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!

Week of September 19, 2022

Social Media News

  • Are the Philippines on your international student recruitment radar? If so, check out this Webcertain guide to the digital habits of Filipinos on social, SEO, and how they consume their media.

  • Who doesn’t want good organic content on social media? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question. On TikTok, it’s content that picks up on recent trends, viral audio, jokes, has a series of related videos for repeat visits, and engages core members.

  • On the other hand, TikTok does face increasing bipartisan pressure from Congress to commit to not sharing US user data with sources in China that might have ulterior and/or nefarious motives.

  • If you don’t want your Facebook and Instagram ads to get rejected by Meta, there are 17 topics you want to avoid, according to this Social Media Explorer piece.

  • Let’s face it, if you’ve been utilizing YouTube videos for a while you have a good supply of student content you could likely re-purpose for Shorts (or other short-form video channels). This article explains the easy way to make that happen.

  • Reels are all the rage for fans of Facebook and Instagram. I mean the exposure you get from your first set of Reels on Insta is mind-blowing compared to normal photo content. Maybe even use this as a testing ground for ad content.

International Education News

Big Picture Issues

  • Happy to see this historical Council of Graduate Schools report on the continued increase through fall ‘21 of international graduate applicants (4 years running). Many who couldn’t enter last fall, and a new cohort will make for a large increase this fall.

  • Some eye-popping stats from this CGS report: new international grad student starts in Fall ‘21 were up 92% over ‘20, with Indian students up 430%, Chinese up 35%. Importantly, India overtook China in the last academic year for intl grads.

  • Why the big increase in Indian students enrolling in the US? A rousing well-done to the US consulates in India issuing a record 82,000 student visas through expanded interview slots, a more streamlined process, and interview waivers in certain cases.

  • Interesting to see this comparison of how the US is “edging” Canada for the hearts of Indian students seeking study abroad. The 41% study permit denial rate for those applying to Canada from India is very surprising.

  • Happy to see other countries’ news outlets sharing the news of the great American rebound (we’ll see how long this lasts) in international student interest in U.S. study.

  • While I love this quote as it perfectly describes my perspective on rankings: Is there an educational policy maker who sincerely believes that the quality of a college can be ranked by a single number?” the reality is for many parents overseas it what drives decisions.

Solutions Central

  • Congrats to my friend, Samba Dieng at LSU, for leading this upcoming SEC university delegation “student mobility initiative” to Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghana and Senegal). Hopefully the start of many such initiatives by US universities.

  • If you’re wondering why having internship opportunities available for international students matters, check out this post from the team at Intead. Empowering, enlightening, and future-oriented.

  • While we’d like to see rankings abolished, the realities are to some they still matter. This step by US News “not to punish” colleges that went test-optional or test-blind, is in the right direction, but not as strong as it could/should be.

  • This article that focuses on UK unis reactions to student success coming out of the pandemic touches on the need for 3 critical elements: engagement, personalization, and the human touch. Together these three are quite powerful.

  • Curious to read this piece in the University World News on how different international education associations globally are finding their way forward in remarkably different ways post-pandemic.

Global Roundup

  • Australia - I am absolutely gobsmacked at this concept of a state in Australia adding extra payments on top of institutional commissions to agents that have students enroll in the state’s universities. Unbelievable. That’s outside the box.

    Australia - Following on last’s week announcement that post-study work permissions being extended 2 years in certain fields, Australia also has expanded its annual permanent migration cap to 195K.

  • Canada - If you want a great example of a country making underrepresented students a priority for outbound study abroad experiences, look no further that Canada’s Global Skills Opportunity program. 70% from key groups (indigenous, physical disabilities, and low-income.

  • Canada - Well this story is terrifying from north of the border. International students are being conned or forced into being “money mules” for criminal enterprises in China and Hong Kong among other countries.

  • Canada - What has been largely driving the growth of international students in the Great White North? Make no mistake it’s the post-grad certificates and diplomas gobbled up by Indian students eager to stay in Canada for work: Up from 27K to 220K in ten years.

  • China - Make no mistake, China’s handling of the pandemic, even to this day, shows heavy-handed tactics, no nuance whatsoever, and a complete inflexibility that continues to be a depressing factor for students trying to get out or back in.

  • New Zealand - Interesting new partnership between New Zealand and Vietnamese universities for TESOL students. First year in Vietnam, 2nd in NZ, final year/teaching practicum back home leading to a dual degree.

  • New Zealand - An thoughtful perspective from a Kiwi writer about whether the country is ready for a very different dynamic post-pandemic with migrant trends and the current mood of the country regarding international education.

  • United Kingdom - Step one is acknowledging there is a problem. For UK unis, they realize how heavily dependent they have become on international student fees, but what can the government do to provide a more sustainable funding model?

SMIE Consulting Midweek Roundup

If you’d like a more in-depth analysis of the main news stories each week, check out our Midweek Roundup international education live chat on Wednesday at 1pm ET on the SMIE Consulting Facebook page, YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and LinkedIn. A podcast version is available as well on all major podcast provider platforms.

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