western-style schools that study towards Western qualifications for their children to prepare them well for university in the West.

Wealth and aspiration fuelling demand

The ISC Research 2018 Global Report on the world’s international schools market, published this month, will show that the number of schools delivering learning in the language of English (English-medium) and following an international curriculum has grown by 29% from September 2013 to September 2017 (and a staggering 255% since the year 2000). Even more significant is the number of students attending these schools which has increased by 33% over the same period (406% in the last 17 years). There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, “Globalisation has provided the stimulus for much of the development in the international schools market,” notes the report. “Massive investment by Western businesses, especially in Asian economies, has resulted in substantial growth in the number of highly skilled and well-paid expatriates. As a consequence, there has been a large rise in demand for international schooling from expatriate communities.”

Secondly, the report adds, “The rapid growth of many economies, especially in Asia, has generated a vast increase in the amount of individual wealth among local families in those countries. For example, 2017 reports suggest that there are around 1.6 million USD millionaires and nearly 650 USD billionaires residing in China. Many families have high aspirations for their children and want them to receive the best education, which usually means enrolling them abroad for their schooling or at international schools in their home countries, followed by undergraduate studies at Western universities. The scale of the increase in individual wealth has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of local families who can afford international school tuition fees, leading to a comparable increase in demand for places at international schools.”

The growth of the international schools sector, 2000–2017, with projections through 2027. Source: ISC Research

The growth of the international schools sector, 2000–2017, with projections through 2027. Source: ISC Research.

 

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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. 

Five winning ways to reach students

Successful student recruitment campaigns go well beyond listing and promoting a school’s programmes – they inspire and encourage prospective students to imagine themselves living and studying on campus. Great campaigns tap into students’ passions and career goals, and they gain momentum when they’re so cool they get shared all over social media.

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Here are five examples of schools doing recruiting right.

1. Jump past the limits of educational marketing and be bold!

Babson College, a business school in Massachusetts, oriented its marketing message around the general interests and popular culture of the students it wanted to attract. It used blockbuster Hollywood movie-inspired design to convey the message that its programmes nurture the talents and ambitions of entrepreneurs. The flashy, confident design concept and decision to appeal to students’ post-degree aspirations set the campaign apart from those of competitors.

Continue reading on ICEF Monitor. 

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. 

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

 

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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)