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All The SMIE News Fit To Share

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!

An archive of these e-news briefs is kept on the SMIE Consulting site.

Top SMIE News for the Week of January 13
International Education News
  • While not a surprise given the recent events in Iran and Iraq, interesting that only Yerevan out of the three U.S. embassies (plus Dubai and Ankara), is suspending all visa appointments for Iranian applicants.
  • Is new life being breathed into the Saudi scholarship program? Apparently so, and not only for traditional STEM and business majors. This new initiative is being led by the Ministry of Culture targeting arts, theater, film, archaeology, and others.
  • Pathway programs are nothing new, but this local article focuses the impact of two of the major providers (INTO and Shorelight) making inroads in Alabama at UAB and Auburn respectively. 
  • Another provider, Kings Education, is being seen positively by the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh campus which has grown from 22 to 100 internationals in the past two years.
  • When looking at the evidence piling up against the students caught up in ICE's U. of Farmington pay-to-stay sting, it's hard not to feel sorry for them, but what a terrible waste of DHS resources.
  • For an interesting and useful perspective on what skill sets make up the ideal international student recruitment team, check out this Intead assessment on what superpowers we need in our profession to succeed.
  • My goodness, this is a horrifying thing to contemplate in our work. Though the numbers are extremely small (in terms of 34 confirmed cases in the US between 2015-17), to think that student visas are being used worldwide to enable human traffickers is worrying.
  • We know the gaokao is the incredibly rigorous university entrance exam Chinese students take in their final month of secondary school, but is the government favoring the big urban area as they award places? Looks like.
  • This Inside Higher Ed coverage looks at the quotas assigned by province for places at top institutions and how there is real unrest with families whose children scored higher on the gaokao than compatriots in Beijing, Shanghai and Tianjin, but didn't get places.
  • This PIE News piece takes a look at AIRC's move to conduct training for university international admissions staff. The first cohort of 13 individuals graduated recently with 20 enrolled for 2020.
  • Are there markets that still view the U.S. favorably? Yes, according to an Intead/FFP-EduMedia survey of over 12,000 students including Mexico, Brazil, Nigeria, and other emerging markets..
  • Three more universities go test-optional (for SAT/ACT) - Oregon Tech, SIU-Carbondale, and Spalding. SIU-C and Oregon Tech's international admissions offices were already test-optional for overseas freshmen applicants. Spalding doesn't seem to have a separate int'l admissions policy.
  • Understanding the value of post-study work to prospective international students, Japan has moved to make this a priority. Between 2006 and 2018, the number of overseas students qualifying for work visas tripled. 
  • Paying tuition is never fun and for international students in Australia transaction fees are getting out of control. Nearly half of recently surveyed students said new payment options are needed from educational providers. Fees can run 3-6% of total transferred. 
Social Media News
  • We've all heard of MOOCs, but one of the leading platforms for these courses, EdX, is now offering micro-bachelor's degrees, which will soon lead to fully online degrees offered by multiple unis through EdX.
  • What are some of the trends that are shaping marketing in 2020? The excellent team at WeAreSocial collected some excellent content from leaders in the field.
  • If you've read my posts on social media before you've heard of the relationship between social and SEO, but do you know about social media optimization? Good suggestions on what you're focus should be from the Social Media Explorer team.
  • Are you up to speed on the latest trends with YouTube? No, well take a gander at these top tips like curiosity marketing and seeding.
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