How higher education is driving sustainable development

“None of the SDGs can be achieved in isolation: to truly deliver lasting change, collaboration between universities and partners around the world will be critical”

In an opening address to the Conference of Commonwealth Education Ministers late last month, Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta sounded a clarion call to government education ministers around the world.

They should, he said ‘be alarmed to note that, by 2050, Korea and Japan will be enrolling 80% or more of their high school graduates to higher education, while countries such as the Central African Republic and Niger will be struggling to reach 5%.’ This gap, he said, was a critical issue for the Commonwealth, whose 54 member states are home to one in three of the world’s young people.

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Increasing preference for specialised courses among study abroad aspirants

“Even with all restrictions on travel lifting, there is an increasing demand for higher education in the hybrid format”

2021 has been a breakout year for the study abroad segment globally and in India. The year showed an industry-defining bounce back from Covid induced setbacks with strong growth on all fronts. As per the Government of India data released, a total of 444,553 students went abroad for higher education in 2021 in comparison to 259,655 in 2020. That is a massive 71% increase in student outflow. As per trends we’ve seen, countries like the US, UK, and Canada lead the way in terms of top preferred destinations for Indian students.

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International mindedness: measuring skills that go beyond the classroom

“There is still a lack of understanding about what students can expect from an international education”

A new report by ISC Research highlights the importance that today’s students place on a global mindset; a  demand which has led to a dramatic increase in the number of applications to schools which offer an international education, says Johanna Sale, vice-principal of Impington International College.

However, this growing popularity is of no surprise to me. At Impington, we have received more than 250 applications to join our Sixth Form this year alone!

While the desire for an international education is clearly growing, the ISC Research suggests that there is still a lack of understanding about what students can expect from an international education and how the phrase “international-mindedness” is measured to ensure that students have the skills that they need to succeed beyond the classroom – and their country’s borders.

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Is old-fashioned English testing holding the UK back from its international student and skills ambitions?

“It’s time to let English language testing catch up with innovation across other parts of the economy – specially if we have ambitions to be a digitally driven, high-skill nation”

We’ve heard a lot about levelling-up and the UK’s ambition to be a leader in all things digital and technology recently.

At times it feels like we’re making significant progress. Universities showed great agility and innovation to offer digital learning solutions, which will enhance the education experience for years to come.

And the government did too. The passport office and UKVI upped their ability to process applications digitally. UKVI even developed ways to take biometric information securely and scan passports with NFC technology in mobile apps. They even moved citizenship ceremonies online over Zoom.

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The UK’s cost of living crisis – how will it affect international students?

“International students travel more than the average student, so they are likely to feel the weight of living costs more”

While the coronavirus pandemic rocked the international study industry, another threat has surfaced which will transform the way international students live, spend, and save: the cost of living crisis, writes Jon Munnery at UK Liquidators. On the day the Chancellor of the Exchequer put out the Spring Statement, inflation hit the highest level in 30 years. When inflation increases, the cost of living increases in tandem, which means it’s prime time to review your spending plans for 2022.

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Environmental awareness, just like mathematics, can’t be learned in a day

“A new generation of civically and scientifically minded environmental population and experts will need to address environmental issues”

California wildfires emitted more carbon dioxide last year than in any other summer in nearly two decades, devastating both animal habitats and human dwellings. With this year’s Earth Day taking place during the American Education Research Association annual meeting, it is important to reflect on how investing in environmental education can help to “Invest In Our Planet”.

“Have you not observed that opinions divorced from knowledge are ugly things? The best of them are blind,” observed Plato more than two millennia ago in The Republic. The same holds true today, for how can we discuss environmental issues without knowing the science behind them?

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Chinese students are keen to study in the UK but want greater choices – is ‘HyFlex’ learning the future?

“As China begins to emerge from the pandemic, it is important to understand the future for UK China International Education”

Research commissioned by Study Group shows rebounding demand from Chinese students to broaden their horizons at UK higher education institutions. However, the study makes clear there won’t be a return to pre-Covid times – education providers will need to employ innovative approaches to unlock future opportunities, writes James Pitman, Study Group’s managing director UK and Europe.

Unlike the often-fragile relationship between countries and governments, education provides a unique opportunity for students worldwide build solid relationships in a supportive and open environment. Tertiary institutions in the UK have traditionally held high appeal for many Chinese students and their parents. With China representing a fifth of the world’s population and a rapidly growing economy, the UK and China have one of the world’s most important international education relationships.

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The Turing Scheme: new horizons for international student mobility

“Given the far-reaching benefits of international experience, it’s vital as many young people as possible have the chance to access it”

‘We can see only a short distance ahead, but we can see plenty there that needs to be done.’ So said the pioneering mathematician and computer scientist, Alan Turing, in whose honour the Turing Scheme – the UK Government’s global programme to study and work abroad – is named.

It’s a quote that seems to speak to our times: the uncertainty that has defined recent years and the global challenges ahead. Turing himself studied abroad and, as applications open for this year’s funding, I hope he would forgive me for borrowing his words to reflect on the key challenges and priorities in international student mobility.

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Teesside’s success in achieving world-leading results in the International Student Barometer 2021

“We pride ourselves on developing our offer around students’ needs and our student-centric approach”

The financial returns of international student recruitment are well-documented across the sector, including the most recent HEPI Report, ‘The costs and benefits of international higher education’, says David Bell, Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) at Teesside University.

The implications for the Tees Valley, where the monetary contribution of international students was valued at over £240m (total net impact) is welcomed by the region, but the significant benefits of international student recruitment stretches far beyond the financial return.

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Why we must champion innovation and invention-based learning

“Providing students with the opportunity to step outside the comfort zone of a classroom and work on inventions with a trial-and-error approach encourages them to take risks”

Providing students with engaging opportunities to explore, discover and grow is something all educators aspire to achieve. Yet, this is often difficult when the majority of teaching is done in traditional classroom environments, says Aysha Al-Mudahka from Qatar Foundation.

For STEM learning in particular, it cannot be neglected. It is essential that schools equip the next generations with engaging experiences that teach practical STEM skills if we are to encourage and prepare students to pursue careers in science and engineering-led industries.

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