March 2016

True to my closing line in last month’s update, today I find myself writing this month’s one whilst I’m sitting in the airport on my way to meet QS colleagues in Singapore. This is the start of a busy few months of travel – which I relish – and I can’t wait to see the behind the scenes work we’ve been doing come to fruition in the coming months!

So, turning to what’s been happening this month – both at BU and beyond….

The Benefits of Student Mobility

The International Unit’s recent publication Gone International 2016: the value of mobility summarises the vast opportunities that students benefit from whilst studying abroad – from creating a wider global network of friends and colleagues – to the financial benefits: ‘Mobile students from almost all socio-economic backgrounds reported higher average salaries than the average salaries of their non-mobile equivalents.’ Equally welcoming, the report also highlights that ‘UK-domiciled students going overseas rose by 39.3% in 2013-14’. This is great news for the sector, but we want this to be higher still! At BU, we are seeing more and more interest from students to study abroad – something we are actively encouraging and supporting through the Global Horizons Fund. But don’t just take my word for it – hear from one of our own students, Ruth, who spent five months studying abroad in China.


Global Talent

Our pilot Global Talent Programme launched in February and I’m delighted with the response and engagement from our students. We’ve had over 170 students participate so far and just some of the highlights include:

  • On the 2nd of March Professor Chris Shiel delivered an exciting 5th session on our Global Talent Programme. The session featured an interactive discussion around the importance of developing cultural sensitivity and cross-cultural understanding within the context of global employability. Check out our storify of the session.
  • Another session later in the month on Global Employability gave students the opportunity to hear from two Dorset entrepreneurs with global mindsets – Mike Hawkyard, CEO of Amuzo Games and Nuno Almeida, CEO of Nourish Care.
  • We were also extremely lucky to welcome Barney Ely, Director at Hays – the leading global specialist recruitment firm – to share his extensive knowledge and expertise in this field – for more details see our storify.

I’m sure it won’t just be the eagle-eyed among you that can spot the common theme throughout the above – international employability! We know that students come to university with strong ambitions and hopes for their future – the recent Sodexo-THE survey reports that 71% of students say they attend HE to increase their employment opportunities; and 53% aim to increase their salaries by completing a degree. The Global Talent Programme is still just a pilot at the moment, but we think it has the potential to help students achieve these goals, and more!


UK Universities Among the Best in Europe

This month we also saw the release of the THE European University Rankings, in which UK universities have secured a quarter of the positions within the top 200. What an accomplishment! The international reputation of our higher education here in the UK is strong, however we must remind ourselves that the ongoing and significant decline in international students is a reality that is likely to impact our global standing. This month, CABS released a report announcing that over 90% of business schools surveyed agreed that both ‘changes to post-study work visa availability’ and ‘reporting of government policy’ has negatively impacted recruitment of international students.

For us at BU, good news continues with our Faculty of Media and Communications being placed in the 151-200 bracket by subject ranking for its Communication and Media Studies. Congratulations to all those involved.

Dates for the Diary…

 As I said at the start of this post, lots of travel in the coming months for me – a highlight of this will be in late June when we hold our first Festival of Learning – overseas. We have run the hugely popular Festival of Learning at home now for several years but this is the first time that BU will simultaneously run the Festival at home – and abroad! This is one of the most tangible expressions yet of our vision for Global Fusion – and I can’t wait!

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