Implementing engaging and supportive pastoral programs for the holiday period

“For many, this will be the first time that they won’t be able to spend the holidays with their families”

This year has taken its toll on both international and domestic university students, writes director of safeguarding for Study Group Sandy Connors. And while the allotted travel window for students to return home is very welcome, the majority of international students face travel restrictions preventing them from returning home.

For many, this will be the first time that they won’t be able to spend the holidays with their families. This can be an extremely anxious period, especially for younger students.

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Playing by the new rules: online education and academic integrity

“Online education and testing offer the opportunity to introduce new techniques to ensure academic integrity”

Covid-19 has changed Australian higher education beyond recognition, writes Pal Fekete, academic director at Taylors College Sydney. Health restrictions and travel bans heralded a new age of online teaching and assessment for domestic and international students and teaching staff.

Students might now join a discussion or take a test from their homes, student accommodation or thousands of miles away in a different time zone. And while it is essential in an emergency, the questions remain: how should teachers work with students who may be reluctant to engage online and how can they be sure tests and examinations are fair?

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Covid-19 impact: engaging international students with institutional responses

“Institutions know they need to ensure that teaching is delivering value”

Changes to teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic have raised serious questions around how the student voice can be captured effectively, especially given the sector’s reliance on face-to-face approaches, and ultimately around student satisfaction, writes John Atherton of Explorance.

With the majority of universities subsequently advocating blended approaches to teaching and learning for the 2020/21 academic year, they have done so after reflecting long and hard on their initial responses to Covid-19 and developing plans for engaging students.

However, with Coronavirus outbreaks hitting campuses worldwide, the sector has faced a bumpy ride and at times harsh criticism throughout this first semester.

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International student study struggles during Covid-19

“For international students, extra tools… can help balance out their unique challenges “

Many international students taking classes in the US were forced to return to their home countries and take online classes as universities took measures to contain the virus on campuses, writes Tutor Portland founder Eric M. Earle. Online classes allowed international students to continue their education but not without interruption.

As the US continues to grapple with the worst of the pandemic, there are challenges international students will encounter when they return home mid-semester.

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Addressing online safety for boarding school pupils in a Covid-19 world

“How can schools and parents keep up to date with what sites and apps provide the greatest risks?” 

Patrolling the online habits of boarding school pupils has always been a challenge, but as pupils have needed to spend even more time online to study during Covid-19, the challenge has become even greater. UK Education Guide director and co-founder Pat Moores explains.

The scale of the problem cannot be underestimated, Europol has reported an increase in some countries in offenders attempting to contact young people via social media since the outbreak of the virus.

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How study abroad programs can increase participation

“Programs must continue to actively seek ways to grow the number of minority students”

College campuses have grown more diverse – with students of colour increasing from 30% of the undergraduate population in 1996 to 45% in 2016. But, argues Terra Dotta CEO Anthony Rotoli, the typical study abroad student remains Caucasian and female.

According to the 2019 Open Doors report, only 30% of all US study abroad students reflected a racial or ethnic minority during the 2017-18 academic year, well below their representation in the overall student body.

It is time to work harder to increase these numbers to collaboratively improve and increase overall educational opportunities for students of colour.

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International education: the motivation to keep going

“I’ve yet to see a more challenging time for the sector than now”

My international education began aged 19, writes the the director of the British Council in Malaysia Jazreel Goh. I was whisked 6,000 km from the comfort of home in Malaysia to Monash University, in Melbourne, Australia.

Back then, I never imagined I was part of an industry or that I contributed to Australian exports. It didn’t strike me that transferring a student from one country to another could be a business model. Thirty years later, here I am, immersed in what others describe as the big business of international education.

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Covid-19 is a chance to make education inclusive

Disabled students face significant disadvantage, but we can deliver learning that’s truly accessible

 

As universities adapt around Covid-19, Kellie Mote – accessibility specialist at the education and technology not-for-profit, Jisc – highlights the opportunity to deliver more inclusive experiences for all.

To say this is a busy and unsettled time for universities is an understatement. The pressures applied by Covid-19 continue to demand agility and vision from sector leaders, with institutions moving in and out of lockdown, and the move to online or hybrid teaching presenting multiple challenges – particularly when staff are unsure whose responsibility it is to test and update aspects of a large digital estate.

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What we learnt taking our study fairs online

“It’s certainly not all been smooth-sailing, but we’ve had some successes, and have learnt a huge amount”

With our events calendar regularly topping 18 events per year, I feel well versed in running physical study fairs, but virtual fairs were a new venture for myself and FindAUniversity.

Between deciding to run a virtual study fair and the actual event, we had just six weeks – to secure exhibitors, get to grips with the software platform, plan a talks programme, promote the event to students, and run it.

After being thrown into the virtual fair world, we’ve come out the other side having achieved some fantastic successes, including having over 70 universities exhibit, over 3,400 visitors attend, and our exhibitors receiving an average of over 200 leads.

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The university promoting Mexico as a new study destination

“A lot of students come here and find love and career opportunities. If we combine this with high-quality education, I can’t think of any better selling points”

Paraphrasing one of the most important books in Latin American literature seems appropriate to describe Anáhuac Cancun University’s (ACU) internationalisation efforts in these very complex times.

Early in 2019, their president, father Jesús Quirce, noticed that nearly 18% of their four thousand student population was already international. He saw that a growing number of international admission enquiries was coming from places as distant as Hungary, Russia, Japan, the Philippines, Nepal, South Korea, India and China.

Being a man of action, father Quirce was quick to react. He brought Óscar Velasco into his team and asked him to lead on the planning and implementation of a comprehensive international strategy aiming to attract full-degree students from all world regions.

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