This discussion will be a unique way to engage each other as we share best practices, reflect on the past year and prepare for the future. Everyone is welcome to share their thoughts as we collaboratively work our way out of this pandemic. Topics open for discussion include:
A recent article on Canada Campus Visits looked at many of the benefits and drawbacks of the study abroad experience. For some, traveling to a new country can be something they have looked forward to for years. Others though might be hesitant to leave their friends and family before going to a part of the world they barely know.
A new survey of 2,700 international students names Canada as the best country for studying abroad for the second consecutive year. While other countries like Australia, the United Kingdom, and the USA are typically thought of as leading places to earn an international education, overseas learners chose Canada once again.
International students in countries around the world are managing as best they can while they pursue their higher education overseas. In the attached video, five overseas students were asked about their university experiences in the age of COVID-19.
“A degree from a Canadian university has worldwide recognition and opens many doors for international students after graduation, whether they choose to stay and work in Canada or pursue opportunities elsewhere in the world.”
Students from India are increasingly travelling overseas in order to pursue Master’s degrees in Artificial Intelligence (AI). The number of applications for prospective Indian students has doubled in the last year alone.
The AI industry currently faces a talent in shortage and specialists are in high demand. Furthermore, 20-30% of students have been said to desire a master’s specialization over a MBA. Students see AI as a field that is not only trending upward in terms of popularity but one that will lead to employability.
A recent survey suggests Canada is increasing in popularity as a study abroad destination among students around the world. Scholarship opportunities and the chance to work in the country upon graduating are among the top reasons students are now considering Canada more than the United States or United Kingdom. If this rise in popularity can be sustained, it is believed that Canada will host more international students than the UK in the years ahead.
Previous reports of significant increases in visa applications and admissions applications to Canadian universities are now being followed by corresponding growth in yield rates for 2017/18 admissions. Growth appears to be particularly notable for students from India.
This report can be read in its entirety via the ICEF Monitor website.
Canadian Association for Graduate Studies President Brenda Brouwer explains that Canada’s standing as a safe, welcoming and multicultural country contributes to its desirability among international PhD degree-seeking students.
Many students who have access to international experiences during higher education don’t realise their value until after they have graduated, according to a recent survey. It found that study abroad, overseas internships, language courses and intercultural exchanges are all overlooked by students as they studied. However, in the survey of more than 1,000 graduates, three-quarters said they felt it was the responsibility of their institutions to offer access to international opportunities.
“The intrinsic value of developing a broad world view through international education is self-evident,” writes [CIEC Academic Member] Western University President Amit Chakma. The author highlights a number of strides the federal government has made to boost the role of international education in Canada, which include rebranding the country as an education destination, improving the Express Entry program, and renewing the country’s commitment to study abroad. Chakma also takes time to remind readers that in addition to the country’s ambitious targets, “what’s more important to consider is the philosophy behind the idea, along with the merits of pursuing such a policy more aggressively to better support the development of our future global citizens.” Chakma concludes with a discussion of the barriers currently faced by students looking to pursue study abroad and how institutions and governments might better address them.
“If university is about higher education, international experience—travelling, working, or studying in other countries—is about broader education,” writes University of St Michael’s College President David Mulroney. The author reflects on the impact that his own travels abroad had on his undergraduate study and on his personal and intellectual development. Mulroney adds that the value of travel abroad, for him, is “the benefit of experiencing things for myself, testing my assumptions, and trying to see the world as others see it.” Mulroney concludes that Canada and its institutions need to do a better job of promoting opportunities for students to travel abroad, citing current statistics showing that while 97% of schools offer these opportunities, only 3% of students pursue them.
New regulations to allow Indian universities to collaborate with universities and colleges overseas and enable Indian students to gain credits for study abroad semesters were announced by India’s Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani recently. The measures are aimed at bringing world-class education to Indian students, as well as improving higher education curricula, through increased interaction with overseas universities.
“Business leaders want to hire graduates with international skills and perspectives, who are comfortable working across languages and cultures,” says Universities Canada President Paul Davidson. Yet challenges remain for the more than 80% of Canadian universities who have “internationalization” as part of their strategic plans. Recent data shows that only 3% of Canadian university students study abroad, and the article details some of the efforts that Canadian schools are making to help boost these participation rates.
Canada needs to act fast in order to gain the economic benefits associated with international students, writes Kareem El-Assal for University Affairs. Some barriers currently in place in Canada may deter prospective international students and steer them in another country’s direction. Obstacles such as slow student visa processing times, inadequate settlement and integration services, and difficulty attaining permanent residency are among issues potentially hindering Canada’s ability to recruit international talent. While the government has implemented a number of strategies to combat these issues, El-Essal says that further immediate action is required to ensure the successful recruitment and retention of future skilled workers to Canada.
According to Amit Chakma, president of [CIEC Academic Member] Western University and chair of the federal government’s Advisory Panel on Canada’s International Education Strategy, the Canadian government has recently shown positive signs towards international students hoping to study in Canada. By reviewing the steps these students must take to achieve permanent residency, in addition to changes made to citizenship requirements, Canada aims to make it easier for these students to pursue an education and work in the country after graduating.
Study abroad is invaluable for “helping prepare our students to become global citizens,” writes college president John Roush, which is why Roush encourages “parents of college students in general to be supportive of their sons and daughters who seek to embark on similar experiences at whatever institution they attend.” Roush notes that as the world grows ever smaller, today’s PSE students will need to foster a greater understanding of how work is conducted on the global stage. The author concludes that study abroad experiences “will prepare young women and men to engage with others despite distance, language, and culture in whatever profession they choose, even if they never live or work abroad.”
While taking a sip of my masala chai with alu paratha, I am staring at these kids throwing colorful powder at each other, laughing and running in every direction. The city is calm, the sun is clear and the air is fresh. So much to see, so much to taste, so much to discover: Welcome to India.
Even after two years, some people still ask with stupefaction, why I left Canada for India to pursue my Master’s Degree and if I did not have universities in my own country. Most of the time I quickly answer that I came to India to specialize in agriculture economics and Indo-Canadian relations but that is just one part of the truth. The other part is that after my undergraduate program, I made the decision of offering myself the greatest gift: I went to study abroad. I chose myself for two years. A gift from yourself to yourself that changes your whole perception of life and its intrinsic value. Studying abroad leaves you by yourself with your knowledge, culture and values in the middle of a whole new world where the culture is different, the religions are different, the language and food habits are different, where everything is to discover. The real challenge is to find the strength to adapt in this new world without losing who you are.
After my studies in International Economics and Development at the University of Ottawa, I wanted to become an economist. Specifically, I wanted to become a development economist. The kind that can bring efficient economic solutions and alternatives based on a deep understanding of the social, cultural and historical background. After my third year of Bachelor’s Degree, I was selected by the Ontario/Maharashtra Goa Student Exchange Program to pursue the Student India Program in Symbiosis International University in Pune, India. I came back to Canada to finish my last year of undergraduate studies and started to prepare my application to conduct a Master’s Degree in India. After my graduation, I received the Commonwealth Scholarship Plan in collaboration with the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and the Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada, which gave me the opportunity to pursue the Master’s Degree in Economics at Hyderabad Central University in India.
It took me almost a year to plan and prepare what was going to be the biggest trip of my life, with myself as my only travel partner and my humility and curiosity as carrying luggage. To anyone thinking about pursuing a degree or a semester abroad, few steps can guide you:
1)Choose a country, read about its culture, history and social development. See if it peaks your curiosity to the point where you are determined to live and experince it by yourself.
2)Look for the different educational programs that are offered by the host country and if the diploma obtained abroad will be recognized by your home country or own institution. You can discuss with your teachers and determinethe added-value of this diploma to your career. Discuss with your parents and friends about your project, ask their opinion and determine the pros and cons.
3)Look for scholarships offered by the Provincial and Federal governments, such as the Department of Global Affairs Canada, NGOs, organizations for international studies, LOGIQ for students from Quebec, Indian Council for Cultural Relations, Canada India Education Council, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute, Commonwealth Scholarship Plan, Ontario/Maharashtra Goa Student Exchange Program. Also, many Canadian universities are offering scholarships to students willing to complete a semester abroad.
4)Construct a budget of the expected expenditures and fees. Try to determine the total cost of this project, including flight tickets, visa fees, accommodations and living expenditures, fix a budget if you want to travel across the country. By preparing your project in advance, you can find many helpful ideas, you can ask for the flight tickets as birthday or graduation gift from your family and friends, save money from part-time work to achieve this specific goal, work with NGOs and seek out sponsorships. If there is no solution, it is because there was no problem at the beginning.
5)Make an appointment at a travel health clinic. The specialists will give you advice and preventions for the specific country you will travel to, discuss with your doctor about the different options to ensure your security abroad. For example, ask about the prevention of malaria, hepatitis, rabies, yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and if you should receive any specific vaccine before leaving.
6)Learn more about the culture, the university where you will study, the basic courtesies of the country, watch documentaries on the social challenges the country is facing, learn more about their history and language. The better your preparation, the easier your adaptation to this new environment will be.
7) Enjoy, learn, share and make a lot of friends.
I hope this article brings to you the fire required to conduct what I believe is the biggest trip of your life. You will face challenges, culture shocks and misunderstandings, but you need to look beyond that. You will discover a new culture, make life-long friends, learn a new language, you will see landscapes that you can normally only see in movies. The memories and friendships created will remain long after the completion of your studies. By the way, the picture was taken in Munnar, Kerala in December 2015. Yes, life as an international student is pretty boring as you can see 😉 Give it a try, you will be surprised!
Ten of India’s states have so far come out in favour of enabling foreign higher education institutions to operate in the country, but any new policy must ensure that foreign providers have something to offer domestic students, they have said.
There is currently no legislative framework in place to allow foreign universities to operate in India. The 2013 Foreign Education Providers Bill has been blocked from passing on several occasions, but last year Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the government intends to let foreign providers operate campuses in the country.
Earlier this year, India’s Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani approved a proposal that will see an initial 10,000 new seats opened for foreign students at the country’s premier engineering institutes. This marks the first time that admission in the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) has been opened to overseas students.
The proposal is clear that seats for foreign students will not come at the expense of Indian applicants. Rather, the aim is to add thousands of new seats across all IITs and to have overseas students pay a significant differential fee in the range of Rs 400,000-500,000 per year (US$6,000-US$7,500), as opposed to the Rs 90,000 annual tuition (US$1,350) required of Indian students.
This week, Canada unveiled its new EduCanada branding campaign to represent the country’s global education strategy. The brand was first presented at the annual AIEA conference in Montreal, and features a new logo along with the tagline, “A world of possibilities.” The branding will reportedly appear on all printed education materials from the federal, provincial, and territorial governments, as well as all Canadian universities that operate on an international scale. The new brand comes at the same time as Global Affairs Canada has produced a video promoting the country as one of the world’s top study abroad destinations. Increasing the global influence of Canada’s higher education sector was one of the main goals cited in the 2012 Global Affairs of the federal International Education strategy, which sought to double the number of international students in Canada to 450,000 by 2022.
While many PSE institutions consider internationalization inherently good, few do an adequate job of measuring just how much value they provide to their international students, writes a contributor for Times Higher Education. Rather than asking only about inputs (e.g. the number of exchange agreements) or outputs (e.g. the number of outgoing students), institutions need to ask questions like “what was achieved by, say, increased student mobility? How was teaching, research or social engagement improved because of our internationalisation strategy?” Until schools are prepared to answer these questions in meaningful ways, the author concludes, internationalization efforts will remain shallow and ineffective.
CBIE has released a new brief reviewing the current status of international education leadership and gaps identified in this area of the international education sector. The brief identifies eight unique types of leadership that are plotted on a quadrant based on their position (internal or external) and level of flexibility (flexibility or stability). CBIE study leaders compared the responses of emerging and experienced leaders on the nature of their current roles and the roles they identified as needing strengthening in the future. The groups agreed that it was important to improve their skills as mentors, innovators, and brokers. The brief makes a number of recommendations, including increased collaboration between new and veteran leaders in the field.
International enrolment at Canadian schools increased by 10% from 2013 to 2014, according to a new report by CBIE. Students came primarily from China, India, South Korea, France, and Saudi Arabia, with 33% of the international student population coming from China. Just over half of the surveyed international students reportedly intended to apply for permanent residency after their studies. The survey revealed that international students were largely satisfied with their experience, with 95% reporting that they would recommend Canada as a study destination. “International education is critical to the future of Canada and Canadians,” said CEO and President of CBIE Karen McBride, who highlighted pathway programs as a great opportunity for Canadian higher education.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is ramping up efforts to promote India as a global study destination, planning a Study in India campaign and revisiting legislation to make it easier for foreign higher education providers to set up branch campuses in the country.
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has been in consultation with higher education institutions about how to increase the number of overseas students at Indian institutions, including through a Study in India campaign.
The plan is set to be included into the New Education Policy currently being drafted by Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party, and could include funding for selected institutions to develop the infrastructure to accommodate more international students.