After Trump’s win, there is no use in feeling sorry for ourselves

“The way we can truly make America great again is by thoughtfully addressing this situation, not acting like the sky is falling”

Eddie West, director of international programs at UC Berkeley Extension and former director of international initiatives at NACAC, shares his thoughts on Donald Trump’s shock win in the US presidential election this week.

I am deeply disappointed by the results. But there’s little use in feeling sorry for ourselves. Instead we have to learn from the outcome. Here’s what I think I’ve learned… And I hope you will indulge me.
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Why we should be building bridges, not walls

“Whatever the outcome of the election, each of us owes it to future generations to embrace a sense of curiosity and acceptance of the world”

With the presidential election looming, IES Abroad president and CEO Mary Dwyer writes on the imperative of reaching out beyond US borders, whatever the outcome.

In just four days, Americans will head to the ballot box to choose our next president. The election outcome will have a significant impact on whether our country will continue to be constructively engaged in global matters related to trade, taxation, climate change, immigration, security and cultural exchange, or whether we will embark on a path toward isolationism, populism and nationalism.
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‘Migration mercantilism’ is an ill-advised policy

“Why would the Home Office want to include visiting students in its statistics? Most likely, the reason is because this is a category they can control easily”

Maurits van Rooijen, economic historian and chief academic executive at Global University Systems, draws parallels with historical mercantilism in overseas trade and the current political maneuvering in the UK that means international students face ever-tighter restrictions on studying in the UK.

History shows us that there is always a real risk that socio-economic common sense can get pushed aside.

For instance, from the 16th to the 18th century, many economies in Western Europe suffered due to mercantilism: the mistaken belief that governmental regulation of a nation’s economy, especially reducing imports, would strengthen the state at the expense of rival national powers.
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Ensuring the health and emotional wellbeing of international students

Mary Memarzia, Director of Student Services at Bellerbys Cambridge, reflects on how institutions can help to care for their international students’ mental health.

A recent report by YouGov states that one in four students in Britain suffer from mental health problems, including anxiety and depression. A major source of stress is their studies, with 71% of those surveyed saying that their university workload is their most pressing concern. 39% are worried about finding a job after university and 35% are concerned about their families.
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International schools needn’t panic over the oil & gas slump

“There’s no need to panic; there is a plethora of up-and-coming industries within these territories that is drawing in new expat professionals and filling the gaps”

Carolyn Savage, Head of International Education at Winter’s International School Finder, reassures international schools in the wake of the global oil & gas slump that is being felt in the education sector.

The recent slowdown of the oil & gas industry had an inevitable ripple effect on pupil enrolment at international schools. The International School Consultancy (ISC) predicted a drop of around 1-2% in enrolments in The Middle East this term, as well as lower enrolment rates in Asia-Pacific.

Some schools have seen little or no slowdown in the number of parents registering an interest, while others have experienced a larger reduction in enrolment, because they cater more specifically for families involved in the oil and gas industry.
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After the Language in London closure, what now?

“This type of sudden closure is awful for the whole industry, and at the end of the day it is the students and agents that we need to consider”

The sudden closure of Language in London, one of the three English language schools until recently that made up Language in Group, shocked the UK’s ELT sector last month. Here Margie Barker, director of Language in Totnes and Language in Group, reflects on the closure and the state of the industry.

Recently, yet another London school failed. While all such events are equally sad and distressing, this one hit home even more as it was a school that had belonged to a long term associate of mine. Language in London closed it doors without warning to any of us and staff, students and agents alike were all at once distressed and displaced.

Up until quite recently, my own school in Totnes, along with the Dublin school of Kevin Kheffache and Language In London, had been cooperating and pooling our sales and marketing efforts. This was primarily driven by the hope that that by combining our efforts our three smaller schools may be able to compete better with the big players in what is a very competitive and difficult market. We had recently decided to discontinue with this and return to working completely independently because the costs outweighed the benefits and our experimental cooperative simply didn’t work!
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Brexit means tough times ahead for UK HE

Professor Aldwyn Cooper, Vice Chancellor at Regent’s University London, shares some sobering predictions about UK HE’s post-Brexit future.

There is much discussion about the potential impact of ‘Brexit’ on UK universities. The answer, of course, is that nobody really knows what will happen next, and the total impact will be determined by the nature of any agreement that is finally reached.

In terms of research funding, where at present UK universities are the largest recipients of EU research and structural funding, loss of access could be devastating to many higher education institutions.
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Reflecting on 20 years of AAERI

Rahul Gandhi, president of the Association of Australian Education Representatives in India, reflects on the association’s history as is celebrates its 20th anniversary.

While I was a student in Australia 20 years ago, AAERI was born at the Australian High commission, New Delhi, as the brainchild of Prof Tom Calma and the founder AAERI members. For any child, the initial 5 years are important as these define his character. Similarly for AAERI, the initial 5 years were important. It was because of hand holding by the Australian High commission, New Delhi, that AAERI was able to crawl, walk and eventually stand on its own feet. Today, the child has grown into an adult and AAERI is a proud Indian association which operates within the framework of the ESOS act of Australia & AAERI’s code of ethics. For AAERI, Australia is its soul and India is its heart.
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Don’t be too quick to write off for-profit education providers

“If the government has to cut funding for social programs to provide additional support for a publicly funded institution, is tuition inexpensive and good value for money? Or has the cost been shifted?”

In the education sphere, people can be quick to criticise for-profit education – but having worked in both the public and private sectors, Michael Evans wonders if we’re asking the right questions.

A recent article posted in The PIE News reported on the results of a study carried out by the UK based Centre for Global Higher Education (CGHE), which looked at for-profit degree granting institutions in six countries. I suspect most educators working in HE education in the last ten years would able to predict many of the study’s results, as well as the tenor of the post.

That there are issues in for-profit education is by now conventional wisdom. As well, certainly no one would suggest anything but the most robust policies to protect student tuition and uphold natural justice in dealings between the student and institution. However, when opinions are so ubiquitously held around other more complex issues, does it not beg the question as to whether we are fully understand the issues?  I am not an apologist for private education; however, having worked in both public and for-profit education, I think the conventional thinking around these issues demonstrates the need for a different approach.
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Social media in a crisis

“Contacting people via social media in a crisis situation is the quickest way to determine safety and whereabouts, especially when there are thousands of miles between you”

If crisis strikes when students are overseas, how can institutions check they’re ok? Email is just too slow, writes Mandy Reinig, director of study away at Virginia Wesleyan College and founder of the social media consultancy Mandy’s Mashups. She explains how social media can help to reach students who might otherwise fall off the radar.

Most people in the field of international education now understand the importance of social media in communicating with students. However, many have yet to harness its power in crisis situations. The world today has become an increasingly volatile place where the unexpected can occur at any moment. As such it is important to be able to have a means of contacting your students to determine their whereabouts and their safety status. Unfortunately, email, and even phone calls, cannot be relied on as the sole or even a reliable means of communication due to the fact that students often do not check their email regularly and in major events phone lines can be down for hours.
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