INTO Giving marks more than $1 million donated to education projects around the world

INTO Giving raising $1 million to help schoolchildren and their teachers was a gigantic feat. When we saw we’d reached that million-high orbit, a thrill raced through us. We knew we’d done something monumental.

That ‘we’. That ‘we’ is important.

We, in this case, means thousands of INTO students and graduates from across the world, thousands of INTO employees and faculty, INTO’s global network of agents, INTO University Partnerships and university partners, and INTO’s founder.

But a million dollars raised to help schoolkids and teachers. There are three ways to look at it:

  1. You think, first, of all the people it’s helped, and how. That £1 million has built new schools and fixed up other schools that were in ruins. It’s opened IT centres and kept them running – IT centres that aren’t only for schoolkids, but their teachers, their families, their communities.

    That million has provided teachers with safe places to live, has created new school courses, has meant kids whose families are startlingly poor have food when they’re at school (you’re not going to learn when you arrive at school on no food and remain on no food all day long).

    That million sticks up for girls who are at great and everyday risk of being excluded from school because they’re girls (and you think of your sisters, your mother, your partner or friends and imagine it was them instead of someone else’s sister, someone else’s mother or partner or friend).

    That million is also going to bat for refugee schoolchildren, for kids who have seen war on their doorstep, who know grinding, unsheltered poverty, and fled – with or without their families.

  2. You think of individual people helped, like Sonia in Afghanistan. Sonia is 21-years-old, the daughter of a rickshaw puller. Her family arranged her to be married when she was 15-years-old. Her husband was abusive, something that increased when she gave birth to a disabled child, before abandoning her at her parents.

    It was very difficult for Sonia’s father to maintain the cost of her and her child.  Moreover rural Afghanistan society is not friendly for an abandoned woman. But Sonia didn’t give up.  She looked for opportunities to earn a living and when the position for a librarian was announced, she applied and was accepted.  Sonia is determined to stand on her feet and has the drive to do something with her life, and learned library work and computer use very quickly.

  3. You also think of everyone who has donated few dollars or pounds here, a few there. And with that how none of those people, who gave what they did, are almost certainly never going to meet the people they’ve helped.

    That, to me, is what adds weight to the whole thing: it’s philanthropy in its truest, most altruistic sense.

    If you can imagine digging up a lump of philanthropy, like it was gold, straight out of the clay, how it would look like in its raw, natural form, glinting dully in the light, it would look like what’s happened – and is happening – at INTO Giving.

    INTO Giving is thousands of people, across five continents and hundreds of countries, giving what they can here and again and again, for people they don’t and will never know, and not expecting anything in return.

    Which is another way of saying that ‘we’ also means you. Never forget. Thank you.

An Existential Crisis – or Learning to Operate in a VUCA World?

“These are the times that try mens’ souls”

Latest SEVIS release confirms a decline in foreign enrollments in the United States

In 1998, the United States War College coined an acronym VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. It was designed as a conceptual model to help military officers understand the world – and has been popularized by the world’s leading Business Schools.

Continue reading “An Existential Crisis – or Learning to Operate in a VUCA World?”

Dive into our analysis of international students in the United States

Working with the latest release of SEVIS Data – March 2017, we have compared the number of students registered in the United States from across the Middle East and China from the same reporting period last year. We believe this is the most up to date analysis available anywhere.
You can analyze these data by state or by region. How dependent has your state been on Saudi Arabian students? And how have you been affected by those changes? What is the latest distribution of Chinese students across the United States? Who is vulnerable if there is a drop in Iranian students? Explore this with the interactive maps below

Middle East and Africa

China

About INTO

Every year, INTO University Partnerships helps almost 14,000 students from 120 countries and territories around the world achieve their dream of studying overseas.

We work with individual students, universities and governments through a sophisticated, multi-channeled marketing operation, providing the highest quality student experience – the heart of our mission.

Come say hello if you are at NAFSA in Los Angeles https://intoglobal.com/nafsa17 or contact Frank Merendino frank.merendino@intoglobal.com if you would like to discuss opportunities for your institution.

Sharing the Pain – Decline in Saudi students hits almost every state and every level of study across the United States. What next for Iran?

Most of us in international education eagerly anticipate the publication of Open Doors or IPEDS data. For those who can’t wait, dive into our analysis of live international student mobility data from the March 2017 SEVIS data release. We have analyzed differences in volumes of SEVIS registered students all over the United States. This blog and visualization focuses on students from across the Middle East and North Africa.
As most international student recruiters already know, diversity is the key to a successful, long-term international recruitment plan. Smart, forward-thinking universities are doing all they can to ensure they are capable of recruiting a diverse international population – but attracting students from across the globe is challenging for a variety of factors and the competition for international students will only intensify in the coming years.

Saudi Arabia

Our analysis indicates the decline in enrollments from Saudi Arabia has hit almost every state in the nation – with SEVIS reporting a 33% decline in Saudi students registered in California in March 2017 compared to March 2016. These declines are evenly spread across most states in the United States. Although it is particularly noticeable in the State of Idaho which has seen a 39% drop in Saudi students registered in March 2017 compared to March 2106.

The year on year decline in Saudi students is felt across all sectors with a 52% decline in Saudi students enrolled in Language programs compared to March 2016. The drops are more modest, but still evident at Bachelors and Masters Level. At the other end of the spectrum, there has been an increase in the number of Saudi Arabian students registered on Doctoral programs.

Table One: Saudi Arabian Students in the United States – March 2017, SEVIS

Iran

Iran, the second most populous country, and a major target in President Trump’s Executive orders shows where the US will be vulnerable. With almost 13,000 students registered in March 2017, this showed a healthy increase on the previous year. Iranian students are much less likely to be enrolled in language programs – with the largest cohort registered as doctoral or masters level students. Moreover the recent growth indicates Iranian students evenly distributed across the nation. Whether we will experience a decline in those numbers in the next release of data.
The recent growth in students from Iran and the concomitant decline in students from Saudi Arabia

Table Two: Iranian Students in the United States – March 2017, SEVIS

Explore the data for yourself – Our interactive graphic allows you to explore these data in more depth by state or by source country in the region. We have also collated these data for every world region and for each university. So please do contact us, if you would like to explore what this means for your school or home state.

Every year, INTO University Partnerships helps almost 14,000 students from 120 countries and territories around the world achieve their dream of studying overseas.

We work with individual students, universities and governments through a sophisticated, multi-channeled marketing operation, providing the highest quality student experience – the heart of our mission.

Our results speak for themselves. We have helped universities grow and then sustain their international student population at levels beyond their peers, often at multiples of national averages.

We have comprehensive data for every college and university in the US. Contact Frank Merendino frank.merendino@intoglobal.com to set up a meeting to discuss ways INTO Insights & Analytics can help you meet your campus internationalization goals.

World’s Largest Agent Survey Reveals Differing Levels of Enthusiasm for Study in the United States and United Kingdom

New findings from the world’s largest international education agent survey affirm concerns about continued attractiveness of the United States as a study destination. The survey of more than 1300, education counsellors from 85 countries, was conducted by INTO University Partnerships during March and April of 2017.

While overall sentiment remains broadly positive, there are significant regional variations in the responses. China, the bedrock of international demand for the United Kingdom and the United States indicates demand will remain buoyant. On the other hand, feedback from agents across India and the Middle East indicates that some institutions and countries are going to have to work much harder to overcome some negative perceptions.

Key Takeaways

  • China, the world’s largest market, remains buoyant with strong forecast demand for the United States and the United Kingdom
  • There is clear indications of a rising concern over safety and signals of welcome for the United States – especially from India and the Middle East
  • There is a perception of student visa processes becoming markedly more challenging for students from India in particular
  • Most agents report improvements in the United Kingdom as a value destination – a by-product of Brexit and the devaluation of UK sterling against most global currencies.Ultimately, demand for an international education remains strong, but this survey provides a powerful reminder that we should not take that demand for granted. Perceptions matter and those institutions and countries who expect to welcome international students need to continue to work hard to develop an offer which remains compelling to them. It is more important than ever that we continue to reinforce the positive messages which have been the recent hallmark of US higher education in the aftermath of the US election and the recent Executive orders.

MORE OR LESS – DEMAND FOR THE COMING 12 MONTHS FOR UNTIED STATES AND UNITED KINGDOM

Across the global network of agents, the majority still forecast increases in the number of students coming to the United States and the United Kingdom. (Our more detailed results, available in two weeks will carry details of forecasts for Australia, Canada, Ireland and New Zealand).

Chinese agents remain most buoyant – all expressing confidence about sending more students in the coming 12 months. What is noticeable however is an increase in the number of agents from India and the Middle East who expect to send fewer students to the United States in the coming twelve months. This appears to be linked to three factors, perceptions of visa processes and welcome and increasing perception of challenges in safety, which we explore in more detail in this post.

 

 

 

 

NOT EVERYONE FEELS THE WARMTH

Agents from the Middle East and India, the United States’ second largest market, report an increase in negative sentiment. More than half the agents in India report the US has become less welcoming over the past 12 months. And almost half of those based in the Middle East and North Africa report a similar shift in perceptions of welcome.
This would suggest that the efforts of many college campuses across the United States is more necessary than ever. It is vital to continue to communicate publicly, as in the case at George Mason University, how international students are valuable members of the campus community. But is that enough?

It is a more promising picture from the United Kingdom, where Middle Eastern agents remain broadly positive of the United Kingdom as a welcoming destination – less than 15% of agents believe the UK has become a less welcoming destination in the past twelve months.

WHO’S AFRAID OF WHOM? – PERCEPTIONS ON SAFETY

Whether this reflects evidence of a more strident nationalistic rhetoric or the widespread reporting in India of the murder of two Indian workers in Kansas earlier this year, what is very clear is that certain regions are increasingly concerned about the safety of their students in the United States.
This is in marked contrast to the United Kingdom, where there is little to no evidence of any rising concern about student safety. (Note, this survey was conducted before the horrific bomb attack in Manchester in late May).

 

CAN I GET IN?-STUDENT VISAS

For international students, the ability to secure a visa or have confidence that they will be welcomed is a key determinant of where they will end up studying. Through 2016, reports came from India of much higher levels of visa rejection for students intending to study in the United States. This has clearly shaken confidence amongst the agent network in India where more half of all agents confirm they believe the visa situation has gotten worse. This in turn drives almost a quarter of those agents to explore alternative destinations for their students. In terms of countries picking up the slack, Canada, Australia and Ireland all appear on an upwards trajectory.

 

VALUE FOR MONEY – A BREXIT DISCOUNT?

Investment in an international education involves life-changing sums of money for students and their families. One very noticeable trend in this year’s survey is agent perception of increased value for study in the United Kingdom. More than half the agents surveyed across all regions report an improvement in the value for money of the United Kingdom. This is hardly surprising, given the devaluation of sterling against most global currencies since the Brexit referendum held on June 23rd 2016. The continued strength of the US dollar does not appear to have had an overly negative impact on the United States per se, except in that in combination with other factors, it may make the US more expensive relative to other major destinations.

 

Partnerships might be key to attracting international students

As the world continues to watch the evolving implications of the Trump administration’s executive orders to restrict certain nationalities from entering the United States, academic institutions have been acting swiftly in response, from university presidents issuing statements against the ban, to widespread student protests. Many campus communities agree international students and scholars not only bring diversity to a university campus, but also contribute to vital research and diverse perspectives to global affairs.

Continue reading “Partnerships might be key to attracting international students”

A collective belief in the value of international education

INTO University Partnerships was founded on the principle that education has the power to transform the lives of our students, university communities and employees, and that internationalization benefits us all. Our commitment to this principle has never wavered across our 11 years of operation, despite countless changes of government and policy around the world. Continue reading “A collective belief in the value of international education”

The power of diversity – Hasan’s story

This is a picture of the commencement ceremony at Oregon State University, (OSU) which took place in the summer of 2016 and involved more than 6,400 students from 63 counties.  In many respects it was similar to ceremonies taking place across US campuses last summer as it also included thousands of students with their families and friends celebrating their achievements. Continue reading “The power of diversity – Hasan’s story”

The far horizons

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page,” St Augustine.

Many young Canadians view studying in the United States as studying abroad. But Raed Ayad says that although both Canada and the US have much to offer prospective students, there is a whole world outside of the two countries which can offer them an even richer experience.

Continue reading “The far horizons”

Three a day to take away at Thai conference

INTO’s Global Recruitment Conference is this week delivering on its own mission statement – Innovation, Collaboration and Education. In a nod to this theme of three, and not necessarily in that order, INTO Internal Communications Manager Mary Kalmus presents her favourite daily Thai takeaways… Continue reading “Three a day to take away at Thai conference”