New analysis of the economic impact of international students in the UK showed that the net impact of just one cohort of international students, 2018-19, was worth nearly £26 billion to the UK economy. This was up 19 per cent since similar analysis was last conducted, in relation to the 2015-16 cohort.
What do we mean by innovation? In one of many definitions “innovation is the multi-stage process whereby organisations transform ideas into new or improved products, services or processes, in order to advance, compete and differentiate themselves successfully in their marketplace”.
Leaving home and moving to a new country on your own is a big step for anyone. Studying abroad is something students often plan and look forward to for years; nevertheless, many are surprised when they experience culture shock for the first time. The differences in how people speak, eat, work and socialise can be overwhelming, and it is reassuring to know this experience is completely normal and temporary.
In an increasingly digital and connected world, the concept of internationalisation at home, by which students can learn and engage with global perspectives regardless of their location, is becoming more important. Even when students opt for local careers, their work will be impacted by increasing diversity in their own communities, by global developments and by events in other geographic areas. Introducing international and intercultural dimensions into university courses are therefore key elements that support students in their preparation for this future.
Globalisation and technological developments are changing the private and working lives of students and educators. It is now essential to be able to use technology to collaborate in culturally diverse international teams. Collaborative designs such as online co-teaching or peer learning can support this development. But how can we foster virtual collaboration within and across higher education institutions?
The internationalisation of teaching and learning has seemed, in recent months, to be almost synonymous with digital cross-border scenarios. Formats such as virtual mobility and virtual exchange have been widely adopted. No doubt, these can be highly engaging and inspiring formats. But they present just one way of internationalising the curriculum and providing all students with an international experience on their home campus.
It’s not enough to simply find four walls, put up a shiny new university sign and expect international students to find their way to your pop-up learning centre or campus abroad. Investments of time, capital and, most importantly, care and consideration must be made at each step along the way to develop a successful overseas campus.
With university graduates entering increasingly globalised workplaces, the need to foster their intercultural and global citizenship skills is ever more pressing. To help meet this need, the University of Edinburgh developed the Network for Intercultural Competence to facilitate Entrepreneurship (Nice) in collaboration with seven other European universities.
Long before the pandemic highlighted the vulnerabilities within higher education, foresighted university leaders had started to see value in improving the psychological well-being of foreign students. Struggling with unique stressors such as language barriers, perceived discrimination, acculturation stress and untreated mental health issues, international students have always been vulnerable.
Many UK universities have developed transnational education outposts in Asia leading to concerns about whether Western pedagogical approaches can be equally effective for students with an Asian educational background.
I am a lecturer on one such biomedical sciences programme in China. The programme is taught in English and, to date, the majority of students have been Chinese nationals. To encourage and develop the students’ ability to discuss science in English we place a strong emphasis on tutorials, with first-year students having up to five tutorials each week.