Category: Higher education

Addressing needs through personalised learning pathways

“Successful online programs will be the ones that allow students to take charge of their own learning”

Just over a year on from the first UK lockdown, we have collectively learned quite a lot about the resilience of our education system. Like many industries, higher education faced a unique set of challenges throughout the pandemic, particularly as institutions navigated new methods of learning and assessment.

This accelerated digital transformation initiatives across our universities, with lecturers embracing online learning to ensure educational continuity for students. Stewart Watts, vice president EMEA at D2L, explains.

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Creating sustainable humanitarian projects that last beyond graduation

“We want to help improve the dignity of the living conditions for refugees by supporting more programs”

Increasing numbers of young people at Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands start to work on projects aiming to make the world a better place and deal with our scarce resources in a more sustainable way, says the institution’s Désirée van Gorp, professor of international business.

I work with at least 60 students every year who start their own projects, but unfortunately by the time their MBA or master’s is finished, these and many more projects often disappear left unfinished.

We started thinking about how we could create a community of students and alumni that would keep working on societal centric projects as a continuation of all the great work being done during our students’ degree programs. This is what we came up with.

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Global partnerships: together we are an ocean

“Individual strengths joined together on a global level can, indeed, move mountains”

The esteemed Japanese writer Ryūnosuke Akutagawa once wrote: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.”

As human beings, we know that we are stronger when we work together rather than when we work in isolation, says Class2Class’ Suzanne Orzech. Akutagawa’s words seem to have come to life on a global scale as we look at the plethora of global educational partnerships that have emerged recently, thanks to human ingenuity and the desire to keep moving forward despite extreme global challenges.

Class2Class is excited to provide the technology solutions to many global pioneers who have come together to develop virtually collaborative courses, projects, and internships as an affordable and inclusive model for international education with other universities, NGOs and businesses around the world during a time of limited physical mobility. What is truly inspiring to see is the evolution of collective thought.

As different and varied as all of these partnerships are, they have the same goal in mind: advance international education and make it accessible to all, despite some extremely severe obstacles.

The future of online learning is on-demand

“There is a visible need for more relevant digital learning experiences”

The global education sector has experienced more disruption and rapid change over the course of 2020 than it has over the past few decades, writes Susannah Belcher, Chief Operations Officer at FutureLearn. As schools close, universities pivot harder to digital, and professionals need to adapt and reskill, the demand for online learning is set to pick up rather than slow down.

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Covid-19 impact: engaging international students with institutional responses

“Institutions know they need to ensure that teaching is delivering value”

Changes to teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have raised serious questions around how the student voice can be captured effectively, especially given the sector’s reliance on face-to-face approaches, and ultimately around student satisfaction, writes John Atherton of Explorance.

With the majority of universities subsequently advocating blended approaches to teaching and learning for the 2020/21 academic year, they have done so after reflecting long and hard on their initial responses to Covid-19 and developing plans for engaging students.

However, with Coronavirus outbreaks hitting campuses worldwide, the sector has faced a bumpy ride and at times harsh criticism throughout this first semester.

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What we learnt taking our study fairs online

“It’s certainly not all been smooth-sailing, but we’ve had some successes, and have learnt a huge amount”

With our events calendar regularly topping 18 events per year, I feel well versed in running physical study fairs, but virtual fairs were a new venture for myself and FindAUniversity.

Between deciding to run a virtual study fair and the actual event, we had just six weeks – to secure exhibitors, get to grips with the software platform, plan a talks programme, promote the event to students, and run it.

After being thrown into the virtual fair world, we’ve come out the other side having achieved some fantastic successes, including having over 70 universities exhibit, over 3,400 visitors attend, and our exhibitors receiving an average of over 200 leads.

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The challenges of employing international faculty

“International faculty’s lack of knowledge about local cultural contexts can be an insurmountable challenge”

Employing international faculty can have massive benefits for universities but it can also present a number of challenges, writes Tsediso Michael Makoelle, vice dean of research at Nazarbayev University’s Graduate School of Education.

Moving to any new country involves a new cultural environment which more often than not can cause international faculty to experience culture shock. When faculty experience this culture shock, many can struggle to adapt and adjust to this new cultural environment, including grappling with aspects such as language. In some cases, this could adversely affect their psychological and emotional well-being, leading to underperformance at work.

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Why the unis who win intl students will be those with provable graduate outcomes

“81% of international students see buying an international education as an investment”

This year has been an incredible year of disruption for international education, writes Shane Dillon, found of Cturtle and UniAdvisor. It has rapidly brought to the forefront conversations around education delivery and the value of tertiary education in general in the 21st century.

As of March 2020, the global movement of international students has vanished and the future of the sector, the countries and university brands involved are in a state of flux.

Now more then ever before it is critical for the sector to embrace data on international graduate employment outcomes to illustrate clearly to consumers the value and return on investment an international education delivers. Numerous studies from UNICEF, QS and Cturtle show clearly that employability is the most important consideration impacting student choice across Asia.

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International education in the era of Covid-19: walking the talk

“Ironically…I find myself in the position of one of the international students whose future I am now involved in planning”

 

“As countries around the world prepare to unwind nationwide lockdowns and move to a more sustainable way of containing the Covid-19 pandemic, universities are beginning to plan for a resumption of classes on campus,” writes professor Nigel Healey, associate vice-president (Global Engagement) at the University of Limerick.

Most institutions are considering some form of ‘flipped classroom’, with theoretical content delivered online and face-to-face teaching limited to tutorials and laboratory sessions to allow for social distancing.

High on the list of concerns is the impact of Covid-19 on international students.  Most obviously, it is unclear how quickly cross-border travel restrictions will be lifted and scheduled commercial flights restarted.  Some potential students may be reluctant to leave their home countries, for fear of another outbreak.

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Interest in online learning climbing quickly, but students still have concerns

“Even for students who are used to learning outside of the classroom, this complete shift to online learning can be challenging””

 

In response to the worldwide quarantine against coronavirus, higher education institutions are acting fast to offer their courses online. But does this increased demand mean that students are satisfied with their online learning experience?

Higher education search and comparison site educations.com wanted to find out. They surveyed over 7,400 current and prospective international university students and asked them about their thoughts on online learning.  The results indicated a clear upswing in interest in online learning but revealed student concerns about the implications of a fully virtual university experience. 

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