Category: UK

EdTech still going strong with £3m investment in UK HE skills training platform Aptem

“The world is rapidly changing, with globalisation giving way to protectionism”

Aptem (MWS Technology Ltd), the market-leading SaaS software provider for apprenticeships, vocational training and employability, has secured £3 additional funding at a valuation of £33 million from long-term investors 24Haymarket and Guinness Ventures. Despite UK crises and talk of funding cuts, alongside a level of disenchantment with online learning in HE, EdTech is still seen as a good bet.

It is no exaggeration to say that the UK is in a political and economic crisis. With a new government (albeit the same political party) every two years and three different education secretaries in 2022 alone, the impact on education has been stark. Reliant on stability and continuity, particularly in an era of funding constraints, the sector is struggling to deliver the skills the UK needs.

Read More

Breaking barriers, building bridges through the Gateway

“Nearly all Pakistani vice-chancellors, rectors and senior higher education leaders have received training in the UK since 2010”

A recent study has revealed that University College London generated £9.9 billion of economic impact across the UK in 2018/19. This equates to the trade boost delivered by the 2012 London Olympics. According to the UCL management, this could only be achieved in collaboration with the varsity’s partners as 77% of UCL’s academic partners are based outside London.

Nothing exists in a vacuum, and higher education is no exception. This stands true for the tertiary education sector in Pakistan.

While the sector is growing fast – with more than 230 universities across Pakistan – the challenges of equitable access, quality and relevance continue to remind us of the potential this sector could possibly unleash and contribute back to society and the economy. A well-connected higher education sector can co-create, curate and cross-pollinate ideas, knowledge, experience, skills and learning across multiple platforms, and hence it is breathing, alive and always open for new interventions.

Read More

Why getting the university digital experience right will attract more international students

“Students expect their university’s digital experiences to be as good as services like Facebook, Amazon or Netflix”

Historically a strong university brand has to a certain extent guaranteed student numbers and in turn high National Student Survey scores, but for the current TikTok generation of students who expect high-quality and personalised digital experiences in every aspect of their lives, their education is no exception.

Yet despite the Covid pandemic accelerating the move to digital, most UK universities are still not offering what students would regard as ‘state of the art’ digital experiences. The result – a digital experience gap between what students expect from their universities and what is being offered.

Read More

Transforming Thai higher education through global partnership

“Thailand’s unique location in South East Asia  sees it poised to become a regional education hub, an advantage the UK cannot ignore”

In response to Thailand’s ambition to internationalise its higher education system, the flagship Thai, UK World Class University Consortium initiative pairs seven Thai universities, through 15 research projects, with 14 lead UK university partners. This impressive partnership empowers outstanding collaboration on topics high on the list of national agendas.

Read More

The challenge of attracting international students in an increasingly competitive marketplace

“Universities might not be corporate entities, but they do need to adopt a business mindset to compete successfully”

How can universities in the UK protect themselves from losing ground to other countries hungry to encourage more applications from international students?

Although currently sitting at number two in the global rankings, the higher education sector is facing rising competition from other nations keen to maximise the income and enrichment that international students bring to campuses. And the stakes are high, writes Ian Anderson, Global Enterprise Architect at Ellucian.

Read More

We must target the root causes of gender bias in the classroom

“Despite girls’ education having been advertised as a priority for decades, top aid agency education investments have rarely targeted the underlying barriers girls face”

Recently, the UK launched their new International Development strategy. Almost at the very top of their priorities is girls’ education—“every girl receiving 12 years of quality education”—and women’s economic equality–“improve economic security for girls and women.”

The strategy talks about the specific barriers that girls face: violence in school, early marriage, unintended pregnancies, as well as issues that are likely to disproportionately impact girls, like poverty and disability. Tackling these issues is a crucial step in the right direction, and is something which has been overlooked in the past.

Read More

A UK degree in the UK or in China? Exploring Chinese students experiences and motivations

“Many education providers have started to think about alternative ways to allow their international students to receive in-person support and experience a physical learning environment”

The Covid-19 pandemic has posed important challenges but also proposed new opportunities and solutions to international education.

Most students worldwide have had to spend most of the past two years studying remotely, which has raised pressing questions about value for money, in particular for international students, and about the quality of the student experience.

Read More

Personalisation is becoming essential in intentional recruitment

“Aspirations are shaped in early years with more than one in 10 international students considering HE abroad before their eleventh birthday”

The past two years have undeniably presented significant barriers to international student mobility. Closed borders, digital learning, social unrest, virtual outreach, visa uncertainties and geopolitics to name but a few – but, far from hitting the panic alarm, millions of students continue to follow their dream of studying overseas.

Within UCAS’ new report, published today in collaboration with the US-based non-profit organisation College Board which delivers programs like the SAT and Advanced Placement, we estimate that during the pandemic, over 155,000 international students chose the UK as their destination of choice and begun their studies. The global HE marketplace appears to have weathered the Covid storm.

Read More

International mindedness: measuring skills that go beyond the classroom

“There is still a lack of understanding about what students can expect from an international education”

A new report by ISC Research highlights the importance that today’s students place on a global mindset; a  demand which has led to a dramatic increase in the number of applications to schools which offer an international education, says Johanna Sale, vice-principal of Impington International College.

However, this growing popularity is of no surprise to me. At Impington, we have received more than 250 applications to join our Sixth Form this year alone!

While the desire for an international education is clearly growing, the ISC Research suggests that there is still a lack of understanding about what students can expect from an international education and how the phrase “international-mindedness” is measured to ensure that students have the skills that they need to succeed beyond the classroom – and their country’s borders.

Read More

Is old-fashioned English testing holding the UK back from its international student and skills ambitions?

“It’s time to let English language testing catch up with innovation across other parts of the economy – specially if we have ambitions to be a digitally driven, high-skill nation”

We’ve heard a lot about levelling-up and the UK’s ambition to be a leader in all things digital and technology recently.

At times it feels like we’re making significant progress. Universities showed great agility and innovation to offer digital learning solutions, which will enhance the education experience for years to come.

And the government did too. The passport office and UKVI upped their ability to process applications digitally. UKVI even developed ways to take biometric information securely and scan passports with NFC technology in mobile apps. They even moved citizenship ceremonies online over Zoom.

Read More