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The government's announcement of a major review of the National Student Survey signals a worrying shift in the HE regulatory landscape, warns Jon Scott, higher education consultant and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at the University of Leicester.
Statements from ministers this week have made it clear that higher education in England is facing significant reforms, re-setting its focus towards helping to plug the UK's skills gaps and rebuilding the economy. Fariba Soetan, Policy Lead for Research and Innovation at the National Centre for Universities and Business, argues that the proposed changes bring a welcome focus on graduate outcomes and supporting the careers of young people.
A new partnership between the University of Warwick and i-graduate is set to enable higher education institutions to meet the needs of global employers, thanks to a new diagnostic tool for enhancing student integration.
With global employers increasingly seeking graduates who have worked in multicultural teams, across multiple languages and who can communicate effectively across cultures, researchers, Professor Helen Spencer-Oatey and Dr Daniel Dauber from the University of Warwick’s Centre for Applied Linguistics developed the diagnostic tool, Global Education Profiler (GE-P) to provide institutions with the ability to assess and analyse the success of their global integration strategies and collect the data necessary for their improvement.
Through the use of a diagnostic online questionnaire, developed by the Warwick researchers and conducted by i-graduate, GE-P goes further than traditional measures of internationalisation that quantify the international composition of staff and students, by addressing key facets of internationalisation sought by employers, such as social and academic integration and communication, foreign language and global graduate skills.
Following students’ completion of the questionnaire, institutions will have access to detailed reporting on students’ aspirations and experience of integrating into the educational community, their aspirations and experience of developing ‘global graduate’ skills, and size and direction of any gap between students’ aspirations and experiences.
Professor Spencer-Oatey said: “Graduates need to be armed with global skills to give them the best chance in the world of work. Providing students with opportunities for social and academic integration is key to addressing this need. The extent to which students are integrating in the classroom and into communities has become of strategic importance, which is why we have developed and launched the Global Education Profiler.”
Dr Dauber added: “The Global Education Profiler is very different from traditional measures of internationalisation. It is a diagnostic tool that helps you identify what kind of global learning environment your students are experiencing, which is essential for strategic planning to increase community integration and global competency development.”
i-graduate has been delivering comparative insight to the education sector since 2005. Will Archer, CEO, commented: “We are delighted to add the GE-P to our expanding suite of tools, which includes the International Student Barometer. We can now delve even deeper into global integration strategies and our partnership with Warwick allows institutions to not only use the GE-P to assess their own global integration strategies but also to benchmark their results with the sector as a whole and identify areas for improvement.”
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