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The EY 2023 report emphasizes the need for higher education institutions to pivot towards a human-centric model in their digital transformation efforts. It highlights that placing the needs of students, faculty, and staff at the forefront is crucial for successful adaptation to evolving educational norms.

Key findings show that these groups incur more student loan debt, take longer to complete their degrees, and are more likely to attend for-profit institutions with fewer resources. This financial and institutional burden leads to a preference for industry jobs over academic roles, affecting the diversity of the academic workforce and the broader STEM field.

The UK witnessed a significant increase in sponsored study visas in 2023, nearly doubling from pre-pandemic levels. Indian nationals led the surge, with a fivefold increase since 2019. The graduate route, introduced in 2021, facilitated post-study work opportunities, especially for Indian students.

The study, encompassing 195 countries, finds that 65 world leaders were educated in the US, and 58 in the UK. This represents 43% of the world’s countries, underscoring the dominance of English-language education and the robust university systems of the US and the UK.

Earlier estimates suggested a 20 to 30 percent gap between the number of international students enrolled in publicly funded institutions and the total number of SPHs. This discrepancy was partly due to limitations in previous data collection methods, which the study aimed to address by directly linking the Longitudinal Immigration Database with the Postsecondary Student Information System​.

The study, involving over 3,500 urban white-collar workers, shows a 2.5-fold increase in appraisals and a 2.3-fold rise in promotion rates for those who upskilled in the past 3-5 years. Upskilling led to enhanced job security, particularly benefiting women returning from career breaks with a 4.8-fold improvement in career stability.

The survey highlights key trends in UK business schools, revealing a complex scenario. While UK student enrolments are declining or static, non-EU international student numbers show varied trends, and EU student numbers remain largely unchanged.

The report reveals a surge in student visa applications in major English-speaking countries and identifies significant competition from non-Anglophone markets. Key challenges include the need for skilled workers in health and STEM, aligning education with job market demands, and addressing housing shortages and policy changes.

In the 2022-223 academic year, the US welcomed 1,057,188 international students, a 12 percent increase from the previous year, surpassing pre-pandemic figures. This surge reflects the country’s status as a premier global educational hub and its appeal after the pandemic.

The report has highlighted a grading disparity in UK universities, where non-EU international students are less likely to receive top degrees compared to their British peers. With international students paying significantly higher fees and forming a crucial financial base for universities, concerns about maintaining academic quality have surfaced.

The latest ICEF Agent Voice survey anticipates a strong uptick in international student enrolments for 2023-2024, with agents expanding their referral destinations and study fields. Despite cost remaining a primary concern for students, new fields like data science and AI are gaining traction.

The survey assessed seven crucial domains: Admission process, student-teacher interaction, student diversity, quality of student life, online classroom experience, and career development. It serves as a vital resource for students and education policymakers, emphasizing the importance of transparency in student satisfaction metrics.

The study reveals that financial pressures, such as recovering from pandemic-related losses and diminishing enrollments from China, are driving this priority. While revenue generation is the primary objective, the survey also highlights the need for improved student experience and suggests that universities must balance revenue goals with quality and diversity.

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