Category: UK

How will Brexit affect the UK’s international student community?

“The changing landscape of immigration laws could mean that youngsters need to choose their degree more wisely in order to study abroad”

Since Brexit negotiations began, UCAS has reported a surprising surge of European and international students applying to study in the UK – with figures exceeding the 100,000 mark for the first time. Many have speculated that the increase in applicants is due to a fear growing among international students: that access to further education in the UK will be limited once freedom of movement has ended come 29 March 2019.

What we know:

There is no abrupt close-down for students wishing to study in the UK in the immediate future: students starting in the academic year 2018/19 can continue undisturbed since they are secured under ‘transitional protection’.
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How educational institutions can capitalise on the rise in Chinese students

“Gain a deeper understanding of the decision-making process Chinese international students and their parents go through”

With over 500,000 Chinese students heading overseas for their education every year, China remains the top country of origin for international students worldwide. This number is expected to grow proportionately to the number of China’s upper-middle-class and affluent households, which is estimated to reach 100 million by 2020.

While the US, UK and Australia remain the most popular study destinations for Chinese students, we are starting to see new trends and preferences emerging. For instance, there has been an increase in Chinese international students going to non-English speaking countries and studying at 2nd and 3rd tier universities in English-speaking countries.
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eTextbooks: bringing learning to life for international students

“International education is changing, and it’s up to us all in the sector to keep up with the technologies that shape its future”

There is concern in the UK higher education sector that Brexit and tighter government controls on immigration are starting to put some prospective foreign students off studying in the country. It’s more important than ever for universities to improve the learning experience of international students, and in this week’s blog, we look at how digital course materials can aid students’ transition to a course in a new location.

The latest UK Council for International Student Affairs report shows that there are over 442,375 international higher education students in the UK, of which 6% are from the European Union and 13% from the rest of the world. The number of Chinese students exceeds any other nationality; almost one-third of non-EU students in the UK are from China.

“If English is not a student’s first language, absorbing the key messages across significant amounts of texts can present a real challenge on top of already stressful degree demands”

Many university courses rely on print as the primary resource to support learning and some reading materials can be very text heavy and dense to process.  Engagement with the material can be quite static and mastery of the subject can be more challenging than it should be as a result.
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Why the Duke of Edinburgh Award is important for international students

“The DofE has progressed to become more than an outdoors leadership challenge… it now reflects a much more diverse and interconnected world”

In today’s highly competitive world, young people are under enormous pressure to succeed. However, success is rarely achieved without a helping hand or a positive, life-changing experience, writes Clare Lane, head of sport at Bellerbys College.

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award was set up in 1956 to help young people from all walks of life navigate the challenging path to adulthood; broadening their life skills and preparing them for their future work or studies.

While individual institutions around the world may offer similar programmes, as far as I’m aware there isn’t a program on a national level comparable to the DofE Award. Agents may not be aware of the benefits the program presents tor international students in particular, which is why we should be talking about it today.

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Broadening access to education across the globe

“The number of 18-year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds embarking on full-time undergraduate courses has increased 52% since 2006”

Across the world, over 159 million children have no access to pre-primary education, and 57 million remain out of school at primary school age. A staggering 103 million youth worldwide lack basic literacy skills, with more than 60% of these being female. Though global efforts are being made to redress these problems, UK HE has a vital part to play in advancing worldwide education, writes Sean de Lacey, head of sales at Diversity Travel.

The growth of online education and university expansion through branch campuses have helped to broaden learning possibilities for some, particularly in developing countries, whose access to traditional education routes may be restricted or in some cases shut off entirely.

“As popular as their uptake may be, the completion rates for MOOCs remain stubbornly low”

Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) provider Coursera, which works with some of the world’s leading universities and prides itself on offering top-quality education to anyone, has in excess of 24 million users worldwide. A huge 45% of these users are from developing countries.

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Student scammers and how to stop them

“Students have always served as a favourite target for phishing scams – perhaps due to the combination of just setting out into the world while armed with a sizeable student loan in their bank accounts”

The rise in sophisticated cybercrime means a growing number of students are falling victim to malicious email scams, writes Agari field CTO, John Wilson. But are educational institutions doing all they can to protect their students from becoming targets? 

The beginning of a new academic year means millions of students are just starting their journey into higher education. It’s a time that should represent unlimited horizons and discovery for students and educators alike. Unfortunately, thanks to the growing number of cyber criminals around the world, the new academic year also means a fresh crop of unwary victims and the opportunity for a bumper payday in stolen funds.

Email phishing scams – where the criminal tricks their victim into giving up personal information through a fraudulent email – is a growing problem that even sophisticated businesses are struggling to defend against. These emails will usually impersonate a trusted identity, such as a well-known brand, public authority or even a personal contact, to trick their target into opening them.

“The more seasoned criminals will take pains to ensure their emails are indistinguishable from the real thing”

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Can the international education sector do more to welcome refugees?

“Supporting vulnerable groups such as refugees is one way we can contribute… to the wider community”

Working in education we are uniquely placed to respond to a range of societal challenges, writes IDP  UK and US director Arlene Griffiths.  At times it can seem daunting to know where to begin in order to make a difference. Over the past two years IDP has developed a corporate social responsibility strategy, and after a few “false starts”, the aim to support refugees in south Wales led IDP to the Welsh Refugee Council. This experience shows the value of CSR, both to our sector and the wider community we operate in. 

We knew we wanted to support local refugees, and we had some ideas, but how to reach them? Then a colleague on his daily commute happened to walk passed the Welsh Refugee Council offices. This sparked a thought, which then led to tentative conversations with the WRC about their needs and where we might be able to support their work by drawing upon the employability skills within our team. A year on, and the impact that we have been able to make through our collaboration with the WRC has been life changing for myself, my team, but most importantly, the people we have been able to help.

We began small; piloting some initial workshops on CV writing and job applications, before progressing onto lessons in business English, personal branding tips and the use of LinkedIn as a vehicle to connect and build a professional network. We had some amazing participants that were fully committed to re-building their lives in the UK. They were well-qualified people with good English, hungry to learn new skills that make them ready for the workplace and attractive to UK employers or, in a number of cases, prepare them for UK universities to undertake further study.

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A perfect storm is massing against British universities

“This tempest massing against British universities will create financial damage and reduce the UK soft power in the world”

A leaked document putting forward proposals for more stringent controls on workers and students from the EU has dashed hopes that the UK government might be considering a more liberal approach to international student visas. Aldwyn Cooper, vice chancellor at Regent’s University London, says the higher education sector is already at breaking point.

The latest proposal by the government in a leaked document – stating that the Home Office wants to introduce a crackdown on overseas students from the European Union following Brexit – is another example of what appears to be the systematic demolition of the attraction, stability and international reputation of UK higher education.

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Branch campuses and Brexit: should universities be doing more?

“Branch campuses could, and should, be one of the major methods by which UK universities look to broaden worldwide access to education”

Is building new campuses in the EU the route to safety for UK universities in a post-Brexit world? Chris Hellawell, head of account management at Diversity Travel, argues it is, and King’s College London’s move to partner with TUD in Dresden should be the first of many such ‘branch campuses’.

King’s College London recently announced its intention to become the UK’s first university to open a branch campus in the EU. In collaboration with Technische Universität Dresden, it aims to create an ‘offshore King’s College Europe’, with TU Dresden dean Professor Stefan Bornstein commenting that the plan will allow King’s to have a presence in Europe and maintain access to European research funding post-Brexit.

Branch campuses are by no means a new phenomenon in the higher education landscape – in May this year, the University of Birmingham announced its intention to open its first international branch campus in Dubai next year, for example. With a total capacity of 4,500 students, within six years it will offer a full range of science, engineering, business, social science, and humanities programmes – mirroring those offered by the university’s home campus. Yet last year’s Brexit vote has dramatically increased the significance of these campuses and their potential value to universities.

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Creative thinking in the UK boarding schools market: the key to survival

“Schools that stick rigidly to their systems suffer untold reputational damage, which could take a generation to dilute”

Pat Moores, director of UK Education Guide, looks at some of the challenges facing the boarding schools sector in the UK, and how schools are adapting by opening up new markets.

Under increasing international competition, many schools are looking at new, emerging markets to benefit all pupils and school finances.

“Smart schools celebrate high levels of diversity in their international population and know their British students have much to gain from living and learning side by side with a broad range of nationalities,” says Maura Power, international student recruitment manager at Culford School.
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