Category: Europe

Rethinking university strategies for global engagement: insights from the UK

In the UK, as elsewhere, 2020 was a year of fire-fighting and crisis management in the higher education sector. As we slowly regain the bandwidth to consider future plans, what role will global engagement play in post-pandemic strategies? How will this build on what went before? And what will need to be different as institutions seek to find their place within a much-altered global higher education landscape?

These are questions which Vicky Lewis Consulting tried to address through research conducted in late 2020 and early 2021, which has now been published in the form of a report for the HE sector: UK Universities Global Engagement Strategies: time for a rethink?

Read More

Creating sustainable humanitarian projects that last beyond graduation

“We want to help improve the dignity of the living conditions for refugees by supporting more programs”

Increasing numbers of young people at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands start to work on projects aiming to make the world a better place and deal with our scarce resources in a more sustainable way, says the institution’s Désirée van Gorp, professor of international business.

I work with at least 60 students every year who start their own projects, but unfortunately by the time their MBA or master’s is finished, these and many more projects often disappear left unfinished.

We started thinking about how we could create a community of students and alumni that would keep working on societal centric projects as a continuation of all the great work being done during our students’ degree programs. This is what we came up with.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.
Read More

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.

Read More