Category: Higher education

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.
Read More

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.
Read More

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.

Read More

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!
Read More

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’.
Read More

Kevin Brady is enrichment programme manager at Bellerbys College Brighton in the UK.

Thinking about the wider dimension of internationalisation

“It’s clear that too often internationalisation within our universities is too narrowly defined as the inward mobility of international students, and then generally only for the economic benefit they bring”

Vincenzo Raimo, pro-vice-chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading, reflects on conferences he has attended, and asks what higher education leaders can do to broaden their perspectives on internationalisation.

The recent International Higher Education Forum was a mix of the practical: how to develop partnerships in India; the commercial: how to segment your student recruitment markets and improve return on investment; together with a dash of inspiration towards the end of the day from Professor Bertil Andersson, President of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, who is able to “smell” the success of his strategy by walking around his campus and by speaking to his very international mix of staff and students.
Read More

Vincenzo Raimo is pro-vice-chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading in the UK.

Global risk: universities need to be better prepared

“From terrorism to transnational crime, epidemics to extortion, censorship to cyber security, there has never been a more dangerous time to venture abroad”

Brett Bruen is a former director of global engagement at the White House and US diplomat, and is now president of the consulting firm the Global Situation Room. Here he writes about why universities should take the risks of travelling seriously so they can better protect their students and staff overseas.

The murder of American student Nohemi Gonzalez, during the terrorist attacks in Paris last fall, was a tragic reminder of the risks of studying and researching abroad today. Sadly, those risks are no longer remote. Indeed, they’re regular and rising. From terrorism to transnational crime, epidemics to extortion, censorship to cyber security, there has never been a more dangerous time to venture abroad. Unfortunately, the response by most universities to these threats remains woefully outdated and inadequate.
Read More

Brett Bruen was director of global engagement at the White House and spent twelve years as a US diplomat. He is now president of the consulting firm the Global Situation Room and an adjunct faculty member at the Federal Executive Institute.

Brexit might not deter students, but it could devastate global faculty and research

“The lifting of the cap has inadvertently made international strategies more real – at least when it comes to student diversity. Would a so-called Brexit end all of that? I don’t think so”

The lifting of the cap on student numbers at UK universities led many institutions to rethink their recruitment and internationalisation policies, with many putting greater efforts into recruiting students from within the EU than before, writes Vincenzo Raimo, pro-vice-chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading. Here he looks at how this has led to growth in European student numbers, and asks: how would this change if the UK were to leave the EU?

The focus of the majority of UK university international strategies for the past 20 years or so has been fee income growth. Constrained within a highly regulated system with strict limits on domestic students, the only way universities could grow was to recruit (unregulated) international fee paying students. As well as adding to the diversity of our universities and the quality of student experience, these international students brought income which allowed our universities to grow and develop, appoint new faculty and build new and better facilities.
Read More

Vincenzo Raimo is pro-vice-chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading in the UK.

How important are international students to Australia’s universities?

“The prosecution respectfully presents as evidence recent shenanigans purporting to be informed policy debate about university funding, with a starting point of 20% reduction in government contributions”

Stephen Connelly, director of GlobalEd Services, a consulting firm specialising in international education and internationalisation, challenges the claim that Australian universities are too dependent upon the revenue international students bring.

Discussion about the significance of international students for Australian universities often centres around their revenue contribution, and the risk associated with maintaining or growing enrolment levels in a system with a greater proportion of international students than almost any other in the world.[1] This ignores the importance of international students in classrooms and on campuses around Australia, bringing different perspectives and helping local students develop a global mindset, including for about 15% of local students participation in overseas mobility programs.

Acknowledging the need for a more comprehensive appreciation of Australian universities’ internationalisation programs, this article continues the focus on enrolment and revenue, to clarify the extent of the reliance or otherwise of Australian universities on international students.

Each year, Australian universities report enrolment and revenue data to the Department of Education and Training. This data set is a rich source of information about enrolment, revenue, academic success and attrition rates. Of specific interest are proportions of students who are international, proportion of revenue sourced from international students, and academic success of students. 2014 enrolment data are now available, with finance data released around November each year.

In 2014, 24.3% of students in Australian universities were international.

Proportions of University Students who are International – all Modes

2014 24.3%
2013 24.3%
2012 25.2%
2011 26.7%
2010 27.4%
2009 27.6%
2008 27.0%
2007 26.1%
2006 25.9%
2005 25.3%

Proportions here include students studying outside Australia, either online, at branch campuses or in offshore partnership programs.

In 2014, 18.7% of university students studying onshore in Australia were international. Recently, growth in international students has not kept pace with growth in domestic students.

Proportions of University Students who are International – Onshore

2014 18.7%
2013 18.3%
2012 19.1%
2011 20.6%
2010 21.3%
2009 21.1%
2008 20.3%
2007 19.4%
2006 19.1%
2005 18.6%

Open Doors and OECD data show that Australia’s proportion of international students compares with 17% in the UK, 16% in Canada, and 4.2% in the US.

In 2013, 16.3% of total revenue at Australia’s universities came from international student tuition fees.

Proportion of revenue from international students

2013 16.3%
2012 16.4%
2011 17.5%
2010 17.6%
2009 16.7%
2008 15.5%
2007 15.0%
2006 15.0%
2005 15.2%

Does 16.3% represent unhealthy over-reliance? I don’t think so. There is risk involved in managing any revenue source. Far worse to be over-reliant on government revenue. The prosecution respectfully presents as evidence recent shenanigans in Australia purporting to be informed policy debate about university funding, with a starting point of 20% reduction in government contributions. Give me business risk any day.

“Does 16.3% represent unhealthy over-reliance? I don’t think so. There is risk involved in managing any revenue source”

Finally, international students commencing bachelor degrees in Australian universities in 2014 passed 85.2% of what they attempted in first year, higher than domestic students (83.4%), the third year in a row that international students have bettered their domestic peers. Australian universities pay attention to the academic success of international students.

 

[1] Australia in 2012 had the second highest proportion of international students among its undergraduate population of any OECD economy, behind Luxembourg.