Category: Higher education

Why change management often goes wrong in higher education

“Many institutions need to streamline how they run, redefine roles and processes and adapt the technology they use to deliver meaningful transformation”

There are some significant challenges ahead for the UK’s higher education sector in 2024.

Not least, attracting and retaining quality staff, supporting students through a cost-of-living crisis, falling international student numbers and the rising cost of keeping the lights on.

To address these challenges and remain competitive, many institutions need to streamline how they run, redefine roles and processes and adapt the technology they use to deliver meaningful transformation. Without effective change management, this can be a huge mountain to climb.

There are some pitfalls universities regularly fall into when planning and implementing change at scale.

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How are universities seeking to improve international students’ learning experience?

“Universities are having to learn very quickly about their students and their needs”

The Jisc report on international students’ digital experience was a welcome publication encompassing 18 years of research, offering a wealth of invaluable insights into policy and academic literature, as well as the views, experiences and expectations from more than 2,000 students and those that work with them. 

We know that UK higher education providers need to better support international students on their digital needs to mitigate ‘digital shocks’ on arrival to the country, and it is important that we respond. So last month Studiosity ran a webinar to pick up on the key themes from Jisc’s report as well as highlight practical supportive solutions being implemented at the University of Portsmouth, University of Lincoln and Coventry University to improve the international student experience, from admission to employability.

Here are five key takeaways from the event:

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Why investing in education means investing in child safety

“70% of ten-year-olds in low and middle income countries are unable to read a simple text with understanding. In sub-Saharan Africa, that figure is 90%”

This year’s International Day of Education should be a chance to celebrate the transformative power of learning. But for too many children, access to quality education is difficult or even impossible.

The UN estimates that 250 million children and youth globally are not in school. Hundreds of millions more attend, but without adequate learning outcomes. The World Bank reports that 70% of ten-year-olds in low and middle income countries are in “learning poverty” – unable to read a simple text with understanding. In sub-Saharan Africa, that figure is 90%.

Violence against children and the threat of it are a critical factor holding back progress for educational attainment and other development goals. Around 1 billion children globally experience some form of emotional, physical or sexual violence every year. On average, up to 5% of national GDP is lost every year as a consequence of this global scourge.

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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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