Category: Uncategorized

Meet the new boss, similar to the old boss: new agent regulations unveiled in Vietnam

“It will take a while before the ‘Wild West’ becomes less wild”

Vietnam is a country in flux and the international education sector is no exception. In fact, it is a case study of changes and reforms. Mark Ashwill, the MD of Capstone Vietnam, looks at the current regulatory system for education agencies and what consultants must do to succeed in this exciting market.

Here’s how a typical scenario plays out: the government will attempt to address a concern or deficiency through a policy change. If the desired result is not achieved, or there are negative consequences, the policy will be rescinded and replaced by another. Such is the case with certification requirements for education agents. This reflects Vietnamese flexibility and the never-ending search for workable solutions to vexing problems.

Out with the Old and In with the New – After an interlude

In August 2016, I wrote about a policy that was implemented in 2014 in response to a decision on the Regulation of Overseas Study of Vietnamese Citizens, issued by the prime minister of Vietnam in January 2013. Of particular interest to education consulting companies was chapter three, entitled Management of Overseas Study Services. This section stipulated that education agents would henceforth need to meet certain requirements related to staff qualifications, official certification, and financial capacity “to ensure the settlement of risk cases.”

The stated purpose of these regulations was to raise the standards of practice and improve the quality of service by regulating educational consulting companies on some level. In a December 2014 article, I noted that as with all new approaches, it will take a while before the ‘Wild West’ becomes less wild, less greedy and more responsive to the needs and demands of its clients and higher education partners. This type of certification is a step in the right direction.

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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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The current state of one of America’s most important exports – international education

“Universities in America, more so than ever, have had to rely on international students to help keep enrolment up”

 

One sector that normally isn’t in the spotlight with respect to international trade is international education, writes Richie Santosdiaz, an expert in economic development and international trade, and founder of Young American Expat.  People generally see exports and international business in terms of tangible products like manufactured goods (such as cars or food). With respect to services, people generally think of the financial sector. International education doesn’t commonly appear in conversations on trade, exports or international business. But it should. 

International education is big business. According to data from the Institute of International Education, nearly one million international students are now enrolled in US universities, and contribute around $35.8 billion to the US economy.

The vast amounts of foreign direct investment US universities have made overseas also shows the importance of international education for the US economy. Taking a step beyond just affiliating themselves or forming partnerships with overseas universities. For example, the Middle East has benefited from investments from the American HE system, including New York University setting up an overseas campus in Abu Dhabi and Georgetown University setting up one in Qatar.

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Ambitious Asia – why students should go East for internships

“A structured, short-term employment experience in Asia enables students to be exposed to Asian optimism whilst also providing an unrivalled opportunity to work in a diverse workplace environment”

 

One of the most common employability skills required by top global employers is the ability to ‘adapt in a diverse workplace environment’. Although many have the ability to gain these skills through paid-for internships in economic hubs such as China, Japan and Vietnam, those from disadvantaged economic backgrounds are increasingly missing out. Shaun Butcher of CRCC Asia looks at why Asia is the perfect place for young people to develop key employability skills, and the benefits to all students this opportunity presents.

 

Why Asia in particular?

During a time where young people in Europe are surrounded by uncertainty, those in Asia have a positive vision to aspire to. The ASEAN nations are ambitious and optimistic. Determined to pursue unprecedented economic growth, these countries want to become ‘RICH’ (That’s Resilient, Inclusive, Competitive and Harmonious) by 2030.

“First-hand experience of interning in China exposes students to a workplace culture that is aligned with their worldview”

Asian nations are filled with increasingly engaged millennials who are more optimistic than their counterparts in developed nations. Whatever the merits of the ambition, the positivity and optimism are infectious. Those who actively engage in work experience in Asia return with a myriad of relevant, interesting, unique and truly transformative experiences that can be discussed with passion and excitement in any interview. Young people should go East and be immersed in this atmosphere – they have lots to learn.

We all know the statistics: the more engaged the student, the more they earn after graduation. This statistic increases further when we factor in global mobility. Interestingly, those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are mobile during their degree are more likely to be employed in graduate level jobs than their non-mobile peers. We must therefore find the right experiences to enable all of our students to thrive and we should ensure that all students, whatever their background, have the ability to experience this.

A structured, short-term employment experience in Asia, designed to maximize learning outcomes whilst also empowering students to strengthen essential hard and soft skill sets, enables students to be exposed to Asian optimism whilst also providing an unrivalled opportunity to learn how to adapt in a diverse workplace environment. The experience is unique to each individual – everyone’s story is different. The challenge for the student is how to translate this experience into a language that employers understand.

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How PEIs in Singapore can stay competitive

“Concern arises when the commercial aspect of the business overrides other considerations, including maintaining and enhancing the quality of the academic courses”

How can private education institutions stand out in Singapore’s competitive market place? Dr. Sam Choon-Yin, dean at PSB Academy one of Singapore’s leading private education providers argues that it requires institutions strike the right balance between and student-centered academics and their commercial goals . 

The private education market in Singapore is thriving. High demand for education in the recent past has been attributed to the growing middle class population in the emerging economies in the Asia Pacific region, the perception of higher education attainment as the passport to good life, and attraction of Singapore as the place to send children for further education.
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How can universities protect their academic travellers?

“Many institutions may be leaving themselves exposed unnecessarily – particularly in a fast-changing and dynamic global environment with new risks and threats”

Randall Gordon-Duff, head of product, corporate travel for Collinson Group, which specialises in global travel assistance, shares some tips on what higher education institutions that send students and academic staff abroad should be looking at when reviewing their duty of care strategies.

The world is seemingly becoming a more dangerous place for many of us. As I write this piece, I recall a BBC article from earlier this year titled: Apocalypse is 30 Seconds Closer, say Doomsday Clock Scientists. The report states that this is the closest the clock has come to midnight since 1953, following hydrogen bomb tests by the US and Russia.
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You cannot be what you cannot see: we need more female role models in international education

“The most senior positions, especially in the big chain outfits, are filled by men. Older, white, middle class men”

Ella Tyler, managing director of Mountlands Language School in the UK and co-founder of Lead5050, writes about how she was inspired to take action after realising women in leadership aren’t visible enough in the industry.

First of all, let me just say that I absolutely love working in this industry. I mean, come on, where else do you get to travel the world, meet really interesting, funny people and contribute to the future of the globe through education?

But, as in most industries, it does seem to be that the most senior positions, especially in the big chain outfits, are filled by men. Older, white, middle class men.
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International Women’s Day: the inspiring women of #intled

“At that time I didn’t think it was a big deal, I didn’t know I was making history. But I am happy I proved that women can lead”

Every week over on The PIE News, we publish a PIE Chat with someone interesting, innovative or inspiring in international education. In honour of International Women’s Day, The PIE’s staff share which of the women we’ve interviewed have inspired us the most.
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Beckie Smith is senior reporter at The PIE News and manages The PIE Blog. To get in touch, email beckie[@]thepienews.com.

What do we mean when we say international experiences develop graduates’ employability?

‘Employability’ is one of the most frequently used buzzwords in international education sector, and underpins a great proportion of the work educators do. But what does it actually mean, and how do we measure it? Stella Williams, a lecturer in psychology and researcher at Newman University Birmingham, has developed a framework to bring some clarity to an often hazily-defined concept.

The term ‘employability’ is often used as a throwaway line: jargon which is chucked into the mix to show the importance or relevance of something, frequently used without clarification of what we mean by it. So it is unsurprising that we can relate it to international experience. But what exactly do we mean when we say international opportunities develop a graduate’s employability?
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Duty of care in the global institution

“We took calls from clients who had to sleep on the streets because their hotel was deemed too unsafe to enter”

Sean de Lacey, head of sales at Diversity Travel, a travel management firm which specialises in travel in the academic sector, discusses the importance of duty of care for growing institutions.

At an event in collaboration with the University of the West of Scotland, Diversity Travel invited procurement and finance personnel from UK academic institutions across the country to discuss key issues in academic travel. One of the main takeaways from the event was that many institutions have recognised the importance of overseas expansion and collaboration, and that it is essential that they travel to international markets to drive growth and development opportunities forward.

International travel gives these institutions access to a global network and allows academics to share first-hand experiences and insights with their students and fellow academics. Through a travel network that is becoming more affordable and easier to navigate, faculty can now reap the benefits of networking overseas to attract an international student base, and produce courses and research projects with a global perspective.
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