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Wednesday, 15 February 2017

British Study Centres To Open Its First Overseas Franchise

Steve Phillips (left), MD of transnational education and
pathways at BSC, with Sid'Ahmed Djeffal (right),
one of BSC's Algerian partners
British Study Centres will open its first overseas franchise in Algeria, it has announced. The new location is set to begin operations in the second quarter of the year.

Located in the city of Oran in the northwest of Algeria, the new franchise will focus primarily on teacher training and will also offer corporate training courses.

BSC Algeria will operate out of the convention centre in Le Meridien hotel complex. It will have an initial capacity of 100, but there is potential for it to grow further in the existing facilities.

The franchise will offer the Cambridge CELTA course, in addition to ELT and in-company training.

There is great potential for ELT in Algeria, according to Steve Phillips, managing director of transnational education and pathways at British Study Centres.

“It’s an exciting market and still very much a pioneering phase for ELT, especially in Oran,” he told The News.

BSC Algeria will begin operating in the second quarter of this year. It already has an initial corporate contract, but more are expected in the future, said Phillips.

British Study Centres was acquired by Real Experience Group last year, for an undisclosed amount, just after the group also bought Experience English. Combined, the group became the UK’s largest group of premium language schools with seven locations across the country.

FutureLearn A MOOC Platform Secures Its First USA Partners

FutureLearn, a MOOC platform Owned by
the UK’s Open University
FutureLearn, a MOOC platform owned by the UK’s Open University, has announced five US universities will be offering courses through its system, marking the first time it has partnered with educational institutions in the US.

American University, Colorado State University, Penn State University, Purdue University and University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business will all be offering a number of courses on the platform this year, further expanding FutureLearn’s global reach.

Simon Nelson, CEO of FutureLearn, said the company has been working towards bringing on US educators for some time. The new addition will help to accelerate the platform’s growth in the US, one of the biggest markets in the world for online learning, he said.

“I think it will broaden our reach in the US, but also increase our credibility all over the world by having these prestigious new institutions alongside our existing partners,” he told The News.

With its new partners and courses, the company is aiming to tackle the challenge of upskilling the workforce, both in the US and internationally.

“We want to create portfolios of more professionally relevant courses and qualifications that people who work, or are about to enter work, or are trying to get jobs, can use to develop further their skills,” he said.

“Not to the exclusion of the broader range of content we offer, but definitely we think that this is one of the most important areas of value we can bring to learners.”

The US institutions have already announced five courses in subjects including persuasive communication and data science, with several more expected in the coming months.

Tom Steenburgh, senior associate dean for executive education and non-credit at UVA’s Darden School of Business, said FutureLearn’s focus on the community of learners aligns with the school’s “collaborative and participative approach to business education”.

“Darden looks forward to the partnership providing another avenue for the school to drive innovation in pursuit of transformational learning opportunities for all,” he said.

In December, FutureLearn announced a partnership with Deakin University, its first with an Australian institution, to offer a series of postgraduate degrees to online learners.

The platform now has a total of 119 partners, of which 70 are universities.

Queensland Government Lunch International Education and Training (IET) Partnership Fund

Queensland International Education and Training
Partnership Fund
The Queensland International Education and Training (IET) Partnership Fund, launched by Queensland education minister Kate Jones, will provide A$6m over five years to support programmes and ideas that align with the strategy’s key initiatives and goals, including building market share to 20%.

“IET is incredibly important to our state’s economy, contributing $2.8bn annually in export revenue and employing 19,000 Queenslanders,” Jones said in a statement.

“With the right initiatives we can grow IET to be worth an estimated $7.5bn delivering an additional 6,000 jobs by 2026.”

One of the largest of its sort in Australia, the fund seeks to uncover “grassroots ideas” from a range of stakeholders, including institutions, local government, community groups and students, as well as help establish organisations to develop initiatives to support international education.

Funding packages available range from $5,000 to $150,000, with applicants required to match the amount received.

Among the initiatives outlined in the state’s strategy announced in November 2016 were regional goals which aim to encourage students to study outside of capital city, Brisbane, which currently attracts a third of the state’s international students, 50,000.

Tom Tate, mayor of the city of Gold Coast, south of Brisbane, said in a statement his city’s schools were embracing international students.

“We are committed to growing international education here on the Gold Coast, not just through our schools but also at Griffith Gold Coast and at Bond University,” he said.

The launch of the IET Partnership Fund will be followed by the inaugural IET summit, also on the Gold Coast, next month, which will bring together industry stakeholders to discuss how to grow international education in Queensland.

Expressions of interest for funding will close on February 27.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Global IT Company IBM To Train 25 Million Africans In Five Years

IBM's Initiative Aim To Train up 25 million people In Africa
Global IT company, IBM has announced a new initiative that aims to train 25 million Africans in digital skills development over the next five years, in order to help increase the level of digital literacy on the continent and upskill the workforce.

IBM Digital – Nation Africa, which will be rolled out on a cloud-based learning platform, will provide free programmes to users to help nurture innovation, and improve digital competence.

The company will invest $70m into the initiative which will focus on cultivating skills for “New Collar” jobs – a range of careers which include cybersecurity, artificial intelligence and the cloud computing.

“Industries across the spectrum need to enable the existing and future workforce to perform at the forefront of technologies”

The programmes will also cater for a spectrum of abilities from basic IT skills up to advanced subjects including cybersecurity and programming.

IBM has also partnered with the United Nations Development Programme to collaborate on STEM skills delivery, certification and accreditation.

“UNDP is pleased to leverage its global presence, development knowledge, and long standing partnerships to provide context, traction and scale to this collaboration with IBM,” said Walid Badawi, UNDP country director in South Africa.

Africa’s booming population currently exceeds 1.2 billion, with almost 20% aged between 15 and 24.

However, there is a great need to upskill the workforce.

“In order to find solutions to Africa’s challenges, industries across the spectrum need to enable the existing and future workforce to perform at the forefront of technologies such as cognitive and cloud computing,” said Hamilton Ratshefola, country general manager for IBM South Africa.

“This will be the key to spurring economic growth.”

The initiative will launch from IBM’s regional offices in South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Egypt and Morocco, allowing it to expand across the continent.

It will also incorporate IBM’s already existing Watson software, a question answering computer system, allowing the programmes to be adapted to the individual user.

Business Schools In London Face Post-Brexit Turbulence

The Association of Business Schools
London’s “invisible” but highly successful “jungle” of business schools could be hit hard by a “double whammy” of Brexit and regulatory reforms, experts have warned.

While London’s position as the world’s financial centre has been well documented, the UK capital is less well known for being the leading global centre for business education, with more than 150 providers offering business courses or internships, says a new study by UK and Finnish researchers.

That ecosystem, which includes at least 45 business schools and 45 alternative providers of business education who can sponsor student visas, is now facing a “perfect storm” caused by “hypercompetition and policy reforms”, according to the paper by Julie Davies, of the University of Huddersfield, and Finnish researchers Kimmo Alajoutsijarvi and Kerttu Kettunen, of the University of Jyväskylä and Turku School of Economics, respectively. The paper was published recently in the European Foundation for Management Development’s magazine Global Focus.

Among the chief threats to smaller business schools are the potential limiting of access to student loans following the creation of the new regulator, the Office for Students, and possible plans to link student visa status to institutions’ performance in the new teaching excellence framework, say the authors.

“There are confusing signals [as] the UK government is encouraging new entrants while at the same time clamping down on the student visas to reduce immigration numbers,” the paper adds.

The interests of London business schools are also seldom considered by ministers given their relatively low profile, despite accounting for a significant proportion of the capital’s 400,000 students, the paper adds.

“Even within London, business schools do not seem to be in touch with Members of Parliament in Westminster,” the paper says, adding that “instead, politicians are focused on economics, science and technology to boost the economy”.

Arguing that there is a “blind spot” regarding business schools in London, it says that they “contribute important export revenue yet they are largely invisible in the public domain at home”.

This could be explained by the “jungle” nature of the capital’s business school sector, the researchers suggest. Providers, which range from four triple-accredited business schools (Cass, ESCP, Imperial College Business School and London Business School) to regional universities with London campuses (the universities of Newcastle, Loughborough and Warwick) and smaller private providers, such as the Business School of London, often have little in common and therefore do not lobby as effectively as they could, the paper says

“The British business school industry scores massively abroad because of high numbers of overseas students and branch campuses, [but] at home this is not the case,” the paper argues.

Speaking to the media, Dr Davies said London’s business schools industry is a little-noticed “jewel in the crown” of the UK’s education export market.

“No other city in the world approaches London for the number and diversity of business schools,” Dr Davies said, adding that ministers should “not be snooty” about alternative providers who often provided good opportunities for both domestic and international students.

Academics Warn About Brexit Threat To University-Business Links

National Centre for Universities and Business
Academics have spoken out about the risks that Brexit poses to university-business collaboration with the potential loss of research-dependent companies to other countries, reduced access to European funding and falling out of business networks being top concerns.

Links between UK universities and European firms received a boost last week after the announcement that Novo Nordisk, the Danish pharmaceutical giant, was investing £115 million in a new research centre at the University of Oxford despite the prospect of Brexit.

However, reports have suggested that major companies important to the strength of some sectors of British industry, and that have strong ties with universities, are reconsidering their presence in the country.

According to industry insiders, among firms carefully considering their future is Airbus, which has a base in Filton, near Bristol, in the South West aerospace cluster, which is facing pressure to move its operations to other European countries because of the UK leaving the European Union.

Likewise, Nissan, the car-maker, said last month that it will review the case for any future investment in the UK once the terms of departure from the EU become clear, despite private reassurances on trade from the government.

Airbus and Nissan each invested in excess of $4 billion (£3.2 billion) on research and development globally in 2016, according to research by Strategy&, a consultancy arm of professional services company PwC.

David Docherty, chief executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business, said that it was “completely uncharted territory” if major companies such as Airbus were to leave the UK but that universities are “thinking through the challenges” that this would present.

“No one is complacent about this. These are significant challenges and we clearly need this to be a top priority for the government,” Dr Docherty said.

He added that research funding from companies was global and could “go anywhere” as decisions are taken at board level and many companies have their headquarters overseas.

“Every major corporation will be reviewing their portfolio of research against the emerging post-Brexit settlement…If the UK does not maintain and grow its research funding then private research funding from global corporations could go elsewhere,” Dr Docherty said.

One university that works closely with Airbus is the University of Bristol. The institution is a strategic research partner of the company and has a five-year framework agreement with Airbus, which comes to an end this year. Discussions are currently under way to renew the agreement.

Nishan Canagarajah, Bristol’s pro vice-chancellor for research and enterprise, told Times Higher Education that he got the impression that there was not a “real risk” that Airbus would leave the UK. But he added that it is not yet clear exactly how their relationship will pan out in the future.

“Clearly [Airbus] are concerned and they cannot say for definite what their plans are because that depends what the government decides to do. So far, the impression that we are getting is that they will continue to engage with us, but the level of activity is difficult to predict,” he said.

If they did decide to leave the UK, Professor Canagarajah said that it is unlikely that they would take all immediate funding with them as they would honour existing contracts.

“But they would take future funding with them. There will be other ways we will get the capacity but to lose a major global player would be a significant loss,” he said, adding that in the long term this could lead to other innovative companies in the South West aerospace cluster potentially following suit.

Access to EU research funding for joint university and business projects is also a potential issue arising from Brexit.

It is not clear whether UK academics will still have access to Europe’s multibillion research funding programme, Horizon 2020, which sponsors such work, in the future.

Data from the European Commission reveal that of the Horizon 2020 grant agreements signed so far that involve at least one university and one business partner, almost 20 per cent have gone to the UK. Such grants have been worth €2.86 billion (£2.46 billion) to the UK since 2014.

Jonathan Knight, pro vice-chancellor for research at the University of Bath, said that this funding is “extremely important” and without it “research would suffer enormously”.

But he said that universities are not expecting all this research funding to be lost as they hope that they will be able to establish other funding streams that can, at least to a certain extent, replace it.

“What is more of a challenge is the loss of the networks…The academic and business networks within those programmes have become quite integrated,” said Professor Knight.

“It is really common to work with an academic in another [European] country who can put you in contact with local businesses in those other countries. Those opportunities will be very hard to replace,” he said.

He added that the networks are formalised through the funding programmes as academics regularly attend meetings with collaborators. “If there is no mechanism to ensure that you are constantly...forming new alliances they would gradually die,” he said.

“Believing that we can replace relationships that we may have in Europe with similar relationships elsewhere in the world is naive,” he said.

The University of Lagos Authourity Deny Imposing Dress Code For Students

UNILAG Dress Code Report
The University of Lagos on Thursday described as untrue reports that it has introduced a new dress code for its students.

Several news platforms had earlier in the week, published reports which outlined different modes of dressing purportedly banned by the university in the new code.

In a memo purported to have emanated from the university on Tuesday, it was alleged that the university had issued a new dress code for students, adding that indecent dressing did not ‘reflect the seriousness, dignity and character-moulding nature of academic enterprise’.

The report, published in a daily newspaper and claimed that the university had outlawed tight-fitting clothes as well as mini skirts and dresses, among others.

“Students should maintain a clean and well-cared for appearance in all settings on campus. Wearing of tight, strapless and revealing clothes, or clothes whose lengths are above the knees are inappropriate,’’ it said.

According to the reports, the prohibited wears included: “all tight-fitting clothes, including skirts, trousers and blouses. All clothes which reveal sensitive parts of the body…” including “‘spaghetti rope’, ‘wicked straps’, ‘mono straps’, ‘tubes’ and ‘show me your belly’.”

However, in a statement issued by the university’s Information Unit, and signed by the Deputy Registrar (Information), Mr Toyin Adebule, the university urged the general public to disregard the story in its entirety.

The statement read: “The University of Lagos wishes to inform the general public that it has not approved or implemented any new dress code for its students. The general public is hereby advised to discountenance any campaign in the print, electronic or social media claiming that the University of Lagos has introduced a new dress code for its students. All such claims are false and do not emanate from the University.

“However, it is pertinent to state here that the University encourages students to dress decently and our watchword is “Dress as you want to be addressed.”

Henley Business School Announce A Competition To Win A Full Scholarship, Worth Up To £17,900

Henley Business School
Henley Business School is delighted to announce a competition to win a full scholarship, worth up to £17,900, for the Henley MA Leadership.

The winner will receive a fully-funded, part-time place worth up to £17,900 on the MA Leadership programme. Starting in June 2017, this scholarship is designed to offer practical support for aspiring leaders, currently in employment, who are looking to develop modern leadership skills.

To enter, you need to provide three things:

    A 500-word opinion piece on the topic “leadership and management – the challenges you face”.
    A 100 word-statement saying why you should be considered for the programme.
    A current CV.

The judges will be looking for entries that demonstrate innovative, insightful thinking on the differences between leadership and management and the specific challenges facing 21st-century leaders in the participants’ own sector or industry.

Full details of how to enter are below. The closing date for entries is midnight on 14 March 2017. A panel of Henley Business School faculty and members of the Henley MA leadership advisory board will judge the entries. The winner will be announced by 31 March 2017.

Everyone who enters the competition will be eligible for a 10% discount on the MA leadership programme beginning in June 2017.
What is the MA leadership programme?

The Henley Business School MA leadership programme is a part-time course developed following extensive consultation with leaders and managers from a wide range of organisations, including large corporates, SMEs, public sector, government and third sector bodies.

The aim of the programme is to develop leaders with the skills necessary to address the many complex and difficult problems facing organisations today. Leaders are often put in a position where there is no right answer and they need to choose from options that all have a downside.

Leadership today is complex, technical, global and virtual. Many organisations now have models of shared leadership and distributed leadership, rather than just a few leaders at the top of a hierarchic organisation. This programme will appeal to people now taking leadership responsibilities, even if they are not officially called a leader. They may have recently moved into a department manager role, or lead a new initiative or change programme. They may be project managers leading and delivering projects to meet new organisational need or people setting up and running small businesses. This programme is for anyone facing the challenge of leading people to deliver new or changed outcomes.

The programme is structured over 24 months to allow programme members to continue working in full-time employment while studying and to connect their learning to their own organisation as well as to current global and organisational issues.
What are the judges looking for?

Entries will be judged on four criteria:

    Clear description of leadership and management challenges. The judges will look for a succinct description with interesting insights and thoughtful observation.
    Good use of examples. Please include interesting, real-life examples to highlight specific challenges in your sector and organisation.
    Why me? Please give the judges excellent reasons why you should take up this place, including evidence of your drive and ambition and what you have learned from previous experience.
    Additional information. If you wish, you may provide extra information about your personal motivation for wanting this place and the benefit you would gain from it.

Want to find out more?

Henley Business School will be hosting a breakfast briefing on the MA Leadership in central London on Tuesday 7 March, 2017. Visit our webpage for further information and to register your attendance. Places are limited and offered on a first come, first served basis.
Competition terms and conditions

1. This competition is open to anyone who is eligible for the Henley Business School MA Leadership programme – please see website for full conditions of entry but a minimum five years’ management experience or first degree plus three years’ management experience is required. Employees of Guardian Professional Networks, Henley Business School or University of Reading, their agents or anyone else professionally associated with the competition are not eligible. Previous applicants are welcome to reapply.

2. All information detailing how to enter this competition forms part of these terms and conditions. It is a condition of entry that all rules are accepted as final and that the entrant agrees to abide by these rules. Submission of an entry will be taken to mean acceptance of these terms and conditions.

3. To enter this competition, entrants must submit their essay by email to harriet.cottyn@henley.ac.uk . Entrants must also provide the following information:

    CV
    Forename
    Surname
    Job role
    Organisation
    Email
    Telephone

All elements of an entry must be in English and the essay must be no more than 500 words long. In addition entrants should provide 50-100 words on why they should win the scholarship and a current CV. Please remain within the word count – entries that exceed the word counts will not be considered. Entries will not be returned.

4. All entries must be received by midnight on Tuesday 14 March, 2017.

5. All entries submitted must be the work of the individual submitting them and must not have been published elsewhere or have won a prize in any other competition. It is the responsibility of each entrant to ensure that their essay does not infringe the copyright of any third party or any laws.

6. Copyright in all essays submitted for this competition remains with the respective entrants. However, in consideration of their providing the competition, each entrant grants a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual licence to Henley Business School to feature any or all of the submitted essays in any of their publications, their websites and/or in any promotional material connected to this competition without payment to the entrant. The individuals responsible for any essays so featured will be fully credited.

7. Only one entry per person. Late, illegible, incomplete, defaced or corrupt entries will not be accepted. No responsibility can be accepted for lost entries and proof of transmission will not be accepted as proof of receipt. Entries must not be sent through agencies or third parties.

8. Up to 10 entrants will be shortlisted from all entries received by the Henley Business School MA Leadership programme director. Shortlisted entrants shall be those whose essay displays the most original and exceptional thinking.

9. Shortlisted entries will go before the judging panel who will decide the winner. The decision of the judges is final and no correspondence will be entered into.

10. The winning entrant shall win a full bursary to take a place on the Henley Business School MA Leadership programme commencing 4 June 2017. Full details of the programme can be found at www.henley.ac.uk/MALeadership

11. The winner shall be notified by Friday 31 March 2017.

12. In the event of the winner being unable to commence the course, Henley Business School will offer the prize to the next entrant on the shortlist, selected in accordance with these terms and conditions. Should the winner withdraw from the course after commencement, Henley Business School reserves the right to offer the prize to the next entrant, as above, or to withdraw the prize. This decision will be dependent on how much of the bursary remains unused.

13. Everyone who enters the competition will be entitled to a 10% fee reduction on the MA Leadership beginning in June 2017. Please note that this reduction applies only to the stages you commit to at this point. If you decide to do only Stage 1 your fee reduction will apply to that and not to other stages booked at a later date.

14. No travel, accommodation or incidental expenses are payable to the winner.

15. The winner may be required to take part in publicity.

16. The winner’s name and county may be disclosed to anyone who writes within one month after the published closing date, enclosing a stamped addressed envelope, to MA Leadership Winner, c/o Harriet Cottyn, Henley Business School, Greenlands, Henley on Thames, RG9 3AU.

17. The prizes as described are available on the date of publication. All elements of the prize are non-transferable and there are no cash alternatives.

18. Events may occur that render the competition itself or the awarding of the prize impossible due to reasons beyond the control of the Promoter and accordingly the Promoter may at its absolute discretion vary or amend the promotion and the entrant agrees that no liability shall attach to the Promoter as a result thereof.

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