Category: Higher education

How TNE & International Education will penetrate Egypt in 2019

“Students will be able to live out their dreams right where they are”

Egypt’s education sector has been facing a discrepancy between supply and demand for the past few years in terms of accessibility and quality. The solution to amend this is to seek education abroad, even though in most cases, the student’s choice of academic disciplines is offered in Egypt.

It is quite a bummer since not all students are able to afford the luxury to “study abroad”. This is due to a multitude of reasons, parents being the main concerned party. They wouldn’t let their children go on their own out of fear and security as well as being incapable of sustaining the financial implications. Torn between wanting to get their money’s worth, and not knowing if studying in Egypt is doing that for them, they wonder if there is a way to bring the best of both worlds: high-quality education and staying in their country.

And there is!

The solution to all these issues is the new government direction happening in the New Administrative Capital. The New Capital is envisioning 2,000 academic institutions to be built ranging from schools to universities and among them, 6 are licensed to apply the International Branch Campus (IBC) model. An international academic institution would partner with an Egyptian investor to collaborate together in providing an education similar to the home-based campus.

“Student employability is the ultimate measure of success for the academic and non-academic participants”

The institution would be responsible for the curriculum, faculty, teaching techniques, the works up until awarding the accredited degree. The curriculum is set to meet market needs, country national projects and students’ needs, and encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration between students and faculty. Thus, the students would not only focus on their academic discipline but also their subjects of interest and shape them for tomorrow.

One of the six licensed investors is El Sewedy Education, and they decided to approach the IBC model in a unique way, to position their campus as a global knowledge hub with academic partners from different parts of the world to provide a truly global experience to the community participants, an experience that will be available for students in September 2019.

Since students are the most important stakeholders in the eyes of the Egyptian authorities and the six participants, their employability is the ultimate measure of success for the academic and non-academic participants.

Additionally, the students will be able to live out their dreams right where they are, while their parents would be offered a way to improve their children’s chances of success aided by the provision of quality education without having to leave their hometown.

 It might sound surreal now but it won’t be long until it becomes the norm.

About the author:  Jayda Shaalan serves as the Junior Business Development Coordinator at El Sewedy Education.

Access to education: one idea, many actions

“What we didn’t have back then was a way to reach people in refugee contexts as it’s unlikely they’d know to look for our learning content”

This Refugee Week, Chloe Shaw, partnerships strategy manager at Cambridge Assessment English shares how a suggestion from a colleague has turned into a flourishing staff-led initiative focused on helping give refugees and asylum seekers access to education.

Back in 2016, we were in the throes of an organisational change program and a key part of that was around hearing from staff about what matters to them and what kind of organisation they wanted to be working for. It was also a time when the global refugee crisis was rarely out of the media.

One of our colleagues, Sarah Rogerson, put forward the idea that, as a global education organisation, we could be doing more to help forced migrants. Very quickly a small team formed around this idea and began to plan.

MOOCathon

Given what we do is help people learn English, we already offer a lot of free learning materials and different kinds of teacher support. What we didn’t have back then was a way to reach people in refugee contexts as it’s unlikely they’d know to look for our learning content or be studying in a typical classroom situation.

So our starting point was to talk to lots of people – our existing partners, NGOs, charities and grassroots organisations – to build up our knowledge of the challenges learners face in these contexts. We also went to events, such as the British Council Language for Resilience conference and a Techfugees Hackathon, to learn more and network. We quickly found that we could play a role in bringing people together.

So not just us partnering with other organisations to make things happen but also facilitating conversations and bringing people together who might not otherwise meet. This led us to organise our own conference with Techfugees so we could get refugees, teachers, educators, NGO, charities and investors all together in the same room to work on some specific language education challenges.

One of the most exciting solutions to come out of the event was our free online courses.

Filming the MOOC

We announced the first in April 2017. ‘Aim higher’ helps refugees and asylum seekers access higher education in the UK. SOAS University of London, UCAS, University of Nottingham, British Council, The Student Room, Article 26, Techfugees and Star Network all helped to make this course a reality and over 3,000 people registered for the first two runs of the course.

We’re also helping people prove their skills by offering exam bursaries for several of our English exams, including C1 Advanced and OET (Occupational English Test). Through our IT department, we now clean up and donate our old laptops and mobile phones and donate them to refugee charities in places like Lebanon, France and Greece. Staff in our Assessment department have also been teaching refugees online and face to face.

We were delighted to be shortlisted for a PIEoneer Award last year for all our work in this area which has spurred us on to achieve even more.

PIE AWARDS

This Refugee Week, we’re putting a call out to people who might like to help us launch an online ‘Language for employability’ course. We know from speaking to teachers at IATEFL this year that there’s already a lot of interest.

So, if you think you can help, please do get in touch. In fact, we’d love to hear from you if you have other ideas of how we could collaborate to help refugees access education – you can reach us at partnerships@cambridgeenglish.org

Refugee week is a program of arts, cultural and educational event and activities that celebrate the contribution of refugees and promotes a better understanding of why people seek sanctuary. 

In-Demand Degrees & Landing Top UK Jobs

“Non-EEA international students often find themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to applying for British graduate jobs”

As Brexit negotiations continue, many international students are feeling concerned about their place in the UK post-graduation, particularly those looking to work in graduate roles. Luna Williams, content writer and correspondent at Immigration Advice Service offers advice to relieve some of this concern.

As it stands, any non-EEA international graduate can take on permanent, skilled work in the UK provided they have received a job offer and a Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) from their prospective employer. Once they have this, they will be eligible for a Tier 2 Work Visa, which will allow them to take on their desired role and remain in the UK for a further five years to fill it. For those looking to settle in the UK permanently, this route is ideal.
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How does duty of care extend to American higher education international offices?

“Many students understand that it is expensive in the US, but they struggle to understand how their insurance plan does not protect against the cost of that system”

As students become more mobile, the concept of ‘duty of care’ becomes all the more important. Jeff Foot, executive director of international student insurance provider LewerMark, says educators need a critical eye to assess what plans they have in place when international students face risks they are not accustomed to.

The #youarewelcomehere campaign attempts to soften the swirling rhetoric around the recent executive order travel bans, removal of DACA, increased nationalism, and unease generally around immigration issues. I think international education voices are correct to share competing messages, but a more proactive risk management approach is needed to offer a level of real comfort to current and potential international students.
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Inventor’s life could inspire business schools worldwide

“His passion for education and inspiring future generations to take a chance was legendary”

Trevor Baylis left school without any qualifications but went on to become one of Britain’s most renowned inventors. Kamal Bechkoum, head of business and technology at the University of Gloucestershire reflects on the mark that Baylis left on the world and what higher education institutions can learn from his genius.

I was tremendously saddened to hear of the recent death of Trevor Baylis OBE, creator of the wind-up radio that helped millions in the developing world access essential and life-saving information.

His passing marks not just the loss of a great inventor; it also offers an impressive life story that business, science and technology schools across the globe can learn from when encouraging their students to fulfil a need, doggedly protect one’s own intellectual property, or face down the seemingly impossible. 

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U.S. is Losing an Opportunity for Economic Growth

International students studying in the US become powerful contributors to the economy…impacting foreign relations in ways that can lead to global growth. 

It is easy to view the value of international students in terms of economic impact says Gretchen M. Bataille, senior consultant at Navitas USA. But, as she explains, international students contribute much more than tuition fees, and unfortunately, the US seems to be missing the memo. 

Education is not often considered an export. However, contrary to images of barges laden with goods, the United States’ most valuable exports are services, including education. In July 2017, services accounted for over one-third of total exports at $65.8 billion.

International students studying in the US become powerful contributors to the economy and contribute new ideas, lifestyles, values, and experiences to their home countries, transforming their local economies and impacting foreign relations in ways that can lead to global growth.

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How to encourage students to pursue a career in the international education sector

“Let students know that the opportunities for professional development are vast in the international education sector”

For those already working in the international education sector, you know what a rewarding career lies in store for those just starting out, writes Laura Slingo of CV-Library. But for the vast majority of students currently studying, they are unaware of the opportunities that could be waiting for them. You can find more advice 

To share your knowledge and encourage more students to pursue a career in the international education sector, here are our five tips:

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Best practice for welcoming international students

“There has never been a greater need to welcome and support international students so their experiences are happy ones”

In a time of far-right movements in Europe, Trump in the US and Brexit in the UK, international students need to be welcomed more than ever, argues Pat Moores, director and co-founder of UK Education Guide. She digs into recent best practice studies that ensure international students feel welcomed and supported.

Across the globe there are, at best, ‘mixed messages’ from national governments about how welcome international students are, making the complex marketing exercise of attracting and then welcoming international students even more challenging.

Therefore, there has never been a greater need to welcome and support international students so their experiences are happy ones and they then become advocates, promoting study in the UK and other host countries.

Historically, universities felt it was most helpful to have separate fresher’s weeks for international and domestic students, but some are now feeling that this separation right at the start of the student experience is not helpful.

As the Guardian has reported, Bournemouth University made a conscious decision to bring home and international students together during fresher’s week.

“We used to have a separate induction programme for these students, but we felt that it was isolating them,” explains Mandi Barron, Bournemouth’s head of student services. “Now we just badge some events that we think would be particularly useful for international students, but non-international students are welcome to attend if they want.”

The university also runs pre-arrival webinars on topics such as visas and UK culture for students, and trains staff to be aware of the different cultural needs they may encounter. But it is also wary of treating international students differently.

“We try not to focus on a homogenous group and more on individual needs,” says Barron. “Rather than having an international students department, we have a one-stop-shop service for all students, because if you’ve got an accommodation problem you’ve got an accommodation problem, and a complaint is a complaint, whether you’re international or British.”

Whilst Bournemouth is approaching the task of welcoming international students from the perspective of focusing on similarities, rather than differences, between students from different nations, Nottingham Trent University is taking a different approach.

The university is trialling a new scheme that helps international students celebrate their differences in background and culture. A project funded through a UKCISA grant sees international students lecture other students on aspects of their home culture, helping them gain academic confidence while educating others.

“It’s very small scale because it’s the first year they’ve run it,” UKCISA director of policy and services Julie Allen explains. “But this is a really good example of recognising the resources that these students are bringing rather than thinking that students who’ve come from outside the UK are in deficit or need additional support.”

The focus of celebrating differences to help educate the whole student body is backed up by research in the US. Contact between domestic and international students has also shown significant benefit to domestic students, as recent studies of US alumni have found, a significantly larger proportion of highly interactive (in terms of international student engagement) U.S. students in one cohort not only seriously questioned their political beliefs, but also challenged their beliefs about other religions, other races or ethnicities, and people with other sexual orientations, than did their non-interactive peers.

These initiatives highlighted have an important aspect in common – they are clear that forcing ‘integration’ is not a good way forward. Bournemouth’s initiatives are aimed at treating each student on their specific needs, regardless of country of origin and Trent is celebrating the individual experiences of overseas students to help benefit the whole student body.

Further afield, in Canada, the Université Laval in Quebec, which came top in the 2014 International Student Barometer for its welcome experience, focuses on a broad program to help its international students adapt to student life in Canada. The program focuses on practical issues like support in setting up a bank account and links to local families to experience Quebec culture.

Alongside helping international students understand local practical and cultural differences, there is also a requirement to be immediately ready to help international students who need additional learning support.

While US and UK pedagogy is more interactive, a recent US study* has once again highlighted that some international students simply don’t understand what is expected of them within the learning environment. For example, many are surprised that they are expected to answer questions and offer viewpoints in class or seminars.

A final note is a recent study completed by igraduate that shows that the challenges faced by international students on arrival are somewhat different from the fears prior to departure. Therefore, improving online sources of information and online interaction with a university and other students prior to arrival can arguably help address some of these concerns.

“Universities can produce their own closed MOOCs designed specifically to educate their foreign students about life on campus including insights about cultural norms. These could be offered as part of the recruitment process as part of a ‘no surprises’ approach,” suggests Simon Nelson CEO from FutureLearn, a social learning platform that offers free and paid-for online courses and degrees from over 150 leading universities and organisations across the world.

*The findings are from the survey Policies and Practices in Enrollment and Student Affairs, which was conducted in March 2017 by Maguire Associates of Concord, MA, for the ETS TOEFL Program. The results are based on the responses of 556 recruitment and admissions officers at two- and four-year, public and private institutions, including both undergraduate and graduate programs.

MOOCs: Still Big News for International Learners

“We shouldn’t underestimate how important MOOCs can still be for global students”

 

Clarissa Shen, vice president of Udacity, recently declared MOOCs dead, “a failed product,” sparking yet another round of commentary in the blogosphere. While it is true that MOOCs have neither saved nor destroyed higher education as we know it (as was predicted early on), they are far from dead, writes Laurie Pickard, author of “Don’t pay for your MBA” and nopaymba.com.

The number of online courses continues to grow, and the number of students registering for and completing them continues to tick upward. More than 23 million people registered for a MOOC in 2016. 2017’s numbers haven’t yet been published, but data from the MOOC search engine Class Central suggests that more than 80 million people have taken at least one MOOC. Importantly, people around the world are still learning that MOOCs exist. For these new learners, MOOCs aren’t old news. They are still exciting, new, and full of potential.

I still remember my own excitement when I first learned that top-tier universities were offering free versions of their classes. I felt I needed a business education to further my career, but I wasn’t interested in getting into debt to fund an MBA.

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A new Golden Age for Internationalisation. But can we get it right this time?

“The challenges this time round, in a much more competitive environment, are to learn from the mistakes made last time, and build sustainable financial models “

Who could have predicted, even just a year ago, that internationalisation would need to be back at the top of university agendas in the way that it was in many institutions throughout the 2000s? So asks Vincenzo Raimo, pro-vice-chancellor (Global Engagement) at the University of Reading. 

Full-degree, on-shore, international students were the growth engine of UK universities in the 2000s.

If HEIs wanted to grow and prosper there were limited opportunities to do so at home: student numbers were highly regulated and growth capped; so by definition university income was also effectively capped. Surpluses were almost non-existent.

By the start of this decade, international was starting to look a little less attractive and its dominant position as our universities’ growth engine was waning.

“But we didn’t  predict the changes: Brexit and the potential losses it could incur; and the burgeoning debate around fees and growth among UK politicians”

 

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