Going Global 2023

Going Global Asia Pacific 2022 was the first regional edition of the Going Global conference and took place in Singapore between 28 November to 1 December 2022.

The event combined in-person and online conference sessions, bringing together 276 senior leaders in the tertiary education sphere from 18 countries and territories, and representing over 150 organisations and higher education institutions from across the UK and the Asia Pacific region.

The primary focus of Going Global Asia Pacific 2022 was to explore the pursuit of equity in international education against the backdrop of changing, volatile and inequitable interrelated challenges.

Conversations and learnings from the conference will carry through to Going Global 2023 in Edinburgh.

British Council research underpinned the three themes of the conference and was evidenced in the conference sessions:

Theme 1: How to shape a more equitable future for the mobility of students and researchers

Plenary session: Addressing the gender gaps in Higher Education (HE)

Within HE, as across many other sectors, there is a critical need to address gender inequalities requiring a concerted effort from a range of different institutions and partners. Progress has been made towards gender equality in many countries and there are some excellent examples of policy and practice to draw on. However, much more still needs to be done. This plenary session shared the common challenges and gender-related barriers women’s careers face in HE across Asia Pacific and the UK. 

Key takeaways from the session were:

  • Gender equality in universities should be treated as an organisational issue, not a women’s issue, and commitment to change should be driven from positions of power. HE leaders are responsible and must be held accountable for setting the tone and driving systemic change in organisational culture and performance across gender, equality, diversity and inclusion.
  • Understanding and developing organisational support structures that enable women to progress in HE leadership are critical e.g., to understand how unconscious bias can negatively impact leadership performance requirements; to commit to the Athena Swan charter that assesses systemic structural barriers to women’s progression in HE roles; to encourage positive intervention at critical junctures by making opportunities available to women beyond their expected research or career pathways; to provide mentoring and leadership training; to implement innovative policies on flexible and part-time working and the provision of good quality roles.  
  • Gender equity, access and inclusion is critical to science and while the overall participation of women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) is increasing worldwide, there are many factors at play common to all countries and regions which persist in presenting barriers to women entering STEM fields. Issues across patriarchal values, family pressure, stereotyping and workplace cultures that create gender exclusion in STEM need to be confronted. The private sector, government intervention, male ‘allyship’, gender sensitive policymaking, role model development and international pressure all have a role in recalibrating gender participation in STEM.

Read the British Council research report on Gender Equality in Higher Education - Maximising Impacts

Theme 2: How to inspire a new model of international education partnership.

Plenary session: The Future of English in HE

Read the British Council research report on The future of English

Four key objectives were highlighted during the session. Firstly, to raise awareness about the Future of English (FoE) project in HE, emphasizing its goals and potential impact. Secondly, to encourage UK and Asian institutions to consider active engagement in the FoE project or similar initiatives suited to their contexts. Thirdly, to underscore the importance of understanding English's position in HE, recognizing its global significance and influence on academic disciplines and internationalization efforts. Lastly, the session aimed to stimulate meaningful discussion by incorporating voices from higher education through research and cross-cultural collaboration, fostering a diverse and inclusive approach to the future of English in academia.

Breakfast session: Research report launch of ‘‘Exploring the outlook for UK-India Transnational Education partnerships’

Read the British Council research report Exploring the outlook for UK-India Transnational Education partnerships

The session aimed to enhance the understanding of the potential of Trans-National Education (TNE) in India. The session focused on UK-India bilateral cooperation in education, particularly in HE, as outlined in the UK- India 2030 Roadmap. Despite a significant increase in Indian student enrolment in UK universities, there remains untapped potential in TNE, offering benefits beyond revenue generation.

The session discussed the current state of UK TNE in India, which has shown steady growth but underperforms in comparison to other Asian countries. Emerging opportunities in India, such as the potential for an international education hub and new regulations, were also discussed. 

Theme 3: How to lead universities and colleges to best serve their communities

Parallel session: Social value of transnational education

Beyond the economic, what is the value of transnational education partnerships to stakeholders, institutions and communities in both the UK and overseas? What are the drivers for institutions to engage in TNE and what are the challenges? 

This session explored how universities can benefit holistically from TNE; how TNE contributes to national HE systems and the improvements of quality provision. Speakers discussed the impacts of Covid-19, the role of long-term international partnerships and the need for accelerated investment into distance and online learning.

Read the British Council research report The Value of Transnational Education Partnerships

Parallel session: How can systemic partnerships in higher education contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals?

Closing plenary:  The Future of international tertiary education

Weaving together the knowledge and insight of a unique global network of experts in international education, alongside connections with prospective and recently graduated international students, this session explored British Council research which identifies pertinent global trends for the student experience components of international tertiary education.

New macro challenges and opportunities were explored including:  

  • a more crowded online space making it harder for institutions to achieve recognition and stand out 
  • a more central role for employers in developing and delivering qualifications and micro-credentials, as students demand more vocational skills.
  • changing student attitudes to mobility in light of climate change and the consequential impact on patterns of demand and mobility, offering growth potential for TNE
  • greater 5G roll-out and new technologies will increase demands on universities. 

Read the British Council research report The future of international tertiary education to 2037


Click to download the Going Global Asia Pacific conference programme