Category: Higher education

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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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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Effective ways to support students learning remotely from abroad

“Inevitably, there are times when it’s simply not possible for a student abroad to log on to a class”

While global efforts to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic continue, it is likely that many universities will retain some elements of remote teaching into and beyond the start of the new academic year.

With uncertainty continuing, Parama Chaudhury of the Centre for Teaching and Learning Economics at University College London shares four tips to help ensure students stranded in their home countries and unable to travel to their place of study get the best possible experience of learning online, wherever they happen to be.

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The Fauci Effect and Biden Bump boost medical school admissions

“The Fauci Effect propelled the number of medical school applicants in 2020 to jump by as much as 20%”

The Fauci Effect and Biden Bump phenomenons, attributed to Anthony Fauci and President Biden, may be leading to medical school application spike, with former having propelled the number of medical school applicants in 2020 to jump by as much as 20%.

The Covid-10 pandemic clearly has had devastating effects. The silver lining may be that it is propelling a new generation of minds into medicine.

MedSchoolCoach founder Sahil Mehta explains this increased application rate, why it may be occurring, and what it means for pre-meds who are applying in 2021.

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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?

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The Asian universities working together to solve challenges in higher education

“In a highly globalised world, a country or region can rarely develop in isolation”

Over the last few years, we have observed some important trends that have already been changing the global landscape of higher education. Asian universities have accelerated in their development and started to enjoy a greater presence among the top global universities.

Being a network of prominent universities in the region, the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) has the potential to lead intellectual scholarship and scientific discovery, pulling together the best minds from member institutions, each with their own expertise to contribute to joint initiatives. Arman Zhumazhanov of Nazarbayev University discusses the work of the regional university network.

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Addressing needs through personalised learning pathways

“Successful online programs will be the ones that allow students to take charge of their own learning”

Just over a year on from the first UK lockdown, we have collectively learned quite a lot about the resilience of our education system. Like many industries, higher education faced a unique set of challenges throughout the pandemic, particularly as institutions navigated new methods of learning and assessment.

This accelerated digital transformation initiatives across our universities, with lecturers embracing online learning to ensure educational continuity for students. Stewart Watts, vice president EMEA at D2L, explains.

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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.

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Global partnerships: together we are an ocean

“Individual strengths joined together on a global level can, indeed, move mountains”

The esteemed Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa once wrote: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

As human beings, we know that we are stronger when we work together rather than when we work in isolation, says Class2Class’ Suzanne Orzech. Akutagawa’s words seem to have come to life on a global scale as we look at the plethora of global educational partnerships that have emerged recently, thanks to human ingenuity and the desire to keep moving forward despite extreme global challenges.

Class2Class is excited to provide the technology solutions to many global pioneers who have come together to develop virtually collaborative courses, projects, and internships as an affordable and inclusive model for international education with other universities, NGOs and businesses around the world during a time of limited physical mobility. What is truly inspiring to see is the evolution of collective thought.

As different and varied as all of these partnerships are, they have the same goal in mind: advance international education and make it accessible to all, despite some extremely severe obstacles.