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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 20
International Education News
  • The official data from HESA in the UK for current international students enrolled shows a decent 9+% growth. While China still dominates (25% of total), India showed the biggest jump (42%) in new starts.
  • The headline from this Guardian article on the UK international numbers focuses on the third of non-EU students that are coming from China to British unis.
  • While not a death blow to UK-EU Erasmus+ participation, this vote cannot be seen as a positive sign for future intent by the current UK government to engage academically with Europe.
  • In Israel, the government moves to improve English proficiency standards and instruction options to attract more international students.
  • If you're looking for reasons why New Zealand and Australia have increased in popularity over recent years, check out this ICEF report pulling data from the Agent Barometer report from late last year.
  • In Australia, this article about attempts to deal with the bad actors in the agent industry that have hurt some institutions badly in the last couple of years makes me wonder, do we have a higher ed watchdog group in the US?
  • Staying Down Under, glad to see Murdoch University came to their senses and decided not to continue their lawsuit against the whistleblower professor who called them out on their unethical recruitment behavior.
  • Well, at least the U.S. isn't the only country with a visa process that can be "discouraging and demotivating." Germany, interestingly, is suffer from some negative press in this area. Growing pains, my guess.
  • Interesting NSF report shows that the US is likely being overtaken in 2019 by China in terms of total research spending. Data also confirms the important of foreign-born workers in science and engineering industries in the U.S. accounting for nearly 30% of that workforce.
  • Great quote on STEM education: "if the Trump administration’s goal is to improve American STEM education, it’ll need to recognize the critical importance of foreign students." Well said.
  • Along those same lines, excellent op-ed from a former international student whose US visa and OPT experience changed his life, and the lives of hundreds of Americans he has been able to hire since. #SaveOPT
  • One way the cause of OPT is not well-served is by students who do what this Bay-area news investigation revealed. Serial overstays for students on OPT using shell companies and fraudulent employment documents. While clearly a small minority do, this doesn't help, particularly in this environment.
  • Good piece from Karin Fischer at the Chronicle on who the new international student U.S. schools are chasing actual is: budget-conscious, career-focused, and perhaps already in the country.
  • While this story is sad to hear,it desperately needs to be told. There is a clear disconnect between State Department and DHS when it comes to Iranian students.
  • As a strong proponent (and graduate) of a liberal arts education, I'm encouraged that, in the long run, it pays off. Good study from Georgetown.
Social Media News
  • When it comes to institutional websites, even after a complete overhaul, your work is never really done. There will always be fine tuning, messaging updates, tagging reviews, 508 compliance, and more. 
  • While this headline is a bit clickbait-ish, of course social media isn't going away anytime soon, but one thing is certain: how to use social media effectively is changing.
  • In case you haven't noticed, TikTok, a Chinese social media platform, completely video driven, has been growing at an astronomical rate - the 2nd most downloaded app globally after WhatsApp. 
  • In college admissions, the question of whether we use social media in evaluating applicants is not a new one. While the majority still do not, a recent Kaplan Test Prep poll shows that 36% will review a student's social media presence as part of the evaluation.
  • Though LinkedIn is a platform usually reserved for graduate student recruitment, there is much value out there in knowing how to engage better with your potential audiences.
  • If your institution is very active on social media with excellent social shares on the major platforms, does that help your SEO? Well no straight answer from Google, but Bing, which holds a 24% market share for search engines in the US, does value social shares.
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