Newsletter issue: September 2015

Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence British Council
Dear colleagues:

In order to stay competitive in today's economically-integrated marketplace, innovation weighs heavily on national agendas. Brazil's Science without Borders mobility programme, launched in 2011, was evidence of that focus, and this initiative led to significant growth in Brazilian student enrolment in destinations such as the US and the UK. Recent media reports indicating that this high-profile programme is facing budget cuts further entrenches the importance of understanding the factors that come into play when examining the mobility trends of international STEM students that go beyond scholarships and government funding.

How do international STEM students regard the top study host destinations? Our research report, International STEM students: Focusing on skills for the future, examines the mobility and decision-making factors of international STEM students in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia in order to see how students view choice of course and host destination as well as the perceived unique value propositions of the four major destination markets for these fields. How keenly do STEM students consider career prospects? How big a role does environment play when making this choice?

Further down in our newsletter, Research Director Zainab Malik gives us a sneak preview into this research, which will be released in mid-October. We believe this report will provide the insight you might need when considering this next generation of scientists and innovators.
Best regards,

Anna Esaki-Smith
share on Twitter  Forward this email    
quick links


In October, we will be releasing a special report examining the decision-making factors affecting STEM international students' choice of course and destination country. In a sneak preview of this important new report, Zainab Malik, Director of Research at Education Intelligence, shares some insights into what we can expect.

Q: Why are we interested in conducting research on international STEM student decision-making?

A: International students are critical to STEM programmes in the UK, as well as the US, Canada and Australia. This group of students contributes not only to the advancement of research and innovation in a host destination, but also to the diversity and continuation of programmes, especially at the postgraduate level. Read more ...

Saudi Arabia was in the spotlight for the last newsletter - this time we take a look at a country made up of more than 17,000 islands, of which about 6,000 are inhabited, scattered over either side of the equator.

News alertsnewsalert 

Here are our top picks from the news on international higher education.

The English-medium foundation programme market is worth an estimated US$825 million per year according to a report from StudyPortals and Cambridge English. 

Education agents can now apply for visas on behalf of students hoping to study in New Zealand through the government's online immigration portal, Immigration ONLINE.

US News & World Report examines ten business schools where 63 per cent of MBA seekers hail from abroad. This compares with an average 33 per cent among all 126 ranked schools reporting this data.

How to attract students to economics

Labour market outcomes vary dramatically by college major and wage differences between some majors are as big as the wage gap between college and high school graduates. Such economic considerations invariably influence students' course choices but how does exposure to a subject affect that decision?
Revelations & Realities: New Research rnr

Student Insight reports examine what factors prospective students weigh when considering study abroad options and the information sources used throughout the decision-making process. This research is based on our global Student Insight survey, which has collected responses from 190,000 students in more than 100 countries. Now, new editions of Bangladesh and Philippines have been added to the series.

This report provides an overview into the factors shaping Germany's education system and outlines current trends in student decision-making when it comes to their studies at home and abroad. By highlighting the barriers and incentives students and parents face when considering their study options, this report provides a useful foundation for organisations interested in student recruitment. 

Country Briefs present a wide overview of social and economic factors in order to better understand the context of a given country's education system. Content includes macro-economic and socio-economic indicators, educational expenditure, analyses of local education systems and education demands. New and enhanced sections on the local media scene and transnational education also feature.

Reports covering Bahrain, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Nepal, Oman, Qatar, Spain, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Turkey and U.A.E. have just been added to the series.
Chi-Kit Ronald Chung
Chi-Kit Ronald Chung is the Deputy Executive Director with the Vocational Training Council (VTC) of Hong Kong and an Adjunct Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Prior to joining the VTC, he was with CUHK as Professor and Department Chairman of Mechanical and Automation Engineering. Dr. Chung, who completed his undergraduate training at the University of Hong Kong and obtained his PhD from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, shares with us his love of ping pong and Victorian classics.

What is your favourite conference and why?
These days I am more interested in attending conferences related to policy issues in higher education, internationalisation and e-learning development of vocational education. I attended the biennial event "Worldskills Competition" in Leipzig, Germany in 2013, and had the opportunity to be one of the speakers in a forum session related to "Tackling the global talent gap." I was impressed by the "globality" of the themes at the event and the diversity of the people who attended it.
What is your current country of interest and why?
The VTC of Hong Kong has a number of objectives related to enriching learning and teaching by featuring international elements, including: broadening the exposure of the students, enhancing students' language and interpersonal skills, and benchmarking the practice of the various taught skills with international standards. For this reason, I want to make a difference in vocational education by developing partnerships with institutions in ALL countries, especially those interested in nurturing young people to help them acquire employable skills.
What is your greatest challenge?
One of my greatest challenges is enabling young people to experience international elements in their education, enhance their exposure to international standards and practices, make international friends and make international friends, without costing the young or the VTC a fortune.
What keeps you up at night?
An occasional re-read of classics from the Victorian days could take me away from work and reboot my interest in the intricacy of the human soul.  
What's your guilty pleasure?
A few smashes of ping pong help free me from the desk and chair, but I am afraid that I do not play table tennis nor exercise as much as I should at my age.
...that managers participating in a survey conducted by the Bulgarian Industrial Association reported that about 20 per cent of their employees lacked required knowledge, skills and competencies, and that most of the highly skilled workers holding key jobs were at pre-retirement age?

Find out more from our report, Further education and Skills: Bulgaria.