It has been a busy week in the world of International Education, at a time when you would think things would be a little quieter with half term holidays throughout much of Europe and Spring Break in the USA – all that and the longer weekend for Easter coming up. However the big news this week was the announcement from London that the UK Borders Agency will be disbanded after just 5 years in existence. We look at the impact this could have on international students.
As has been highlighted through the news much of this week, Theresa May, the Home Secretary for the UK, announced unexpectedly that the UK Borders Agency will be closed after a very troubled 5 years. The agency has been dogged by consistent poor performance and it was quoted that the backlog of immigration cases would have taken the UKBA over 24 years to clear through under current rules and regulations. The agency will now move back under the control of the Home Office. So what impact will this have on international students? The National Union of Students for the UK has an excellent overview – and in short they think it could be a good move with a renewed focus on customer service, but without total reorganization and a commitment of resources, they cannot see how things will change. It will only be time before we know what impact, or improvements this will bring.
A interesting post this week appeared on the Wall Street Journal concerning the struggle many Chinese students are experiencing to gain a return on their international education adventures in the USA. We all know that China’s student export to the USA has exploded over the last few years, and signs are that this trend will only increase over coming years. However, there are indications that for a large number of students they are neglecting to embrace the experience abroad, and integrate into US culture. This coupled with the increasing trend that Chinese students are returning back home after their studies, up 375% since 2005, means that having a US education is no longer a golden ticket for employment when you come back home. Employers are starting to be pickier, the degree from a US college needs to be coupled with signs of better integration into the social networks of their college.
There is lots of news this week regarding changes in Facebook pages, and they way they allow pages to monitor – but one piece of news that slipped under the radar this week was that Google+ has now become the worlds second largest social network after Facebook, overcoming Twitter. According to a new Global Wed Index report, Google+ has 343 million active users, some way behind Facebook’s 693 million active accounts but still a 27% jump from the prior year. We have mentioned it here a few times, but with the relevance that Google+ is starting to have on search and web rankings, this trend is only going to keep going and it would not be surprising that in a few years it is starting to rival Facebook.