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November’s Industry News Round Up

This month industry news covered the impact of university teaching remaining online, what Biden’s win might mean for higher education in the US and the need for truly international university partnerships.

Vietnam approves joint online courses
THE, 27 November
The pandemic has helped accelerate a step change in Vietnamese education, fostering the expansion of online learning in South-east Asia’s third most populous country. A Ministry of Education and Training circular issued in October, which authorises the online delivery of joint qualifications, completes a two-year policy drive pursued with Australia’s assistance. While foreign officials are still clarifying approval processes, the new regulation should allow overseas higher education institutes to deliver online qualifications in conjunction with local partners. Five pilot programmes involving Vietnamese and Australian institutions have already been established.

New poll finds a decline in student mental health but growing satisfaction with online learning
FE News, 3 December
The Higher Education Policy Institute has worked with Youthsight on a poll of over 1,000 full-time undergraduate students to see how the Covid-19 pandemic is affecting them. The results found that more than half of full-time undergraduate students (59%) say they are very or quite satisfied with the online learning that has replaced face-to-face teaching, up from 42% in June 2020 and 49% in March 2020. But more than half of students (58%) say they consider their mental health to be in a worse state since the beginning of the pandemic, compared to 14% who say their mental health is better. Just over a quarter (28%) say their mental health is the same.

Female enrolment at Australian universities dropped by 86,000 in 2020 as ‘pink recession’ hit
The Guardian, 11 November
Newly released data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has shown that there was a 7% drop in the number of women enrolled at universities and some vocational courses. This was starkest among older women. Meanwhile, there was actually an increase in enrolments among men above 25. Shirley Jackson, an economist at Per Capita, said this reflects the nature of the coronavirus recession. “It has affected face-to-face businesses that are dependent on domestic consumption. Industries like retail, hospitality, personal and community services, care work and creative industries are mostly female-dominated, they were closed in their entirety.” Furthermore, “women with young families have overwhelmingly been forced to pick up the slack and are acting as both teachers and primary carers.”

Biden victory could be transformative
Inside Higher Ed, 9 November
This piece considers how transformative Biden’s win could be for education. The future first lady is a community college instructor so higher education is likely to be high on the agenda. In addition to making community colleges and HBCUs free, Biden has said he will eliminate tuition at public colleges and universities for those making $125,000 or less. He has also pledged to double the maximum amount of Pell Grants, which as a “first dollar” program would help pay the living expenses of students. However, it remains to be seen if Congress will approve what the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania estimates to be the $1.38 trillion cost over the next decade of eliminating tuition.

Western universities must embrace genuinely international partnerships
THE, 19 November
In this opinion piece, Bashir Makhoul, vice-chancellor and president of the University for the Creative Arts, argues that Western universities must embrace genuinely international partnerships. He puts forward that universities should adapt teaching methodology to students’ specific cultures and traditions of learning. Makhoul reflects on his personal experience as an international student and UCA’s approach to personalised learning experiences that empower students to develop their own creative vision.

Top Trends In Upskilling: The Urgent Employee Demand For the Younger Generation
Entrepreneur, 21 November
In this article Nikhil Barshikar, Founder and Managing Director, Imarticus Learning, looks at key upskilling trends among young people in India. He argues that the need to upskill employees is only set to become more pertinent given the breakneck pace at which technology is evolving and the pandemic has only made this more urgent, making it imperative for employers and employees to adapt to changing scenarios. He puts forward that continuous, relevant upskilling can deliver great value to the younger generation of employees, and collective effort coupled with coordinated ideas will make them more resilient and prevent employers from losing out on talent.


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