Note From the Editor
It’s another week of losses and gains in the news for the international education sector, topped by data indicating that the number of international students from the EU enrolling in British universities has more than halved since Brexit, with huge reductions in scholars from France, Germany, and Italy. International students in certain Canadian and Australian HEIs also brace for rent increases as inflation and growth plans take their toll. More Israelis, on the other hand, are drawn to the US mainly for the prestige of its universities, strong employment prospects, and cultural exposure. MSM Reporter reports on these developments and more from Ireland, The Netherlands, India, and Malaysia in this week’s edition.
Figures have indicated that the number of international students from the European Union enrolling in British universities has more than halved since Brexit, with huge decreases in scholars from France, Germany, and Italy. Brexit is essentially seen as the main deterrent, with student finance and home fees not available to EU students who no longer live in the UK either with settled or pre-settled status. According to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the significant drop revealed in EU first-year student enrollments can be attributed to changes in fees eligibility. Universities UK noted the increase in non-EU students had not offset the exodus of EU students at undergraduate level, weakening financial stability in some third-level education and hurting diversity across some subject areas.
Students will have to pay more to live in residence, according to the University of British Columbia. The Canadian university said that the rent will increase by 3.5% to 8% for 2023-24, with the smaller increase occurring in family housing and older buildings and the bigger increase imposed on newer buildings. Factors such as inflation’s effect on operating costs and new investments required for the university’s 10-year housing growth plan contributed to the hike. Despite the change, UBC promised that student housing costs will always be lower than similar rental costs on the market and will be the same as those of other universities with similar programs.
International student enrollment in the United States has decreased by 15% in the 2020-21 academic year, but Israeli students paint a different story, driving a 10% increase in enrollment. Despite challenges such as language barriers, culture shock, and the high cost of education, the US continues to be an attractive destination for Israeli students due to its prestigious universities, strong employment prospects, and cultural exposure. The number of Israeli students in the US had dropped by 17% in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 academic years, but has since stabilized and increased, with the most popular fields of study being business and management, engineering, and math and computer science, to name a few.
In the hopes of boosting the economy, the British government is mulling over plans to expand the allowable working hours of foreign students. At the moment, international learners are only allowed to work for 20 hours per week. Once implemented, they will be allowed to work for 30 hours per week. This plan is envisioned to address job shortages in fields such as hospitality and retail. As “part of a swathe of ideas” considered to do more “to remove barriers and encourage students to work,” the British government may altogether lift off the cap on foreign students’ hours.
Education in Ireland, the national brand promoting Irish higher education institutions (HEIs) overseas, has announced its upcoming Education Roadshow in India dedicated to highlighting its position as a leading study destination for international students. The five-city Education Roadshow will provide students and their parents with a unique opportunity to directly speak with university and Irish government officials. It will allow them to ask questions, learn about the admission process, and get a firsthand look at the many educational and cultural offerings available in the country, touted to offer employment and career advancement opportunities in sectors like IT, business and finance, Big Data, medical technology, engineering, and digital marketing.
Sydney’s international education space has taken a huge hit when the country imposed one of the strictest COVID-19 border controls worldwide. Now that it has opened its doors and has again been welcoming foreign learners, some new challenges have emerged, such as a looming housing affordability crisis. Average rents at the moment are at AU$700 and above per week, several student housing providers have no vacancies left for the remainder of the year, and those which are still available are charging more than AU$400 for a single bed in a shared room. This situation has pushed some universities to provide emergency accommodation for students who need it.
There’s one way for international students to get an American green card: A student would begin by applying to different colleges or universities in the US to enroll in a course of studies and eventually obtain a bachelor’s degree in any field. As part of the application, a student must pay the fee for the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVIS) to be registered as an international student for the US system. The F-1 Student Visa, Optional Practical Training (OPT), and H1-B Work Visa prove critical to the journey, particularly when times are challenging and there have been thousands of H1-B work visa holders who have recently been laid off by IT giants like Microsoft, Amazon and Google, reflecting the ebb and flow of the markets.
Reports indicate that British Home Secretary Suella Braverman is headed for a collision with the education department over proposals to limit the amount of time international students can remain in the country after they finish their formal education. Braverman proposed “reforming” the Graduate Visa route, which allows foreign graduates the chance to stay on to job hunt and gain work experience for up to two years without the requirement of a specific job offer, by requiring students to seek skilled employment or leave the United Kingdom after six months. According to leaked advice, the UK Department for Education (DfE) is trying to oppose the changes over worries that it will hurt the UK’s appeal among international students.
Students have been taken by surprise after the Chinese government issued a ruling that orders all of those studying with an overseas university online to return to in-person classes. China made the surprise directive only a couple of weeks before the start of classes. This would mean over 400,000 students need to quickly go back to Australia to continue their on-campus studies for their qualifications to be recognized in China. The university sector dubbed the snap decision challenging for students who do not yet have a visa or accommodation, with Australia’s education and home affairs ministers working with universities to address “short-term logistical issues” from the recent ruling.
Proposed legislation in the Netherlands may limit the number of international students coming into the country due to overcrowding in major cities. While the proposed measure is meant to address these issues, universities and colleges outside the major cities are worried it will negatively impact them, as they do not experience the same overcrowding problems. The matter is set to be discussed in parliament, with some institutions in Zeeland as well as other regions such as Twente, Limburg and Groningen hoping to be an exception to the upcoming legislation.
Around 200 students from different countries have reached out to Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann in India to express their frustration over the decision of the Punjab State Board of Technical Education and Industrial Training to halt the diploma courses they are enrolled in for the purpose of conducting eligibility checks. According to the international students, the technical board had already granted them admission and that they have already begun attending lessons in a variety of diploma programs.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) is expecting to welcome 1,000 new international students from Brunei, Indonesia, and China in October 2023. Its current enrollment of international students stands at 620, representing those from around the world who are pursuing undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral studies. The institution is promoting a variety of courses and programs that will be made available to potential students from the said three countries to achieve its 5% foreign student enrollment by October.
The College of the Rockies is a public community college in Cranbrook, British Columbia, Canada, with regional campuses in Creston, Fernie, Golden, Invermere, and Kimberley. University studies, adult basic education, health, child youth and family studies, administrative studies, tourism, computer technology, fire services, and trades are among the programs available at the institution. The Bachelor of Business Administration in Sustainable Business Practices, the College’s first four-year degree program, was offered in 2010.
Master’s degree in Ethical Hacking and Cybersecurity, offered exclusively by Abertay University, is fully endorsed by the National Cybersecurity Centre. The course covers a wide range of topics, including penetration testing, digital forensics, information security management, malware analysis, port scanning, buffer overflows, and password cracking, and is taught by research-active faculty that stays current with the latest techniques and guidelines. Students have the option to complete the program full-time on campus in one year or part-time through distance learning over two years. Graduates have gone on to work for organizations such as Dell Secure Works, Goldman-Sachs, NCR, and GCHQ, or to start their own successful information security businesses.
MSM Reporter is collated by a globally spread team of MSM and is published every Thursday.