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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!

December 7, 2020

Social Media News

  • For those wondering how an international student peer strategy can be an essential element of a successful recruitment plan, check out this PIE News webinar this Wednesday.

  • Ads in social media are ever-present these days. If you’re using YouTube Ads, this article shares some important must-know tips as you fine tune your approach to ads.

  • When it comes to social media trends, I put a lot of stock in what the WeAreSocial team has to say. Apparently, the simple life is what people are craving on social and IRL. What are you doing to simplify your admission process?

  • Social media is changing everyday. What do we have to look forward to in 2021 when it comes to what’s next? For some interesting takes on upcoming trends across Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn, check out this piece from Social Media Examiner.

International Education News

Big Picture Issues

  • On point take on what the Biden administration can and should do in the first few weeks to do re-energize pro-intl education efforts in the U.S. according to Ted Mitchell, president of ACE.

  • Very pleased to see this take from Josh Rubin of Study Group, on what a friendlier US administration means for internationally mobile students in a global context. We absolutely need to be aware of what competitor countries are doing.

  • The first of two excellent judicial rulings for our profession came out last week, with a judge ruling the lawsuit brought declaring OPT unconstitutional has no merit.

  • Recent proposed changes by the Trump administration to H1B regulations that would have eliminated the lottery, narrowed eligibility, and raised salary minimum requirements have been thrown out. 

  • The economic impact of international students in the U.S. is significant. No doubt. This analysis from the Chronicle looks at how the recent declines in intl numbers is negatively affecting especially college towns.

  • Prospective students in the U.S. are seriously reconsidering their college plans as a result of the pandemic. Over 33% are unsure whether to even start. What does that mean? Colleges must show value and outcomes now more than ever.

  • What does it take to save residential MBA programs? Apparently, a global pandemic. The significant increase in applicants poses problems for some schools that have already offered intl students deferred places for next fall.

  • What does the drop in intl students mean for the US in global terms? Our country’s soft power is taking a hit. That being said, other countries are also experiencing similar issues as a result of dramatic drops in intl students.

  • Very encouraging to see the Texas Intl Ed Consortium (parent of Study Texas) partnering with the American University of Iraq, Sulaimaini to build that institution’s educational programs.

Solutions Central

  • During IEW, I presented to Millersville U. of PA on my take on what needs to happen in the next four years - Fighting the Good Fight. Here’s the full webinar. I start around the 9:25 mark.

  • In my latest article for IDP Connect, I process the data overload from IEW and provide a much needed perspective shift amidst the doom and gloom toward a brighter future for institutions that can adjust appropriately. 

  • Budgets are always a struggle. Is 2021 the opportunity for intl admissions to get a fairer share of the marketing budget pie? Good article from The PIE News examining how it can be done.

  • Without question, US colleges are experiencing a financial crunch this year with budgets getting slashed with potentially permanent results. For those surviving this period, how can institutions make wise investments in intl ed moving forward? 

  • What are the opportunities for intl student recruitment after the pandemic has passed? Institutions that see some form of hybrid education with partners overseas and recruitment initiatives that combine in-person and strong digital will thrive.

  • For a bigger picture foreign policy perspective, this Foreign Affairs article by a former Obama administration UN ambassador sheds light on what a Biden approach might be, including a reinforcing of the value of intl education.

  • What does NAFSA have to say when it comes to recommendations for the Biden-Harris administration when it comes to priorities for our field? Here’s the summary for both inbound and outbound student mobility.

On-Campus Happenings

  • As the fall term winds down, what’s happening on campus? This regularly updated Chronicle piece shares that Harvard plans to bring back some students to campus, while UNC profs are urging the large state uni to stay virtual in the spring.

  • The full economic impact of the pandemic on higher education hasn’t yet been felt, but the storm clouds are gathering fast, with community colleges seen as the most at risk, according to this Chronicle article.

  • For the spring term, big questions remain on how colleges will reopen. This Inside Higher Ed opinion piece suggests 4 principles be applied: a Covid-19 code of conduct addition, enforced consequences, cut through bureaucracy, and allow tech to help.

Global Roundup

  • A pilot project to allow intl students back in to Australia has begun in the Northern Territories. A welcome relief to institutions there, but a drop in the bucket (63 students from 5 East Asian countries) for the country. Good luck!

  • Given the reluctance of the Australian government to fling the doors wide open any time soon, universities there are looking to short-term offshore, online, and blended learning options for intl students.

  • In Malaysia, private universities and branch campuses are at risk of closure or, at best, severe constriction as a result of the pandemic. Apparently, up to 100 could close in the next year.

  • For students wanting to study in New Zealand, where borders are remaining closed for intl students, a pathway option available through NCUK (a UK pathway provider) and Education New Zealand offers a viable option to start from their home countries.

  • This New Zealand Herald piece on this new Education NZ - NCUK pathway agreement also shares that, according to the Education Minister Chris Hipkins, intl students won’t be able to return in large numbers for 12-18 months more!

  • For UK unis looking at the spring term, they have been told by the government to stagger the return of students over a 5 week period with various safety protocols required, and online instruction only through Feb. 8.

  • Not all is rosy for intl students on UK campuses. This article shares some distressing stories of Tier 4 visa students who are in some very unfortunate situations financially due to the pandemic.

  • And then there’s this article sharing IDP Connect and UUK survey data that 81% of UK intl students were “happy” with their experiences at their UK universities.

  • When agents were asked in September in a Navitas survey which country was winning the race for intl students, with 71% indicating the UK was most “open and welcoming.” 

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