Newsletter issue: October 2015

Anna Esaki-Smith
Editorial Director
Education Intelligence British Council
Dear colleagues:
Adelaide, known as the "city of churches," was host for the annual Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) that took place earlier this month and Education Intelligence was there armed with plenty to share. On the eve of the conference, we gave an exclusive preview of research to be launched in December examining the landscape of international higher education over the next ten years, and were pleased to convene with our esteemed Australian colleagues in doing so, ahead of a busy week.
Later during the conference, Research Director Zainab Malik presented on International STEM students: Focusing on skills for the future, a report that will be launched on 2 November that explores the mobility and decision-making factors of international STEM students in the UK, the US, Canada and Australia. One of the more striking findings was that UK international undergraduate STEM students chose the UK overwhelmingly because of its reputation for high-quality education. In addition, this group of students seemed to be particularly mindful of career prospects as well as acquiring transferable skills. Considering today's competitive integrated economy, and the need for a workforce with technological and scientific knowledge, perhaps that kind of outcome is inevitable. 
Best regards,

Anna Esaki-Smith
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Economic progress is enhanced by innovation and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills have contributed to vast advances in productivity. International students are critical to STEM programmes in the UK, as well as the US, Canada and Australia, and in a special new report, Education Intelligence examines the factors affecting international students' decision making in their pursuit of STEM-related education, course selection and the perceptions associated with specific study destinations.
This report will be available for purchase at our website on 2 November.

The archipelago of Indonesia was in the spotlight for the last newsletter - this time we take a look at Bulgaria, which has the smallest economy in the EU with a GDP of US$54.5 billion in 2014.

News alertsnewsalert 

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

With graduate joblessness rising and state funding dwindling, universities of technology are confronted by dual challenges - delivering entrepreneurship education and work-integrated learning to students, and they themselves becoming more entrepreneurial. 

Although the top ten positions in the latest Times Higher Education rankings are dominated by familiar institutions in the UK and US, changes to the data source for some of the metrics has allowed more Arab universities to emerge.

UK students have 'inflated' views of their preparedness for the job market compared with undergraduates elsewhere, a major international study contends.

The international classroom

In an OpEd, higher international education specialist, Hans de Witt addresses some of the topical issues raised in an essay by a US-based academic, titled, "A professor's experience with unprepared Chinese students."

UK government plans to release data about graduate earnings

Data about graduate earning potential for different UK universities and courses could soon be publicly available, as the government works to improve transparency about career potential.
Revelations & Realities: New Research rnr

South Africa aims to increase the work opportunities available to its youth, and provide the necessary skill development support enabling this demographic to take an active role in shaping the country's future. This report explores further education and skills development in South Africa, and considers some of the limitations and opportunities for international training providers, suppliers and educators. 

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.

The last six reports in the 2015 series covering Bulgaria, Italy, Mexico, Myanmar, Philippines and South Africa have just been added to the series.
Emma Robinson
Emma Robinson has been with the British Council since 2011 and is the Account Manager for Higher Education, Boarding Schools and Independent Colleges for the Services for International Education Marketing programme, based in the UK. She works closely with hundreds of universities, schools and colleges, helping them to develop and implement strategies for recruiting international students through British Council offices in over 50 countries. Emma also manages the SIEM Conference, an annual event for UK education marketing professionals.

Prior to working for the British Council, Emma worked in heritage education with some of the UK's leading visitor attractions. A graduate from The University of Edinburgh, Emma has a first-class honours degree in French.
What is your favorite conference and why?
The SIEM Conference, of course! Focusing specifically on international marketing of UK education allows for some really useful conversations, and the scope of the conference has increased in the last few years so that we now cover a wide variety of topics. It's a very dynamic and flexible event - I think it reflects the fact that international education marketing is such a fast-changing, unpredictable and people-centred industry. Plus it's just before Christmas so everyone's usually in a really good mood.
What is your current country of interest and why?
The UK, actually. I think there is so much going on here politically and socially, with some really big question marks over our future - the EU referendum, for example, will be an absolutely pivotal moment in our history and have enormous consequences for our international relations and education. In the education marketing field, I think the UK is facing some pretty new challenges and it will be interesting to see how things develop over the next few years, particularly with regards to how it aims to keep its competitive edge when trying to attract international students. 
What is your greatest challenge?
I think developing sustainable and effective recruitment campaigns which cost next-to-nothing is quite a challenge, particularly for the schools sector, where budgets can be very limited but are still expected to stretch across thirty countries. Some of the more cost-effective channels, such as social media, aren't always that useful when targeting parents of school-age pupils, as they're making such a large investment, emotionally and financially, that they still want face-to-face contact. As a result, schools need to dedicate quite a lot of resources to their marketing campaigns. Personally, my greatest challenge is trying to get my self-employed partner to recognise the benefits of doing his paperwork in a timely fashion!
What keeps you up at night?
Nothing really. I'm not a worrier, and I like sleep a lot so I never have trouble switching off. If anything, then it's probably some of the big world issues, like worrying about how many migrants are currently sleeping on the streets of Europe and what's going to happen to them. 
What's your guilty pleasure?
I have watched the occasional episode of Gogglebox (a TV programme where you watch people watching TV) which I feel very guilty about, but it is actually pretty enjoyable and I think everyone needs a bit of escapism from time to time. Also eating Nutella out of the jar with a spoon. I don't feel as guilty about that one, though.
...that the number of students taking master's degrees in Chile rose from under 7,000 in 2000 to over 29,000 in 2010, and the number of doctoral students quadrupled in the same period to over 4,000?

Find out more from our report, Inside Guide: Chile

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