2018 Global Forum

A Global Forum on Student Well-Being And Outcomes in Education
Photo and Video Highlights
Selected Presentations


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12 March 2019

Student Experience as an Outcome: Performance-based funding in Australian higher education

Christopher Hill, Associate Professor, Faculty of Education, The British University in Dubai

Rachael Merola, Senior Researcher, OBHE

Australia has long debated using student outcomes as a metric for funding, including experimenting with performance-based funding for learning and teaching from 2005 to 2009. Even as public expenditure per student has declined, increased enrollment has made total public spend on higher education rise, igniting renewed interest in measuring graduate outcomes and value for money and linking results to funding. This is a difficult task; stakeholders have struggled to agree on which outcomes should be measured, how university performance can be tracked, and whether there is adequate and accurate data to do so. The reintroduction of performance-based funding, to be implemented in 2020, will use student outcomes as the criteria for funding increases.

Full article available for members.

28  February 2019

What do New Zealand graduate outcomes tell us about progress on the nation’s skills shortages?

Rachael Merola, Senior Researcher, OBHE

Tertiary education in New Zealand has continued to make strides in both quality and access in recent years. The sector covers all post-secondary education including private training establishments (PTEs), institutes of technology and polytechnics (ITPs), wānanga universities and workplace training. All of the country’s eight state-funded universities were ranked in the top 100 in at least one subject in the 2015/16 QS World University Rankings, and government funding of research and research-led teaching increased to $622 million in 2018 from $576 million in 2017. Attracted by quality, cost, and work opportunities, international student numbers climbed 33% in universities from 2012-2016.  To improve access, first year fees for domestic students and qualifying residents were waived in 2017. While these measures give the impression that the nation is experiencing a Golden Age in tertiary education, data on the outcomes of graduates suggest a persistent skills shortage.

Full article available for members.

22 January 2019

The innovative but challenging quest for “Learning Gain” in English HE – a progress update

Carolyn Walker, OBHE Associate; Consultant in International HE; Former Academic Director at INTO

A 2015 UK Government green paper (a consultation document) on higher education in England focused on teaching and learning outcomes and demonstration of “value for money”. In the foreword, the then Minister of State for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, stated that informative measurements of teaching quality were required to show students, employers and wider society what learning benefits students could expect from their investment. A so-called Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)- now operational- would incentivise universities to improve the quality of their teaching. In the paper, the concept of ‘learning gain’ as a new metric for teaching excellence was floated.  

It is clear that measuring learning gain is extremely complex and prompts questions about who and what higher education is for. Much time has been devoted to defining learning gain, the dimensions involved, and their operationalisation.

Full article available for members.

17 January 2019

Prediction: The United States will see an absolute decline in international student numbers from 2019 that will continue until government policies change

Marguerite J. Dennis, Higher Education Consultant and OBHE Advisory Board member

According to the Institute for International Education, the United States has led the world in the number of enrolled international students since records have been compiled. But as the world order changes, I predict that colleges and universities in the United States, for several reasons as outlined in this article, will enroll fewer undergraduate and graduate international students in the next few years and will continue to lose market share of the internationally mobile student.

I suspect some readers may either dismiss this prediction or dispute the facts I present to support my premise. Some may hope that recent declines in international enrollments in the United States were just a blip: a one-off. Others may blame the decline entirely on the outcome of the 2016 election. The fact is that for more than a decade while the number of internationally mobile students has increased, the United States’ market share of that student population has declined.

In the book A Study in Scarlet, Sherlock Holmes wrote: “It’s a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” So, let’s examine the facts.

Full article available for members.

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The International Quest to Define and Improve Student Success

On November 4-5, 2018 the Global Forum took place at the V Hotel Curio Collection by Hilton in Dubai, UAE. The theme was “The International Quest to Define and Improve Student Success: A global forum on student well-being and outcomes in higher education”. Please see photo highlights and video coverage of the event. The agenda and speaker bios are here

The knowledge partner of the 2018 Global Forum was the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) in Dubai. As it does each year, the Forum brought together 125+ policy-makers, researchers, faculty, and practitioners to delve into some of the most salient topics in international higher education—this year, student well-being and outcomes in HE.

The Forum’s keynote talk was delivered by Sir Anthony Seldon, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Buckingham and one of the world’s leading thinkers on student well-being.  The topic was “Improving Student Success- The positive and mindful university”. 

Speakers and delegates hailed from a range of organisations including KHDA, Quality Assurance Agency (UK), TEQSA (Australia), CPE (Singapore), SP Jain, Zayed University, Heriot-Watt University, TecMilenio University, and i-graduate, and locations including UK, USA, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Mexico, UAE, and more. Selected presentations can be found here

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Canada to boost presence overseas to attract more international students Canadian Manufacturing,16 April 2019

First global impact ranking of universities released University World News, 15 April 2019

Australia to fund regional student repopulation by axing scholarship scheme The PIE News14 April 2019

Call to fight the spread of corruption in HE globally University World News, 14 April 2019

US HE remains on top as competitors strengthen, U21 report The PIE News, 13 April 2019

BRICS and the future of South-South cooperation networks University World News, 13 April 2019

Even in China, one-size education does not fit all The Economist,12 April 2019

Russia's elite universities project to expand to 30 universities University World News, 12 April 2019

Int’l students “plug funding gap” in Irish unis, contribute €386m The PIE News12 April 2019

Report: Higher ed corruption is a global problem EducationDive, 11 April 2019

China “opening education to the outside world” – policy document The PIE News, 10 April 2019

Nanodegrees: The Shift Away from Higher Education International Policy Digest, 9 April 2019

UK asks Bangladesh to open its education market for foreign institutions BD News, 8 April 2019

The coming ‘China crisis’ in global higher education University World News, 7 April 2019

Estonia augments its post-study work offer The PIE News7 April 2019

Chinese economic facts Marguerite Dennis Consulting, 3 April 2019

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