Ready to rebound: the enduring enthusiasm for exchange and employability

“While crises like the pandemic erect barriers to international student mobility, they do not quash demand”

The international education sector is no stranger to shocks to student mobility. In INTO’s 15-year history alone, global crises – ranging from the Great Recession of 2008 to the 2012 MERS outbreak to the 2014/15 drop in oil prices – have all affected mobility patterns.

However, market conditions have rebounded after each of these challenges, driven by study abroad aspirants’ enduring enthusiasm for cultural exploration, for personal and professional development; in short, for life-changing educational experiences. Parves Khan of INTO University Partnerships explains.

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Higher education needs to play the long game with tech after Covid-19

“Leaders in higher education are still working to refine the solutions they implemented during the pandemic, despite a disruptive year and overwhelmed IT teams, there’s reason for optimism”

Tech leaders in higher education spent the better part of 2020 learning lessons of their own. Shifting abruptly to remote learning, keeping students healthy and consistently circulating accurate information were just a few of the efforts IT leaders were tasked to help facilitate.

Like peers in most other industries, leaders in higher education are still working to refine the solutions they implemented during the pandemic. But despite a disruptive year and overwhelmed IT teams, there’s reason for optimism: the pandemic accelerated digital transformation in higher education.

The improvements that were made to campus content services platforms and legacy systems during the pandemic laid the groundwork for a better student experience for years to come.

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Why “when it’s safe to do so” is a catalyst for negative reactions

“For students, and for the Australian public, the question becomes personal – who are we being kept safe from?”

Since the start of the pandemic international students stuck offshore have been given repeated promises of being permitted to return to Australia “when it’s safe to do so”.

Eighteen months since Australia’s border closed, many once-patient and understanding students are  turning to social media to voice their frustration with Australia’s ever-changing timeline and ambiguity around the prospect of returning to Australia.

Over the last four months, The Lygon Group has been monitoring social media to get a closer understanding of international students’ sentiment about Australia’s border closures and Covid-19 response. Varsha Balakrishnan explains what they’ve found.

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How to support international students during a pandemic

“Showing empathy makes the whole consulting process smoother for the student”

Rather than having a massive overhaul on your current working habits, just making small changes can go a long way in terms of international student recruitment. What benefits can we offer our international students during this trying time? UK-based Fulbright Education CEO Afsana Ahmed explains.

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Vocational institutions are innovating and changing as a result of Covid-19

“Education and skills systems are increasingly looking towards international experiences to inspire and inform national reforms”

While remote learning has offered some educational continuity when it comes to academic learning, vocational education and training has been particularly affected by the pandemic.

Compared to general programmes, technical and vocational programmes suffer a double disadvantage, as social distancing and the closure of enterprises have made practical and work-based learning, that are so crucial for the success of vocational education, difficult or impossible.

Yet, the Technical and Vocation Education and Training sector plays a central role in ensuring the alignment between education and work and the successful transition of learners into the labour market, that are so important for the economic recovery of any country and prosperity more generally, writes Dr Rossi Vogler, Senior Consultant at the British Council.

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Cross-border cooperation is key to improving TNE recognition

“Adopt a strategic approach and long-term commitment to partnership building”

The UK regulatory and quality assurance landscape for transnational education has undergone significant change since 2018, when the contract that the then-Higher Education Funding Council for England had with QAA for conducting in-country TNE reviews ended.

In England, the statutory responsibility for safeguarding the quality and standards of English TNE rests with the Office for Students, which is currently looking into developing better data on TNE to inform its metrics-based approach to quality assessment.

A challenge so far has been a lack of data comparable to UK-based students about graduate outcomes for TNE students that is comparable to data collected for UK-based students. Fabrizio Trifirò of Ecctis (the operators of UK ENIC, formerly UK NARIC) explains.

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Responsible curiosity: what it means to be a global citizen

“I see global citizenship as involving a sense of open-mindedness and adaptability”

Global citizenship has become quite a political and controversial concept. In 2016, the UK Prime Minister at the time, Theresa May, declared “today, too many people in positions of power behave as though they have more in common with international elites than with the people down the road, the people they employ, the people they pass in the street…. But if you believe you’re a citizen of the world, you’re a citizen of nowhere. You don’t understand what the very word ‘citizenship’ means”.

And then, in 2019, Donald Trump told the United Nations General Assembly that “the future does not belong to the globalists. The future belongs to the patriots”.

I don’t agree with either of these statements, writes Martin Hall, head of school at ACS International School Hillingdon.

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The importance of international collaboration in tackling climate change

“We are building international collaborations and working with experts/mentors to influence issues related to climate and environment”

The pandemic has shone a light on the vital role of higher education in providing solutions to society’s greatest challenges, thrusting the contribution of universities to the fore. And so, as we stare what is undoubtedly the most significant issue of our time in the face – climate change – there has never been a more critical time for global collaboration between institutions and faculty to find the answers and influence change.

The ACU Commonwealth Futures Climate Research Cohort, a partnership between the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU) and The British Council, was formed with this notion in mind. Scott J. Davidson, a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Waterloo in Canada, explains.

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XJTLU: breaking barriers to reach the future

“We wanted to create an international university in China and a Chinese university recognised internationally”

The future of education is about bringing together multiple worlds. To create a robust higher education sector, universities need to form partnerships with each other, industry, and the community. It Is also beneficial to blend teaching methods and philosophies. Youmin Xi of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University explains.

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