Category: Internationalisation

International students: Bringing a world of good to workplaces

“The combination of loyalty and hard work means that international students can make a great addition to a business”

We all know just how valuable international students can be to a country’s economy. Take Australia, for example. It’s the country’s fourth-largest export, worth close to AU$36 billion.

But it’s not just the economy – or education providers – who benefit from the diverse group of students who call Australia home. As graduations approach, the number of international student graduates looking to find employment in Australia is set to grow. There’s a real opportunity for employers to diversify and grow thanks to the global perspective that international students can bring.

At Cohort Go, we recently added three excellent international students to our engineering team, joining our very diverse workforce that hails from 11 countries. Here are my thoughts on why including international students in graduate hiring plans is a smart move for any business.

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Are students ready for the future of work?

“There is perhaps too much emphasis on exam grades and not enough on the students’ actual learning journey”

With a myriad of factors influencing the future of work such as automation, globalisation, mobility, and flexibility, the future of work holds endless possibilities for change and opportunities for growth.

As many admin centric and unskilled tasks are now being automated, it’s important to understand what self-management and unique human skills will be valued in the future. The role of education has traditionally been to prepare students for their future workplaces, but as the pace of change accelerates, are curriculums keeping up with the evolving requirements of the future of work?

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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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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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The climate clock is ticking – is the international education sector listening?

“Travel-related carbon emissions originating from international education are a sustainability problem that cannot be ignored”

Climate change is the defining challenge of our time; we need rapid action to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. To reduce carbon-related emission we need action from governments, industries and individuals across the globe.

Towards this backdrop, the travel-related carbon emissions originating from international education are a sustainability problem that cannot be ignored. However, hitherto, the international education industry has been a laggard when it comes to discussing and tackling the issue of climate change. For instance, many international education strategies and key industry conferences have either overlooked or marginalised this topic.

Improved awareness of the carbon footprint of this industry would be the first step. After that, institutions need to start measuring their international education related carbon footprints and start taking actions to reduce their emissions.

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Creating paid internships in Japan for students

“Japan is looking outward to meet this rising demand, thus offering fresh job and career opportunities to international graduates”

HR departments across corporate Japan are introducing unprecedented global outreach strategies into their short and long-term recruitment plans.

Where previously Japanese companies would limit their graduate schemes to domestic hires, they are now travelling to the UK, US, China, India and other countries with more frequency to hold on-campus information sessions or attend large-scale career fairs organised by Japanese recruitment agencies.

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What we learned from conducting a virtual exchange

“Virtual exchange is a valuable tool for preparing young people for the workforce of tomorrow”

Virtual exchange has been gaining traction as a mode of international education. By connecting students online across borders, virtual exchange is a “third space” of international education, blurring the lines between traditional incoming and outgoing student mobility programming.

Even so, virtual exchange complements rather than replaces traditional programs. As Mohamed Abdel-Kader, the Executive Director of the Stevens Initiative at the Aspen Institute recently noted, there is a large unmet need for U.S. college students to have international experiences.

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How Sustainable Development Goals can mobilise collaboration

“University teaching and learning will shape generations of graduates who will go on to tackle these challenges in their professional lives”

In just a few months’ time, a very different sort of university league table will make its debut on the world stage. This new global ranking will be the first to measure universities’ success, not by reputation or research output, but by their contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a set of global targets aiming to end poverty, protect the planet, and promote peace and prosperity for all.

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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.

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Dealing with overseas classrooms and a cauldron of cultures

“With a smorgasbord of cultures, the task of teaching a room of students from around the world requires extra steps”

Teaching the next generation can be a tricky proposition in any situation, no two students are exactly alike and techniques that work well in one classroom may fall flat in another.

For the most part, though, you know roughly what you’re trying to achieve and have designed a roadmap to reach the end. But what about truly diverse classrooms?  Travelling around the world as an international educator is immensely rewarding but also presents unique challenges, how exactly should you deal with a classroom in a different country containing a mix of students?

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