Newsletter issue: July 2016

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

This month we launch Subject Spotlight, a new research report series that focuses on international student demand for key subjects of interest. Through the lens of a subject area, each report will explore historic student mobility trends to the UK and to competitor countries, as well as global demand and initiatives for the course. Additionally, government policy that might potentially influence course popularity will be highlighted in key origin countries, alongside partnership opportunities.
In our inaugural report, we look at engineering, a subject whose prominence mirrors the rise of technology and innovation as key drivers in today's globally integrated economy. In addition, as students increasingly value boosting employability prospects as a reason to pursue study abroad, it's not surprising that some view this course of study as an advantage when trying to secure a job.
Looking ahead, our fourth annual Broadening Horizons report will be published in early August. This year, we focus on how UK students, with the help of the universities they attend, can maximise their time spent abroad by strategically 'unpacking' the experience upon their return. We feel the insights we have reaped, especially from focus groups conducted in the UK, can truly inform on-the-ground strategies for both home and international students. 

Best regards,

Anna Esaki-Smith
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Revelations & realities: new research 
Subject Spotlight: Engineering

Our new research report series, Subject Spotlight, focuses on international student demand for key subjects of interest. In our inaugural report, we examine engineering and associated disciplines, which are among the most sought-after degrees globally. As the pace of industrial and infrastructure development has intensified in countries beyond the traditional advanced economies, demand for engineering in those markets has grown. Take a look at this new report for insights on trends regarding key origin and host destinations, UK institution engagement and government policies.

Country Briefs

For our stakeholders working across diverse roles with a range of responsibilities within the international education sector, these reports are refreshed annually to ensure they are up-to-date and reliable. In addition to providing a window into a country's education system, a Country Brief also presents a wider view of society and examines factors influencing international education. There will be a total of 42 reports in 2016, with Spain and Qatar now available.

News alerts
Here are our top picks from the news on international higher education
The best advice given to university graduates
New university graduates may be adept at developing their academic strategies, but how will they approach their lives, post-graduation? The World Economic Forum has compiled the most memorable advice given to new graduates from world leaders such as Sir Winston Churchill and US President Barack Obama.

China clinches top five positions in QS University Rankings: BRICS 2016

In the latest rankings of universities from Brazil, China, India, Russia and South Africa (BRICS), QS rated contenders on eight indicators, including reputation and proportion of global faculty. This year, China has secured five top positions

demand for higher education cools due to ageing population

Despite recent economic growth and a burgeoning middle class, demand for higher education in Thailand appears to be slowing. The higher education system expanded significantly through the 1990s, but with the number of college-aged Thais expected to shrink 20 per cent this decade, there are now indicators that the country's ageing population is capping demand.

Spending on prisons increasing at a faster rate that on public education in US

State and local spending on prisons and jails is increasing at a faster rate than on public education over the past three decades, according to a U.S. Department of Education report. The report focuses on a significant increase in spending on prisons and jails nationally, and the relative disparity in increases to education-related spending, with 46 out of 50 states decreasing their higher education expenditures during the period examined.
Spotlight - the latest news and views 
Ten fast facts about Taiwan
A developed, high-income market, Taiwan has invested strategically in its economy and public services and has succeeded in nearly eradicating poverty and creating one of the world's most equitable societies. Read more about a place where 80 per cent of the population are active Internet users, compared with the Asia-Pacific average of 36 per cent.
Dr. Rahul Choudaha
Dr. Rahul Choudaha is the co-founder and CEO of DrEducation, a U.S.-based global higher education consulting firm, and, a social venture focused on international student success. He is a contributor to Forbes, Huffington Post and University World News and a frequent presenter at conferences. He received the Tony Adams Award for Excellence from the European Association of International Education in recognition of his research on international student segments. Dr. Choudaha holds a doctorate from the University of Denver. 
What do you like best about your job?
Originally from India, I followed a very conventional career path of working in the information technology sector after receiving my engineering and management degrees. However, this path ended when I followed my passion for higher education. I came to the U.S. to earn a doctorate in higher education and work in the sector. What I like best about my job is that I am staying true to my passion and feeding my curiosity. As an entrepreneur I learn something every day and get to work on diverse projects. These are challenging and stimulating times for higher education, and I am glad that I play a small part in shaping its future direction. 
What is your current country of interest and why?
While I am not focusing on one particular country, I am taking a deeper dive into regional differences within key source and destination countries. For example, when we talk about China or India we often miss the significant regional variances and its implications for institutional strategies and student experiences. Also, with the increasing sophistication of technology, many higher education institutions have a prime opportunity of scaling their internationalisation strategies, if they can manage several challenges related to quality, recognition, and reputation. 
What is your greatest challenge?
The biggest challenge I face is striking a balance among various competing priorities. One such challenge is keeping up with information, making sense of it and sharing it in a meaningful manner. Likewise, as the network of professional relationships expand, another competing priority is how to control my time and make sure that I am responsive and relevant to my connections.
What keeps you up at night?
The current geopolitical narratives and corresponding responses suggest that countries are becoming more insular and inward-looking. It is antithesis to our work, which recognises differences and promotes outward-looking, global citizens. Another disturbing issue is that some institutions are boiling down internationalisation to a unidimensional motivation of meeting budgetary shortfalls through international student recruitment without providing commensurate services to support the student success. Overall, a combination of these two factors do not bode well for the health of the international higher education sector.  
What's your guilty pleasure?
In my down time, I am more of a watcher than a reader or a doer. I enjoy satires - political, news or otherwise. I am an unconditional fan of John Oliver's Last Week Tonight, and look forward to his weekly rants which are hard-hitting and hilarious. I have watched The Office (both US and UK versions) twice and still like to watch my favourite clips on YouTube. 

...that most Ghanaian university students study humanities, including education, while 39.1 per cent study science and technical programmes according to the Ministry of Education? The market for programmes such as business has also expanded rapidly, particularly in the private sector.

Find out more from our report, Country Brief - Ghana 2016

Education Intelligence, Education and Society, British Council, London, SW1A 2BN United Kingdom
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