Category: Higher education

What we learnt taking our study fairs online

“It’s certainly not all been smooth-sailing, but we’ve had some successes, and have learnt a huge amount”

With our events calendar regularly topping 18 events per year, I feel well versed in running physical study fairs, but virtual fairs were a new venture for myself and FindAUniversity.

Between deciding to run a virtual study fair and the actual event, we had just six weeks – to secure exhibitors, get to grips with the software platform, plan a talks programme, promote the event to students, and run it.

After being thrown into the virtual fair world, we’ve come out the other side having achieved some fantastic successes, including having over 70 universities exhibit, over 3,400 visitors attend, and our exhibitors receiving an average of over 200 leads.

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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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Why the unis who win intl students will be those with provable graduate outcomes

“81% of international students see buying an international education as an investment”

This year has been an incredible year of disruption for international education, writes Shane Dillon, found of Cturtle and UniAdvisor. It has rapidly brought to the forefront conversations around education delivery and the value of tertiary education in general in the 21st century.

As of March 2020, the global movement of international students has vanished and the future of the sector, the countries and university brands involved are in a state of flux.

Now more then ever before it is critical for the sector to embrace data on international graduate employment outcomes to illustrate clearly to consumers the value and return on investment an international education delivers. Numerous studies from UNICEF, QS and Cturtle show clearly that employability is the most important consideration impacting student choice across Asia.

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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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Interest in online learning climbing quickly, but students still have concerns

“Even for students who are used to learning outside of the classroom, this complete shift to online learning can be challenging””

 

In response to the worldwide quarantine against coronavirus, higher education institutions are acting fast to offer their courses online. But does this increased demand mean that students are satisfied with their online learning experience?

Higher education search and comparison site educations.com wanted to find out. They surveyed over 7,400 current and prospective international university students and asked them about their thoughts on online learning.  The results indicated a clear upswing in interest in online learning but revealed student concerns about the implications of a fully virtual university experience. 

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What parents of special needs children need to know about international schools

“Without full disclosure of a disability, a school may accept a child under false pretences only to discover they cannot adequately educate a child”

 

For many expatriate families, international schools afford the opportunity for their children to be educated their national language with similar standards to their home country’s curriculum. The challenges that many families face is related to finding an international school that can effectively educate their child with special needs, writes Joseph Graybill, school psychologist at the Anglo-American School in Moscow.

As private foreign institutions, international schools are not required to comply with special education laws such as the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). However, in recent years, international schools have adopted special education programming to serve children with disabilities.

The provision of special education services in most international schools does not follow IDEA to the letter of the law but does model its special education services based on American federal guidelines. For example, many international schools provide typical special education services through the adoption of an Individual Education Plan (IEP).

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How UK colleges are adapting their international programs during coronavirus

“Everyone has had to adapt quickly and compliantly to a different way of life through this grim pandemic, and UK colleges are no exception”

Back in January, I wrote my first briefing for colleges about the coronavirus outbreak in Asia,” writes Emma Meredith,  International Director at the Association of Colleges.

It’s no surprise that China is one of the most important international education markets for UK FE, so coronavirus raised obvious concerns for college international business, partners and students. As the weeks passed, COVID-19 even elbowed Brexit out of the headlines – both in national media and in my college briefings.

Now in April, I am writing, and you are reading, from near lockdown in our own homes all over the world. Everyone has had to adapt quickly and compliantly to a different way of life through this grim pandemic, and UK colleges are no exception.

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Reasons for optimism about student housing demand despite a fall in bookings during the lockdown

“Unilodgers is seeing some interesting student research patterns and booking behaviours during the COVID-19 lockdown”

“University leaders and housing operators and managers, both on- and off-campus, are now rightly focussed on today and making sure their students and staff are safe, but what does the future post-pandemic hold?” asks Vincenzo Raimo & JoAnn Orrell of Unilodgers.

There is already very significant speculation about falls in university enrolments in the UK, USA and elsewhere in 2020/21, not only from international students unable to complete prerequisite admission requirements in time for the start of the new academic year but also from potential domestic students delaying their studies rather than compromise their student experience.

Falls in university enrolments would obviously impact housing providers both short as well as potentially longer-term with smaller cohorts working their way through the system.

The evidence, however, suggests a more nuanced picture and reason to be more optimistic for student housing demand than some are perhaps suggesting.  First, the longer-term projections for growing worldwide demand for higher education and international mobility are unchanged.

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Lessons from Katrina: conducting ‘learning as usual’ in unusual times

“Instead of succumbing to panic and fear, let us instead ask how we can continue to help each other in this time of need”

“Amid the global pandemic of COVID-19, I am reminded of my time in New Orleans in 2005 experiencing Hurricane Katrina,” writes Isaac Garcia-Sitton, director of International Education & English Language Institute (YUELI) at York University’s School of Continuing Studies in Toronto.

At the time, I was a young diplomat, working in the Panamanian Consulate, thrust into one of the most formative personal and professional experiences I had ever faced.

I led efforts in coordination with the US State Department, FEMA, State Police, and Red Cross for search, rescue and relocation of dozens of Panamanians families affected. It is difficult to overstate the toll that the months-long shut-down and city evacuations took on the displaced and unhoused people who lived through Katrina. However, what came out of that severe strife was an unshakable belief in the resilience of communities – their ability to stay connected, and their relentless commitment to helping one another.

Today, New Orleans has been rebuilt, its residents have reestablished their lives, and most traces of the wreckage and debris have now disappeared, leaving behind memories of courage, strength and unity.

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Standing #ApartTogether in times of crisis

“Keeping our communities safe, and focused on moving forward with hope and creativity, is our path through and out of our collective current reality”

It is vitally important to refocus on the importance of community and leadership, writes Tina Bax, Founder of CultureWorks in Canada.

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer has tweeted her hope that we might stand #ApartTogether in this.  There’s arguably never been a more important time to be together.  To expand the concept of community that we continually build in our classrooms, to the rest of the world.

In the spirit of humility and service then, here are three communities to consider when we’re trying to take such great care in the coming weeks and months, not just of ourselves but of our world.

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