Newsletter issue: April 2014

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Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence, British Council

Dear colleagues,

 

Greetings from Bogota! The Education Intelligence team has been in this vibrant city for a few days, conducting on-the-ground research on education developments in the Latin American region. Colombia's public spending on education as a proportion of GDP is one of the highest in Latin America, and the people we have spoken to are hopeful for increased political stability, so we sense considerable momentum, all around us.

 

Speaking of momentum, we've recently launched a major piece of research, Broadening Horizons 2014: Embedding a culture of overseas study, which examines the perceived and real barriers UK and US students face when considering study overseas. We've noted a rise in interest among UK students in studying abroad compared to a year ago, while US student interest has declined during the same period, possibly deterred by financial concerns. The report, produced by Education Intelligence Director of Research Elizabeth Shepherd, can be downloaded for free here.

 

The British Council's Going Global 2014 international education conference, which begins 29 April, is taking place this year in sunny Miami, Florida, exploring the themes of inclusion, innovation and impact. This annual gathering of world education leaders promises to push the internationalisation agenda into new directions, and we salute our many friends and colleagues from around the world who are currently in attendance.

 

Best regards,  


Anna Esaki-Smith

Editorial Director

Education Intelligence, British Council  

quick links

Spotlight - the latest news and views 

 

New research: Revelations and realities 

 

Up close and personal with... 

 

News alerts  

 

Did you know? 

Spotlight - the latest news and views 

A new look for Education Intelligence  

 

The new and improved Education Intelligence website is now live, with a revamp featuring enhancements that make it even more useful and engaging. As well as providing one-stop access to our full research portfolio and latest updates, the website is a forum where the Education Intelligence team will frequently share more analysis and insights, providing extra reasons to visit. The latest reports, as well as other Education Intelligence research, will continue to be available from the 24/7 online store. We hope you stop by regularly!

 


Ten things about Mexico 

 

Every month, the Education Intelligence newsletter features a market from our Country Brief series, and highlights ten pieces of wisdom from the most current report. This month we wise up on Mexico.

 

 

New research: Revelations and realities 

Free report - Broadening Horizons: Embedding a culture of overseas study 

 

Education Intelligence's new report examines how UK and US student demand for overseas study is changing, and provides insights into the barriers influencing students' perceptions of study abroad.

 


Access concise market profiles through the latest Country Brief series 

 

For Education Intelligence fans, many of whom have different roles and responsibilities across the international education sector, the Country Brief series is among the most popular. The Briefs, refreshed yearly to ensure they are up-to-date and reliable, provide a window onto a country's education system, and a wider view of society and the influences impacting the higher education sector. Content includes macro-economic and socio-economic indicators, educational expenditure, analyses of GDP, disposable income and employment by sector.

 

There will be 42 new reports in the 2014 series. The first three reports covering Brazil, Nigeria and USA are now available.

 

up close and personal with...Sean Matthews 

Education Intelligence grills luminaries from the international higher education world in our regular feature, Up close and personal. This month we talk with Sean Matthews from the University of Nottingham Malaysia campus, who confesses his passions for Malaysia, Bon Jovi covers, and a good book, and contemplates the challenge of balance in life.

 

Sean Matthews joined the School of English at the University of Nottingham, UK, in 2005, as the Director of the DH Lawrence Research Centre, having previously worked at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK), the University of Aberystwyth (Wales), UCLA (Los Angeles), and Kyushu University (Japan). He has worked closely with the British Council for many years, including sitting on the Arts Advisory Panel. In 2010, Sean was seconded to the University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) as Head of School of Modern Languages and Cultures. In 2011/12, he was awarded the University's prestigious Dearing Fellowship to coordinate, promote and develop work in internationalisation/TNE, the primary outcome of which is the Knowledge Without Borders Network, which aims to bring together colleagues from across Nottingham's three campuses, and beyond, to explore issues in TNE.

What is your favourite conference and why?
I realise it's a bit of a cliché, but I'd say either the last one, or, as it approaches, the next one. I'm lucky in that my academic and professional interests allow me to attend quite a variety of conferences!
I thought APAIE this year was very strong, with some really excellent panels across a range of topics - and Seoul is of course a really great place (I'm very partial to Korean BBQ). On the professional side, I learnt about things that I knew nothing about, as well as deepening my knowledge of things I should know about. APAIE, like AIEC and QS Apple, is such a good event because it has such a good range of news and information; practical and professional updates; some keynote thinking/'horizon scanning' about trends and issues - as well as, always, the chance to catch up with colleagues across the region, and meet and network with new contacts.
But I'm also off to Gargnano, in the Italian Alps, for the 13th International DH Lawrence Congress, in June so that is already becoming my new 'favourite conference'. Quite apart from regularly taking place in stunning venues (Lawrence did find himself in some awesome places), Lawrence events always remind me of why I wanted to be an academic in the first place. It's a very special community of scholars, strong and supportive, and Lawrence's work remains so vibrant and diverse and, frankly, relevant, that it is always a pleasure to tug myself back into that world.
What is your current country of interest and why?
I would have to say 'Malaysia', obviously primarily because that is where I'm working now, but also because it is such a fascinating, dynamic and complex place - both in its social and political situation - and more specifically in terms of how it is a kind of laboratory or index for key trends in TNE amongst developing nations and in Asia Pacific. Being here makes you really feel as if you're involved in working out what the best 'next steps' for TNE might be.
What is your greatest challenge?
Balance! I've been privileged to be involved in the building of a really interesting and energetic school - the School of Modern Languages and Cultures - which covers everything from media and communications, politics, some literary study, modern languages (Korean, Japanese, Mandarin, Spanish, French and German - and now some Bahasa Malaysia!), to translation and interpreting. Along with the Knowledge Without Borders Network, and all the myriad things that come up on a day-to-day basis on an international campus, it's easy to overlook important other things - family, food, sleep, and so on. So I often need to step back and get Mrs Matthews to remind me about keeping my priorities balanced.
What keeps you up at night?
Sometimes it's Janni (age 5) or Danni (age 3), but most often it's reading. There's generally very little quiet time through the day, because of all the tasks and endless interruptions. Especially when it comes to fiction, you need to concentrate properly and have a decent commitment of time in order to properly immerse yourself in the text. So my bed starts to look like it's walled in with books, and sometimes I do wish I could pull up a drawbridge and stay there a bit longer!
What's your guilty pleasure?
Ha! There are a number of things I'm not at liberty to reveal (though I could mention an improbable affection for a Bon Jovi tribute band that plays regularly in KL!), but probably the one most of my friends and colleagues find most difficult to understand is my attachment to the Royal Commonwealth Society (Malaysian branch)! I'll be happy to show any visitors to Malaysia around the RCS so you can judge for yourselves. We've actually even used the clubhouse for a few academic events, because it's in a good location, has a lovely terrace and garden, and a friendly, relaxed ambience, very unlike some of the institutional or hotel venues where events usually take place.

News alerts  

International branch campuses get too much attention 

 

Dr Rahul Choudaha, an international higher education strategist, explained his views on the international branch campuses and internationalisation activities in his column appearing in the University World News.

 


There's still no such thing as a higher education market 

 

Simon Marginson, international higher education academic, shared his opinion on commercialisation of higher education in his article on Times Higher Education.

 


Decline in global demand for English higher education 

 

A new report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England examines recent shifts in enrolment patterns and discusses their possible causes.

 

did you know? 

...the latest OECD figures reveal that 12 per cent of those aged 25-64 in Brazil have a tertiary degree - much lower than the OECD average of 32 per cent and the G20 average of 26 per cent. However, despite these comparatively low figures, the demand for higher education has grown at a rapid pace.

 

Find out more from our brand new Country Brief 2014