2023 predictions for UAE universities

“The higher education landscape in the UAE is on an exciting and dynamic journey and is now a destination of choice for many students”

The UAE has 11 universities featured in the rankings for the top 1,000.  It’s an impressive feat for a country that founded its first university, the United Arab Emirates University, in 1976, but how have they achieved this?

When you ask anyone working in higher education what 2023 looks like, the response is positive. Post-pandemic, the higher education landscape is filled with visions of a digital age and driving research to change the world.

This stems from what has been happening on college and university campuses for the last two years; fuelled by the pandemic, worldwide digital transformation, new learning formats and exploitation of the latest innovative technologies that can take educators and learners to another level beyond the zoom’ pandemic days. The UAE is no different.

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The UK digitisation process continues: the end of bio-metric residence permits

“Students with a course end date beyond 31 December 2024 have been left confused and panicked”

Since July 2015, the Bio-metric Residence Permit has been the main immigration status document held by those with a UK visa valid for longer than six months.

It is widely known that BRPs in circulation failed to incorporate next generation encryption technology, which was essential in order to meet specific EU requirements. At the time, the EU advised that BRPs can only be valid until 31 December 2024, and, although this notice has since been lifted by the EU, the UK has progressed with its plans to digitalise immigration status.

As part of the transition into the realms of digital status, individuals can prove their immigration status via the “View and Prove Your Immigration Status” online service.

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The prominence of non-STEM courses in the US

“The US offers a unique dual degree program that allows students to undertake two subjects of varied fields”

A recent study by the World Economic Forum revealed that creativity, originality and emotional intelligence are among the top 10 in-demand skills in 2023. And what’s interesting is that except for two, all are non-STEM skills, which means they do not fall under the purview of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics.

While researching the gradual shift towards non-STEM fields, I came across the McKinsey Global Institute trends report, which stated how the need for job skills will change between now and 2030. It emphasises on the demand for a person’s interpersonal skills, such as communication, empathy, and creativity. The report also states that the employees’ core performance areas are changing due to technological breakthroughs like automation and artificial intelligence.

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What has happened at the branch campus in Korea for the last 10 years?

“Korea’s ambition to bring in foreign branch campuses to Korea was viewed as a booster for the economic gains, with one important conditionality attached”

In 2012, the Korea established the  East Asian educational hub, Incheon Global Campus in a government-led efforts to promote globalisation in higher education. 10 years on, I want to investigate what has happened to US campuses in Korea over the past decade.

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Five roles of education leaders who are prioritising student wellbeing

“Beneath the hum of student resurgence, student wellbeing is still a concern, particularly for international students”

Across the globe, education providers are eyeing 2023 with positivity. Borders have mostly opened, lockdowns have mostly ceased (except for China), international students are returning, and there’s a general buzz on campus again as Covid-as-normal life proceeds to create its new shape.

However, beneath the hum of student resurgence, student wellbeing is still a concern, particularly for international students, who are more likely than domestic students to experience anxiety, depression, wellbeing issues, and other mental health concerns. This is concerning for everyone in the sector – from students to academics and executives – given that research has consistently shown a strong association between symptoms of mental distress, academic self-efficacy and study progress.

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The risk landscape for international education in 2023

“Planning for risk can alleviate the permanent fire-fighting state many have felt in the past three years”

Working in international education, senior leaders are used to managing risk but the last three years have shown just how complex this responsibility has become.

From the pandemic to devastating natural disasters; the growing mental health crisis to the rise in crime, and particularly the exponential increase in cybercrime; and now the cost-of-living crisis, we are living through a period of exceptional upheaval.

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Communicate with confidence when studying abroad

“New technology is making overseas learning experiences even easier”

Based on a recent survey conducted by Palaver, frustration (50%) and embarrassment (49%) are the top two emotions experienced when trying to speak local languages abroad.

As a result, we often rely on others to speak English instead. However, this restricts our conversations and ability to connect with others – particularly when studying abroad – as we depend on building new relationships to prevent loneliness.

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Complexities in the role of English in international students’ experiences in multilingual Hong Kong

“Simply stating English as the medium of instruction in the name of internationalisation leaves much room for disagreement and inconsistency”

Research over the past decade has unveiled the complexities of language issues both inside and outside the classroom. However, relatively few studies consider the experiences of students in non-Anglophone settings. My research fills this gap by examining the role of English in the multilingual context of Hong Kong.

Using interview data gathered from 24 full-time international students with little or no proficiency in Chinese, my research traces their experiences of using English in Hong Kong higher education. In particular, my work focuses on the ‘language ideologies’ of international students, especially what participants think should be the role of English in the university. The results offer food for thought.

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The value of the liberal arts through applied global learning

“The personal growth achieved via study abroad comes through intentional reflection on the challenges that arise from experiential education”

Crises inspire reflection. After suffering a loss or enduring catastrophe, it is only natural to reevaluate one’s choices and ask, “what is actually most important and valuable?”

Now, perhaps more than ever as students have returned to campus, they are questioning higher education’s return on investment. Students now look more intensely at the value of their experience through a different lens that includes both personal and professional growth to prepare for an uncertain future.

The Covid-19 pandemic changed a lot in college enrolment. The threat of contagion and subsequent necessity for isolation turned the traditional, in-person, campus-based approach on its head. Gone were the day-to-day experiential and social aspects of college that, for many, made the cost of matriculating worthwhile.

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The world needs a better understanding of the key role of education in sustainable development

“Different political, cultural and economic contexts across the world inevitably suggest that humanity may not share the same understanding of what  formal education should entail”

The Sustainable Development Goals were created by the United Nations to mobilise the world’s community in tackling a range of global problems.

‘Quality Education’ is the focus of Goal 4, but the remaining 16 SDGs also have links with education as an essential foundation of some of their targets.

However, there are apparent gaps in our knowledge around the definition and role of education in sustainable development; the links between the education goal and other goals; and the operationalisation of those links to help SDGs achieve their mission in sustainable development globally.

My recent research explores these gaps, highlighting the vague aspects of the definition of education and inconsistencies in the links between the education goal and other goals of the UN, their targets and indicators, which means that aspects of the process of utilising education to achieve sustainable development remain too vague.

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