Category: Higher education

The instrumental impact of EU funding

“As a research-led University with a strong sense of civic mission, regional economic and social development are a major priority”

As Wales braces for what could be a perfect economic storm in the months ahead, Ceri D. Jones, director of Swansea University’s Research, Engagement and Innovation Services looks at the impact of EU funding on regional development, and some of the seeds of hope in the pipeline.

Recently Ford announced its engine plant in Bridgend is set to close in autumn 2020, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.  Just weeks ago, British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation – re-igniting major concerns about an industry that employs thousands in Wales.  With the UK set to leave the European Union on the 31 October, Wales is set to lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds each year in EU funding that has been driving economic and social regeneration in recent years.

Swansea University is located within the ‘West Wales and the Valleys’ region, which has been identified as one of the most deprived regions within Northern Europe, and as such, is a net beneficiary of EU funding.

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Number of Vietnamese Students in the US Rebounds

“Viet Nam remains a shining star in a rather dark and gloomy international student recruitment galaxy for US educational institutions”

For those US colleagues who recruit in Viet Nam, there is some good news in challenging times.  According to the latest SEVIS by the Numbers update from March 2019, there are 30,684 Vietnamese students studying in the US at all levels, an increase of 3% over August 2018.  Overall, Vietnamese students in the US comprise 2.62% of total international enrollment vs. 2.47% last August.

As you can see below, Viet Nam still ranks fifth among sending countries and is now in the same statistical league as Saudi Arabia, which saw a sizable decline of nearly 9%.  (The only other top 10 sending country with an increase was Nigeria.)  Read More

Dr. Mark Ashwill is managing director of Capstone Vietnam, a full-service educational consulting company in Viet Nam with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). Ashwill blogs at An International Educator in Viet Nam.

Will language translation tech ring a death knell for modern language learning?

“100 billion words a day? It is nearly unfathomable that Google’s neural machine translation can accomplish this”

Humans have been trying to find better ways of deciphering different languages for centuries, but it wasn’t until 1949 that the concept of “machine translation” really became a possibility.

According to a paper written by John Hutchins, Yehoshua Bar-Hillel was one of the first ones to take an interest in the field. He led a Georgetown University machine translation team and in partnership with IBM performed a demonstration of an automatic translation machine in 1954 known as the Georgetown-IBM experiment.

It was the height of the cold war, and the machine was capable of translating roughly 250 words from Russian into English. At the time, the demonstration generated a lot of interest, and it was predicted that machine translation would be perfected before 1960. However, computers weren’t advanced enough at this time to handle the complexity of translation, and subsequent experiments for the following few decades were lacklustre at best.

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How online education can transform the international student experience

“If the online learning platform is of high quality, there is no reason why the online learner should be disadvantaged when studying virtually”

The facts are pretty clear-online education provision is growing and, not only does it benefit working adults who can fit studying around their work and family commitments, but it also has the power to transform the lives of international students.

Take high tariff, popular courses in the UK, such as veterinary science and medicine. The average premium international students are paying to study in the UK is £20,000 per year, so an additional £100,000 over a 5 year study period. Fees for international students typically increase every year across almost all Universities, so the cost of study in the UK is consistently rising.

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Working as a university residence assistant is about personal development as well as helping others

“Students were motivated to become an RA by their desire to help other students navigate what they had found difficult themselves”

Residence life – the US-led programming of activities and support for students in university accommodation – is taking off in the UK and Ireland. At its heart are the students who work as residence assistants (RAs), usually for pay or subsidised accommodation. But the benefits of being an RA reach far beyond the financial, and money is rarely the motivation, as the recent Residence Assistants Panel at the CUBO Residence Life Conference revealed.

The RA panel was part of a two-day professional development event for residence life professionals. It featured five of the eight students awarded a 2019 CUBO RA Award for outstanding services as residents assistants, including Shiyi Xu, aka Agnes, from Hong Kong.

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Learning and Long-Term Memory

“If we want to be effective in education, we need to help students build up the content of their long-term memories”

By some quirk of fate or coincidence, 1956 was the year that saw both the founding of TASIS by Mrs Fleming and the publication of one of the most significant articles ever in the field of education.

Written by American psychologist George Miller, it was titled “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two.” It helped to establish the powerful truth that short-term (or working) memory is limited both in duration and capacity. This is important because if short-term memory is necessarily constrained, then to be effective, education has to focus on something else.

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International payments – one size doesn’t fit all

“Currency regulations vary greatly…and agents may find this challenging when navigating the waters of new source countries”

Globally, the middle class is rising, and with it so too are the number of students able to study and live overseas for the first time.

While this rise has been amazing for education standards globally – as well as the economies of many countries – it has created some challenges for education providers and agents in terms of managing and facilitating global payments. With new countries entering the international education arena, it’s important to be aware of such intricacies and plan accordingly.
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To stay globally competitive, the US needs to build internationalists beginning in K-12

“While encouraging study abroad is the right thing to do, preparing the next generation of global citizens must come earlier”

In a world with internet, video conferencing, and 95% of consumers living outside of the United States, fostering international competencies and connections at an early age is more important than ever for our future livelihoods.

Given that globalization will only increase, we must consider whether we are sufficiently preparing our young people to be successful in the workforce of today and tomorrow.

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Could a diverse student cohort support good decision-making in your university?

“Having students as part of a diverse team can really motivate everyone involved”

Over 40,000 students chose to study at The University of Edinburgh last year, and 45% were from outside the UK. One of the major advantages of having a diverse cohort like ours is the wider perspective it brings to the institution, encouraging students to view the future opportunities available to them on a global scale.

Students can bring a fresh perspective to decision-making within an institution, particularly around how to best enhance student satisfaction and improve learning outcomes. That’s why when we decided to make lecture recording available at scale to improve our students’ learning experience, we put students at the heart of our planning.

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Finessing the digital marketing campaign

“International universities are pushing boundaries in a bid to keep students, the public and educators interested”

Digital engagement has become the number one priority in international education. A dynamic, and rapidly expanding sector, #intled has moved from a humble advert in a newspaper to daily hashtags and ed tech galore.

International universities and organisations no longer feel the need to toe the line of conventional marketing; they are pushing the boundaries of the new, in a bid to keep students, the public and educators interested.

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