Category: Study abroad

How do students find their ideal university?

“Students are wary of university marketing gimmicks, and do not pay any heed to them”

Students researching to study at international universities are pretty selective about the sources of information on which they rely.

In recent research done by Media Minds, they found that students rely significantly on verified student reviews on independent websites. Verified student reviews are a vital part of deciding on a university.

Trusted Sources for Students

The only more credible source of information for students is feedback from people they know personally. Since student reviews have started influencing decisions for students as to which courses to study or which university to enrol in, verified student platforms are now playing a great role. In fact, verified student reviews are as trustworthy as the University website. That’s a big thumbs up to these trusted student review sites.

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Why food really matters to international student well-being

“Importing ingredients that help make a ‘local’ dish truly authentic can make a huge difference to students”

Most of us happily take it for granted that we will be able to buy the food we like when we want to. For international students coming to study in the UK, access to the food they like to eat is not a given so schools and colleges that see the true importance of food as a way to; ease homesickness, increase social interaction and improve general well-being should be applauded.

Recent research puts the issue into perspective

Masters student, Erika Stewin undertook research on “food insecurity” issues among international students at two Canadian universities. Her research found that “many students described experiencing food insecurity, students related feelings of depression, homesickness and identity loss, hunger, difficulties with weight loss or weight gain, and stories of being forced to compromise religious beliefs in order to eat.”

So, how can institutions do their very best to ensure food is seen as a crucial aspect of pupil/student wellbeing?

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Using your university website as a recruitment tool

“A smooth mobile-responsive website acts as a trust signal for students, encouraging them to find out more about your institution”

Recent research from UniQuest revealed that 91% of international offer holders at partner institutions were “stealth applicants”, meaning they made no contact with the institution before applying. What’s more, over half of the students only used the university website when deciding on where to study.

Prospective students often use multiple sources of information and more than one device, which can make tracking their journey to application incredibly difficult. Universities must increasingly invest in sophisticated multi-channel tracking and attribution modelling, in order to gain insightful data on students and leverage the information sources that influence applications.

However, the research also highlights the importance of providing students with informative and engaging content across your website, as well as an excellent user experience. Some universities are already taking advantage of this, with the University of Sussex and Keele University both launching new websites for their respective International Study Centres.

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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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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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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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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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How Schools Can Make Volunteering an International Currency

“Almost 50% of our volunteers decided to study language with us after applying to volunteer with us”

The number of people travelling internationally per year has more than doubled since 1996. If you’re in international education, you’re probably well aware of this reality- and it’s likely benefited your institution greatly. But the questions is: are you truly leveraging the potential of this influx of travellers?

I work at a language school located in a tourist hotspot in China. Founding our English school here was a originally a clever idea because the beautiful surrounding environment has proven to be just as attractive to students as is the quality of our English courses. Later, we opened a Chinese school next door for internationals learning Chinese. As most of these Chinese learners were native English speakers, it created a wonderful language exchange environment for both our English learners and Chinese learners.

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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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Are we on course for a global homogenisation of higher education?

“Students have different educational outcomes in mind, depending on where they come from and study”

Student aspirations and course expectations are more internationally diverse than you might think.

In fact, the reasons students are in higher education and the employability skills they think they will need on leaving are wide-ranging – according to the results of our Student Voices survey we conducted in collaboration with research consultancy Shift Learning.

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