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In 2007, Brian Solis wrote an article entitled, “Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology.” It’s a statement that after five years, He thankfully continue to see shared every day on Twitter. As time passed and experience matured, He amended that statement to now read, “Social media is about social science not technology.”

Why did He change such a powerful statement? He believe that it is not only stronger now, it is also truer.

See, sociology is just one part of the equation. Social science is the study of society and human behaviors. As an umbrella term, we should think about social media and mobile behavior as it’s related to psychology, anthropology, communication, economics, human geography, ethnography, et al. After all, everything comes down to people.

Unfortunately in new media, we tend to put technology ahead of people. Think about your current social media, mobile, or web strategy for a moment. Do you even know who you’re trying to reach? Do you know what customers or stakeholders expect or the challenges they face? Are you familiar with how they connect and communicate and why? Lastly, do you understand the journey they take to make decisions?

Whether we do or we don’t isn’t stopping us from embracing social and mobile technologies to reach the new generation of connected consumers.

Excerpt from BrianSolis.com

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Education Go Abroad would like to congratulate all the 68 candidates that have enjoyed our promotion that would end on 10th, this weekend.

We are glad the you have trusted in our service to help your Education Abroad’s dream realized.

As for the 68 candidates, we would like to gently remind you that the application process takes between 8 to10 weeks.We will surely notify you as soon as your application approval issued out from the Ministry of Education in Romania.

Please note that all successful applicant must report to their respective universities on 20 of September 2012 and register at the University latest on by 01 October 2012. A departure briefing will be organize at different country start from 13th September 2012.

Please check your email frequently for latest update.

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picture from Austin Peay State University

As high school seniors evaluate colleges and universities across the country, I’ve met many who are looking to identify programs that offer an “international education.” For most, this simply means looking for opportunities to study abroad for all or part of a year. However, thinking about global education in terms of simply studying abroad is an approach that is far too shortsighted.

In addition to overseas experiences, a true international education constantly exposes students to ideas and issues that define today’s world. This should happen when students are studying on campus as well as when they’re studying abroad, and it should be taking place no matter what a student happens to be studying.

There are many ways students can attain a global education, whether based at a rural campus in the Midwest such as Grinnell’s or at an urban institution. By considering factors such as the international diversity of students on campus, opportunities to hear from visiting foreign scholars and the number of interdisciplinary courses and programs offered at a school, prospective students have other criteria through which to thoughtfully evaluate the international scope of an institution.

For prospective students and parents looking for the most international education possible, I recommend considering the following areas:

    • Look beyond specific majors and departments — Find out how different courses fit together to give a fuller understanding of a particular region of the world or an important topic: for example, is a history course on China tied to an economics course on China (say, through an East Asian Studies program)? Global citizens know how to bring together different skills and disciplines (for example: how chemistry, economics and political science all contribute to a comprehensive understanding of global climate change). Instead of focusing solely on majors, prospective students should evaluate the availability of interdisciplinary courses and programs within the curriculum. College graduates need to use a variety of skills and perspectives to make their way in the world.

 

    • Identify the international elements of different majors — When selecting a college or major, it is important to identify which courses include topics or material from outside the U.S. Some areas of study such as French or history have inherent global relevance, but almost all other courses do as well. For example, majoring in music encourages students to discuss theories and musicians from around the globe, and students studying natural sciences may have an opportunity to study research papers authored by foreign scientists as well as work in laboratories outside the U.S. Does the college or university showcase the international dimension of all its areas of study? Is the word “international” used only to describe certain areas of the curriculum?

 

    • Gauge how passionate students are about international issues — Before deciding on a college, students should know what recent campus events have included global themes. The campus newspaper and calendar offer great insights into what current students are passionate about. Are the conversations limited to the campus bubble, or is there an active dialogue about world events?

 

    • Think about the study abroad opportunity that’s right for you — Nearly every college has a study abroad program, but it shouldn’t be a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Students should research how they will be guided to select an international program that complements their areas of interest. Find out where the college’s or university’s students currently go and what the students do at those sites: in addition to taking classes, are students living with local families? Are they taking field trips, doing internships or completing research projects abroad? How much do faculty (and not just study abroad administrators) work with students to help them determine their options for study abroad? You know that study abroad is really important when it’s the professors who talk about it, not just the students and the administrators.

 

No matter where they may be located, colleges and universities that meet these criteria can provide a deeply international education. As our lives become more and more international, we need to educate individuals on the place that they have and how their actions can impact the world.

Taken from HuffPost, The Internet Newspaper

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Olivia Wainwright

Olivia Wainwright: studying abroad has given me the chance to attend a top institution

Olivia Wainwright in Cape Town

In 2010 I chose to move over 6,000 miles away from home to attend the University of Cape Town. But aside from studying at what is a renowned institution, the experience of moving abroad has been an education in itself.

It wasn’t all sunshine and roses from day one. Well, there was a lot of sunshine, but the first 6 months were tough – I felt homesick and wondered what the heck I had done.

Two and a half years later, I know it was one of the best decisions I have ever made.

There’s a lot more to university than the work done in the classroom. For many of us it’s about leaving home for the first time, meeting new people and establishing ourselves as individuals.

Studying abroad amplifies these learning experiences. I’ve met people from all over Africa and from diverse cultural backgrounds. My preconceived views have been changed and shaped.

Working in orphanages mid-week, being part of a wine-tasting society, writing for the student newspaper and living in a beautiful city have all been bonuses.

I’ve had conversations about genital mutilation and the tradition of virginity testing while doing laundry in halls. I’ve been to debates about the controversial censoring of the South African media, and have protested with 20,000 schoolchildren seeking a better education. Yes, this has been a mind-blowing experience.

My curriculum here is also different to what I would have expected in the UK. I am a BA student studying politics and English. I have found a prevalent topic in my classes has been colonialism and the damaging effect it has on nations. At school, this topic seemed to be avoided in history and politics. I wonder why?

If you want travel, moving away as a student is a perfect opportunity. It’s a relatively simple way to get a visa – and, as Tara Dickenson, a second-year British student at McGill University, Canada, puts it: “It is the one time in your life when you can be selfish and do something you want to do.”

Many believe studying abroad is a pricey option – this isn’t necessarily true. In fact, the move could save you money, especially given recent the recent rise in UK tuition fees.

Studying abroad has also given me the chance to attend a top institution. I would never have got the grades to study at Oxbridge in the UK. However, UCT is the number one university in Africa. This means that many esteemed researchers and lecturers choose to visit from around the world and the quality of education is extremely high.

This article does come with a warning though, studying abroad is not for the faint-hearted. It has definitely not been easy, and at times it has not been fun. But it has taught me a great deal – I have formed life-long friendships and I have made memories that I will never forget.

Taken from Guardian UK

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Student numbers

The number of international students around the world is continuing to rise sharply, with provisional figures from Unesco’s Institute for Statistics revealing an annual increase of 12%.

The final figures for 2009, to be published in May, are expected to show the number of international students rising to 3.43 million from 2.96 million, according to the Unesco statistics.

There are many different measures of overseas students – but this global figure from Unesco shows a huge spike in numbers this decade, rising by more than 75% since 2000.

The United States is the biggest destination. According to the Institute of International Education, the latest figures show there are 691,000 students in the US, with an annual value to the economy estimated at around $20bn (£12.3bn).

But its dominance now depends on the ever-growing number of arrivals from China, overtaking India as the largest single group of overseas students. The number of Chinese students in the US rose by almost 30% in a single year. The third biggest contingent in the US comes from South Korea.

China has become the firecracker in this market. There are more than 440,000 Chinese students abroad – and there are plans to rapidly increase the number of overseas students coming to China’s universities, with an ambitious target of 500,000 places.

To put this into a longer-term perspective, the entire overseas student population in China could once have travelled in a minibus. In the early 1950s it consisted of 20 east Europeans.

Chasing quality

Driving the demand among Chinese to study abroad is a shortage of places on high-quality degree courses at home and the pressure to have an overseas qualification when chasing jobs, says Rahul Choudaha, associate director of the New York-based World Education Services.

Shanghai development
Sign of the times: The expanding Chinese economy is drawing overseas students to Shanghai

The Chinese university system has expanded in terms of quantity, says Dr Choudaha, but it is struggling to keep pace with the demand for quality.

The plan to bring more overseas students into China is part of the country’s drive to internationalise its economy and become a “knowledge power”, says Dr Choudaha.

It’s also a reflection of how much the culture of the overseas student market has changed – with western universities no longer able to depend on their pivotal position.

It was once a trade as stately as steamships, vaguely colonial in how it managed to make a nice little earner seem rather philanthropic.

Now it’s more like international air travel, with the trade routes of this multi-billion business wrapping themselves around the globe in every direction.

The current intake of overseas students in China also shows a different kind of map of influence. The only European country in its top 10 is Russia – with the most overseas students in China coming from South Korea, the US, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam.

Overseas without the travel

It’s also no longer necessarily about overseas students travelling from overseas.

“We don’t consider their nationality, we just want the best”

Danielle Guichard-AshbrookMassachusetts Institute of Technology

Figures released by the British Council this week show that there are now more “overseas students” taking UK degrees in their own countries than there are overseas students coming to study in the UK.

The UK is the second biggest destination for overseas students.

But there are now 340,000 students taking UK university courses in their home countries, either through partnerships between UK and local universities or else through UK universities setting up branch campuses, such as Nottingham in Ningbo in China.

More than 160 branch campuses have been opened in more than 50 countries – mostly by US universities. There are also a multitude of partnerships and joint degrees as part of this academic cross-pollination.

According to the British Council, this type of “transnational” studying has increased by 70% in a decade.

The council’s chief executive, Martin Davidson, says this is going to appeal to “students across the world who may not be able to afford to spend several years thousands of miles away from home”.

Technology can only accelerate this process. Online degrees are making strides in the mainstream, with US firms such as Laureate teaming up with institutions such as Liverpool University to offer internet-based courses. Laureate has a network of university links in 24 countries.

Talent search

Another key to this growth in internationalisation is the competition for the most talented students and staff.

Major research institutions are like top football clubs, operating in in a kind of international zone, judged by international comparisons and competing to recruit the best individuals from around the world.

International students, Berlin
Students in Berlin: Universities have international catchment areas

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is widely-recognised as one of the best research universities in the world.

It might be physically based in Boston, but its cutting-edge postgraduate courses depend on recruiting the best students – and this means a global rather than a national catchment area.

About 40% of the students on graduate courses are from outside the US, says Danielle Guichard-Ashbrook, director and associate dean of the International Students Office.

“We open up admissions to the whole world. We don’t consider their nationality, we just want the best – and we get them,” she says.

There are more than a hundred different nationalities represented in the graduate intake – with the biggest numbers coming from China, India and South Korea.

Cash cows

The scale of the increase in international student numbers in university is not without risks.

In the UK, the current level of anxiety over proposed student visa restrictions reveals how much universities have come to depend on the income from overseas students.

“No student wants to be an export earner and the sooner we learn this the better”

Steven SchwartzMacquarie University, Sydney

Steven Schwartz is vice chancellor of Macquarie University in Sydney, having previously worked in universities in the UK and US.

In Australia he has seen how quickly an expanding overseas student market can evaporate.

Indian public opinion was outraged after a series of attacks on Indian students in Australia in 2009. Applications from Indian students slumped by 50% – and threatened an industry which had grown to become Australia’s third biggest export.

He says the lesson from this rise and fall is that university systems should always remember that students are individuals rather than walking fee cheques.

“Studying with students from diverse backgrounds, domestic students learn about other cultures, cuisines and languages. They also learn about fairness and tolerance and teamwork and fair play. These lessons are just as important as any learned in class,” says Prof Schwartz.

“However these lessons will be negated when we treat international students as simply income sources. No student wants to be an export earner and the sooner we learn this the better.”

Taken from BBC News, By Sean Coughlan

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 “Developed economies are already highly dependent on universities and if anything that reliance will increase”

                                                                                                                                                                     David WillettsUK universities minister

At the beginning of the last century, the power of nations might have been measured in battleships and coal.

 Aalto University in Finland is teaching Chinese students in English

In this century it’s as likely to be graduates.

There has been an unprecedented global surge in the numbers of young people going to university.

Among the developed OECD countries, graduation rates have almost doubled since the mid-1990s.

China’s plans are not so much an upward incline as a vertical take-off.

In 1998, there were only about a million students in China. Within a decade, it had become the biggest university system in the world.

Figures last month from China’s education ministry reported more than 34 million graduates in the past four years. By 2020 there will be 35.5 million students enrolled.

The president of Yale described this as the fastest such expansion in human history.

Inextricably linked with this expansion has been another phenomenon – the globalisation of universities.

Global networks

There are more universities operating in other countries, recruiting students from overseas, setting up partnerships, providing online degrees and teaching in other languages than ever before.

Chinese students are taking degrees taught in English in Finnish universities; the Sorbonne is awarding French degrees in Abu Dhabi; US universities are opening in China and South Korean universities are switching teaching to English so they can compete with everyone else.

Students graduate in South Korea, 2011
Capturing the moment: South Korea has turned itself into a global player in higher education

It’s like one of those board games where all the players are trying to move on to everyone else’s squares.

It’s not simply a case of western universities looking for new markets. Many countries in the Middle East and Asia are deliberately seeking overseas universities, as a way of fast-forwarding a research base.

In Qatar, the purpose-built Education City now has branches of eight overseas universities, with more to follow. Shanghai is set to be another magnet for international campuses.

‘Idea capitals’

This global network is the way of the future, says John Sexton, president of New York University.

“There’s a world view that universities, and the most talented people in universities, will operate beyond sovereignty.

“Much like in the renaissance in Europe, when the talent class and the creative class travelled among the great idea capitals, so in the 21st century, the people who carry the ideas that will shape the future will travel among the capitals.

“But instead of old European names it will be names like Shanghai and Abu Dhabi and London and New York. Those universities will be populated by those high-talent people.”

New York University, one of the biggest private universities in the US, has campuses in New York and Abu Dhabi, with plans for another in Shanghai. It also has a further 16 academic centres around the world.

Mr Sexton sets out a different kind of map of the world, in which universities, with bases in several cities, become the hubs for the economies of the future, “magnetising talent” and providing the ideas and energy to drive economic innovation.

Universities are also being used as flag carriers for national economic ambitions – driving forward modernisation plans.

For some it’s been a spectacularly fast rise. According to the OECD, in the 1960s South Korea had a similar national wealth to Afghanistan. Now it tops international education league tables and has some of the highest-rated universities in the world.

The Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea was only founded in 1986 – and is now in the top 30 of the Times Higher’s global league table, elbowing past many ancient and venerable institutions.

It also wants to compete on an international stage so the university has decided that all its graduate programmes should be taught in English rather than Korean.

Spending power

Philip Altbach, director of the Centre for International Higher Education, based in Boston College in the United States, says governments want to use universities to upgrade their workforce and develop hi-tech industries.

Sheikh Hamid Bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Francois Fillon open the Sorbonne in Abu Dhabi
The first French-speaking university in the Gulf, a branch of the Sorbonne, was opened last month

“Universities are being seen as a key to the new economies, they’re trying to grow the knowledge economy by building a base in universities,” says Professor Altbach.

Families, from rural China to eastern Europe, are also seeing university as a way of helping their children to get higher-paid jobs. A growing middle-class in India is pushing an expansion in places.

Universities also stand to gain from recruiting overseas. “Universities in the rich countries are making big bucks,” he says. This international trade is worth at least $50 billion a year, he estimates, the lion’s share currently being claimed by the US.

If there are parallels with economic and political rivalries, the US remains the academic superpower, not least because of the raw wealth of its top universities.

Despite its investments taking a hammering from the financial crisis, Harvard sits on an endowment worth $27.4bn and spends more than $3.5bn a year.

It means that for every one dollar spent by a leading European university such as the London School Economics, Harvard can spend almost $10.

Even the poorest Ivy League university in the US will have an endowment bigger than the gross domestic product of many African countries.

Facebook generation

The success of the US system is not just about funding, says Professor Altbach. It’s also because it’s well run and research is effectively organised. “Of course there are lots of lousy institutions in the US, but overall the system works well.”

The status of the US system has been bolstered by the link between its university research and developing hi-tech industries. Icons of the internet-age such Google and Facebook grew out of US campuses.

“Developed economies are already highly dependent on universities and if anything that reliance will increase,” says the UK’s universities minister, David Willetts.

And he says that globalisation in higher education is increasing in pace and “going to go a lot further”.

“The rapid increase in international students, not just in the UK but in other countries with high quality universities, is a case in point.

“Universities are internationalised along other fronts too – for example, in the research that they do, which often has greater impact when conducted in collaboration with institutions in other countries.”

University of laptop

Technology, much of it hatched on university campuses, is also changing higher education and blurring national boundaries.

Online services such as Apple’s iTunes U gives public access to lectures from more than 800 universities and more than 300 million have been downloaded. And where else would a chemistry lecture get to be a chart topper?

NYU Abu Dhabi
New York University in Abu Dhabi: The university’s president says this is the era of “global networks”

It raises many questions too. What are the expectations of this Facebook generation? They might have degrees and be able to see what is happening on the other side of the world, but will there be enough jobs to match their ambitions?

Who is going to pay for such an expanded university system? And what about those who will struggle to afford a place?

But Mr Willetts says that globalisation is having a “positive impact” for students, academics and employers.

And Professor Sexton remains optimistic that globalism will be about co-operation as much as competition and he summons up the forward-looking attitude of immigrants arriving in New York.

“The immigrant is always looking forwards to a better tomorrow, not looking back to a golden age.”

graph of graduation rates
Taken from BBC News, By Sean Coughlan

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Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani

Dr Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani says Qatar is making a strategic decision to spend oil income on education

When oil rich countries get involved in global education projects, it is easy to be cynical and only expect some air-brushed philanthropy and gold-plated business school sponsorship.

But the Gulf state of Qatar is providing something more substantial.

So much so that it is becoming one of the most significant players in the field of education innovation, supporting a raft of projects from grassroots basic literacy through to high-end university research.

As well as trying to fast-forward its own education system, it is supporting projects in some of the toughest environments.

The man at the centre of many of Qatar’s education initiatives is Sheikh Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, a member of Qatar’s ruling family and a former university professor.

Looking at the epic scale of Qatar’s spending on education this must make him one of the world’s most ambitious ex-teachers.

Future proofing

Speaking in London, he set out the strategic thinking. When the oil runs out, they want to be left with a viable, advanced economy.

It’s something like lottery winners who buy their children the best education, so that they’ll be able to fend for themselves in the years ahead.

Doha skyline
Qatar is investing in education in its strategy to prepare for a post-oil future

Instead, they’re recycling their gas and oil into knowledge – building universities, reforming the school system, improving vocational training and setting up an international forum for finding the most effective forms of innovation.

“The blessing of the oil and gas won’t last forever – so focusing on something sustainable is more important,” says Dr Abdulla.

But a high quality education system is not created overnight – so he says they decided to “jump start” this with overseas partnerships.

Eight international universities, predominantly from the US, set up state of the art bases in Qatar’s Education City campus.

This multi-billion dollar investment, a kind of academic irrigation project, was intended to provide a short-term, accelerated development of a regional research hub.

But Dr Abdulla, president of the over-arching university, says the longer-term and tougher challenge is to develop home-grown high-quality institutions.

“There is no way forward without putting education as a priority, especially in the Arab world,” he says.

Arab Spring

The events of the Arab Spring have shown the dissatisfaction of a young population, with rising unemployment and a lack of opportunities for young graduates.

WISE award winner, Mother Child Education Project
The WISE awards support international projects: Mother and child education in Turkey

“We need to find an education that serves their needs,” he says.

But what has been distinctive about Qatar’s investment has been its willingness to support international projects.

The WISE summit – World Innovation Summit for Education – is designed as a catalyst for innovation. Now in its fourth year, it brings together education leaders to talk about what works in improving schools.

“We want it to be about action – we need things to come out of this three-day meeting and not just talk,” he says.

The summit identifies examples of good practice – and the accompanying WISE awards have supported projects in Africa, south Asia, South America and Europe.

It is also helping to fund the rebuilding of Haiti’s schools and health service after the earthquake – a long way from the headlines and its own regional sphere of influence.

Nobel for education

There has never been a Nobel prize for education – and it is the Qataris who have been the first to create an equivalent, launching the WISE prize last year, worth $500,000 (£319,000).

Brac school in South Sudan
Sir Fazle Hasan Abed was recognised for opening schools in countries such as South Sudan

“We talk about the importance of education, but there was nothing prestigious globally that really reflected that,” says Dr Abdulla.

The first winner, Sir Fazle Hasan Abed from Bangladesh, was recognised for a lifetime’s work bringing basic primary education to some of the world’s poorest communities, from Afghanistan to South Sudan.

Linking many of these schemes is the Qatar Foundation, which channels funds towards education and science.

The most visible international profile of the Qatar Foundation is on the shirts of Barcelona football club.

There is a cultural dimension to all this reaching out, with Qatar acting as a bridge between the West and the Arab world.

‘Ignorance’

Dr Abdulla says human contacts are a really important part of this – and he is proud that the international universities in Qatar have 85 different nationalities among the students.

Lionel Mess, Barcelona, in Qatar Foundation shirt
The thinker: Barcelona’s shirt sponsor is the Qatar Foundation, which funds education projects

But he hesitates about whether he should say publicly there is much “ignorance” about his region.

“We need to get exchanges between cultures and students because this dialogue isn’t done enough. We believe education should match the idea of being a bridge,” he said.

There are going to be cultural differences, he says. “The only way to overcome these problems is open dialogue.”

Dr Abdulla is an engaging speaker with flawless English. The only word he didn’t seem familiar with was “EasyJet”.

But he is also distinctive in having a personal passion for his education projects. He was once a teacher of engineering who says he misses the classroom.

“That’s why I’ve been involved in this all my life.

“The rewards I get personally are great. It’s satisfying working with students, and when you see them growing, it is really a privilege.

“But I think education can happen in all levels of life. It doesn’t have to be in the classroom, everyone should be participating, parents and teachers.”

Dissatisfaction

Dr Abdulla is optimistic about his country’s faith in the transformative powers of education.

Young voter in Cairo
Voting in Cairo: The Middle East has a young population, pushing for education and jobs

“Having been blessed with the wealth there is no better way of using it than education,” he says.

Despite Qatar having the highest GDP per capita of any country in the world, it is perched in a precarious and restless region.

Speaking recently in Cairo, Charles Clarke, former UK education secretary and home secretary, said he believed high quality higher education was “absolutely vital to the Arab world”.

He said there was a risk of young people being “sheared off” from society, and argued that academic excellence could only be achieved if there was academic independence.

Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar
Qatar wants to “jump start” research with partners such as the Weill Cornell Medical College

The World Bank has also emphasised the need for an education system in the Arab world which gives young people the skills needed for the modern labour market.

It stresses the importance of meeting the growing demand for university education – and the consequent need for jobs for the rising number of graduates.

Qatar is using its gas and oil income to stay ahead of the curve.

This has seen Qatari investors buying up landmark property like Monopoly players on a lucky roll.

But perhaps the place to look for the long strategy is the Qatar Foundation’s symbol – the Sidra tree.

Instead of images of luxury, this is a tough, tenacious tree, that survives in the hardship of the desert.

Taken from ” BBC News”

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