iTablet Teaching: the impact made on engagement and achievement.

It has been six months since Tim Powell-Jones, Diploma Learning Technologies Coordinator at INTO UEA London, introduced iPads as learning tools to his students on the International Business Diploma programme at INTO UEA London. His motivation: to develop new ways of helping students understand the content in their subject classes and engage with English language and culture.

Following on from Tim’s first blog in July of last year, what impact has this technology made on the classroom dynamic?

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Internationalisation – the key component of Employability

Earlier this year McKinsey, the global consulting firm, produced a hard hitting report on Education to Employment. The report describes a global paradox: crippling levels of youth unemployment around the world – close to 50% in Southern Europe and the Middle East, yet 40% of employers surveyed claiming an equally dangerous shortage of appropriately qualified staff. The report also forecast a global shortage of up to 85 million skilled workers by 2020. To quote from their report:

“Employers, education providers, and youth live in parallel universes. To put it another way, they have fundamentally different understandings of the same situation. Fewer than half of youth and employers, for example, believe that new graduates are adequately prepared for entry-level positions. Education providers, however, are much more optimistic: 72 percent of them believe new graduates are ready to work..

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It Ain’t What You Do

During a lull in a long meeting over the summer, a couple of colleagues at INTO were wrestling over our “elevator pitch” – what makes us distinctive. And we then broadened it out to think about ways in which universities can communicate their distinctiveness, a word appearing on many people’s lips across the sector. It’s difficult  when there is so much change and much analysis is unremittingly bleak.

The first years of this decade have brought us funding challenges on both sides of the Atlantic, the emergence of the discerning customer, disruptive market entrants to higher education, confusing and poorly executed government policy on student visas and so on.  It’s not easy being a traditional university in this environment. Moreover, after years of steady and quota-secured growth in tertiary enrolments, universities are facing serious structural challenges as various quasi-markets are created by government policy. The squeezed middle is very real.

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There are many routes to higher-level skills but why do we keep forgetting about international study?

Students socialisingIt’s that time of year again when A-Levels are released, Clearing provides a second wind to those who didn’t quite reach their desired number of Ucas points and we find out that finally the boys have got better grades than the girls.

It’s also that time of year when people begin to question the worth of higher education and look at the alternative routes to further their career without incurring debt.

This year however, the volume seems to have been amplified as people still come to terms with paying £9,000 per year for undergraduate courses in many UK universities. Young people are also taking note of the financial climate along with the jobs market, both of which continue to fluctuate as the country continues to face more economic uncertainty. Continue reading “There are many routes to higher-level skills but why do we keep forgetting about international study?”

Bridging the Integration Gap: Bringing American and international students together

OSU students

With international student enrolment growth at seven times the US average,  Oregon State University and INTO OSU know a thing or two about helping international students fully integrate.

Helping international students to succeed while encouraging domestic students to take advantage of the opportunities presented by having such a diverse range of nationalities on campus is one of the great challenges in international education. Lindy Osborne, Marketing and Communications Co-ordinator at INTO OSU  explains the approach taken in Corvallis.

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Everything counts in large amounts: even the smallest things contribute to a quality student experience

Group of studentsA couple of months ago, staff from Boston University marshalled themselves to phone all 4,300 freshmen and transfer students – just to see how they are getting on. Even the Dean of Students Kenn Elmore and the Provost got in on the act.

Closer to home at the University of Manchester, the new Directorate of Student Experience – created and delivered an Ask ME campaign during orientation week. More than 2000 academic and administrative staff including the University President, Dame Nancy Rothwell, volunteered to wear a badge with the words Ask ME emblazoned on it. The idea was that any student could approach anyone wearing the badge and ask them anything. Who are you? Where is the closest Starbucks? How do I register for class? Continue reading “Everything counts in large amounts: even the smallest things contribute to a quality student experience”