Category: Higher education

‘Migration mercantilism’ is an ill-advised policy

“Why would the Home Office want to include visiting students in its statistics? Most likely, the reason is because this is a category they can control easily”

Maurits van Rooijen, economic historian and chief academic executive at Global University Systems, draws parallels with historical mercantilism in overseas trade and the current political maneuvering in the UK that means international students face ever-tighter restrictions on studying in the UK.

History shows us that there is always a real risk that socio-economic common sense can get pushed aside.

For instance, from the 16th to the 18th century, many economies in Western Europe suffered due to mercantilism: the mistaken belief that governmental regulation of a nation’s economy, especially reducing imports, would strengthen the state at the expense of rival national powers.
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Prof Dr Maurits van Rooijen is an economic historian and the chief academic executive of Global University Systems (GUS), an international group of universities and schools in the private sector.

Brexit means tough times ahead for UK HE

Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Vice Chancellor at Regent’s University London, shares some sobering predictions about UK HE’s post-Brexit future.

There is much discussion about the potential impact of ‘Brexit’ on UK universities. The answer, of course, is that nobody really knows what will happen next, and the total impact will be determined by the nature of any agreement that is finally reached.

In terms of research funding, where at present UK universities are the largest recipients of EU research and structural funding, loss of access could be devastating to many higher education institutions.
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Professor Aldwyn Cooper is vice chancellor at Regent’s University London.

Don’t be too quick to write off for-profit education providers

“If the government has to cut funding for social programs to provide additional support for a publicly funded institution, is tuition inexpensive and good value for money? Or has the cost been shifted?”

In the education sphere, people can be quick to criticise for-profit education – but having worked in both the public and private sectors, Michael Evans wonders if we’re asking the right questions.

A recent article posted in The PIE News reported on the results of a study carried out by the UK based Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), which looked at for-profit degree granting institutions in six countries. I suspect most educators working in HE education in the last ten years would able to predict many of the study’s results, as well as the tenor of the post.

That there are issues in for-profit education is by now conventional wisdom. As well, certainly no one would suggest anything but the most robust policies to protect student tuition and uphold natural justice in dealings between the student and institution. However, when opinions are so ubiquitously held around other more complex issues, does it not beg the question as to whether we are fully understand the issues?  I am not an apologist for private education; however, having worked in both public and for-profit education, I think the conventional thinking around these issues demonstrates the need for a different approach.
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Wonkhe’s #BrHExit: time for a new internationalism in UK HE?

“We are a resilient and a resourceful community”

What does Brexit mean for universities in the UK? This is what stakeholders from across UK HE came together to discuss on 9 August at a day-long conference hosted by Wonkhe in London. Here are a few highlights from the afternoon’s sessions…Read More

Beckie Smith is senior reporter at The PIE News and manages The PIE Blog. To get in touch, email beckie[@]thepienews.com.

How much do academic rankings really mean to students?

When asked outright: “Did any traditional rankings of this university influence your decision to study at this university?” 77% of the student respondents answered “No”

Are rankings really that important to students? Nelli Koutaniemi, coordinator at Study Advisory, shares the preliminary findings of a survey that suggests student satisfaction doesn’t always correlate with league tables.

Student mobility and digitalization are the megatrends of our time. There are currently 200 million students enrolled in a higher education institution, and that number is projected to exceed 660 million by 2040. Finding the most suitable option of education is, however, difficult and the competition between students for universities is tough. In addition, search patterns have changed: rather than visiting campuses or education expos nationally, students look for information online, and to be more specific, globally online, since future students are increasingly looking to apply to study abroad.
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Brexonomics: what does the leave vote mean for UK universities?

“There’s no absolute guarantee that EU students starting three or four year programmes in September will have visas to study once Britain is outside the union. That’s a very high level of risk for any EU student”

Ant Bagshaw, assistant director at Wonkhe, the UK’s leading higher education policy analysis website, digs down into the economic impact of Brexit for the UK higher education sector.

Let’s start with the good news. With the value of the pound falling to lows not seen since 1985, the cost of exports – including tuition for foreign students – have reduced dramatically. International students with places to study in the UK have just seen their fees and costs of living reduce by ten per cent. That should be good for demand even if the global PR disaster that is Brexit (we’ve decided to become a more insular nation) diverts some students to other Anglophone markets.
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Ant is Assistant Director at Wonkhe, following roles as a policy wonk at LSE and the University of Kent. He has also worked for UCL, the NUS and as a reviewer for QAA. As Assistant Director, Ant is responsible for leading a range of activities including training, events and projects. He is particularly interested in leadership, management and strategy in higher education and the positive impact that effective policy advice can have on decision-making.

After Brexit, UK HEIs should partner to thrive worldwide

“At the end of last week, from one day to the next, the international landscape changed shape for British universities”

By Simon Butt-Bethlendy of @GlobalHE and Chair of CIPR Education & Skills Group, writes about what the UK’s momentous Brexit decision might mean for UK universities and TNE.

At the end of last week, from one day to the next, the international landscape changed shape for British universities.

At 9am on the morning after the EU Referendum vote I chaired a teleconference with some of my CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations) Education & Skills Group committee. Fellow education communicators registered shock, bafflement and despair.
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Simon Butt-Bethlendy is a communications and reputation management consultant for universities who shares news and views about international education on Twitter at @GlobalHE, TNE at @TNE_Hub and research impact via @REFimpact. He is also Chair of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) Education & Skills sectoral group.

How can universities enhance the experience of their international students?

“International students spend most of their time outside the classroom. We can’t leave that experience to chance”

What are the challenges and what are universities doing to make sure they meet the needs of their overseas cohort? These were some of the questions asked at Universities UK’s conference on Enhancing the International Student Experience.

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Beckie Smith is senior reporter at The PIE News and manages The PIE Blog. To get in touch, email beckie[@]thepienews.com.

“Perhaps the scales are tipping”: women in UK HE senior leadership – a personal perspective

“I firmly believe that if I had stayed in India, I would not have achieved what I have managed to here in the UK”

Sonal Minocha, pro-vice chancellor for global engagement at Bournemouth University, writes about her experience of being a woman in a senior leadership position, and how her experience might be different if she’d stayed in India.

This tweet, the data it highlights, and the very persuasively presented blog, together made me think – perhaps consciously for the first time – of how privileged I am to be a product of UK Higher Education. My career, both as a student and a staff member, has thankfully defied the allegations and statistics that this article summarises.

So let me give you my personal context – I am Indian by origin – born and brought up in Delhi, and my first time away from India was as an international student to Newcastle in 2001. I am (or at least was then) very much a migrant, a foreigner, an ethnic minority!
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Sonal Minocha is Pro-Vice Chancellor for Global Engagement at Bournemouth University.

Road to enrichment: ensuring students are accepted into top universities

“Universities want graduates to be well-rounded, highly employable human beings. All top HE institutions ask for evidence of ‘supercurricular’ activity”

Bellerbys College is a GCSE and A Level college with four campuses in the UK. Here Kevin Brady writes about the importance of enrichment programmes and his own experience looking at the student response to extracurricular programming at Bellerbys.

Universities want graduates to be well-rounded, highly employable human beings. All top HE institutions ask for evidence of ‘supercurricular’ activity – we call it ‘enrichment’.
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Kevin Brady is enrichment programme manager at Bellerbys College Brighton in the UK.