UK-Bound Nigerians May Up by 47%, Ireland’s Recruiting Advantage, Possible US Startup Visa, and More on Intl Ed

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Note From the Editor

The first quarter of the year is just a month short, but signs of it being different from the past two years of the pandemic are beginning to show up, especially in the international education sector. For instance, the United Kingdom observed a rise in Nigerian applicants who want to study in the UK, while Ireland enjoyed word-of-mouth recommendations that have brought in more Indian students. Meanwhile, in the United States, a possible startup visa is deemed not only to accelerate the US in the race for further science and tech innovations, but may positively impact US-bound STEM foreign students as well. Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, on the other hand, are gearing up to welcome a growing number of foreign travelers, including global learners, as these countries with the strictest border control and safety protocols are starting to ease up restrictions.

Nigerian Applicants to UK Universities Increase by 47% – Report
A recent report released by the United Kingdom’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service or UCAS revealed that there was a 47% increase among Nigerian students who applied to UK universities. The number stood at 2,380 compared to 1,620 in 2021. Other key markets for international education also showed growth trends, including China and India with 12.1% and 11% increase respectively.
Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations Bring Indian Students To Ireland: Irish Ambassador
According to Brendan Ward, Ireland’s Ambassador in India, word-of-mouth recommendations from former students is one of Ireland’s biggest recruiting advantages. Additionally, Ward stated that Indian students make up about four percent of the total global learners studying in this European country. The ambassador further explained that nearly 5,000 Indian students were studying in Ireland in 2019 and the numbers have been steadily rising at about 10 percent annually.
How the New Startup Visa for STEM Experts Can Help Indians
As the United States House of Representatives recently passed the “America COMPETES Act” that introduces a startup visa, foreign citizens in STEM fields – including international student graduates of a US college or university – may soon receive green cards with less fear of being denied. Under the “America COMPETES Act,” an unlimited number of green cards can be issued to foreign citizens in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. As of writing, the House and Senate are still working on the legislation before submitting it to President Joe Biden to sign it into law.
Three Canadian Colleges Shut Down, Advisory for Indian Students in a Spot
As three colleges in Quebec, Canada abruptly close, thousands of Indian students lean on the Indian High Commission in Ottawa. The High Commission had responded by being in touch with Canada’s federal government, the provincial government in Quebec and had representatives from Canada’s Indian community administer support to the affected students.
Hurdles Remain For Australia’s Tourism And Education Sectors Despite Border Reopening
Higher education institutions in Australia were delighted as the country’s border reopened, allowing foreign students to arrive just in time for the beginning of the new academic year. Recently, nearly 13,500 foreign students arrived in Australia. Despite the relaxation of strict border control, essential travel requirements still remain and some challenges are still present that, hopefully, will slowly ease up as more foreign nationals are expected to be welcomed in the coming months.
‘Waiting Anxiously’: International Students Hoping To Study in NZ Still in Limbo
According to Shelley Robertson, manager of international education policy at the Ministry of Education, the visa processing for international students will be open beginning on April 12, 2022. Their arrival is expected to begin in July. Meanwhile, Regional Director of Asia at Educational New Zealand Ben Burrowes professed optimism that the international education sector in the country will build back the lost ground to competitor countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Due to the long strict border control imposed by the NZ government, some aspiring global learners decided to look for other countries to study.
UW-Stout: Food Science as a Cultural Gateway: Program Welcomes 17 International Students
Seventeen (17) food science majors from China were warmly welcomed to the Midwest this spring term to join their peers on campus in the University of Wisconsin-Stout’s food science and technology program. The students will earn dual degrees from UW-Stout and their home institutions as part of the Sino-American CHEPD 1+2+1 program, organized by the China Center for International Educational Exchange through a partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. In 2019, UW-Stout partnered with Changshu Institute of Technology, located near Shanghai, and Northeast Agriculture University, located in Harbin, northeastern China. Under the dual-degree arrangement, students complete their first year at their respective Chinese institution, their second and third years at UW-Stout, and their final year in China. 
East Central Newcomer Welcome Centre Helps With Transition of Newcomers to Canada
Foreigners coming to East Central Saskatchewan and the Moosomin area are welcomed by the warmth and a breath of support thanks to the East Central Newcomer Welcome Centre. Different services such as help in the transition to Canadian citizenship, school and community needs, and simply providing information to assist in adapting to the community are available. There is no limit to how long the services are rendered, making it a huge help to those in dire need.
Japan Eases Border Control Amid Criticism As Exclusionist
In Tokyo, Japan, the government will soon ease up COVID-19 travel restrictions amid a long list of international students who are anticipating to start studying in the East Asian country. The relaxation of strict border controls is set to be implemented in March. The daily entry cap of foreign travel is currently at 3,500 and will be raised to 5,000 beginning March 1. This announcement made by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida will benefit business travelers, foreign scholars, and exchange students.
Studying Abroad, Evading the Virus
COVID-19 restrictions differ between countries, which is an added challenge for students trying to decide where to study. Alma Miftari, a public relations executive at Erudera.com said the US requires students to be fully vaccinated when they come for their studies or to show a negative test result when they reach the country. In the United Kingdom, PCR tests are not sufficient, and all students must be fully vaccinated. Other European countries, including Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Italy, Denmark, Switzerland, and Ireland accept negative PCR test results but highly encourage students to get fully vaccinated.
IELTS: How Has the Pandemic Hit Test Takers?
There has been no major change in the test content, structure, marking or security of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). However, there has been a slight change in the speaking part of the exam. Parul Mittal, Director, International Placewell Consultants Pvt Ltd, said that sometimes a student’s speaking test is conducted through a video call. The timings of the video call are intimated to the student when the test venue details are sent to the student by email. It used to be always in person and the examiner used to discuss a topic with the student and grade him on that. He added that the speaking test has rapid-fire questions, where during the discussions, the examiner can ask quick questions and the students have to answer promptly. 
Greek Students at UK Universities Plummeting
Greek students applying to higher education institutions in the United Kingdom seem to be declining as per data shared by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). From the 9,645 Greeks at British universities in 2019-2020 to now an estimated a few hundred applications, the effects of Brexit are predominantly making an impact in the international student applications received by the UK. Meanwhile, Katerina Fengarou, education marketing manager at the British Council in Athens said that the 2020-2021 number of Greek students was almost the same as 2019-2020.
Featured Institution: St. Mary’s University
St. Mary’s University (StMU) is an innovative research and teaching university that provides accredited, affordable, and highly valued degrees in Sciences and Education, and Liberal Arts. Situated on a historic site in Calgary, Alberta, StMU inspires students to combine academics with a passionate commitment to ethics, social justice, and respect for diversity of belief and opinion. St. Mary’s University has 1025 full and part-time students, 80 full and part-time faculty, and an average class size of 25. It is also accredited to offer four three-year bachelors of arts degrees with concentrations in Psychology, History, English, and General Studies as well as six four-year degrees such as Bachelor of Arts with a major in Psychology, Bachelor of Arts with a major in English, Bachelor of Arts with a major in Liberal Studies, Bachelor of Arts with a major in History, Bachelor of Science with a major in Biology, and Bachelor of Arts with a major in Social Justice and Catholic Studies. In addition to these courses, StMU also offers an after-school degree in the Bachelor of Education (Elementary) Program. 
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