Fairer Home Office regulations for smaller institutions

“The political imperative to tighten the numbers of immigrants entering the country must be balanced against the need for a fair system for all institutions”

In the UK, concerns have been brewing for some time that strict Home Office regulations – including the cap on the number of visa refusals institutions are permitted to keep operating – may be disproportionately harming smaller institutions, writes Alex Bols, deputy chief executive of GuildHE. What can be done to remedy the situation?

The UK has a world-class higher education system, the strength of which is – at least in part – the result of the huge diversity of universities, of all sizes and specialisms.

Many students deliberately choose to study in a smaller or more specialist institution because of the world-class facilities as well as the safer and more personalised experience that they will receive and these opportunities should be available to the many international students wanting to study in the UK.
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“Perhaps the scales are tipping”: women in UK HE senior leadership – a personal perspective

“I firmly believe that if I had stayed in India, I would not have achieved what I have managed to here in the UK”

Sonal Minocha, pro-vice chancellor for global engagement at Bournemouth University, writes about her experience of being a woman in a senior leadership position, and how her experience might be different if she’d stayed in India.

This tweet, the data it highlights, and the very persuasively presented blog, together made me think – perhaps consciously for the first time – of how privileged I am to be a product of UK Higher Education. My career, both as a student and a staff member, has thankfully defied the allegations and statistics that this article summarises.

So let me give you my personal context – I am Indian by origin – born and brought up in Delhi, and my first time away from India was as an international student to Newcastle in 2001. I am (or at least was then) very much a migrant, a foreigner, an ethnic minority!
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Why MOOCs and executives don’t mix

“Expecting executive learners to stay the (online) course based on a cobbled together jumble of videos, articles and chat rooms is farfetched”

Paul Hunter, director of IMD’s Corporate Learning Network, argues that MOOCs aren’t best suited to executives, and offers some tips about making virtual learning more appealing.

After the scurry of educational providers scrambling to be part of MOOC mania, the hype has all but dissipated, primarily due to low traction rates and lackluster results.

Undoubtedly, MOOCs have their place for disciplined and curious individuals with an iron will, available time and a natural predisposition to persevere. However, for time-stretched executives juggling high-pressure professional objectives and increasingly scarce personal time, MOOCs have not provided the hoped for panacea.
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Road to enrichment: ensuring students are accepted into top universities

“Universities want graduates to be well-rounded, highly employable human beings. All top HE institutions ask for evidence of ‘supercurricular’ activity”

Bellerbys College is a GCSE and A Level college with four campuses in the UK. Here Kevin Brady writes about the importance of enrichment programmes and his own experience looking at the student response to extracurricular programming at Bellerbys.

Universities want graduates to be well-rounded, highly employable human beings. All top HE institutions ask for evidence of ‘supercurricular’ activity – we call it ‘enrichment’.
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Study abroad: the best decision I almost didn’t make

“I remember my professor’s wife telling me that this was only the beginning for me, and she was right”

Sabrina Prioleau refutes the idea that short-term study abroad doesn’t have an impact on students, describing how her own experience has inspired her to do a PhD in international education.

While in graduate school at Webster University, I noticed the wonderful study abroad opportunities that were offered to undergraduate students. I remembered saying to myself I wish there was a two week study abroad option, however I quickly recanted and said, but they would never have such a short program. To my surprise, I received an email in November 2011 from Webster’s main campus in St. Louis, Missouri. The email encouraged me to add international experience to my resume by participating in a hybrid course, which consisted of 6 weeks of online course work and two weeks abroad.

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Thinking about the wider dimension of internationalisation

“It’s clear that too often internationalisation within our universities is too narrowly defined as the inward mobility of international students, and then generally only for the economic benefit they bring”

Vincenzo Raimo, pro-vice-chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading, reflects on conferences he has attended, and asks what higher education leaders can do to broaden their perspectives on internationalisation.

The recent International Higher Education Forum was a mix of the practical: how to develop partnerships in India; the commercial: how to segment your student recruitment markets and improve return on investment; together with a dash of inspiration towards the end of the day from Professor Bertil Andersson, President of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, who is able to “smell” the success of his strategy by walking around his campus and by speaking to his very international mix of staff and students.
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Global risk: universities need to be better prepared

“From terrorism to transnational crime, epidemics to extortion, censorship to cyber security, there has never been a more dangerous time to venture abroad”

Brett Bruen is a former director of global engagement at the White House and US diplomat, and is now president of the consulting firm the Global Situation Room. Here he writes about why universities should take the risks of travelling seriously so they can better protect their students and staff overseas.

The murder of American student Nohemi Gonzalez, during the terrorist attacks in Paris last fall, was a tragic reminder of the risks of studying and researching abroad today. Sadly, those risks are no longer remote. Indeed, they’re regular and rising. From terrorism to transnational crime, epidemics to extortion, censorship to cyber security, there has never been a more dangerous time to venture abroad. Unfortunately, the response by most universities to these threats remains woefully outdated and inadequate.
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Brexit might not deter students, but it could devastate global faculty and research

“The lifting of the cap has inadvertently made international strategies more real – at least when it comes to student diversity. Would a so-called Brexit end all of that? I don’t think so”

The lifting of the cap on student numbers at UK universities led many institutions to rethink their recruitment and internationalisation policies, with many putting greater efforts into recruiting students from within the EU than before, writes Vincenzo Raimo, pro-vice-chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading. Here he looks at how this has led to growth in European student numbers, and asks: how would this change if the UK were to leave the EU?

The focus of the majority of UK university international strategies for the past 20 years or so has been fee income growth. Constrained within a highly regulated system with strict limits on domestic students, the only way universities could grow was to recruit (unregulated) international fee paying students. As well as adding to the diversity of our universities and the quality of student experience, these international students brought income which allowed our universities to grow and develop, appoint new faculty and build new and better facilities.
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