Category: Higher education

Turning a Soviet-era university into a leading Eurasian management school

“It’s entirely realistic to focus not only on encouraging the best Kazakh students to study inside Kazakhstan, but even on attracting international students to come here”

Nearly 32 years ago, Kazakhstan gained its independence from the Soviet Union and began building a market economy. It was a difficult transformation for our country and society — especially for our education system.

Dozens of new private, for-profit universities and colleges began operating in Kazakhstan. Existing universities had to change on the fly, adapting their educational programs to the new environment, competing with the new establishments, recruiting faculty with more up-to-date qualifications and competing internationally for both students and academics.

I have first-hand knowledge of the complexities involved in these processes. As a student, I secured a Bolashak International Scholarship — an initiative Kazakhstan launched shortly after independence to fund the sending of Kazakh scholars to universities abroad, to equip us with modern technical and managerial skills — and studied at the University of Wroclaw in Poland. Upon returning home, I worked as an administrator at one of the Kazakh universities in Astana, and then served as Kazakhstan’s vice minister of Education and Science for almost two years.

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Quality assurance for qualification recognition – reflecting on the implications of the Global Recognition Convention

“The diversity in quality assurance systems globally poses the question of what quality assurance should be used to inform qualification recognition”

Higher education, internationally, has been undergoing significant changes over the past 20 years. In particular, we have seen an increasing diversification of modes of delivery, including through online and blended learning, different types of international branch campuses and partnerships, articulation arrangements, short courses and work-based learning.

These developments have opened-up important opportunities to make progress towards more flexible and inclusive learning pathways, and thus in supporting the UNESCO vision captured in the Roadmap to 2030 of fostering “diversity over uniformity and flexible learning over traditionally well-structured, hierarchical models of education”.

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Managing the uptick of international student applications in the UK

“The explosion of international applications has intensified the number of verification checks needed and made for a challenging landscape”

The UK has long been an attractive place to study for international students and, as the latest figures show, the trend looks set to continue. However, managing the implications of the UK meeting international student targets a decade before the deadline has undoubtedly piled pressure on university admission teams.

The explosion of international applications in the wake of the introduction of the new Graduate Route Visa, plus a general widening of the recruitment net, has intensified the number of verification checks needed and made for a challenging landscape.

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Leveraging data science and human expertise for student success

“Our industry is undergoing a transformation driven by data science and technology, enabling us to offer more tailored recommendations and fast-track the student application process”

For many ambitious students, pursuing a global education is a life-changing decision. It opens doors to new opportunities, broadens perspectives and equips them with the skills and knowledge to thrive in an increasingly globalised world.

Yet with so many study options available, and access to both in-person support and online support, how can students confidently navigate this journey and make informed decisions that set them up for success?

For me, working in international education over the past 20 years has been a great privilege, and these days it feels like an even bigger responsibility.

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How girls’ education is the next great driver of human capital

“It is absurd that half of the world’s eight billion population, being women and girls, are still treated as discretionary human capital”

In a world where the rate of population growth is steadily declining, it is alarming that so much human capital potential is wasted due to a lack of embracing girls in education. Visionary governments, supported by NewGlobe, are overcoming this wasted opportunity – by transforming their entire public education systems.

World Population Day, July 11, aims to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues. A theme for this year’s event is “how to safeguard health and rights of women and girls”, one that should draw attention towards education as both a fundamental human right and a means to uphold and advocate for one’s rights.

With more than eight billion people in the world, it is absurd that half this population, being women and girls, are still treated as discretionary human capital – and it is costing the world. World Economic Forum’s 2022 Global Gender Gap report finds that “globally, women account for only 38 percent of human capital wealth versus 62 percent for men. In low- and lower-middle income countries, women account for a third or less of human capital wealth.”

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The impact of charting a new path in university rankings

“Any methodological evolution for an exercise of this size and scale will inevitably yield significant shifts in outcome”

Across the rapidly evolving higher education landscape, universities worldwide stand as pillars of innovation, leadership, and societal transformation.

At QS, our mission is to empower motivated people anywhere in the world to fulfil their potential through educational achievement, international mobility and career development. For two decades, this mission has been driven by analysing and illuminating institutional excellence and supporting international students in their decision-making process.

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From wellbeing to study experience: what do EU/international students think?

“One in five EU/international students have still considered dropping out of university”

The UK Student Wellbeing Survey, an independent large-scale study commissioned by Studiosity, reported its findings in mid-June. This work seeks to add another important platform for students to share their voice, thoughts, feelings and expectations of study and university life.

From the research among 2,050 students, we can now share the findings derived from over 450 EU/international students at universities in the UK.

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ChatGPT in the classroom

“Much has been written about the potential for digital tools to modernise teaching and learning, but as yet, we haven’t seen whole-scale digital disruption and transformation”

Generative artificial intelligence, of which ChatGPT is perhaps the most famous example (although there are many others), has, in the few short months it’s been widely accessible, completely transformed the way we understand the potential of technology in our lives. It has brought into stark contrast the balance between the power for good, and the power for, well, less than ideal, in rapid technology advances.

There have also been suggestions that generative AI challenges those areas of creation that, some claim, are central in defining our humanity: for example, the creation of art, music and literature. Algorithms can do all of these things and, in increasing instances, in ways that can’t be easily distinguished from original human endeavour.

So, what does this mean for education?

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Is Britain’s higher education brand at risk?

“Both short and long-term financial planning could bolster Brand Britain’s higher education offering”

Competition is fierce in the global industry built on attracting international students into higher education. And it’s little wonder.

Recent financial forecasts have predicted that the spending associated with international students is set to increase from an estimated US$196 billion in 2019 to $433 billion by 2030.

When universities across the world are still recovering financially from the additional investments they made during the pandemic, the fees income overseas students bring in can provide a much needed buffer against budgetary shortfalls.

With so much at stake, protecting this revenue is a key priority for the sector.

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Why universities globally should consider how they fit into the micro-accreditation landscape

“Shorter in duration than traditional programs, micro-credential programs enable students to gain specialised certifications for specific skills or knowledge areas”

The economic landscape learners face today is rapidly shifting. A generation ago, a career spent in one role was commonplace. Today, the need to reskill to hold multiple careers over a lifetime in the workplace appears to be quickly becoming the rule rather than the exception.

The skills gap created by this dynamic is also an opportunity. Short programs, such as micro-credentials with specific goals, are an opportunity for higher education institutions to widen access for non-traditional learners to gain the skills needed to compete today and provide an avenue to deliver lifelong learning for more workers tomorrow.

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