Cultural education – easing the transition to the UK education system for international students

“Telling a Chinese student to critically appraise a text can often make them feel uncomfortable and the word ‘critical’ suggests ‘censure’”

A recent survey from UKI Student and School Forum and featured in The PIE News highlighted that international boarding school students, despite having potentially studied for several years in the UK, still worry about studying at degree level.

The transition to the UK education system is not an easy one for any international young person to make, but Paul Breen, from University of Westminster has some strong views on how the transition could be eased.

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Ready, steady, go? International applicants want more information to inform their study decisions

“When asked about how ready they felt to study abroad ahead of the autumn, half of applicants felt either only somewhat ready or not ready at all”

Demand for UK HE remains strong, though international students want to know more about what’s in store for them, writes Des Cutchey, Managing Director, UCAS International.

As society and the education sector continues to adapt to the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, we know international students continue to face uncertainty as they navigate their first academic year, or plan for future study in the UK. What will travel and the student experience look like in the current context? What will life look like as precautions related to the pandemic continue to change?

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Why giving children exposure to a greater variety of languages in schools is crucial to problem solving

“Embracing language learning does not mean simply widening access to modern  European languages”

In 2021, Ofsted published a report into the state of languages in UK schools. It begins with lofty ambition – the second line declares that learning a language is ‘a liberation from insularity and provides an opening to other cultures’ – but soon runs aground on the grim statistics of student disengagement, writes Barry Mansfield of Halcyon London International School, Marylebone.

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International students are the key to the future of British science

“International students in the UK directly contribute to cutting edge research and the development of new technologies”

Britain is one of just five countries in the world to have developed a WHO-approved vaccine against Covid-19, a triumph that would not have been possible without the countless hours contributed to the project by international students, says Study Group’s James Pitman.

The UK has earned its place as a global science hub, but the government plans to go even further, turning the country into a “science and technology superpower”. This ambitious goal is achievable, but only if we continue to welcome international students and empower them to work side by side with the top British minds in academia and research.

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How is international learning shifting?

“For international education to move effectively to a blended model involving both online and physical campuses, it is not just teaching approaches that need to be considered”

Digital advancements have given universities an innovative way of offering international learning to students who may not be in the position to move abroad. Whether it is due to family commitments or financial reasons, students can gain an internationally recognised degree regardless of their ability to travel.

With Arden University partnering with its first international partner, Roots Ivy International College, to offer students in Pakistan the ability to gain a UK degree earlier this year, Debra Hinds, associate pro-vice-chancellor of Partnerships at Arden University writes about how international learning is shifting, the opportunities at hand and how universities can aim to give a better learning experience for international students.

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Three positives to emerge from Covid

“This pandemic dictated immediate upskilling in online teaching capability in order to reach students in their homes”

For all of us in international education, Covid-19 has ripped up the rule book. While it’s been the most challenging time of our careers, there have been many positives – our digital ambition has accelerated; we’ve been forced to innovate; and the student experience has been front and centre, writes Tom Gifford, Head of Student Recruitment (International & Domestic) at RMIT University.

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TNE opportunities and barriers in Morocco

“What many people probably don’t appreciate about Morocco is its growing status as an economic and cultural bridge between Europe and Africa”

One thing that Covid-19 has taught us about UK universities’ approach to international engagement is the critical importance of diversifying across countries and regions, writes John Mcnamara, Global Research Manager at the British Council.

While Asia remains key for student recruitment and transnational education, opportunities in newly emerging markets is assuming a greater priority.

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What makes a great international recruitment agent?

“Beyond a robust knowledge of the admissions process, agents should also be prepared to help prospective students plan out their larger educational journey all the way through to employment”

Agents will play a vital role in achieving the UK government’s bold goal of increasing “the number of international higher education students hosted in the UK to 600,000 per year by 2030.” As the industry ramps up international recruitment to meet this goal, many institutions are working with agents for the first time, says Study Group’s chief revenue officer, Manoj Shetty.

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Why there needs to be more education on share codes

“There is a serious lack of understanding about how and when to use government-generated share codes”

Starting a new university course is always going to be a daunting prospect, but for international students it’s also about embarking on life in a new country too, writes Matt Oldham, co-founder of Unizest.

For overseas students, proving their immigration status is one of the many challenges they need to overcome, yet what should in theory be a relatively simple process, often becomes a complex one due to a lack of understanding around share codes.

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Why would any higher education institution treat international students differently in terms of graduate employability?

“I am truly shocked at the suggestion that any institution would, should or could differentiate between home and international students, reducing tailored support solely because of status”

I have worked in the higher education sector for over 25 years at a senior level, so it takes a lot to take my breath away, but the joint report published today by HEPI and Kaplan – Paying More for Less?: Careers and Employability Support for International Students – has achieved exactly that, says Paul Marshall, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Careers and Enterprise) at University of East London.

The authors strongly question whether the sector has the capacity, resource and, in some cases, the will to meet the career aspiration of international students.

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