Newsletter issue: March 2015

Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence British Council

Dear colleagues:


We are currently preparing our new research portfolio for the next fiscal year, but we are pleased to close out March with two strong reports. During the last twenty years, the study choices available to international students have grown dramatically and, in Student Insight Hot Topics: US and UK subject specialisms, trends in choice are examined. While noting that factors such as safety and cost play important roles in the decision-making process when considering study abroad, this report focuses on how subject preferences have changed over time.


In Partnership Access: University - private sector collaboration, we look at the development of relationships between higher education and private industry. While often lauded as a pathway for knowledge transfer and driver of innovation, there is also some uneasiness at the closer alignment of these two sectors. This report gives an overview of the current state of such partnerships, as well as emerging best practices, to help identify opportunities in the coming years. Add in a new Student Insight country report on Ghana, and we are ending this month with a bang!


A fresh batch of Country Briefs will be published shortly, followed by our third annual Broadening Horizons report examining UK and US student perceptions on overseas study. The research, which contains survey findings from 5,000 US students and 3,000 UK students, will be launched at the British Council Going Global conference in early June. So please stay tuned!


Best regards,

Anna Esaki-Smith

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Spotlight - the latest news and views 


New research: Revelations and realities 


News alerts  


Up close and personal with ... 


Did you know? 

Spotlight - the latest news and views 

Ten fast facts about Greece 


Each month, the Education Intelligence newsletter profiles a market from our Country Brief series, and provides ten engaging facts from the most current report. Turkey was in the limelight for last month's newsletter - this time we take a closer look at neighbouring Greece, home to one of the world's biggest navies, and with 120 million olive trees, the third largest producer of olives on earth.


New research: Revelations and realities 

Student Insight Hot Topics: US and UK subject specialisms 


This report identifies trends in study choices by examining how international student subject preference has changed since 2009 in the US and since 2002 in the UK. Using historic data from the UK Higher Education Statistics Agency and the US Institute of International Education, the report identifies US and UK study specialisms based on subject-level mobility flows from the top 25 origin countries for both study destinations. 

Partnership Access: University - private sector collaboration 


Collaborations between the higher education and private sectors are becoming recognised as pathways, to sustainability, funding and knowledge transfer. This special Partnership Access report examines how these relationships are being perceived as drivers of innovation that can contribute to economic growth, as well as how they have evolved. This report further provides case studies that offer insight into today's competitive global environment.

Student Insight: Ghana 


This report focuses on prospective students from Ghana interested in studying abroad. Using data from ongoing global research examining students and the factors motivating their interest to study overseas, the research includes details of the influences on study abroad preferences and information sources used throughout their decision-making process. It provides a better understanding of what is important to prospective students in Ghana when considering study abroad options. 

News alerts  

Unemployment lower for mobile students, UK Higher Education International Unit finds 


Students who are globally mobile have a lower unemployment rate and end up earning more as graduates than their non-mobile counterparts in most subject areas, a new report from the UK Higher Education International Unit has found.


US authorities moving to improve student visa oversight in recent years 


The ICEF Monitor reports that an alleged "pay-to-stay" scam involving four private, post-secondary institutions in California exploited loopholes in the US immigration system. The four institutions are now the subject of an investigation by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). HSI has reported that the four schools primarily enrolled Korean and Chinese students - as many as 1,500 in total - and generated US$6 million per year in questionable tuition revenues.


Universities in Japan struggle to cope with shrinking population and globalisation 


Winter is the season of university entrance exams in Japan. It is a time of trepidation not only for the students but also for the universities, which today face the problem of population decline. Their survival hinges on their ability to attract students from a shrinking pool of young people, while also meeting the challenges of globalisation as institutions of higher education and research.


Should asylum seekers have to pay more for an education? 


It's hard to ignore the debate over the current rise in tuition fees in the UK, which many argue is placing poorer students at a disadvantage. Less well-known is that asylum-seeking students at the University of Birmingham are forced to pay even higher 'international' fees. The 'Equal Access' campaign, a partnership between Student Action for Refugees (STAR) and the National Union of Students, aims to change this.


Up close and personal with ... Sara Custer 

This month we talk with Sara Custer, Deputy Editor at The PIE News, who has been covering the international education sector for more than three years. She shares her thoughts about the perils of Facebook and her passion for hip hop karaoke.


Originally from Oklahoma, Sara has been both an international student and education practitioner herself. She now reports on global movement in the field with particular interest in immigration policy, education technology and international student mobility.


What is your favourite conference and why?
Without a doubt the Australian International Education Conference. Australia approaches international education in a very different way from any other country; it's business but not at the cost of academic value. As a journalist it's great for stories because they really use the event as a platform to announce government policy, candidly voice concerns from across the sectors and the Aussies, at every level in an organisation, are well informed about what's going on. It helps that AIEC is always held in October when London is turning cold and Australia is coming into summer.
What is your current country of interest and why?
Turkey. We're working to launch a new section at the PIE that will provide readers with information in a dynamic and empowering way. Turkey is our first focus for the section, so I've been speaking with several industry professionals there over the past few months, to stay on top of what's happening in the country.
What is your greatest challenge?
Professionally - working across time zones. We've learned to start working on stories for Asia or the Middle East first thing in the morning and hold off on pieces about the US until the afternoon, but sometimes it'll still slip and we get behind...or would it be ahead? It's compounded by daylight savings times - which don't change on the same date in every country! Personally- staying on top of real correspondence with friends all over the world. I blame Facebook.
What keeps you up at night?
I'm a big reader. If I've got a good book or magazine, it can easily keep me up past my bedtime. I usually have three or four things going at the same time. Currently it's We're all Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler, and Ron Power's biography of Mark Twain.
What's your guilty pleasure?
Watching viral videos online - I'm a sucker for click-bait - Twitter, naturally, and hip hop karaoke. I don't feel so guilty about that last one.

Did you know? 

...that Kazakhstani parents are least concerned with career advice (14%) as well as advice on choosing a university (11%) when they consider sending their children to overseas schools at the early age?


Find out more from our Parent perspectives report.