April is upon us, and in just a few (7 to be precise) weeks we will all be hitting St Louis for one of the largest international education events of the year, NAFSA. Our team will be there and we are looking forward to seeing you there. Before that, there is lots of prep work to be done and one of our picks of the week is a little known tool that not many attending NAFSA use – but you should. Its a great networking tool pre-NAFSA and highly recommended. Also this week we have an excellent piece from the Guardian Newspaper in the UK about how the UK can look to Australia in order to solve their international education problems.
There is an excellent blog post from Phil Honeywood (Executive Director, International Education Association of Australia) on the Guardian website in the UK that looks at how Australia has tackled their international education issues over the past few years – and how the UK could take a leaf from their book. The post highlights 4 key areas from Australia; the Visa Consultation Committee, cooperation across sectors, streamlined visa procedures and post study work rights – and how those areas were tackled to turn around Australia’s fortunes in the International Education arena. With all the recent issues with the UKBA, and negative press in the UK towards international education, this excellent piece highlights some of the areas the UK could concentrate on to turn things around.
Over the next two years, Canada’s Education brand will get a huge boost of $10 million dollars to help strengthen its image to international students all around the world. This is an increase from just $1 million dollars that was budgeted annually from 2007 to 2012, so its a marked increase from previous years and gives a clear signal that the Canadian Federal government will put all their support behind international education with a view to growing international student numbers. I suspect we may be seeing Canada pop up a lot more as a destination over the next few years with this new marketing budget!
With NAFSA just around the corner, its never too early to start connecting with colleagues, potential business partners and friends. One of the little known features of the NAFSA conference is Conference Connection, an excellent tool that gives you the power to connect before and during the event. With full program listings, you can add items to your agenda in advance (so you do not miss out on anything) search all attendees so you can see who is going, message them if you want to try and connect and setup a meeting prior to NAFSA and view all the exhibitors. The tool is extremely powerful and hopefully we will see greater use this year to help networking prior and during the event!