Student mobility needs to be more than just east to west

“Asian students appear to travel within Asia or to western countries, but western students are not yet studying in Asia at the same level”

The flow of students in higher education has historically been from Asia to western nations, with most international students studying in Europe, North America or Australia, writes Loretta O’Donnell, vice provost of Academic Affairs at Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan. However, this trend has been changing for a number of years and is now more multi-directional.

In 2019 China hosted more international students than both Canada or Australia, with the top five highest intakes coming from South Korea, Thailand, Pakistan, India, and the US. Japan also saw an almost 11% increase in international student uptake compared to the previous year, while the UK saw a 2% decrease between 2018 and 2019.

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Covid-19 an opportunity to truly internationalise Western education

“Little progress has been made in embedding non-Western ideologies and philosophies in current teaching”

There are currently more than 5.3 million international students furthering their education outside their home countries, writes Thanh Pham of Monash University.

The majority of which are non-Western students studying in Western countries. There have been growing calls for the need to support international students in Western countries, including providing financial aid, creating safe environments, and respecting cultural diversity.

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Why virtual exchange is more important than ever

“Virtual exchange, when done correctly, can be an extremely enriching, engaging and rewarding experience”

Suddenly we find ourselves at a crossroads in higher education, writes Matthew Hightower, CEO and founder of Class2Class. Many educators worldwide don’t know which way to turn. We cannot exactly go back in the direction from which we came, but taking the path less traveled into the unknown can be equally as daunting.

As educators we have to ask ourselves: Isn’t one of our primary goals to foster the development of 21st century skill sets within our students? If our answer to that question is an emphatic “yes”, then shouldn’t we be encouraging open-mindedness and risk-taking from ourselves as well as from our students as we reimagine what higher education could and should look like?

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Predicting remote learning trends after Covid-19

“At least half of students will want to return to our campuses and physically be amongst people.”

In this week’s blog, CEO and founder of Wild Code School Anna Stepanoff discusses what remote learning trends will become the norm following the pandemic, where the classroom will still be important, and how supporting women into tech remains a key goal for the organisation.

Following this pandemic, remote learning will undoubtedly become more important. However, I strongly feel that remote learning will not replace traditional face-to-face learning in the long term.

There are three forms of learning: fully-autonomous online learning, where a student essentially teaches themselves using online information and resources and requires no interaction or support; remote learning, where students do not attend a physical classroom, but instead learn in a virtual environment with the support of fellow students and educators; and traditional class-based learning.

The pandemic has meant that Wild Code School’s 20 plus European campuses have necessarily adapted from a mixture of remote and traditional learning to being fully remote.

When educational establishments are able to re-open their campuses (in our case October), at least half of students will want to return to our campuses and physically be amongst people.

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Translation is the key to success when it comes to international students

“Streamlined digital e-learning programs available in the native language of the user are proven to be significantly more effective in increasing engagement”

Pre-pandemic, there were reports that the global online education market would reach a value of $350bn by 2025, writes The Translation People‘s Alan White.

With 1.38bn students affected by the forced closure of schools, colleges and universities around the world, some online learning providers are reporting a 200% increase in usage in their platforms since March.

Earlier this month, Uganda’s First Lady and education minister Janet Museveni instructed the country’s universities to start online teaching if they hadn’t already done so.

“No continuing learner should be left behind or excluded” because of their Covid-19 response, she said.

For the 16,000 international students who come to Uganda each year, this move provided a level of accessibility to education that risked being compromised the longer lockdown continued.

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Planning without a crystal ball: study abroad must remain flexible

“Navigating this phase requires flexibility and proactive collaboration regarding study abroad policies and information”

I contributed a blog a few months ago about responding to crises in international education – namely Covid-19 – and focusing on staying connected, open-minded and organised amidst feelings of uncertainty to help our international ed community through to the other side, writes Kerry Geffert, product evangelist for Terra Dotta. While we’ve collectively survived the initial stages of the pandemic, we must build on this mindset to move through the next phase – from response and into recovery.

Keeping things in perspective and understanding that there are pathways forward will be critical for international education staff making decisions that are in the best interests of students and faculty. In speaking recently with collegiate study abroad staff – both from institutions and program providers – it is clear that student outcomes and growth remain our guiding principles. And that students still very much want to have a study abroad experience.

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Why verifying the qualifications of students matters

“Verifying students’ qualifications has become a major requirement but it doesn’t need to be a major hurdle.”

If the Covid-19 pandemic has taught us anything, writes Abdel Abu-Qoura  of Qualification Check, it’s that no matter how advanced and evolved our lives might be – there are fundamental components of life which are at its core. Think about health, sanitation and security. Security – whether it’s as an employee or an employer, student or a university – means personal stability but also safeguarding a family or an organisation. It’s an element of life and business which has always existed and always will.

As the nature of the educational world changes, and student recruitment and application processes transition, security needs to remain intact. Universities need to be confident about who they’re accepting as students and verification is the best way to do that.

Verifying students’ qualifications has become a major requirement but it doesn’t need to be a major hurdle. Indeed, verification should be seen as helpful rather than a hindrance to the application process. It’s a valuable tool in empowering organisations to assess the fundamentals of a candidate, gaining insights into their honesty and integrity before accepting them.

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Helping boarding schools stand out in a Covid-19 world

“An increased and continued focus on IT seems a good place to start.”

It’s a very competitive world boarding schools are facing – the market was already competitive pre-Covid-19 – and the reality is some schools won’t survive and won’t re-open in September 2020, writes Pat Moores, director and co-founder of UK Education Guide.

So how can schools enhance their offer to make sure they do thrive in this new world?

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Why should an English-language proficiency test be backed by research?

“Test providers should carefully research the types of tasks students need to perform and replicate such tasks as accurately as possible.”

English-language classrooms around the world all look and function differently, writes Spiros Papageorgiou of ETS. But one common thread among them is that teachers of English consistently look for reliable information from language tests to assess whether their students have achieved specific learning goals.

Students who wish to pursue a degree in an English-speaking country are typically asked to submit scores from a language test to demonstrate that they can cope with the language demands their university classes require.

As such, developers of these language tests should be establishing a rigorous program of research in order to support the intended uses of these tests, and further be able to provide evidence that substantiates claims about what test takers know or can do based on their scores.

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How international schools can soothe back-to-school panic

“It is important that schools show a willingness to hear the worries and fears of parents.”

Many teachers might soon be asked to put away their computers and webcams and return to reality at the front of the classroom, writes Katie Harwood of Haut-Lac International Bilingual School in Switzerland. Naturally, this restoration of normality might not be so simple as it seems on the surface, and students and staff alike will likely feel a little daunted by it. Many might even have to return from their home countries, having sought comfort from familiarity during the pandemic. However, there are a few simple things schools can do to make their teachers and students feel more comfortable about the situation.

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