Category: Europe

The challenges of employing international faculty

“International faculty’s lack of knowledge about local cultural contexts can be an insurmountable challenge”

Employing international faculty can have massive benefits for universities but it can also present a number of challenges, writes Tsediso Michael Makoelle, vice dean of research at Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Education.

Moving to any new country involves a new cultural environment which more often than not can cause international faculty to experience culture shock. When faculty experience this culture shock, many can struggle to adapt and adjust to this new cultural environment, including grappling with aspects such as language. In some cases, this could adversely affect their psychological and emotional well-being, leading to underperformance at work.

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Interest in studying in Germany still strong among Indians despite Covid-19

“Almost everyone was very worried about the prospect of entering an unfavourable job market upon graduation”

Covid-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, writes UCL Institute of Education research fellow Sazana Jayadeva, but research into how the pandemic has impacted postgraduate-level student mobility from India to Germany suggests that health-related fears about studying in Germany during a pandemic were largely absent among both current and prospective students.

Between March and June 2020, I conducted interviews with Indian postgraduate students in Germany, as well as digital ethnographic fieldwork in mutual-help Facebook and WhatsApp groups used by prospective students to navigate the process of going to Germany for study.

The vast majority of my interlocutors were studying or applying to engineering postgraduate courses (reflecting the fact that the majority of Indian students in Germany are studying engineering).

Among my interlocutors, there was a feeling that Germany was handling the pandemic well, the healthcare system was robust, and international students were being well supported. Rather than health and safety, their main concerns centred on two issues.

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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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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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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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International education in the era of Covid-19: walking the talk

“Ironically…I find myself in the position of one of the international students whose future I am now involved in planning”

 

“As countries around the world prepare to unwind nationwide lockdowns and move to a more sustainable way of containing the Covid-19 pandemic, universities are beginning to plan for a resumption of classes on campus,” writes professor Nigel Healey, associate vice-president (Global Engagement) at the University of Limerick.

Most institutions are considering some form of ‘flipped classroom’, with theoretical content delivered online and face-to-face teaching limited to tutorials and laboratory sessions to allow for social distancing.

High on the list of concerns is the impact of Covid-19 on international students.  Most obviously, it is unclear how quickly cross-border travel restrictions will be lifted and scheduled commercial flights restarted.  Some potential students may be reluctant to leave their home countries, for fear of another outbreak.

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Young Learner operators ready to go with summer programmes when safe to do so

“More than ever now, we can all appreciate just how small the world truly is and the importance of coming together”

A letter on behalf of Young Learner operators to our friends around the world:

At this time of international crisis, we have all seen the huge impact COVID-19 has had on our lives and our industry. More than ever now, we can all appreciate just how small the world truly is and the importance of coming together to protect our global community in times of great need.
As the global situation changes, our plans may too. For now, we all continue to watch the unfolding measures that governments around the world are taking to stem the tide of the virus and get us back to normal soon.

As a sector of Young Learner English Language course providers a number of us have come together to work out how best to serve you, our valued clients.  It’s hard for us to navigate the unknown, but as we continue to better understand how to slow the spread of COVID-19 we want to do all we can to keep our partners, students, employees and our local communities safe. The wellbeing of our people and our students is always our number one priority.
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Work, rest and learn – delivering flexible higher education in Estonia

“Universities across the world have an opportunity to look at how they can use technology to help students balance work and study commitments”

More and more students today are juggling work and family responsibilities alongside their university studies, writes learning development specialist at the Estonian Business School, Marko Puusaar.

Add to this the growing number of students who are looking globally to find the right course or university and you can quickly see why the traits of a typical higher education student are becoming increasingly difficult to define. Expectations are changing too, with demand growing for institutions to provide greater flexibility so that students can study how, when and where they want to.

Higher education is evolving. Universities that make good use of technology can adapt teaching methods much more effectively to attract students from across the world, support them through their studies and respond quickly in the event that their circumstances change.

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How European students will be affected by Brexit

“Despite many universities efforts to inform and support each of their students, a sense of uncertainty surrounding the subject is all too familiar”

The 31st October may have passed yet Brexit still looms and, with the UK remaining at risk of a no-deal following their withdrawal from the European Union, many people in education are still questioning exactly how European students will be affected by Brexit.

Despite many universities efforts to inform and support each of their students, a sense of uncertainty surrounding the subject is all too familiar for both EU nationals studying at UK universities and those participating in Erasmus+ programmes which since 1987 have granted all UK and wider European university students and lecturers the opportunity to study or intern abroad for up to a year.

So, what may a ‘no deal’ Brexit mean for European Students? According to Universities UK, whose members consist of both vice-chancellors and principals of institutions across the country, an exploration into the implications for universities and how to minimise risk has revealed that a failed Brexit negotiation will cause further uncertainty about the UK’s commitment and involvement with the Erasmus+ programme.

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What next for differential pricing?

“News of different price arrangements based on country could very easily go viral with a negative impact on reputations and on business”

Language schools in many parts of the world will often charge a lower price to say, a student from Colombia than to a student from Saudi Arabia, a lower price for a Turk than for a Japanese. 

This practice is commonly referred to as “pricing to the market” and has evolved in large measure because course rates can be viewed as unaffordable – or at least as uncompetitive – by students in certain countries or regions.

Schools may refer to “special offers” or “country promotions” as a rationale for the discounting; those terms are, however, frequently used as a cover for what is, in fact, a permanent differential pricing policy.

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