In our day-to-day professional work in international education, we all struggle to manage information flow, identify opportunities, synthesize possible solutions, and act appropriately to better ourselves, our audiences, and our world.

To help in this often overwhelming task, Social Media & International Education (SMIE) Consulting offers this free weekly e-news brief to share our perspectives and to provide some wisdom along the way. Happy reading!

January 11, 2021

Social Media News

  • How will global marketing change in 2021? Here’s an excellent overview of what to expect from the excellent team at We Are Social. (Part 1). One thing’s for sure, TikTok will become a media player.

  • If you’re wondering what needs to be in an effective short form video, check out these useful suggestions from Social Media Examiner on how to script for success.

  • What do people trust on social? In this report it’s clear people are looking for “influencers they trust to demystify complex issues.” So, for intl admissions folks, that means identifying a current student influential on social to explain things.

  • Check out the 5 elements of a successful video designed to boost your YouTube reach and increase the number of views you receive.

International Education News

Big Picture Issues

  • I’m sure there are quite a few words from the past year we wouldn’t mind if we never heard again. Check out the Banished Words List for 2021, produced by Lake Superior State University. What word tops your list?

  • If you’re looking for a decent summary of Covid-19’s impact on global student mobility within the last year, check out this PIE News piece on the upset caused to our field.

  • Good news for international students looking to renew their student visas. Interview requirements being waived for those whose visas expired within the last 2 years according to the State Department (until March 31, 2021).

  • It will be interesting to see if the Biden Administration dials back the pressure on Chinese student, scholar, and other economic interests in the U.S.

  • Educational agents, much like higher ed, have learned to adapt in this forced online world. 60% of agents surveyed revealed experiencing success in utilizing online tools to recruit students for overseas study.

  • Yet again, the Trump administration gets knocked back (for a 3rd time) on its plan to impose significant wage hikes on companies looking to hire prospective H-1B candidates.

  • Vietnam has been a growing source of intl students to the US for the last decade (in the top 5 now). But much like every other country, currently enrolled numbers were down in 2020. The future, however, does look brighter.

Solutions Central

  • While this article mostly rails against what the Trump administration has done to immigration in the US the last 4 years, the thought of “future-proofing” our system against such drastic devolution makes sense.

  • The PIE Review is a great resource if you’re looking for some more in-depth reviews of key trends: the shift to learning online, US political and policy upheaval, the recruitment revolution, and how TNE takes off.

  • Marguerite Dennis has long been an accurate prognosticator of intl higher ed trends. Her latest twenty predictions are worth a read in her latest piece for University World News.

  • The UK is facing a significant issue for fall 2021 admissions with the recent cancellation of A-level exams. How will universities manage to accurately admit students with only predicted grades? Interesting.

  • Looking at the future of H-1B and international students under a Biden administration, Stuart Anderson presents some practical ways the new president can restore U.S. open doors for qualified overseas audiences.

  • BridgeU has release a new Mapping International Student Interest report that shows that even during the pandemic certain cities saw increased interest in the U.S. Check out the PIE News piece for more.

On-Campus Happenings

  • How are US colleges re-opening (or not) in person this spring term? Good coverage from The Chronicle, including Stanford staying online (due to a spike in cases last week) and U of Pitt (asking students to delay return until end of January).

  • Nonetheless, several other US colleges are continuing ahead with plans to return more students to campus for studies this spring, including Georgetown, Smith, Florida, and Princeton.

  • Even the top receiving US institution for intl students (NYU) sees drops. In the MS in financial engineering program there was a 41% drop in enrolled students in fall 2020 new intl students (from 154 to 90), but 120 deferred until fall ‘21.

  • I have a lot of time for new scholarship programs like this at UT-Knoxville that lay the foundations for an exceptional core of intl student ambassadors to aid the university’s overseas recruitment efforts. Peer recruitment matters.

  • Encouraging to see universities getting in early on the vaccination of staff involved in health care (Phase 1). At Northeastern, there are plans in later phases to include members of the institution’s international community. Kudos!

  • At UC-San Diego, a significant drop in intl students this fall (who pay double the in-state tuition) will hurt, but the financial leaders there see what happened this fall as only a blip in the university’s upward trajectory.

  • While many colleges would like to vaccinate everyone, can they make in mandatory for students? Interesting debates to come. What’s the take on your campus?

  • Some prominent colleges are delaying the start of the spring term, but many community colleges are deciding not to do so. Why is that? Worthwhile take from one community college perspective.

Global Roundup

  • For those with a NAFSA membership involved in intl student recruitment, if you’re using or contemplating using agents, check out this lessons from the UK and Australia piece.

  • No clear answers for international students looking to either begin or return to studies in China. Not good PR for a country that’s done so much over the past decade to attract overseas audiences.

  • This student-facing piece about China’s policies regarding intl students paints a slightly more optimistic picture for fall 2021 students hoping to start studies then, but will the damage already be done?

  • India’s 20 “Institutions of Eminence” now have permission to set up overseas centers to educate international and Indians overseas students. Will this be a successful entry into TNE for India’s best universities?

  • Following on from government guidance, University College London delays the return of students until late February to avoid worsening the recent spread of a new more contagious strain of Covid-19 in the UK.

  • Another smart move by the UK government: intl students who are currently studying remotely will still be eligible for the 2 year post-study work visa as long as they don’t complete their degrees in 2021.

  • For intl students needing a UKVI visa (i.e. non-EU students primarily) for study now have other SELT English language proficiency test options through more Pearson PTE Academic test centers.

  • Educators in the UK and the EU see Britain’s exit from the Erasmus+ program as a loss on both sides. While the UK has proposed Horizon Europe as an alternative, many are skeptical.

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