Category: Study abroad

UK study: the challenges facing Turkish students

“For many of them, receiving their acceptance letters is only the first of many hurdles”

By the UCAS deadline today, 15 January, thousands of Turkish students will have submitted applications to study in the UK. In this blog, Remzi Gur of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board discusses the challenges facing Turkish students attending UK universities.

The UK has been one of the most popular international destinations for Turkey’s ambitious student population, with 3,440 currently enrolled in universities around the country. The majority of them are postgraduates, studying business, social science, engineering and law.

Turkish applicants will have spent months, if not years, preparing to apply for competitive places in the UK’s most prestigious academic institutions. However, for many of them, receiving their acceptance letters is only the first of many hurdles. I am worried that the increasing complexity of the student visa processes and rising international tuition fees are driving many students away from the UK.

As The PIE News has reported, every year we hear of more and more Turkish students being denied student visas. The majority face rejections by British consulates in Turkey even after they have received offers to study in prestigious universities. Some agencies in Turkey assisting students with this process have reported visa denial rates as high as 60%.

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How international study enhances student cultural comprehension

“Every student emerges from primary schooling with a vague awareness of other countries and cultures… this isn’t the same thing as comprehending them”

With connectivity and modern advances, the world has only gotten smaller and will continue to do so. Despite this, there are many channels for our biases and perceived differences to persist and be amplified elsewhere.

It’s important to remember that each of us is just one small piece of humanity. This is why international study opportunities can be so powerful for developing well-rounded, culturally aware, humanistic students and citizens. The following is a look at why cultural education is so important and how studying abroad supports it.

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Climate change and the role of international educators

“”As educators, it is our responsibility to help inform students of the implications of their choices and the ways they can offset them”

As concerns around climate change dominate the headlines, John Pearson, VP Operations at non-profit educational organisation FIE explores how educators can help to offset some of the environmentally damaging practices that occur throughout the study abroad experience.

The transformative power of travel and the value of international education is undeniable. Study abroad providers, such as we at Foundation for International Education pride ourselves on offering this opportunity to young adults so that they might become better-rounded, worldly people upon graduating and entering a global economy.

However, with the concerns around climate change dominating the headlines and elections around the world, the question of how to sustainably administer education abroad to the growing number of international students begins to glare us all in the face.

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How ‘Safety’ is moving up the agenda for international students & their families

“The pressure is on UK schools to make their schools as attractive as possible when it comes to projecting a ‘safe’ image”

Maryland lawmakers have approved a bill that will allow Johns Hopkins University to form its own, private police force to enforce the law on campus. Meanwhile, in the UK, over the past three years, universities have paid more than £2 million to 17 police forces in exchange for support.

Spending is rapidly increasing and the University of Northampton now has six fulltime police officers seconded to the University for 3 years, at a cost of £775,000. Safety is increasingly front of mind when students are deciding about overseas study locations. In IDP’s annual survey of almost 3,000 students in the five main overseas study destinations (US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) Canada leads the way in terms of ‘safety’ versus its international rivals, with the UK ranking 4th out of five.

Also, students from China are now reported to be as concerned by the safety of the destination country in which they intend to study as they are the relative academic position of their institution, according to the latest report from the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association.

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Leadership – a key focus for this year’s Australian International Education Conference

The conference will provide a platform to showcase the people, practices and nations that are driving change

‘Leading the way’ will be the key focus for the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) in Perth this year.

Hosted by IDP Education and the International Education Association of Australia (IEAA), the conference will explore how sectoral and industry leaders navigate through increasing disruption, technological developments, policy changes, and changes in international student demand.

The conference will provide a platform for leading experts to showcase the people, practices and nations that are driving change and showing leadership in the sector through new approaches to international education, technology and research.Read More

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.

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High school exchange: the transformation of an ever growing programme

“Exchange programmes have created extensive networks to support not only in-country exchange students but also host families”

With thousands of high school exchange students travelling abroad in 2018, it’s no surprise that such study abroad programmes are growing in popularity within the area of international study. Ivan Santos asks how did we get here, and what’s next for a programme in constant evolution?

The programme

High school exchange year programmes offer international students, aged 14-18, the unique opportunity to study a full academic year or semester abroad at a local high school. While English speaking countries rank at the very top of the list, wherever in the world that a student decides to go they experience a new culture, live as a member of a host family and improve their language skills.

Students—and their parents—see the programme as an opportunity to study abroad early on during their school life, benefiting from both language and cultural immersion at an earlier age. The programme has dramatically evolved in recent years, from a basic student enrollment and support process to the sophisticated operation it is today.

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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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