Category: Higher education

Breaking barriers, building bridges through the Gateway

“Nearly all Pakistani vice-chancellors, rectors and senior higher education leaders have received training in the UK since 2010”

A recent study has revealed that University College London generated £9.9 billion of economic impact across the UK in 2018/19. This equates to the trade boost delivered by the 2012 London Olympics. According to the UCL management, this could only be achieved in collaboration with the varsity’s partners as 77% of UCL’s academic partners are based outside London.

Nothing exists in a vacuum, and higher education is no exception. This stands true for the tertiary education sector in Pakistan.

While the sector is growing fast – with more than 230 universities across Pakistan – the challenges of equitable access, quality and relevance continue to remind us of the potential this sector could possibly unleash and contribute back to society and the economy. A well-connected higher education sector can co-create, curate and cross-pollinate ideas, knowledge, experience, skills and learning across multiple platforms, and hence it is breathing, alive and always open for new interventions.

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The challenges and opportunities of a strong dollar for international students

“Students should also be reminded that loans are only one option to fund their overseas education”

With the US dollar now worth nearly as much as the euro, you might be looking forward to your next Italian vacation. But the same economic trend poses both a challenge and an opportunity for students from around the world.

The Indian rupee has fallen by 6% since January, and the Chinese yuan hit a record low in July. Other countries are experiencing similar trends – though perhaps none worse than Sri Lanka, whose rupee has fallen by half since March. This means that students from these countries could encounter a major financial shortfall when it’s time to pay tuition.

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The recent fall in the value of the Indian rupee has significantly impacted students’ plans to study abroad

“With the cost of education and living expenses on the rise, it is becoming increasingly difficult for students to afford a quality education”

The rupee has been on a downward spiral for the past few months and hit a new low against the US dollar last week. This has caused many students and parents to rethink their plans for studying abroad, writes Prajwal Ikhar, co-founder of EduCred India.

The cost of studying in the US has always been high, but the rupee’s recent depreciation has become even more expensive. Besides the US, the cost of studying in countries like the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada has increased by at least 10% in the last few months. But for students planning to study in the US, the pain is too much as they are now facing a 20-30% increase in the cost of their education. This is a major deterrent for students who have plans to study abroad.

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Why getting the university digital experience right will attract more international students

“Students expect their university’s digital experiences to be as good as services like Facebook, Amazon or Netflix”

Historically a strong university brand has to a certain extent guaranteed student numbers and in turn high National Student Survey scores, but for the current TikTok generation of students who expect high-quality and personalised digital experiences in every aspect of their lives, their education is no exception.

Yet despite the Covid pandemic accelerating the move to digital, most UK universities are still not offering what students would regard as ‘state of the art’ digital experiences. The result – a digital experience gap between what students expect from their universities and what is being offered.

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Higher education needs international student engagement more than ever – and the solution is clear

“Set up right, chatbots in higher education can handle over 80% of all queries”

International student engagement is crucial to higher education, from the first touch to the last. Each interaction is vital – from engaging with prospective students to support admission targets, to connecting with current students to ensure they feel supported and don’t add to the worryingly-high dropout rates.

However, many departments are struggling to connect with international students, and it’s having a clear and damaging effect. In the 2020-21 academic year, the number of international students at US colleges fell by 15%, according to the Institute of International Education and the US Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

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Reimagining university life: how operational leaders are creating the post-Covid campus

“University chief operating officers had an opportunity to rapidly transform operations and find new ways to partner with their executive peers”

Across the globe, universities are planning for a post-pandemic future. Many university chief operating officers are thinking about what the bricks-and-mortar campus should look like if hybrid teaching becomes the norm.

If students are hesitant to return to packed lectures in large theatres and staff are unwilling to commute five days a week, how should universities use their campuses? And how can operational leaders support faculty and students as they research, teach and learn in new ways?

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Schools wanting to compete for top international faculty need robust integration strategies

“Faculty willing to migrate to work for you are usually happy to relocate to work for your competitors”

Growing diversity has been a key objective in the business world for a few decades now, as international corporations realise bringing a mix of people to the table introduces fresh ideas and allows for continuous innovation.

It’s been no stranger to the higher education sector either, especially for institutions that teach business and management. From the executive level down to bachelor courses, having a diverse cohort of students and participants has been (rightly) deemed an important issue.

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Transforming Thai higher education through global partnership

“Thailand’s unique location in South East Asia  sees it poised to become a regional education hub, an advantage the UK cannot ignore”

In response to Thailand’s ambition to internationalise its higher education system, the flagship Thai, UK World Class University Consortium initiative pairs seven Thai universities, through 15 research projects, with 14 lead UK university partners. This impressive partnership empowers outstanding collaboration on topics high on the list of national agendas.

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Covid proved universities could rapidly innovate, don’t stop

“Issuing digital credentials, authenticating in Blockchain-secure digital wallet, verifying with the click of a button. This is all possible now”

As the Colorado Avalanches – the Denver-based ice hockey team – played for their spot in the Stanley Cup, tertiary education admissions teams discussed the avalanche of international student applicants this year. The NAFSA international education conference was in town.

Naturally, the conference mood was positive. People were happy to be back in person at the famed NAFSA event. It had a real sense of “business as usual”. The conference theme was “building our sustainable future”, but the talk in the expo hall was all about getting numbers back to pre-Covid levels.

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The challenge of attracting international students in an increasingly competitive marketplace

“Universities might not be corporate entities, but they do need to adopt a business mindset to compete successfully”

How can universities in the UK protect themselves from losing ground to other countries hungry to encourage more applications from international students?

Although currently sitting at number two in the global rankings, the higher education sector is facing rising competition from other nations keen to maximise the income and enrichment that international students bring to campuses. And the stakes are high, writes Ian Anderson, Global Enterprise Architect at Ellucian.

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