As 2017 draws to an end we would like to share some of the highlights of our work around the world in Higher Education. 

The year opened with Erasmus+ celebrating its 30th birthday. The EU programme has enabled nearly 600,000 people from the UK to gain experience abroad during the last 30 years. According to the latest statistics and the European Commission’s Erasmus+ 2015 annual report, the UK ranks as the number one destination for education staff to train abroad.

In February the latest SPHEIR funding call closed, resulting in six new partnerships working to transform higher education in low-income countries. The programme now supports nine partnerships working with more than 60 organisations across 16 countries. These include:

  • Prepared for Practice (PfP), aiming to make a positive impact on healthcare education in Somaliland and working to regulate health education and establish medical education policy – neither of which currently exist in Somaliland.
  • Partnership for Digital Learning and Increased Access (PADILEIA) producing and delivering blended higher education programmes to Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon, with 85 refugee learners enrolled for the first semester in October 2017.

The world’s largest open conference for leaders of Higher Education, Going Global, took place in May and welcomed senior higher education leaders from 77 countries. The conference explored how universities and colleges support city-regional economies and social and civic engagement. 

The theme for Going Global 2018, taking place in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, will be ‘global connections, local impact’. Registration opens on 9 January 2018 – keep an eye out for the pre-conference masterclasses. We look forward to having you join us there.

Released shortly after Going Global 2017, our report The Shape of Global Higher Education Vol 2. considers the policy environment in a total of 38 countries (Vol. 2 with 12 additional countries) and the extent to which national systems support international collaboration in higher education. 

The Study UK Discover You campaign was launched in September and has so far reached more than 26 million people around the world. 

As a part of this campaign, in partnership with Future Learn, UK institutions are currently offering 150 free online courses, including a new MOOC for agents and perspective students that provides advice on all aspects of UK education. 

More than 1700 applications from alumni in 123 countries have been submitted this year for the Study UK Alumni Awards campaign which has been launched globally.

We are also pleased that recent Tier 4 Student Visa figures shows the intake of international students has grown by 10% since 2016 with China representing the majority and India, Pakistan and Bangladesh showing the biggest gains. 

The autumn also saw the launch of two main reports:

Measuring Our Cultural Dividends provides education institutions with a better understand the UK’s cultural dividends and liabilities in China. 

Broadening Horizons 2017 found that interest in studying abroad has weakened amongst UK students, and offers advice on what the sector can do to make the idea of studying abroad more appealing.

We wrap up the year with Education Secretary Justine Greening announcing that our Generation UK-China scheme will be doubled to give an additional 300 young people the opportunity to take up internships in China from 2018.

To ensure you are kept up to date with our news, opportunities and events in 2018 subscribe to our fortnightly digest.

Thank you for reading and Happy New Year from our higher education team!