International education services are important to the economy especially with the growing mobility trend. The year 2018 saw governments and private organisations adjusting policies or repositioning their services in response to a growing need. So before the year comes to a close, we take a look at the significant developments that have impacted EduCo and the international education sector.
1. Partnership with Dublin Institute of Technology
In the first quarter of this year, EduCo inked a partnership with Dublin Institute of Technology, to become Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin) in January 2019. The partnership provided more education opportunities to a growing number of international students in Ireland, potentially the only English-speaking country in the European Union. DIT has been home to about 20,000 students with 20% coming from 85 countries across the globe, making it a culturally rich community and a stimulating academic environment for learning.
TU Dublin is the first university formed out of a consortium with two other technical institutes: Institute of Technology Blanchardstown and Institute of Technology Tallaght, as an offshoot of the Irish government’s Technological Universities Act wherein four new universities will be created as part of Ireland’s National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030.
2. World’s Best Student Cities ranking announcement
Australia’s iconic cities, Melbourne and Sydney, were featured among the top 10 of the world’s best student cities in the QS 2018 Report, out of the 125 cities that qualified in the 2018 survey. Melbourne moved up two places from 5th in 2017 to 3rd in 2018.
Sydney moved up four rungs higher and placed 9th, from its 13th position in 2017. This development is significant for EduCo because its Australian institutions Strathfield College and Southern Cross University both have campuses in both cities while CIC Higher Education has its campus in Melbourne.
3. CIC Higher Education rebrand
CIC Higher Education rebranded from Cambridge International College to CIC Higher Education and unveiled its new logo in July to reflect the renewed dynamism and focus of the College, which highlighted the CIC team’s bottom-up approach to strategic planning and program implementation and how they arrived at the decision to rebrand with a new logo.
The rebrand was launched to drive an increased awareness of CIC as a progressive institution of higher learning, empowering students with employment-ready skills, creating opportunities for campus community engagement and providing a variety of courses that will keep graduates relevant and marketable in an evolving job market. The rebrand kicked off earlier with the transfer to the new campus at 108 Lonsdale Street.
4. Course Finder launch
The EduCo Course Finder was launched in June as a user-friendly tool for student counsellors and education agents in providing accurate and timely advice to international students on the best study options. It offers a comprehensive listing of hundreds of courses from 15 higher education institutions in Australia, Canada, Ireland and the United States with intuitive features such as the Compare List.
The EduCo Course Finder generally facilitates easier access for education agents to click on the students’ program of choice in real time and email the information to the student or parent while talking to them on the phone. This allowed them to cut back on the time required to put together a presentation material and focus more on the critical areas that were important to international students’ decision-making in terms of affordability, liveability, safety, and academic quality.
5. 30,000 student applications
A record 30,000 student applications from China, India and South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa and Europe were received by EduCo in the last 12 months. The company saw a 40-50% growth year-on-year growth in applications across all 15 institutions. Feedback from satisfied students and continued efforts to raise the profile of EduCo institutions in source countries greatly contributed to the growth.
EduCo promoted a deeper engagement with key countries and regions as it hosted agent events in the key source markets. It also held roadshows in areas where there is a growing interest for study abroad, especially in Asian countries such as Nepal, China, India, Philippines, Malaysia, Korea, Vietnam and Indonesia. It continued to build its in-market presence with staff on the ground in 21 countries and augmented this with greater involvement of campus-based staff in offshore recruitment and marketing event.
As a post-secondary company dedicated to helping international students achieve their academic and career goals, EduCo consistently focused on listening to students’ aspirations and requirements, foremost of which are affordability and liveability factors, employment opportunities vis-à-vis job readiness and student welfare support. Thus, it further strengthened its existing collaboration with education agencies and consultants all over the world and developed opportunities for global engagement.
6. Canada’s Direct Stream for student visa applicants
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced the Student Direct Stream, a new student visa processing system that cuts down the processing time for students who meet certain language and financial criteria.
The new student visa processing stream was a welcome improvement for students who were pressed for time and anxious to transition into their new life in a new country, with all its attendant adjustments and challenges.
The new system, according to IRCC, complemented Canada’s Express Entry Immigration System which processed visa applications of skilled workers for permanent residence.
7. Western Australia’s pathway to skilled migration
High-achieving international students graduating from Perth universities like EduCo-partner Southern Cross University may now be have may now be eligible to apply for skilled migration after the Western Australian government released a new Graduate Occupation List as part of its strategy to attract the best global minds to stay in Western Australia.
Southern Cross University Perth has been included in the State Nominations by the Migration Services Department of Training and Workforce Development as one of the universities whose high-achieving graduates may qualify for the WA’s skilled migration program under the new Graduate Occupation List.
This development triggered a surge of enquiries for Southern Cross University Perth campus from prospective students, both onshore and offshore. Hundreds of international students sought information on the attributes of the university along with its facilities. The Perth campus administration, for its part, focused on helping international students integrate into Australian society and culture and preparing them to be job-ready.
8. International education bodies strengthening student support
From the Canadian Alliance of Student Associations (CASA)’s report to the €15M new state-of-the-art student centre at Dublin City University and University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s new US$44M University Health Centre, the year 2018 has seen a massive growth in investments to improve students well-being.
As we end 2018 with a bang, it is worth noting that international students, education agents and counsellors, campus administrators and staff, international recruitment teams and coordinators, company executives and the entire community of the EduCo International Group understand their individual roles and how they fit in making 2018 a very significant year indeed.