Two sides of the same coin: different perspectives on student pathways to higher education.
Do college counsellors from schools, and international representatives from universities, agree when it comes to supporting high school students with their future pathways? This question was addressed in a recent panel discussion we hosted. The discussion focused on some of the outcomes from our recent report on international school student pathways to higher education.
Here are just some of the valuable messages our panel shared with host Pia Maske, our East Asia Field Researcher.
Lucien Giordano, Group Director of International Outreach and Alumni Engagement at Education in Motion (EiM), highlighted how everyone has had to pivot to support students through the COVID challenges. Face to face visits and university fairs have moved to virtual ones which, when you’re on the other side of the world, means huge time zone challenges for school college counsellors. “Engaging with the universities is a really important part of this job, they’ve got to be putting in hours, late at night, or early in the mornings trying to find all those different time zones” he explained.
Anne Kuijs, International Recruitment and Marketing Advisor at Tilburg University in The Netherlands, said that, despite the practical challenges, the virtual fairs have proved highly effective for HEIs to “connect with students in remote locations, which we otherwise wouldn’t be able to do”. As a result, students and their college counsellors have access to more universities and a wider selection of pathway options.
Anne also mentioned a greater focus around student wellbeing on campus. There’s been “a shift in universities now actively reaching out and checking on their students, for their mental health and not just their academic health,” she said.
Caitlin Brennan, Partner Development Director at InvestIN, spoke about how InvestIN enables students to enhance their passions and skills through real life work experience. “It’s not just about the qualification, it’s about understanding where it’s going to take you,” she said.
During the webinar, speakers shared practical advice about school/university engagement and discussed some of the bigger issues that higher education institutes should consider such as standardized testing, wellbeing and student equality and accessibility to resources.
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