Category: Immigration

How new immigration policies in the US will affect student exchange programs

“Even students in America are deciding to enrol outside the US”

According to concerned groups, the final rule published last Monday will have drastic effects on international students enrolling in colleges and universities in the United States.

As it is, the list of international students enrolled in higher education institutions in the U.S. fell by over 6% in the last school year. The public believes that the new immigration policies of the Trump administration are responsible for undercutting the demand for higher education from overseas students. Schools report that the low inflow of international students is already in its third year.

Read More

Future of UK academia hangs on UK immigration policy

“For academic visitors, applying for a UK visitor visa is now akin to rolling a dice”

Immigration reform is critical if the UK is to retain standards and reputation for academic excellence, explains immigration lawyer Anne Morris.

The UK immigration system is failing UK academia. Visa processing is protracted, expensive and unpredictable, undermining the efforts of educational institutions to attract and retain global academic talent.

The challenges are affecting both short-term academic visitors and longer-term recruitment programmes. The sector is missing out on staff and speakers and is in danger of losing its standing as a leading global hub of academic excellence.

Read More

Universities, like Oxbridge, fail to represent Britain’s ethnic diversity

“Educational success by BAME individuals is fundamental in ensuring the future of a diverse British society”

If one were to envisage the Oxbridge stereotype, a white, wealthy student fed by Eton would most likely come to mind. Whilst the UK’s top two universities have claimed to be erasing this reputation by promoting ethnic diversity, it seems reality continues to tell a very different story. 

Statistics show that successful admissions for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals remains significantly lower than that of their white counterparts. According to UCAS, 2016 saw Oxford accepting 2180 white students in comparison to a mere 35 black individuals.  Similarly, the statistics for Cambridge revealed only 40 black students were granted a place compared to 2025 white students.

Read More

Will Canada have quadrupled its international student numbers in eight years?

“It is conceivable that Canada could have a million international students by the end of 2022”

In early 2014 the Canadian Federal Government announced its intentions to grow study permit holders in Canada from 265,000 to 450,000 and gave itself eight years. In 2017 that target was surpassed, a full five years early.

The first time I heard the goal was at a Federal Government supported student recruitment fair in Abuja, Nigeria, in late January 2014. A good number of Canadian school recruiters (myself included) were busy laying out marketing materials and preparing for the prospective students lined up outside the event. The student fair in Abuja was one stop of many throughout Africa.

Before things opened to the public, the Canadian Ambassador to Nigeria and our then-International Trade Minister (Ed Fast) took to the podium to talk new policies and give encouragement to the audience. The big takeaway? Canada’s government had identified international student growth as a major “stimulant” to the domestic economy.  And the country would – in Fast’s estimation – get this injection by doubling the outcomes of our collective efforts (which were already round-the-clock). Murmurs of commentary and raised eyebrows went up. Clearly, not everyone was aligned on the scope and spirit of the proposition.

Read More

How to stay healthy while teaching abroad

“Staff are a school’s biggest asset, and their wellbeing directly affects the students in their care”

Working overseas is soaring in popularity for teachers, with an estimated 15,000 leaving the UK each year to join international schools. It’s easy to see why it’s so appealing – new places, sights, food, culture, people and a different pace of life all add up to an experience that can be both transformative and enriching.

There is so much to think about when you embark on an adventure of this kind that even the hardiest of travellers might not consider the nuts and bolts of what it will actually be like when you get there after the excitement has died down. Ask anyone who has lived abroad and they’ll tell you it’s the funny little things that can catch you out and make you feel like an outsider, like not knowing where to buy a trivial item such as cotton wool. Knowing to ask for fruit and vegetables by weight rather than quantity, on the other hand, can really help you feel as if you belong.

Read More

The world is flat, and all the best universities are at the top edge

“The recognition of institutions of higher learning in the global South as equally desirable as those in the North would be a positive first step in redressing imbalances”

The world is flat, and all the best universities are at the top edge. Between virtually every university prospectus promising to prepare students for a “globalised, interconnected” world, and any recent international league tables, this – intentionally or not – is the message being produced in many quarters of higher education.

As a Canadian who went to Tanzania for a Masters degree, I can happily report that neither of these is the case. The world we live in today is not inevitably converging into a single reality whose ways can be learned at any one institution, and some of the very best educational experiences are to be had at the universities of the global South.

Read More

Joining new social circles outside your native tongue

“Complications in communication should not in any way deter you from a once in a lifetime opportunity of studying abroad”

 

As we grow older entering new social circles becomes harder to achieve, from fewer opportunities to meet new people to less time to get out socially. Time at university offers a multitude of possibilities to interact with people from all over the country, and indeed, world. But for the students who seek to broaden their mind abroad, there are additional obstacles, not least of all, the language barrier.

So how can students cross-linguistic blocks to enrich their friendship group with culturally diverse inhabitants? Here are a few suggestions based on our experience at William Clarence Education.
Read More

New Graduate Occupation List in Australia is likely to increase WA university applications

“”The correlation between international student enrolments and tourism numbers with the eligibility pathways for permanent residence is clear as day”

The Western Australian labor government has quickly recognised the mistake it made in 2017 when it de facto closed its immigration program to skilled migrants immediately after winning the 2017 election. 

In the ensuing months, international student enrolments at WA universities dropped significantly – 7% or 1403 enrolments in the 2018 financial year alone, against a backdrop of 11% growth nationally. That represents an 18% negative swing in WA against the national average. In simple terms, a disaster for the Western Australian education and tourism industries.

Read More

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. 

Zero-Sum Thinking: Why Trump Risks Zeroing Out America’s International Education Sector

“The colleges and universities that will be hurt most deeply by the flight of international students will be those in states that voted for President Trump”

The Trump administration policies are having a notable effect on the number of international students studying in the United States. Managing Director of University Ventures Ryan Craig writes about the impact of “zero-sum thinking” and the effect it could have on American universities and colleges that depend on international students for their survival.

Ever since I read The Art of the Deal in the 1980s, I’ve not been a fan of Donald Trump. In August of 2015, writing in Forbes, I marvelled that he was leading the pack of Republican candidates for President, calling him “untrustworthy,” “fickle,” and an “entertainer playing a businessman.” Nonetheless, I never expected him to be economically illiterate as well.

Many have commented that Trump’s approach to civil liberties appears to be that freedom from discrimination for one group doesn’t result in a net gain for society because “their gain is your loss.” This “zero-sum” thinking is equally clear in his approach to immigration. In Trump’s view – at least as played to his steadfast base – every immigrant is taking a job that would otherwise go to a native-born American.
Read More