Category: International student recruitment

How to support international students during a pandemic

“Showing empathy makes the whole consulting process smoother for the student”

Rather than having a massive overhaul on your current working habits, just making small changes can go a long way in terms of international student recruitment. What benefits can we offer our international students during this trying time? UK-based Fulbright Education CEO Afsana Ahmed explains.

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The Asian universities working together to solve challenges in higher education

“In a highly globalised world, a country or region can rarely develop in isolation”

Over the last few years, we have observed some important trends that have already been changing the global landscape of higher education. Asian universities have accelerated in their development and started to enjoy a greater presence among the top global universities.

Being a network of prominent universities in the region, the Asian Universities Alliance (AUA) has the potential to lead intellectual scholarship and scientific discovery, pulling together the best minds from member institutions, each with their own expertise to contribute to joint initiatives. Arman Zhumazhanov of Nazarbayev University discusses the work of the regional university network.

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How can foundation courses be better presented and explained to international families?

“The onus is on agents to make sure they clearly understand what type of program will suit a student”

The number of students entering foundation programs in the UK tripled between 2012/13 and 2017/18 from 10,430 to 30,030, writes Pat Moores of UK Education Guide. They offer a great bridge between high school and university for many pupils.

However, as the range of the providers grows and the number of course options increase, clarifying where these courses sit within the UK education system would certainly help prospective students and their families.

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International education: the motivation to keep going

“I’ve yet to see a more challenging time for the sector than now”

My international education began aged 19, writes the the director of the British Council in Malaysia Jazreel Goh. I was whisked 6,000 km from the comfort of home in Malaysia to Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia.

Back then, I never imagined I was part of an industry or that I contributed to Australian exports. It didn’t strike me that transferring a student from one country to another could be a business model. Thirty years later, here I am, immersed in what others describe as the big business of international education.

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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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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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Interest in studying in Germany still strong among Indians despite Covid-19

“Almost everyone was very worried about the prospect of entering an unfavourable job market upon graduation”

Covid-19 is first and foremost a health crisis, writes UCL Institute of Education research fellow Sazana Jayadeva, but research into how the pandemic has impacted postgraduate-level student mobility from India to Germany suggests that health-related fears about studying in Germany during a pandemic were largely absent among both current and prospective students.

Between March and June 2020, I conducted interviews with Indian postgraduate students in Germany, as well as digital ethnographic fieldwork in mutual-help Facebook and WhatsApp groups used by prospective students to navigate the process of going to Germany for study.

The vast majority of my interlocutors were studying or applying to engineering postgraduate courses (reflecting the fact that the majority of Indian students in Germany are studying engineering).

Among my interlocutors, there was a feeling that Germany was handling the pandemic well, the healthcare system was robust, and international students were being well supported. Rather than health and safety, their main concerns centred on two issues.

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Lessons learnt from lockdown – how international business is evolving

“My worry was that being forced to work from home could be very demotivating and this would be absolutely disastrous.”

At the end of February I went to Abu Dhabi for the BSME conference, remembers the director of m2r Education Munir Mamujee,  a great event which was supposed to be the highlight of our Q1 international business develop strategy. The conference never happened due to Covid-19 and I ended up in lockdown  at the hotel for five days. It was a rather surreal experience and one I hope never to repeat.

Fast forward and here we are. My team could have vanished, our international business could have ended and all of us could have been on our respective sofas watching daytime TV.

Yes we, like virtually every business out there, have had to make some dramatic changes and accept that for some time to come, it’s not business as usual.

As a business owner I initially went through the usual initial emotion of woe is me, head in hands, wondering what the hell we were going to do.

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COVID-19 highlights need for recruitment automation

“Many HEIs were already struggling with fluctuating international enrolments due to unpredictable political and economic conditions”

UK universities face significant financial losses in international tuition fees as Covid-19 decimates prospective enrolments. However, automating recruitment processes mitigate the potential for economic ruin says Jeffrey Williams, co-founder at Enroly.com.

As global leaders in higher education, UK universities are heavily reliant on international tuition revenue, with the most important recruitment markets for the UK are China (120,385); India (26,685); the United States (20,120); Hong Kong (16,135), and Malaysia (13,835).

Indeed international students make up 20% of the UK’s undergraduate student body and a staggering 35% of all postgraduates, meaning there are close to half-a-million international students in the country at any given time.

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This too shall pass – reflections on international education crises

“At some point during each crisis, we worry about the long-term impact on international education”

I remember the feeling, writes Kerry Geffert, product evangelist for Terra Dotta. Restless, hard to focus, antsy, anxious, neither depressed nor positive. It was right after 9/11. Our world had turned upside down and, when we got past the immediate personal implications, those of us in international education wondered what the future held for the work that was near and dear to our hearts.

At that time I was also Conference Chair for the 2002 NAFSA Annual Conference. When we held our first meeting of the planning committee following 9/11, I started by admitting that I had had trouble focusing on our tasks. There was an immediate collective sigh of relief. Turns out I was not alone.

Two lessons from that experience: We are not alone in our feelings of uncertainty. And our professional/industry peers and colleagues are an important part of self-care and mutual support.

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues its spread, international educators are in month three of the crisis. First, dealing with the impacts in China, then fear and impacts as the virus spread abroad and now, here at home.

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