Category: UK

The Role of a PR practitioner in the field of Education

“We live in a ‘post-truth’ era where our school’s image can easily swan around myths that ought to be debunked”

Not too long ago, I was at an international educational conference presenting on successful PR strategies that could be implemented in an academic setting.  Before I dived into my five effective and promising strategies, I found myself at odds with the reaction of my attendees. I know I wasn’t saying anything out of the ordinary and surely my presentation was based on my PhD research in PR and the field of international education.  

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Mobility of Indian Students: Preparing for Future Growth

“The majority of Indian students are highly-price-sensitive, value-maximisers who are trying to search for options that lower cost and increase career opportunities”

 

In this blog, executive vice president of global engagement and research at Studyportals,  Rahul Choudaha, explores the issue of whether the number of Indian students studying abroad will continue to grow in the current political and economic environment.

More than 5 million international students were studying outside their home country in 2016. With over 3,00,000 Indian students studying overseas, India is the second largest source of international students after China. However, in the recent times, the political turmoil triggered by the results of the UK’s referendum to leave European Union or Brexit and the American Presidential elections has also created an environment of restrictive immigration and visa policies in two leading destinations.  Will the number of Indian students studying abroad continue to grow in this environment?
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Dr. Rahul Choudaha is co-founder of DrEducation — a US-based research and consulting firm specialising in international student mobility trends and enrolment strategies.

Feedback matters: how can universities truly capture the student voice?

“For too long student evaluation data has been underutilised”

Policy changes mean that universities around the world are having to take a more robust and strategic approach to course and module evaluation. 

I have been helping universities to improve teaching and learning through the way they capture, analyse and respond to student feedback for the past 10 years. At Explorance we find that what UK universities really value is an insight into how other countries are approaching the issues, challenges and opportunities around capturing student feedback. Working in Australia, Canada, China, Spain, Mexico, UAE and USA give us a compelling insight into what ‘good’ student engagement looks like.

But the UK is also an interesting case study for international universities. Here, the National Student Survey (NSS) poses questions on how students have the opportunity to give feedback and how their feedback is acted on – and the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), which provides a resource for students to judge teaching quality in universities, draws on data from the NSS. All this points to student engagement rising higher up UK universities’ priority list than ever before.

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The threat a no-deal presents to student mobility under Erasmus+

“While the UK continues to have a future role in Erasmus+, its participation could boil down to individual agreements between institutions”

In 1987 the European Community approved an extensive mobility program for students in higher education. Under the auspices of the Commission, this went on to become Erasmus+, offering university students, educators, and other learners the possibility of study or internship abroad for up to 12 months per cycle of studies, usually after successful completion of the first year of university.

Erasmus+ has grown significantly; between 2007 and 2016 the programme funded mobility for more than 4.3 million learners, with British students reaping significant benefits from the UK’s full participation in the scheme.
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How can universities stop first years from dropping out? Help them become more independent learners

“Equipping university students for the digitally-focused workplace of the future needs to be a key priority”

  First years are struggling with independent learning. In fact, nearly 40% of students in their first year identify this as an area of concern – according to the results of a survey Student Voices we conducted in collaboration with research consultancy Shift Learning – which looked at students’ aspirations, needs and experiences.

This is perhaps not surprising considering most new students come directly from college into HE where there is generally more guided support.

However, with the drop-out rate of university students who give up their studies within 12 months on the rise for the third consecutive year – addressing factors that may help keep students in uni are key and could include:

  1. looking at the main areas for which they seek help
  2. what they need to achieve their goals and
  3. how they like to study

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What’s new in EAL delivery for both teachers and pupils?

“The proliferation of online learning courses is well known, but finding a course that is well presented on a high-quality Learning Management System is important”

It is estimated that over 1 billion people are currently learning English worldwide and there have never been so many ways to learn it. We asked industry insiders for their views on the best new advances in technology and delivery to support teachers of EAL and their pupils, both inside and outside the classroom.

For teachers, FutureLearn’s Head of Client Services, Fiona Reay, highlights The British Council’s online program: Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching. The program helps EAL teachers understand and plan their professional development as an English language teacher. “Taken in any order, the three courses equip any English language teacher with the tools they need to take responsibility for their own CPD. Each course looks at four professional practices and in doing so explains their importance to the continuously developing teacher; offering a range of practical advice and suggestions, as well as providing the opportunity to interact with fellow teachers around the world”, says Fiona.

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Why universities need students with an international outlook

“This ability to collaborate with people from around the world is crucial for the next generation of innovators”

Leading universities are increasingly attracting ‘global students’ with international views and experiences, says Harry Hortyn, co-founder of Oxford Summer Courses

It’s a competitive world out there, and students aspiring to a successful career not only need the right qualifications, they should also be able to demonstrate they have what it takes to thrive in a global marketplace.

The research taking place in university laboratories, studios and libraries today will shape the way we live tomorrow. And to enable the brightest minds from across the world to collaborate effectively and share ideas, universities need their students to have an international outlook.

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Universities losing EU academics in anticipation of Brexit

“Waiting to feel the full force of Brexit is not an option that many EU academics are willing to take”

Amidst a wave of ministerial resignations and speculations surrounding a vote of no confidence, talks over leaving the EU continues to be a mixture of apprehension and scepticism as the future of a Brexit Britain remain worryingly unclear. Waiting to feel the full force of Brexit is not an option that many EU academics are willing to take, with more than 2,300 already having resigned from British universities over the past year.

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How A Hard Brexit Could Affect The International Education Sector

“The future for overseas teachers currently based in the UK isn’t certain”

There are very few people in the sector who relish in the idea of a hard Brexit, but with increasingly tense negotiations it’s looking like a possibility. There are many Brexiteers trying to steer the UK into a hard Brexit because they feel like it’s the best way to deliver the will of the people. Though this might be the case in some respects, it also creates problems.

At the risk of a hard Brexit or no deal at all, it’s important to consider the future. One sector that needs to look into the outcome of hard Brexit is the international education sector.
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Will UK student visas have to change post-Brexit?

“When change finally does occur, what form is the new landscape for EU students likely to take?”

The recognition of education as an economic purpose by the founding fathers of the European Economic Community led to freedom of movement for students of EU and later EEA states plus Switzerland.

This has changed the face of higher education across the Continent, facilitating cross-fertilisation of ideas and consequent innovation across a mobile student and academic population. It is undoubtedly a shining achievement of post-WW2 European politics, and the UK’s great universities have been at the heart of many major developments in learning.
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