Envisage Pick of the Week – March 15th 2013

pick-of-the-weekIn international education news: One in three foreign students say they have no close U.S. friends; Canada is breaking records; Australia predicts a rise in international students; and Facebook revealed changes to their newsfeed, which could impact how your organization’s posts get incorporated into followers’ newsfeeds.

Integrating International Undergraduate Students on Campus
As the number of international students at U.S. colleges continues to rise and as the mix of international students has shifted in favor of undergraduates there are increasing concerns as to how well they’re being integrated into campus life. A 2012 study by by Elisabeth Gareis, a communication studies scholar at Baruch College, found that nearly 40 percent of international students reported having no close American friends.

Canada and Australia Competing for International Students
Last month Canada’s Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney announced a record breaking 100,000 (or 104,777 to be exact) international students at Canadian institutions nationwide during 2012 – representing a 6.5-percent increase from 2011 and a sizable 60-percent hike from 2004. The news comes on the heels of indications that the country’s government is planning some important changes to the Canadian student visa system in 2014.

At the same time the Australian government released the much awaited Cheney report*. The report outlines the nation’s five-year strategy for international education and supports the International Education Advisory Council’s predication of a 30% rise in international students over the next seven years. In addition, Tourism Australia announced a new AUS $4 million campaign aimed at attracting youth from outside the country. The campaign will communicate the attractions of working in Australia on the working holiday visa – a popular route for language students.

The New Facebook News Feed
Last week Facebook announced its new category-specific news feed giving users more control over the stories they want. The update will feature larger posts and photos (including for advertisements) – making the feed more visual and will also enable users to filter by category. For example, users will now be able to look at content strictly from their friends, people, or pages they choose to follow. Users will also be able to display content that meets a certain category, for instance, strictly sports or music-related material.

Mark Zuckerberg was clear that the purpose for the change is to provide users with a more personalized experience on the social media site. “What we are trying to give everyone is a copy of the best personalized newspaper in the world,” he said.

There is no telling what the user response will be to the new design and increased control but the updated news feed emphasizes the importance of photographs – something your organization might want to keep in mind as you plan your Facebook posts going forward.

*Prepared by the International Education Advisory Council – chaired by prominent Australian businessman Dr. Michael Chaney.

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