The Education Intelligence team has just returned from the Australian International Education Conference (AIEC) that was held in Melbourne, a forum that we find consistently generates high-level discussion that resonates globally.
Broadly, there was interest amongst attendees in gathering evidence to make more data-based decisions and on increased employability of university graduates who have pursued overseas study. Our research dovetailed well thematically, with EI Research Director Zainab Malik presenting on the findings from our survey-based report Broadening Horizons: Maximising the impact of study abroad, our yearly examination of how UK students perceive the drivers and barriers to overseas study. If universities help students 'unpack' their study abroad experiences upon their return to campus, the students in turn are better equipped to articulate the skills they've gained to prospective employers.
On the institutional side, there was a larger discussion about how to stay relevant in today's 'disruption'-driven economy. Sure, we know that a growing global middle class and widening access are both contributing to current education trends. But at AIEC there was a focus on the importance of messaging and evoking emotion when influencing potential international students. During an era of user-generated content and social media saturation, it seems more important than ever to incorporate both data as well as anecdote when creating sustainable strategies.