Category: UK

Covid-19 highlights need for recruitment automation

“Many HEIs were already struggling with fluctuating international enrolments due to unpredictable political and economic conditions”

UK universities face significant financial losses in international tuition fees as Covid-19 decimates prospective enrolments. However, automating recruitment processes mitigate the potential for economic ruin says Jeffrey Williams, co-founder at Enroly.com.

As global leaders in higher education, UK universities are heavily reliant on international tuition revenue, with the most important recruitment markets for the UK are China (120,385); India (26,685); the United States (20,120); Hong Kong (16,135), and Malaysia (13,835).

Indeed international students make up 20% of the UK’s undergraduate student body and a staggering 35% of all postgraduates, meaning there are close to half-a-million international students in the country at any given time.

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Supporting international students in HE during COVID-19

“As we enter a new normal, we must ensure that no student is left behind”

Covid-19 has thrust the Higher Education sector into the realities of ‘Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity’ (VUCA)  writes senior international lead at the University of Sussex, Tosin Adebisi. As a result, many universities are responding quickly, creatively and moving in-person teaching to online platforms.

I commend universities for developing robust solutions; however, as we develop these learning platforms, how are we supporting international students, especially those unable to fly back to their homes and families? How well are we creating a level learning field that promotes accessibility, participation and inclusion?

In this opinion piece, I argue that we can do more to support international students. I also present suggestions to help universities develop human-centred solutions for this group.

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The role of think tanks in education

“Education is an important and lasting way in which university-affiliated think tanks can impact the world”

By connecting the worlds of the practitioner and the scholar, says Aaron McKeil of  LSE IDEAS, think tanks – university-affiliated think tanks especially – act as conduits between the two.

They strive to convey concepts and ideas from academia to practice and to bring experience and insider knowledge from practice to academia. Research and working groups are some of the most common mediums for this activity, but education has an important function and role too.

Think tanks, especially university-affiliated think tanks, can provide education by conveying academic knowledge to practitioners, at various levels. They can also provide education by connecting students to the distinct type of expertise that professional practitioners can provide.
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Coronavirus: separated families need greater focus

“Families are bearing the brunt of this disruption on both a psychological and practical level, and more must be done to meet their needs”

As the Coronavirus crisis widens geographically, the immediate focus for the boarding school sector is to provide up to date health advice to help keep schools virus-free. However, as Pat Moores of UK Education Guide writes, alongside this issue there is a massive human story. 

As a result of the Coronavirus outbreak, young people are being separated from their families unexpectedly, uncertain when the situation will improve and concerned about their own welfare and the welfare of their families.

We have heard of one Chinese pupil who has donated £750 of her own money to help Wuhan residents, as many of her friends live in the Hubei region and she is very worried about them.

So what about enhanced pastoral care provision during this crisis?

As Caroline Nixon, General Secretary of the British Association of Independent Schools with International Students (BAISIS) says, “anything a school can do to reassure the child and to put into place arrangements that support them emotionally as well as physically is welcome; the most obvious being keeping the school open so that children without good guardians have somewhere familiar to stay.”

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TNE must deliver portable qualifications that will be recognised internationally

“At times, regulations developed to safeguard students and societies… can hinder the achievement of the very benefits associated with TNE”

Cross-border cooperation and coordination are needed to reap the full benefits of transnational education, writes Fabrizio Trifiro. Fabrizio is the recently-appointed Head of Quality Benchmark Services at UK NARIC and was formerly at the UK QAA where he led on the quality assurance of TNE.

From my experience in the external quality assurance of UK TNE over a number of years, I appreciate the key challenges and opportunities facing TNE providers, students, and sending and receiving countries’ authorities; and also some of the priorities to focus on, to fully achieve the benefits that can come from TNE.

The challenges of TNE are several, but it is with a firm sight to its potential benefits that they need to be looked at. TNE is a way to make available education programmes to people who would not otherwise be able to access them because they are unwilling or unable to move internationally, be it for financial, family, work, or visa-related reasons.

TNE has, therefore, the inherently progressive potential to widen international access to quality and relevant education, in particular in locations where there is unmet demand, contributing to the development of skills needed to support social and economic development.

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Post-Brexit, UK should not overlook the role of ‘technology’ in providing global education

“Everyone for the foreseeable future is going to be developing work and social relationships, based on virtual networking”

On January 8th, the U.K. parliament voted against an amendment that went unnoticed beyond the few students, educators, and policy advocates who took to Twitter in angst.
The amendment insisted that the government maintain full membership in Erasmus, EU’s student exchange programme, and negotiate terms before the transition period ends in December 2020.

What did the vote mean? What indication it gives as to the faith of the UK’s participation in Erasmus+ post Brexit? From the launch of the program in 2014 to 2018, UK projects received €680 million in Erasmus+ funding, and 167,000 participants from the UK benefited from Erasmus+.

Brexit may mean the country rejects globalisation as an economic model but that doesn’t automatically translate into the rejection of global education. After all, the skills and attitudes gained from intercultural and international learning, as well the values it represents such as freedom and tolerance, are as British as they are European.

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International schools can no longer access the DBS…what next for safer recruitment?

 We ALL have a responsibility to safeguard children. This should be at the core of every recruitment decision made within an international school”

 

ACRO Criminal Records Office senior manager Thomas Mason explains how international schools can still put safeguarding at the heart of every recruitment decision despite no longer having access to DBS checks.

A state of limbo

 In early September 2018, the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) announced that they would no longer be accepting DBS checks for international schools where the recruitment decision is not made in England or Wales.

This meant that international schools could no longer access enhanced or even standard DBS checks to assess whether or not applicants were suitable to work with children.

While this may have caused concern for key decision-makers within international schools and the education sector overseas, an alternative product exists, which fills the gap created by the loss of access to the DBS.

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Learning from the US: new ways to evaluate & record skills and competencies

“Seeing online education as a ‘cheaper’ way to deliver higher education has long been debunked in the US”

 

Finding new ways to teach and accredit soft skills has never been more important, writes director and co-founder of UK Education Guide, Pat Moores. In this blog, she explores some of the lessons that educators can learn by observing the practices being adopted stateside.

At a recent presentation at the British Council’s International Education Conference, I was interested to note that none of the attendees at my session had ever heard of Western Governors University (WGU) or Competency-Based Education (CBE).

No big deal, of course, there are well over 5,000 US colleges, so not having heard of one is hardly a crime, but why does WGU matter and why does CBE matter too?

It is estimated 85% of jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet and 65% of children starting school will one day hold jobs that do not exist now. It is widely anticipated that many existing jobs will be replaced by robots/AI.

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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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What lessons can we learn from PISA ranking leader Finland? 

” In Finland for example, there is no national testing, no school inspections and no school league tables”

The latest  Program for International Student Assessment results has prompted questions about what certain countries are doing better than others when it comes to the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems around the globe. In this blog, head of School at ACS International School Cobham, Barnaby Sandow, explores some of the lessons that can be learned from Finland.

Scandinavian countries are world-famous for promoting happiness and wellbeing – and also for their exceptional education, whether measured in academic results, student happiness or overall progress to learning objectives.

You may have seen the 2019 PISA results recently which illustrated that most countries – particularly in the developed world – have seen little improvement in their performances over the past decade, even though spending on education increased by 15 per cent over the same period.

The report – outlined in this insightful editorial comment  – concludes that huge numbers of graduates are therefore likely to struggle to find their way through life in an increasingly volatile, digital world.

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