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Updated: 54 min 25 sec ago

Evgeni Govor, Baltic Council for International Education, Latvia

1 hour 46 min ago
Evgeni Govor is chairman of the board at Baltic Council, an international education agency operating in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. He shares his thoughts with The PIE on the future of ELT for students from the Baltic nations, their preferences when it comes to destination, and his hopes for the future of language learning across Europe.

The PIE: How is the demand for English language changing in Latvia around the Baltic states?

EG: The demand for English language I would say today, it is stable. Maybe over the last two years there was a little decrease in the demand for adult language courses. As for the junior market and young adults, it is increasing year on year. This year our company has an increase of about 80%, and for the next year we see the forecast increasing again.

The PIE: What are the specific areas you are hoping to grow?

EG: It is an interesting question, as in our company we have different departments. As the academic department, we are focused on our services. University placement services will be growing, this year we have about 200 students who have used our services to attend UK universities. For next year we forecast more than a 100% rise.

Then as for the boarding schools, the demand is stable. Every year we send about 50 students to UK boarding schools and colleges, and the main courses students choose are GCSE, A-level, the IB program and others. There will definitely be an increase in the executive direction, executive and professional English language courses in the UK and other countries.

“Today, up to 90% of our clients choose the UK as a destination of study”

The PIE: Can you talk to me a little about other countries outside of the UK? Where else does the Baltic Council send students to and how are they changing?

EG: UK educational institutions, the English language courses in universities and colleges, remain the main market for the Baltic students. Today, up to 90% of our clients choose the UK as a destination of study, first of all because of the high quality, because English language came from the UK. And the universities have a very high reputation in the world, for their quality and for future employment opportunities.

This year, we introduced new destinations for our customers because in the past it was 90% UK, but this year we are seeing the demand increasing for Canada and Malta. We forecast other languages than English will be popular as well, because of the high level of English language among the young people in the Baltic states. We forecast that they will be interested in learning other languages as well, German and French will come soon.

The PIE: Why are Canada and Malta popular with Baltic students?

EG: Malta, I would say it is because of the weather. If you promote UK as a study destination for the English language, we say that if you go to the UK, you can study English plus culture and entertainment.

[But] we say that if you like to have very good holidays, culture, history, plus English, please go to Malta.

Canada’s attraction is that it’s something new. People would like to see other countries outside of Europe to learn more about this history, the culture, the people. That is why this year we tried the first group to Canada and it was so successful. The group to travel in July was full by the end of February.

The PIE: There is hope that Brexit might not affect European students’ wish to come to the UK. Is it the same in the Baltics?

“For our people, the Baltic people, it is not so important whether visas will be introduced”

EG: Since the procedure of Brexit was announced I would say the Baltic people do not often think about Brexit and its impact.

People will still go to the UK to study, parents still choose UK institutions for their children to study, and today it is very difficult to forecast how it will influence our industry and people in the Baltics.

But talking again about the high quality of UK institutions, like in a luxury shop, if it is quality, it will not disappear. It’s the same for UK institutions, even taking into account the worst scenario of Brexit, we will have demand from clients thinking about high quality education for their children for their future.

The PIE: If Baltic people lose the right to stay and work, do you think this will have an effect? Or do your clients usually come straight home after studying?

EG: I would like to mention the statistics that announced 97% of students graduating from universities in the UK return to their home countries.

What we see as an example in our students is that more and more young people graduating from universities in the UK, in reality they are coming home.

For our people, the Baltic people, it is not so important whether visas will be introduced or there will be no possibility to find a good job, because the majority of people choose the UK to get high quality education and to use this education not just in the UK, but in today’s global world.

The PIE: Tell us about your company, the Baltic Council for International Education, can you tell me about anything exciting that you have coming up?

“People would like to see other countries outside of Europe to learn more about this history, the culture, the people”

EG: Every day we receive new CVs and motivational letters from young people hoping to work for our company. It is very exciting to read them and to see how enthusiastic people are to find a job with the Baltic Council. We recently announced several positions within the company and we are hoping for the young generation, for young people with ambitions to help us realise our own ambitions.

The PIE: Where do you think that is going to take you with the young generation? What is your hope?

EG: I hope that the Baltic people will come together and represent in the future in other countries, maybe the whole world.

The PIE: Is there anything final you want to add?

EG: I would like to wish all the agencies all the success in the new academic year, not to think about Brexit and its impact but to think about today’s situation and how to go further and develop new skills and new ideas and how to build a future.

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Overseas experience trumps language learning for Chinese students

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:24

Experiencing an overseas culture is the main reason for Chinese students to attend summer school programs in the UK, according to education agents who took part in research from the British Council and English UK, placing this above improving foreign language ability.

Meanwhile, demand from China for summer school programs is expected to continue to grow over the next few years, along with programs with specific themes, such as sports, drama and leadership.

The researcher, who interviewed 95 education agents across China, found that 92% of respondents placed experiencing the overseas culture as one of the top three most important reasons for Chinese students to seek out a summer school program in the UK.

Increasing independence was also among the most important, according to 63% of agents, while 53% cited preparing for studying overseas.

Improving foreign language ability followed, perceived to be important by 52%.

According to the report, one agent said that students “‘would love to improve their language’, but this is not the main purpose of the course due to the large cost of travelling to and staying in the UK.”

While summer school operators’ responses echoed those of agents with regards to experiencing overseas culture (88%), they placed a higher emphasis on the improvement of the language ability, at 81%.

Increasing independence was also among the most important factors, according to 63% of agents

The report notes that “some UK summer school operators agreed, with one commenting that although language classes are an important part of their offering, ‘it’s never really about language’.”

Preparing for studying overseas was perceived as an important reason for over half (56%) of summer school operators.

China is overwhelmingly the largest source market for international students, with statistics showing that the number of outbound students topped half a million, with 544,500 students going overseas last year.

“School operators and agents report that university ‘taster programs’ are becoming increasingly popular,” the report notes. And research from Ipsos and New Oriental found that 83% of students who undertook short-term study overseas were considering long-term.

Language plus programs are the most popular type at summer schools in the UK, according to the research, with an increasing popularity towards the inclusion of other activities.

All future trends point to growth

Two-thirds (67%) of summer school operator respondents offer sport themed programs, while 42% offer leadership, and a quarter offer life skills, drama and dance.

All future trends coming out of China with regards to summer school program demand point to growth.

“Agents point towards increasing interest in short-term overseas study, which they link to both increasing affluence and the greater international consciousness of the new generation of parents,” the report states.

Just over half (51%) of agents surveyed said they have experienced strong or moderate growth in the number of students going to UK summer school programs.

The 92 Chinese agents surveyed account for around 30,000 summer school students – of which 8,500 went to the UK.

Students from mainland China now account for one in 20 student weeks at private English UK member centres.

The report can be accessed here.

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E African region to harmonise tuition fees next year

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 04:58

University students across the East African region will, from January next year, begin paying the same amount of tuition fees, in the first step towards the actualisation of the newly created East African Common Higher Education Area.

While the institutions may charge different amounts for different programs, students from any country in the region will pay the same amount as domestic students in any of the six countries that form the common area – Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, and the newest East African community member, South Sudan.

This move is in line with the framework for implementation of the Common Higher Education Area agreed upon by the six member countries of the EAC, at a conference held July in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This came two months after heads of states from the region ratified the decision to create the EACHEA, and mandated the Inter-University Council of East Africa to implement it.

“The harmonised fees structure will be implemented in both public and private universities by the end of the year”

Benedict Mtasiwa, IUCEA chief principal officer for exchange programs, said the decision was expected to facilitate and increase student mobility across the region.

“The harmonised fees structure will be implemented in both public and private universities by the end of the year”, he said in a statement.

This, he added, will end the current practice where students pay as much as 30% more in fees whenever they enrol in universities in any of the partner countries outside of their home country.

According to another IUCEA official, the operationalisation of the EACHEA was expected to be a lengthy process, and the harmonisation of fees is just one among many steps to be taken.

“Operationalisation is on course, mobility of academic staff and students are already happening, mutual recognition of qualifications is already taking place for both academic and professional qualifications”, he told The PIE News.

After nearly two years of waiting, the EAC region was declared a Common Higher Education Area by heads of the state in May, and the IUCEA has come up with a six point tentative work plan and strategy.

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Leicester opens first international campus in China

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 02:44

The UK’s University of Leicester has partnered up with China’s Dalian University of Technology and opened an international campus in China which will focus on teaching STEM subjects and offer dual degrees.

The university hopes that 10% of its UK undergraduate population will study at Leicester International Institute, Dalian University of Technology, by 2020.

“Our purpose is to advance the exchange of culture, science, engineering and technology”

Chinese students will have the opportunity to take part of their degree in Leicester, and UK students will have the chance to undertake a year or more of their degree in China.

The first courses to be offered are in chemistry and mechanical engineering, explained director of the institute, Eric Hope.

The partnership not only seeks to expand staff and students’ horizons, but it will also “support China to develop a globally-competitive workforce,” he said.

The first cohort of students are being taught at the Institute, based on the Panjin campus, following opening ceremonies attended by president and vice-chancellor Paul Boyle alongside academic and civic leaders.

“Our purpose is to advance the exchange of culture, science, engineering and technology between China and the United Kingdom,” said Boyle.

Both universities have a renowned reputation when it comes to research, he added.

“Leicester and Dalian have chosen to work together because of our shared global standing, and our belief in research and learning excellence. As world-class research-intensive universities we will build collaborative research groups that will underpin exciting new discoveries.”

President Guo from Dalian University of Technology, said: “This initiative will succeed because we will only recruit the very brightest students. We chose to work with Leicester because of their research reputation – our partnership will be strong because it is based on powerful research collaboration.”

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Stanford tops employability rankings, Australia makes headway

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 09:59

Stanford University has been named the best university in the world for graduate employability, according to this year’s QS employability rankings, as universities from eight different countries make the top 20.

The rankings have also seen a number of institutions which aren’t represented highly in the overall World University Rankings climb up the table, including two from Australia making the top 10.

Stanford University, which holds on to the top spot this year, is followed by UCLA – up from 15th last year – and Harvard University, making it a 1,2,3 for US institutions.

“We want to reward universities for being proactive, for placing employability at the top of the agenda”

The University of Sydney is once again in fourth place, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology comes in fifth.

The top five are followed by the University of Cambridge (6th), the University of Melbourne (7th), the University of Oxford (8th), the University of California Berkeley (9th), and Tsinghua University (10th).

Institutions from eight countries make the top 20, including Japan’s Tokyo University in 14th place, and the University of Hong Kong in 20th.

This compares with the World University Rankings top 20, which consists of institutions from just five countries.

“We don’t want this ranking to measure reputation alone,” said Jack Moran, education writer at QS.

“We want to reward universities for being proactive, for placing employability at the top of the agenda,” he told The PIE News.

The ranking’s methodology measures employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers per faculty, employer/student connections, and graduate employment rate.

“It’s perhaps also true that universities that don’t have highly prestigious global brands are seeking to emphasise the quality of the employment prospects they offer to potential graduates, which incentivises them to engage in the sort of behaviours and initiatives that this project rewards,” Moran commented.

Universities from Latin America and the Middle East make an appearance in the top 50 in the employability rankings, which they don’t do in the World University Rankings. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile places at 37th, along with the American University of Beirut at 41st.

And the rankings also include six institutions from Germany in the top 100 – double the number in the overall top 100 university rankings.

Four of Australia’s universities feature in the top 50 in the rankings, just one fewer than the UK’s five universities. After the universities of Sydney and Melbourne in fourth and seventh, respectively, comes The University of New South Wales (36th) and The University of Queensland (49th).

“The precise way in which students value employability does differ by region”

“If Australian universities are ranked highly, it is because they also ensure that desirable employers are frequently on campus, are committed to innovative, student-centered teaching methods, and foster strong research links with industry,” commented Ben Sowter, research director at QS.

Employability is an increasingly important aspect for international students, as they seek out a high return on investment for undertaking their higher education study abroad.

“[It’s] at the forefront of the minds of students in all regions, at all levels, whether it’s expressed as a desire to gain the international experience employers covet, or a keenness to develop entrepreneurial skills,” said Moran.

“The precise way in which students value employability does differ by region – but it’s indisputably a key driver of international study.”

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Google, Bertelsmann to fund 75k MOOCs

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 08:04

Tech giant Google, and German media and publishing firm Bertelsmann have announced funding of 75,000 MOOC scholarships through online education provider Udacity.

These scholarships mark the next step in an existing partnership which the companies describe as aiming to “prepare new European talent for the digital future”.

Google will fund 60,000 scholarships to Udacity’s Android and web development courses, which last three months. The top 6,000 students from that program will then be offered the chance to earn a scholarship for one of Udacity’s ‘nanodegree’ programs.

“Experienced developers and passionate beginners can take their skills to the next level”

Bertelsmann will fund a further 15,000 scholarships for Udacity’s data science programs.

The scholarships will be open to students around the EU, and in nations on the borders of Europe and the Mediterranean, such as Egypt, Israel, Russia and Turkey.

It follows on from a successful similar program in 2016, for which 70,000 people applied for just 10,000 scholarships.

Google is clearly no stranger to technology, but also has experience of providing education and funding in the digital realm. It has trained over three million people across the EU in the past few years, through its Growth Engine program.

Matt Brittin, president of business and operations in EMEA for Google, said the firm took the step to increase its funding, in order to benefit both beginners and those who want to develop their existing skills.

“We’re announcing the 60,000 Scholarships Challenge for Udacity Android & web dev courses… so that experienced developers and passionate beginners can take their skills to the next level and create new opportunities of their own,” he said.

Bertelsmann also has experience in the education sector, having given their worldwide employees free access to more than 10,000 online learning courses. It also run the Bertelsmann University, which offers corporate progression course, on strategy and leadership, as well as technology.

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45% UK students disappointed by fewer EU students

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 06:41

Nearly half of UK university first year students and applicants said they would be “disappointed” if the number of EU and international students drop after Brexit. A further 9% said they were “offended” by the prospect, according to research by University Partnerships Programme.

Of over one thousand respondents, 45% of first year students and applicants to universities across the UK said they would feel disappointed if fewer EU students chose to study at their institutions. At Russell Group universities that number rose to 50%.

“Meeting students from other countries is a strong factor in student experience”

Furthermore, one in five students expressed a fear of “missing out” if a reduction in international student numbers was to materialise.

Jon Wakeford, group director at UPP, said the potential impact on campus experience and student life was a driving force behind the responses.

“Students want to benefit from a rewarding student experience and it’s clear from our results this year, that meeting students from other countries is a strong factor in that,” he told The PIE News.

The report comes as UK universities begin their 2017/18 academic year, with an intake comprising of 3% fewer EU students, according to UCAS (the UK’s university admissions service).

The UPP commissioned the annual research, which asked both current students and applicants about their university experience, and their hopes for future experiences.

In it’s sixth iteration, the research also found that 44% of first year students struggle with loneliness, and 87% have issues with some aspect of social or academic university life.

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EAIE: educators urged to embrace “inclusive internationalisation”

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 05:01

Educators have been reminded of their role in combatting protectionist ideologies and ensuring everyone benefits from increasing globalisation at the 2017 EAIE Conference in Seville.

The comments were made by Oxford University’s refugee studies centre director Alexander Betts, who argued higher education could play a significant role in promoting globalisation and dispelling common misconceptions.

“[Refugees and migration] were two of the central issues within the Brexit vote in the UK,” Betts said.

“My immediate sense was we’d witnessed a turning point in politics in Europe”

“In the aftermath, my immediate sense was we’d witnessed a turning point in politics in Europe, where politics had become a clash over globalisation: people who embrace globalisation versus people who reject globalisation and are perhaps afraid of it.”

Betts told The PIE News that reconciling globalisation with democracy was key to its promotion, an approach he said was a revival of ideas from former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan.

The higher education sector in particular, argued Betts, was in a strong place to adopt what he called “inclusive internationalisation”.

“[Higher education] needs to ensure that when it internationalises… it needs to find a way to extend the benefits to a deeper base of people to make it legitimate,” he said.

Doing so, he said, would create a “deeper democratic base to support the regulatory framework that enables internationalisation to take place.”

According to Betts, this could be achieved through a three-pillared approach: whole of society exchange programs, whereby international students engage with the wider community; lifelong civic education to provide the wider population with facts and information on certain topics such as immigration; and public engagement with research, so that research projects are seen to be of benefit to everyone.

“Internationalisation at home is absolutely crucial,” said international education consultant Elspeth Jones.

“If you look at the proportion of people who are able to study abroad, or work or volunteer abroad, it’s always a very small proportion of the population,” she added.

Jones said that despite the EU’s mobility target of 20% by 2020, 80% of the population still wouldn’t directly benefit from internationalisation through mobility, meaning other routes should be considered.

In particular, she called for a rethink to the way in which students are categorised, suggesting that separating out international and domestic students was “at our peril”.

In his opening plenary, Betts similarly argued that the higher education sector had been remiss in promoting the benefits of globalisation, inadvertently creating a “liberal internationalist, and often very privileged elite”, effectively alienating segments of society.

In one anecdote, he recounted that he had spent a total of four days of his life within the top 50 areas that voted for Brexit, urging delegates to similarly take into consideration how often they engaged with those outside their institution.

In developing horizontal bridges across countries, said Betts, higher education should also develop vertical bridges deep into societies and communities.

“Internationalisation at home is absolutely crucial”

Inclusivity was at the heart of the 2017 EAIE Conference, themed “A Mosaic of Cultures”. Final keynote speaker, writer and photographer Taiye Selasi, challenged the industry to consider itself and others as “multi-local”, citizens of multiple places rather than a singular country.

“This is a matter of revolutionising the way we see the world,” she said.

“The old way says: we come from countries, and just as ‘we’ come from these countries, ‘they’ come from these other countries,” she continued, arguing a divisional mentality lead to a lack of empathy towards others.

“It is ok if they are oppressed by their countries, or devastated by civil war, or left to die on the Mediterranean Sea, for they are not like us,” she said.

In an impassioned speech on the opportunity higher education has, Selasi concluded her speech with an affirmation of internationalisation, receiving a standing ovation from delegates.

“With all that’s going on in the world, does this really matter? Does the internationalisation of higher education really matter in the end? My answer to you, I say again: yes, absolutely, yes.”

The 2017 EAIE Conference saw a record 6,000 delegates from 95 countries convening in Seville to discuss international higher education. The 2018 conference will be held in Geneva.

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UK-Aus: HE funding under the microscope

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 08:38

Australia House in central London hosted a comparative talk on the state of higher education in the UK and Australia, on September 12. Performance-related funding was highlighted, as the similarities and differences in the two nations’ systems were discussed.

The event’s host, David Sweeney, executive chair designate at Research England and a director at HEFCE, opened by remarking that along with the similarities in the two systems, it must be noted that “there are things that assume ginormous importance in one country, but are just taken for granted in the other”.

But the nations also share ideas. Indeed, Simon Marginson, professor of international HE at UCL, and director of the Centre for Global Higher Education, made the point that UK universities feel able to borrow ideas from their Australian counterparts because, “they see Australia as part of the family”. One of the areas this learning is taking place is performance-related funding.

“It’s quite difficult to argue against having a proportion of your grant that you’ve got to earn”

The trials of performance-related government funding were discussed by vice chancellor of Queensland University of Technology, Peter Coaldrake. Previous efforts have resulted in mixed outcomes, he said.

“[Of] the first instalment of funds that occurred in 2005, about A$54m was distributed across the sector at the time, of which five institutions received the bulk, a number of others received some crumbs, and 24 which were less impressed with the matter, received nothing at all,” he said.

Since 2014 there has been no performance-linked funding, but Australian politicians are now proposing that 5% of government grants will need to be earned. Coaldrake said he doesn’t have any issue with that proposal.

“It’s quite difficult to argue against having a proportion of your grant that you’ve got to earn,” he said.

The UK does not currently base its government grants on performance, though the TEF does aim to rate the university’s performance.

And according to HEFCE, “the government has previously indicated that universities and colleges in England that have a TEF award will be able to increase their tuition fees in line with inflation”, and thereby gain financial reward for good overall performance.

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Boom in number of English-taught bachelor’s, with Turkey on top

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 05:53

There has been a huge surge in the number of English-taught bachelor’s available in Europe, according to recent research, with the number of these degrees at HEIs in the continent up fifty-fold since 2009.

The research, produced jointly by EAIE and StudyPortals, also found that Turkey boasts the highest number of English-taught bachelor’s programs.

There were 2,900 ETBs identified in the StudyPortals database, BachelorsPortal, across 19 European countries, an increase from just 55 listed on the same search site eight years ago.

“Other countries are just now testing the boundaries as to what they can implement”

The growth in the number of ETBs has been relatively consistent on last year, however, after a noted boom in 2015 when the number grew by 43%.

Respondents to the research said that internationalising institutions was the main reason to offer English-taught bachelor’s.

Speaking to delegates at EAIE this week, Dana Petrova, director at the Centre for International Cooperation in Education, said that internationalisation was the main driver for the Czech Republic to offer such programs.

“You can’t attract foreign lecturers if you don’t speak the language,” she said.

Becoming or remaining competitive was cited as the second most important reason to offer these programs, according to the report, followed by attracting international talent.

Offering English-taught programs forces institutions to develop the required language skills, along with those of the local students, said Carmen Neghina, head of intelligence at StudyPortals.

It also impacts the number of international staff at the university, she added.

“With master’s degrees, sometimes the courses are 12, 15, 30 people, whereas the bachelor’s course can be anything between 100-300 students,” she told The PIE News.

“The number of teaching staff you need to actually manage the diverse and international group is also higher, so then it forces you to attract more international talent.”

Anna-Malin Sandström, policy officer at EAIE, said that when something new like is introduced, like these English-taught bachelor’s, it’s not surprising there would be an element of pushback.

“It appears in many cases actually relatively quickly [it] was sort of accepted and endorsed by the majority of both academic and administrative staff,” she told The PIE News.

While this is the only year that the number of ETBs has not experienced double digit growth, the overall upsurge shows no signs of slowing down just yet.

However, some countries’ growth is expected to slow before others’, such as the Netherlands, according to Neghina.

“Other countries are just now testing the boundaries as to what they can implement, how to go about it,” she said.

“There’s a lot more growth opportunities in France, in Spain, in Germany, in the countries that do have a lot of HEIs, but just a very low percentage of courses actually done in English.”

Turkey offers the largest number of English taught bachelor’s the report finds, with 545 across the country. This, explained Neghina, is in part due to its large number of private institutions.

“There’s a lot more growth opportunities in France, in Spain, in Germany, in the countries that do have a lot of HEIs”

While not offering as many programs, Germany comes out on top in Europe as the country with the most HEIs offering English taught bachelors, at 69.

However, the report notes that this is an indication of the size of the higher education system in the researched countries, as only 17% of the HEIs in Germany offer ETBs compared to the European average of 38%.

All of Switzerland’s HEIs offer ETBs, according to the research, along with around 75% of HEIs in the Netherlands.

While the number of English taught bachelor’s is on the rise, the number of master’s programs taught in English still dominates the EMI landscape across Europe, as English taught bachelor’s account for just 27% of all programs.

English-taught bachelor’s and master’s were overwhelmingly the most prevalent in the discipline of business and management, accounting for just over a quarter of all ETBs. This is followed by social sciences, and engineering and technology.

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What could the rescission of DACA in the US mean for international education?

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 03:46

DREAMers, undocumented students in the United States, just might become international students —at least in Canada. While hopes of a reprieve for DACA floated this week, Canadian institutions are using the uncertainty to reach out and offer scholarships.

Meanwhile, some US HE stakeholders fear the heat around the story further impacts the image of the US for other international students.

On September 5, the Trump administration announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program – launched by the Obama administration in 2012 that allowed for undocumented immigrants who arrived in the US as children to remain in the country – could be rescinded in six months’ time.

While subsequent news reports suggest a deal with the Democrats could be reached to protect those under threat of deportation, the shock announcement prompted staunch opposition from US higher education stakeholders and soul searching about what might happen to those in the DACA program (which guarantees delayed action on deportation and therefore security).

Over 130 colleges and universities have issued statements of support for DACA beneficiaries.

Such undocumented students, brought into the US as children ‘illegally’, are known widely as DREAMers, named after the DREAM Act that was introduced but never passed – the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (Dream) Act, which would have offered them the chance of permanent legal residency.

The day after President Trump announced his plans to end the DACA program, on September 6, 2017, Huron University College in Ontario, Canada, announced that it would offer a $60,000 scholarship to any academically eligible student affected.

Approximately 10 students affected by the rescission of the DACA program have inquired about the scholarship

Barry Craig, principal of Huron University College, says that like many leaders in North American higher education, he was “troubled” when he heard that the Trump administration was considering cancelling DACA.

“I wanted to do something more than simply voice protest,” Craig says. “As the next door neighbour to the US and a place that has a reputation of being welcome and tolerant, I thought that some affected by the DACA decision might look to Canada for help. This scholarship seemed like a concrete way to respond to these people in need.”

Undocumented students from the US who want to try to take advantage of the Huron University College scholarship will need to obtain a student visa for study in Canada. Craig says that his institution will guide prospective students through appropriate channels to obtain a student visa.

So, far, he says approximately 10 students affected by the rescission of the DACA program have inquired about the scholarship. The scholarship offers $15,000 per year for four years of study, totalling $60,000, which would cover about half of tuition. Many international students have jobs on campus to help cover college costs, according to Craig.

If DREAMers can’t stay in the United States, they might consider Canada, as many international students do. “One of the top reasons why international students choose to study in Canada is because of its reputation of being tolerant and non-discriminatory,” says Karen McBride, president and CEO of the Canadian Bureau for International Education.

“Anecdotally, what we are hearing from our members across the country is that there has been a heightened interest in Canadian colleges and universities since the US election.”

President Trump is allowing a six-month window for Congress to act and come up with an alternative to DACA. A new version of the DREAM Act was introduced a bipartisan group of senators in July 2017, which aims to allow DREAMers to become permanent residents.

Approximately 800,000 individuals are registered for the DACA program and are therefore impacted by politicians debating their right to remain in the country they have grown up in.

“We’re talking about a set of young people who really didn’t have an opportunity to make an active choice”

About a quarter of DACA recipients are enrolled in college and 5% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher, according to an August 2017 issue brief by the Migration Policy Institute.

The prospect of deporting DREAMers after their DACA permits expire has been met with disapproval across higher education leaders in the country.

“While there have been diverse responses to the rescission of DACA on college campuses, there is widespread disappointment among higher education leaders regarding the President’s decision,” explains Lynn Pasquerella, president of American Association of Colleges and Universities.

“The result has been a reaffirmation of their commitment to serving DACA students by holding meetings to listen to their concerns, providing a range of support services, encouraging Congress to restore the DREAMer program, and taking on new fundraising campaigns to meet the specific financial needs of students.”

Pasquerella says that there have already been reports of a 40% decline in international students enrolling in colleges and universities across the United States this fall and is concerned.

“International students are weary of potential new restrictive legislation that would have a disparate impact on them and harbor fears over a hostile climate within the US,” she claims.

“This is unfortunate at a time when it is more critical than ever for students to be in diverse learning environments that foster cultural competence, global understanding.”

But the HE community is certainly making its opposition felt. Nicole Tami, executive director of the global education office at the University of New Mexico, tells The PIE News, “We try to be responsive to those on the DACA program. There continues to be a lot of uncertainty for these students, a lot of fear.. We’re doing everything we can to support them.

“Our provost is of international background and has reached out to the community and our overarching message is you are welcome here.”

She adds, “Regardless of what your political stance is on immigration, we’re talking about a set of young people who really didn’t have an opportunity to make an active choice [about their legal status].”

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Three quarters of students happy with international study experience ROI

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 08:55

Just under three quarters of international students from Asia were satisfied their overseas study experience was of benefit to their career, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by the International Alumni Job Network and analysis group Nielsen, the survey found that 72% of international students were either satisfied or very satisfied with the return on investment from studying in Australia, the UK, the US, Canada or New Zealand.

The network’s inaugural International Student and Alumni Satisfaction Survey garnered 5,200 responses from students in China, India, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam, and found there were discrepancies in levels of satisfaction depending on where the students came from.

“We hear on a regular basis from international students who feel abandoned by their university after graduation”

Of the students surveyed, those from India reported the lowest levels of satisfaction with their return on investment. Forty-two per cent said they were satisfied that their UK education had a positive return, with 43% and 55% saying they were satisfied with the returns from their Australian and US education, respectively.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong students in Australia, and Singaporean and Malaysian students in the UK scored above the global average for returns on investment, with 77% and 78% satisfaction rates, respectively.

Despite the overall positivity, Shane Dillon, founder of IAJN, told The PIE News that institutions and study destinations should aim to improve their levels of satisfaction, as over a quarter of respondents indicated they were not satisfied with their return on investment.

Inaccurate expectations during the recruitment process and a lack of support from providers to help students transition from study to employment were the most likely causes of dissatisfaction, according to Dillon.

“We hear on a regular basis from international students who feel abandoned by their university after graduation; who return to home countries without a professional network or any gateways or support to employment like local students receive,” he said.

“An international education… is still a highly sought after dream for many of the world’s students”

Globally, the report also found high levels of satisfaction with the overall study experience, with 91% indicating they would recommend their country of study. Each country also scored at least 87% likelihood that respondents would recommend their institution.

As well as looking at student satisfaction, the surveys explored employment and salary outcomes, finding the average global monthly income for graduates to be $1,637, and an average 2.47 months wait between graduation and first job.

“An international education and the experience [of living] abroad is still a highly sought after dream for many of the world’s students and education providers need to live up to the promise that an international education is a good investment,” said Dillon.

“This will only be more important as globalisation and the fourth industrial revolution continue to rapidly change the workforce.”

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ELC helps meet English demand in Vietnam

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 04:33

The English Language Company based out of Australia has opened a purpose-built campus at a Vietnamese university, to help meet the demand for English language learning.

The school, which opened in this month at Hutech University in Ho Chi Minh City, has enrolled 1,300 students in its inaugural intake.

ELC set up its partnership with Hutech in April in order to help increase English language learning provision among the 35,000 students on campus.

“The number reflects the huge demand in a country like Vietnam”

David Scott, managing director of ELC, said that it was a “very quick process from contract signing to school launch”.

“The first students started studying in mid-August and by September 5, we capped enrolments at 1,300,” he told The PIE News.

“It’s been quite a challenge to build the campus, put in all the resources and staff the college in three short months but we managed to do it.”

Initially the number of students enrolling in the campus was expected to hit 500 in its first intake, and the high demand created a few logistical challenges – such as holding placement tests for 750 students in a day.

“The number reflects the huge demand in a country like Vietnam,” Scott said.

“We only recruited students from the freshman year. They are all new students this year at Hutech and we have found that most of them have a low level of English, exiting high school with an average A2 level. So the demand is definitely there.”

The school offers a variety of English courses for all levels, including general English, Cambridge English programs, IELTS preparation and academic English.

It also offers customised English programs for university faculties.

The school’s senior management comes from ELC Sydney, with teachers joining the campus from ELC’s Vietnam teaching internship program.

The school is aiming expand to enrol 2,000 students for the start of 2018, with future plans to grow to a second campus.

Hutech will also be opening an international high school next year, and ELC will offer extracurricular English language programs for those students as well.

“In total we expect to be teaching up to 5,000 students within five years,” said Scott. “But there is potential for this number to be much higher.”

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Ontario to open first French language HEI

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 09:18

The Canadian province of Ontario is set to establish its first French language university, the provincial government has announced.

The university, which is scheduled to open in Toronto in 2020, will expand the availability of French post-secondary education for both French-speaking Canadians and international students in the province.

“The creation of a  French-language university is a milestone for Franco-Ontarians”

“Francophone culture and the French language have always been essential to Ontario’s identity and prosperity,” said Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Francophone Affairs, in a statement.

“The creation of a new French-language university, governed by and for Francophones, is a critical milestone for Franco-Ontarians and future generations.”

The university will be established in order to meet the growing need for French-language post-secondary education in Ontario.

According to a document put forward by the university planning board, the university should aim to enrol over 1,000 full time students as early as 2023-2024.

The institution will also focus on promoting mobility. The document outlines that welcoming both visiting professors and international students, as well as “increasing student exchanges at home and abroad would increase the reach of the university across the francophonie”.

It also points out that the creation of this university can also help with the province’s goal of attracting more French-speaking immigrants.

“The existence of a high-calibre French language university in Toronto would be a determining factor in the future achievement of this goal through the recruitment of an excellent faculty body from throughout the Francophonie (Canadian and international) and the recruitment of some of the most promising international students,” the proposal says.

A spokesperson for the Ontario government Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development, said that as well as the university, the planning board has also recommended the creation of a Francophone Hub of Knowledge and Innovation, in order to create a francophone environment.

“The combination of the [university] and the Hub will allow French-language international students to pursue their studies in French and flourish in a French [environment] while at the same time expanding their ability to speak English within the greater multicultural diversity of the Greater Toronto Area,” she told The PIE News.

“Ontario’s recent membership to the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie may act as a catalyst and encourage international students to consider attending the French-language university in central and southwest Ontario.”

There are 25,195 international students studying in Canada from countries where at least half of the population speaks French, according to 2016 IRCC data.

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Russian students hit with visa trouble amid US-Russia tensions

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 08:52

Russian students hoping to study in the US have been hit by the side effects of continuing diplomatic turmoil between the two nations, as education agents report major issues in the visa process as a result.

The US consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg, and Vladivostok have suspended all non-immigrant visa processes, and the Moscow embassy continues to operate at a reduced rate. The US government says this is solely due to restrictions on US diplomatic staff numbers imposed by Russia.

This means that Russian prospective students living in the north or east of Russia have to travel huge distances to attend non-immigrant visa interviews.

“On the phone they say that there is a very limited number of visa interview dates”

Deputy director of Russian education agency, Students International, Igor Mishurov revealed that the situation has slightly improved in September but significant hurdles remain.

“[The] call centre began working again, although we have to wait for a half an hour until they answer. On the phone they say that there is a very limited number of visa interview dates,” he said.

This, coupled with the nine hour flight time between the city of Vladivostok and Moscow, accentuates the difficulty of the situation.

“Luckily it happened just after the summer, not on the eve of the summer,” he admitted. “Because if it was in April or May, it would be suicide for us. End of August, more or less we survive.”

The US consular website said interviews would begin in Moscow from September 1, but Mishurov reported that interview registration only re-started on September 13.

“On the phone they don’t give any advice besides apply in other neighbouring countries (Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan),” Mishurov added.

And Andrei Arsentiev, marketing director of the Moscow-based Intellectual education agency, said that forcing students from eastern Russia to fly to the capital for their visa interview will result in a drop of students travelling to the US.

This is at least partially because Russian students living in the west of the country are much more likely to study in Europe, rather than the US.

“The main market would be closer to the border – starting from Siberia and [east], because Moscow region, European region – they tend to go [to Europe] unless [they] are desperate to get into the US,” Arsentiev commented.

“Because to come to the UK is a three hour flight from Moscow, and to go to the US is a day’s trip.”

The US consular services in Russia currently advises those whose interviews were cancelled to call the Moscow embassy to re-schedule.

“[Non-immigrant visa] applicants who have their interviews cancelled should call the number below to reschedule their interview at the US embassy in Moscow for a later date,” the online statement reads.

Furthermore, a State Department spokesperson told The PIE News that the reduction of services is not a decision taken by the US, but a consequence of the Russian government requiring a reduction in US consular staff.

“Russia required us to drastically reduce personnel in our mission”

“Russia required us to drastically reduce personnel in our mission, and as a direct result we were forced to drastically scale back the level of all services provided by our embassy and consulates, including visa services,” the spokesperson said.

“It is unfortunate that we will no longer have the staff necessary to promptly meet the strong demand for visas among the Russian people”.

They added that the US government will continue to assess the possibility of providing visa interviews in the future.

“As we assess our operations at this new, reduced size, we will determine if we can resume limited visa interviews at the consulates in the future,” they said.

According to IIE’s Open Doors report, there were 5,444 Russian students studying in the US in 2015/16.

The PIE News asked the Russian government for comment on this story but has not received a reply at the time of publication.

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Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, Ithaca College, US

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 03:36
Bringing Africa to her classroom in New York state was a dream of Peyi Soyinka-Airewele’s. Subsequently, the Classrooms Beyond Borders initiative was born, which connects students and faculty around the world. She tells The PIE about how the project has developed over the years, Africa’s role in internationalisation, and the importance of ensuring that partnerships are mutually beneficial.

The PIE: How did you get involved international education?

PSA: It was after I got to Ithaca College, I began teaching there and found I was the only black female faculty member in the African program. I very desperately wanted to find ways of opening windows and doors to my students so they could begin to understand the African continent, the black experience and African American history outside of anything that one person could ever provide for them.

It was more than just wanting them to go on study abroad programs, I wanted to be able to transform my own classroom, how I conceptualised the classroom and how it helped them to see the space as just a launching board where they could themselves travel, find linkages, question what I am saying, be aware there is controversy about everything I teach on the African continent.

And I found that it is too easy to become that voice of wisdom, that authoritative master from Africa, on Africa and I really wanted them to be able to really imagine they were studying on the continent themselves, and so that is where I began finding how can I do this, how can I think outside the box.

The PIE: So how did you start doing that?

PSA: I guess the first thing I did was to start with a concept which was a classroom which was international and collaborative and that could have multiple teachers and multiple students and a place for discussion. So I started by reaching out to my alma mater in Nigeria at Obafemi Awolowo University – I connected to some of my friends and faculty members, I then convinced my institution, Ithaca College to be invested in it, travelled, sat down with them and we brainstormed on how we could do this.

“I really wanted them to be able to really imagine they were studying on the continent themselves”

We developed a great collaborative relationship, and I think that is really the first step where the people who are spearheading this idea actually build a really good relationship, understanding the mutual benefits we could get. I think that very often we leave that out, when you are in the US in a pretty powerful space and we tend to impose our own interests and needs upon the rest of the world.

So for me it was something that was, ‘do you think this is something that might be interesting to you, of any benefit to your students?’, and they were like ‘yes, let’s go’ and so we decided why don’t we coordinate two classes and so they had a human rights classroom there. I had a class that was African war politics and so we began to look at how we could have intersections in the syllabus where we could then have shared materials that might be a great place for students to talk and engage.

Then there was a problem – their internet service was really bad so we had to think about a synchronous way of working together, so I travelled, I did recordings of the teacher speaking about some of those things and then we discussed it and we put that on the website, uploaded their students to our university website and so the students started with this conversation about themselves, their backgrounds and what they were interested in and then it took off from there.

The PIE: So how long ago was this?

PSA: This was 2002, it has expanded, more universities joined in, another university in Nigeria, then Ghana, South Africa, Palestine and in the US also.

The PIE: So you all work together now as a network?

PSA: We work together, for me it is not just about the students, it is about us scholars needing one another for survival, having that passion. I think there has to be that need, and I have never wanted to be in a place in the US where I could ever feel that I was an African politics or international relations faculty member without needing the world – without needing to learn from my colleagues, to have them challenge your ideas.

“There are limitations with technology because you still feel that distance from when you are actually in that space”

Ithaca College is a fairly wealthy institution, fairly small, it is about 7,000 students and so it is easy for each of us to carve out these areas of our expertise, it is not like you have an array of an entire program, and so I needed that program and so the world is my program.

It is where I find colleagues who challenge me, otherwise I would have no one else to talk to and I wanted my students to feel the same way whenever they are in the classroom – it is what you don’t know that is more important that what you think you are actually learning.

The PIE: Is there student mobility between the campuses? Is this something you are looking into?

PSA: They travel, but idea with the Classrooms Beyond Borders program, I was really concerned about the fact that students who we work with on the African continent often do not have as much mobility as our students. So we discussed this and were very careful to want to find a way that students did not feel deprived within the program because they didn’t have that mobility.

So the idea was how do we create a different sense of mobility without first feeling deprived or marginalised because one person can get a visa, or doesn’t even need a visa and the other has to line up for a year and never get a visa.

Although secretly our desire would be to have students travel and exchange across the campuses, we were very careful to keep that on the backburner and to look for ways we could actually amplify what it meant to work in a collaborative mode outside of an imperial or colonial model.

There are limitations with technology because you still feel that distance from when you are actually in that space but it was to create a desire for students to want to be in that space and so if it happened we would encourage and support that.

The PIE: How do you see Africa’s position in the internationalisation debate?

PSA: The conversation seems to be that in the rest of the world, without getting out, without bringing people in, Africa will never match up. I think it is something we have to be very careful about and decide why is it that we are invested into the conversation about internationalisation.

For many African institutions it is about falling behind in the rankings, so the only way to become ranked is to compete with them out there and to become part of that globalisation, but the reality is that globalisation has systematically left Africa out and created that sense of exploitation. So how do we get out of that very vicious cycle and that discourse and still be part of what we are already part of?

“It is about creating inclusive communities, inclusive societies and that is what I am looking at”

For me I am looking at how do we navigate that? What are the positive goods that matter to us? Those are the kinds of things I was reflecting upon when I was thinking about a time way back in history. The difference is imagining what inclusiveness means. I think for me it is less about internationalisation and more Africa for its own needs, its own struggles. It is about creating inclusive communities, inclusive societies and that is what I am looking at.

Where there is mutual exchange, a mutual benefit, in that expansive sense where you are very intentional, you are still determined and controlling what it is that you want, the values that underpinned that system, the end products of it, the outcomes of it.

I think that is what we need to focus on, because the indigenisation process was very important for many African institutions; it was necessary to recover control of our fortune. But at the same time I think its unintended consequences, a combination of the economic crisis with that postcolonial struggle for sovereignty, led to a kind of situation where its institutions became primarily only African.

I think that deprives all of us, I think it deprives the world, the students and faculty members of very human interaction and exchange where people come and benefit from learning in the context that we also kind of gave from them.

I think when that is there, things like collaborations in research then take off in a more natural, very equitable manner. What we have now in this conversation is an almost desperate longing for the goods of the West, it is a little one sided, it is how our students will get there, how we get funding – that is problematic.

The PIE: So what were the African institutions’ priority for the collaborations they have with Ithaca?

PSA: There were hidden layers and then there were the voiced layers. What was spoken in terms of their priorities was that they wanted their students to be a part of a conversation that meant that they had access to books, to resources.

I began with Nigeria and it is a very cosmopolitan country, very engaged with the world, students are online when they can afford it.

Initially, they thought it would be great to have those conversations, it would be great as political scientists, international relations to actually be engaged in that sense and that was the initial thing. But what happened was within a year, it became clear the students were wanting something more substantive and this is partly because in many African countries success and progress is defined in terms of certification.

And so you are working with students who are seniors or juniors, they are not just thinking about conversation, they want to know about postgraduate studies, they wanted to know about things we hadn’t initially thought about.

It did make me then realise that I was to some extent initially engaging from the point of privilege of the students at Ithaca who were not so much worried about the ‘after’ in that same concrete way. I had more flexibility with grading, so I could grade my students more easily in terms of the conversations, the reading, their engagement. In the universities we were working with, they had set exams, so everything that they were doing was an extra and they couldn’t get credit for it so easily.

“In many African countries success and progress is defined in terms of certification”

We began by having conversations about could we change that and then we found out that they were exerting a lot more effort in terms of having access to the internet and things like that so we had to look into how to work through those dilemmas. We began to create joint courses and using that as a starting point of how do we create certification.

So that itself was the thing we were learning as students and faculty members about the ethics about how you create mutual benefit; how do you avoid exploitative relationships; how do we transform the conventional ways in which the West works with the rest.

The PIE: One of the hot topics in the international education sector is employability. How are these outcomes measured?

PSA: That was a key concern for the students overseas in particular. For the students in Ithaca it seemed to them instinctive that it will increase my employability because I can talk about this experience, and we began attracting a lot of students who are open to going into that career. We have students who are now working with NGOs overseas, in the Congo, they have done really well, many of them.

But for the students in Nigeria and in Palestine I think it has been more beneficial through their postgraduate programming because for many of them it is much more difficult to navigate from a first degree into that employment and so it has been very helpful.

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China: education tops incentives for property investment abroad, says report

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 06:34

Education abroad has now become the top incentive in China to invest in the $33bn overseas property investment market, according to a recent report from global B2B property sales platform, Investorist.

The report, which surveyed 120 estate agencies in China, found that education overseas was the clients’ incentive to invest for over three quarters (76%) of respondents.

This reason topped a number of other motivations for investment overseas, such as migration (69%) and asset safety and capital gain (68%).

“Often the Chinese mother will move over with the university student to take care of them and live in the apartment also”

Jon Ellis, CEO of Investorist, said that in comparison to previous reports, education as a motivator for investment among Chinese people was increasing.

“Education is extremely important in the Chinese culture. For Chinese people, it’s the number one key to achieving success,” he told The PIE News.

“[They] believe it is absolutely indispensable to have the ability to send their children to the best foreign schools, thus enabling them to excel in the world in whatever profession they choose.”

Australia has been the top destination for Chinese property investment, with 69% estate agency respondents saying they are investing in the country now.

The demand for the US however, is increasing, currently with 59% responding they are selling into it at the moment.

The US is followed by the UK, of interest for 36% of respondents.

Melbourne is the number one destination for Chinese investors in Australia – a city which boasts six universities in the country’s top 20, the report points out.

Ellis noted that whenever they can afford to, “Chinese parents will try to buy an apartment near the college or university their child will be studying at”.

“Financially savvy investors, they will weigh up the cost of several years’ boarding at the educational institution’s accommodation, and compare that to a property asset they can own long term, and possibly give to their children after graduation,” he commented.

“Often the Chinese mother will move over with the university student to take care of them and live in the apartment also.”

Jorick Beijer, foundation manager at The Class of 2020, said that this property investment overseas for education was anticipated.

“Seeing this in the perspective of China’s economic growth, rising household incomes and the value that Chinese parents put in the international education of their children, this does not come as a surprise to us,” he told The PIE News.

“Whereas the UK, US and continental Europe for years have been very attractive student destinations, and so rental markets got more cramped, it is interesting to see that Chinese parents are now actually starting to invest in properties.”

The report also points out that “top cities for investment often also have a strong reputation for quality education”.

“Chinese people believe an international education provides the opportunity to be educated about the entire world”

While the report doesn’t measure the exact level of education the children of the Chinese investors will be enrolling into, Ellis said that in the top investment countries of Australia, the US, the UK and Canada, the properties are for higher education plans.

An increasing number of students are getting used to living in off-campus accommodation, said Vivian Shen, general manager – China and Asia at

“Also, their overall living cost budgets are increasing and, as a result, they have higher standards when it comes to their accommodation,” she told The PIE News.

“Previously a significant number of Chinese students lived with host families in Australia. However, nowadays most students want to live independently in purpose-built student apartments.”

The report’s 120 agencies represent thousands of clients across China who sold over 10,000 units in 2016, worth almost $6bn.

In 2009, overall overseas property investment from China was $600m, and it has grown exponentially since then. It expanded to $15.8bn in the four years to 2013, and had more than doubled by the end of last year to $33bn.

And this property investment overseas for education is unlikely to slow down, said Ellis.

“Chinese people believe an international education provides the opportunity to be educated about the entire world and not just about China,” he said. “And subsequently the prospect of becoming an international professional, are most desirable.”

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Soka U has largest proportion of int’l students in US

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 04:58

Soka University of America has the highest proportion of international students of any US college or university, according to the US News and World Report. It found 43% of undergraduate students at the private liberal arts school originate from outside of the US.

A measure of the most populated international student bodies was included in the 2018 US News and World Report Best Colleges Rankings, for the academic year 2016/17.

As well as coming out top overall, Soka University, a private institution based in Aliso Viejo, California, had the highest proportion of international students among liberal arts colleges. Meanwhile, Florida Institute of Technology came out top among other national universities, with international students forming a third of its student body.

Soka’s director of community relations, Wendy Harder, said attracting international students was largely down to word of mouth, and online advertising.

“A wonderful example is a senior we have from Nepal who was the first student from his country to come to Soka University,” she told The PIE News.

“This year we have six students from Nepal… because he went home and talked about it.” 

“Soka University does not work with international education agents to recruit students,” Harder added. 

Soka University was followed by Massachusetts’s Mount Holyoke College

US News details the difference between the two categories, saying that national universities “offer a range of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees and emphasise research”, while national liberal arts colleges “focus on undergraduate education and award at least half of their degrees in liberal arts fields”.

For the national universities category, Florida Institute of Technology (33%) led New York City’s New School by a single percentage point, with the University of Tulsa, in Oklahoma, (24%) and Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania (23%), rounding out the top four.

And among the national liberal arts colleges, Soka University was followed by Massachusetts’s Mount Holyoke College, whose student body was formed of 27% internationals. St John’s College in New Mexico followed with 25%, and Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania and Earlham College in Indiana completed the top five with 23% apiece.

Soka University is also tied with Goucher College in Maryland for the percentage of 2016 graduating seniors who participated in some form of mobile study during their course.

In both cases, 100% of the graduating students on four-year courses studied outside of the US for some period of time. However details on the length of stay or type of international study are not immediately available.

Elsewhere, Princeton University topped the overall US News rankings for national universities for the seventh year in a row, and showing even greater consistency, Williams College (Massachusetts) reigns over other national liberal arts colleges for the 15th consecutive year.

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2017’s PIEoneer Award winners span seven countries

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 09:28

Student support, championing diversity and digital innovation were among the fields celebrated at the international education industry’s first ever PIEoneer Awards on Friday September 8.

Winners represented seven countries and included major campaigns #WeareInternational, a huge success from the UK’s University of Sheffield (Marketing Campaign of the Year) and Generation Study Abroad, a campaign to widen access to study abroad in the USA from IIE (Championing Diversity).

All the finalists were delighted to receive the award and the accolade from a distinguished panel of international judges in front of a global peer group.

The PIEoneer Awards 2017 winners
  • Marketing campaign of the year: University of Sheffield, UK – #WeAreInternational
  • Student support award: Morneau Shepell – International Student Support Program, Canada
  • Accommodation provider of the year: University of Sydney, Australia
  • Education agency of the year: Global Reach, India
  • Championing diversity award: Institute of International Education, USA – Generation Study Abroad
  • Progressive education delivery award: Open University, UK – English in Action platform
  • International alumni of the year: Dunya Alruhaimi, Iraq – University of New England, Armidale, Australia
  • Association of the year: EduNova, Canada
  • Public/private partnership of the year: Kaplan Open Learning/University of Essex, UK
  • Digital innovation of the year: Duolingo, USA – Duolingo English Test
  • PIEoneer of the year: Global Leadership League, USA
  • Outstanding contribution to the industry: Markus Badde, ICEF, Germany

Wendy Luther of EduNova, representing Nova Scotia’s international education sector in Canada, said it was a career highlight to have the efforts of the association recognised.

Ravi Lochan Singh, MD of Global Reach agency in India, said that his company’s success as Education Agency of the Year, on their 26th anniversary “is such a great acknowledgement for what we stand for”.

MD of The PIE, Amy Baker, said she was thrilled with feedback on the company’s inaugural event. “I’m thrilled that so many finalists made the effort to be in London for our awards and delighted that we could help shine a spotlight on some of the amazing work that goes on each year within international education.”

Twelve awards were given in total, including PIEoneer of the year, which was awarded to a women’s leadership movement based out of the USA but with global scope, the Global Leadership League.

In GLL’s entry, co-founder Cynthia Banks explained that GLL aimed to counter “data.. that women are promoted less often due to hiring bias and also due to deficiency in strategic skillsets.”

The most prestigious award of the evening was for outstanding contribution to the industry, awarded to CEO of ICEF, Markus Badde.

His comments drew a standing ovation from one table, as he reflected on a life’s work trying to build connections between education agencies and educators; by default, helping thousands of students to study abroad as his company developed events and agency training schemes.

He spoke of his German and Australian heritage, growing up in the Middle East and Europe, speaking eight languages. Rather than being “from nowhere”, international students are “ambassadors of everywhere” and help foster global links, he said.

After all the awards were presented, the party continued across town with an afterparty at the world famous ‘Gherkin’ (official name, 30 St Mary Axe) in the heart of London’s financial district.

There, with a 360-degree view of London, 250 guests danced the night away in celebration of the sector’s achievements.

To find out more about our winners, visit here.

What an honor! @IIEglobal @GenStudyAbroad awarded #PIEoneers17 championing diversity! Celebrating our partners too!

— Lindsay Calvert (@linzc8) September 8, 2017

Thanks to our supporters, we wouldn't have come so far without your support, let's keep telling the world #WeAreInternational #PIEoneers17

— #WeAreInternational (@weareintl) September 8, 2017

Three @TheGLLeague rock star Founding ladies accepting the PIEoneer of the Year Award! Oh what a night! #PIEoneers17 #LinkUpWithTheLeague

— The League (@TheGLLeague) September 8, 2017

Congratulations to our CEO @markusbadde for receiving the #PIEoneers17 Award for outstanding contribution to the industry! #globaled

— ICEF (@myICEF) September 8, 2017


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Brazilians spend 82% more on studying abroad

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 05:25

Brazilians spent 82% more on education travel in 2016 than the previous year, according to a recent student survey from the Brazilian Educational and Language Travel Association.

This, according to the survey, was mainly due to the 6.7% increase in mobile students undertaking longer courses of study of up to 12 months.

BELTA, which traditionally asks member agencies for evaluations, has this year expanded to ask 1,145 students as well.

Although the growth in popularity of longer programs is an important change, there are consistencies in Brazilian demand for international education. Language courses are still the most popular choice for Brazilian students, as three-month programs account for 68.5% of the market.

“[Students] also consider the tertiary sector as an opportunity for a pathway to legal immigration and living abroad”

According to Samir Zaveri, president and CEO of student recruitment fair organiser BMI, this leap in interest in longer-term programs can be seen as down to one simple reason: the economy.

“The Brazilian economy is very dependent on the price of the dollar… the real has had I think, the strongest recovery of any currency against the US dollar this year, which helps more people go abroad,” Zaveri told The PIE News.

But the reasons behind the general popularity of international education among Brazilians is of course multi-faceted.

There is a general wish to work or live outside of Brazil for many young adults, according to Carlos Robles of education agency Intercultural Education Programs, based in Belo Horizonte.

“Many young adults are now finding out that tertiary programs abroad are accessible, especially if they can have the opportunity to work as offered in Canada, New Zealand, Australia,” he told The PIE News.

“They also consider the tertiary sector as an opportunity for a pathway to legal immigration and living abroad which, in my opinion, is the desire of many young Brazilians to part away from the momentary Brazilian recession.”

Robles added that the increase in spending on international education is not only the folly of the young, however.

“Many [in their] mid-30s… have lost their jobs in Brazil with the closure of job opportunities, and therefore they have some severance sums that are being used [for] the development of their professional and personal lives and that includes studying abroad on long term tertiary programs,” he said. 

Alongside longer programs gaining in popularity, another notable change in 2016 is the use of education agents. Nearly 75% of mobile students used the services of education agencies in 2016. The ease of access and personalised service offered by agents are quoted by respondents as reasons for choosing to use the intermediary, rather than contact institutions directly.

“[The] research shows that there has been an increase in the demand to hire the program from an educational travel agency, because consulting with a specialised consultant offers significantly decreased chances of making a wrong decision,” according to Maura Leão, president of BELTA.

But Zaveri, said that this figure of agent usage is debatable, and certainly not across the board.

“If you take in the whole market and then add the HE sector, which [BELTA are] not talking about, it would not be 75%,” he said.

“Agents are very important, but when it comes to HE and high school, they are less important. In the HE sector, the figure wouldn’t account for even 5% [of mobile students],” Zaveri added.

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