The Challenges of International Student Recruitment in 2024

In what will be an election year for much of the Western world, governments are tightening their immigration rules related to student visas, to address public concerns over the strain that significant student immigration can place on local housing and employment markets, and public services. In the UK, new restrictions have been placed on students bringing dependents with them to live in the UK for the duration of their course. This is partly to ensure that the primary reason for a student being in the UK is to study, and partly to counter the 930% rise in dependent visas since 2019. Further changes also prevent individuals switching from a student visa to a work visa until their studies are completed. UK Visas granted to student dependents for Indian, Nigerian and other nationalities, and proportion of all sponsored study related visas issued to dependents, year ending September 2019 to 2023 In the Netherlands, a group of fourteen universities has agreed to curb the number of courses taught in English, to prioritise local language courses, giving full accessibility to Dutch-speaking students, and to ease the pressure placed on student accommodation by large numbers of international students.   Measures are more wide reaching in Canada where new caps on international student numbers over the next two years will result in a drop of 35% in the number of permits over those issued in 2023.  This is intended to tackle a severe housing shortage and provide a breathing space for universities to resolve accommodation issues. Quotas will be by province meaning that areas currently popular with overseas students will be more tightly restricted. Additionally, those international students who study at private institutions in Canada will no longer be eligible for post-grad work permits. Further, only the spouses of students on masters or doctoral programs will be granted work permits. Australia’s government has tightened their rules on incoming students to curb the practice of gaining a student visa before switching from high cost courses at prestigious institutions, to lower cost courses and colleges.  Students will also be required to achieve a higher standard of English before qualifying for a student visa. The hours that students are allowed to work have also been restricted, in part to address concerns of universities that students were spending too much time working and not enough studying, resulting in poorer outcomes for both the individual and the institution. Combined these measures will limit those students who can study in Australia. International Student Numbers – Summary The alterations to student visas, and measures imposed by different governments all serve to restrict the number of overseas students who can attend, the services and resources they utilise or the privileges to which they have access.  Yet it is widely accepted that international students have a mostly positive influence on host nations, adding to GDP, bringing innovation, providing research expertise, filling labour gaps and contributing significantly to local economies.   For universities, it is clear that their objectives are much more of a balancing act. Institutions must strive to attract the highest quality international applicants, to ensure that the university maintains or improves its place in the world rankings, and through this, attracts research dollars.  At the same time, it must continue to generate sufficient revenue through the fees of well-funded international students to underwrite the undergraduate education of their domestic cohort. Qualification Check’s verification solutions support universities to recruit efficiently by helping to streamline admissions, maintain visa-granting licences, sift out fraudulent applications and diversify into new regions  For further information contact [email protected] References

Qualification Check today announced a strategic investment relationship with World Education Services

Qualification Check today announced a strategic investment relationship with World Education Services, a leading credential evaluator and social enterprise serving those seeking to live and work in North America. Over the course of five decades, WES has provided over 3.5 million credential evaluations based on credentials from over 200 countries and territories to serve individuals pursuing their educational and career goals in the United States and Canada. “World Education Services is an organization we have admired for many years. They are a highly valued and driven organization that fits well with us,” said Ed Hall, CEO of Qualification Check. “Having them as our long-term strategic partner will help us achieve our vision of, together, becoming the trusted source of global, verified qualification and license data. I look forward to working with the WES team in helping to attain our shared goals of empowering individuals through multi-jurisdictional recognition of their education and previous experience.” Qualification Check is a global academic and professional verifications company based in London, with established relationships into universities and institutions across the world. “Qualification Check is a trusted leader in verification, using leading technology and innovative processes to provide verification services that are effective, efficient, and customer-focused,” said Esther T. Benjamin, CEO and Executive Director of WES. “Through our investment in this growing corporation, WES will provide even faster, more comprehensive support to those we serve. Together, we can support global mobility, reduce barriers, and empower more individuals and organizations with services they can count on.” About Qualification Check Founded in 2010, Qualification Check is the leading provider of international education and licence verifications now covering over 195 countries and 50,000 educational institutions and professional qualification awarding bodies. Headquartered in London with offices in India and Nigeria they serve hundreds of customers globally in sectors such as education, immigration, government, HR, background screening and regulated industries. About WES World Education Services (WES) is a non-profit social enterprise that supports the educational, economic, and social inclusion of immigrants, refugees, and international students. From evaluating academic credentials to shaping policy, designing programs, and providing philanthropic funding, WES partners with a diverse set of organizations, leaders, and networks to uplift individuals and drive systems change. For more information, contact Kathy Sadler, Head of Marketing & Communications, Qualification Check  E: [email protected] T: +44 7494 601411

Qualification Check chooses Médecins Sans Frontières as Charity Partner of the Year

  Qualification Check has selected Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as our charity of the year. As a charity, Médecins Sans Frontières concurs with our values of global mobility, co-operation and accessibility. Qualification Check employees will be taking part in a variety of challenges and activities during the year to raise funds in support of MSF’s global efforts. First to take part is Dan Hammond, Head of Product, who completed the pier to pier, Brighton to Eastbourne trek of 60 miles on 13th April, raising £365 for MSF.

Qualification Check delivers for Imperial College, London

Qualification Check in collaboration with Imperial College London, is providing postgraduate applicants with a quick, free and robust qualification verification service via an online portal. The new custom-made service, run by Qualification Check, replaces the need for applicants to send original copies of their degree certificates to be checked by the Imperial faculty admissions teams. After uploading the details of their institution, course and grades onto the portal, applicants receive updates as their institution is contacted and once it has verified the qualification. The verified qualification is then stored in a digital wallet which the applicant can use again for future work and study applications. BENEFITS FOR IMPERIAL AND APPLICANTS Imperial makes around 12,000 offers to postgraduate applicants every year. Any offer holder whose previous institution does not offer a secure e-transcript sharing facility can use Qualification Check to verify that they have fulfilled their academic conditions with Imperial. David Parrott, Head of Admissions, said: “The Qualification Check system has significant benefits for the College admissions teams and for applicants. The new service reduces the risk of fraud and is significantly faster and less labour intensive than checking qualifications by hand. Applicants to Imperial now have a better experience that saves them time, money and the worry that their valuable original certificates may be lost in the post. They also have a lasting record of their verified qualification.” BESPOKE VERIFICATION CHECKING Staff from Imperial’s Academic Services have been working with Qualification Check since 2019 to build a system that is unique amongst UK universities. Nick Foote, Chief Technology Officer at Qualification Check, said: “It has been a pleasure building a bespoke verification product, designed in partnership with Imperial to meet the exact needs of their admissions teams.   The result is a robust system that automates the verification of qualifications at source across more than 40,000 institutions and 190 countries.” STREAMLINED SYSTEM The Qualification Check portal allows faculty admissions staff to filter applicants by faculty and course and to easily see which applicants have had their qualifications verified. David Gibbon, Admissions Manager for Imperial’s Business School, said: “The service enables us to update our applicants’ records with the reassurance that Qualification Check has securely verified their qualifications with the awarding institution.” Having overseas degrees verified through a single online portal means that the turnaround time is now on average five days, compared to up to several weeks when applicants had to post documents to be checked by hand. Mark Woolley, Admissions Manager for the Faculty of Medicine, said: “The portal is straightforward and intuitive, and I think we provide a better service to our offer holders since using it. It’s easier for us and our applicants, who also benefit from a cost saving as they can now verify their credentials online.”

Qualification Check streamlines admissions at Cambridge Judge Business School

Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge is internationally respected graduate management education in business, finance, and entrepreneurship, attracting students from all over the world.  Ninety per cent of the post graduate students for the full-time MBA programme are from overseas. Historically, the admissions teams at Cambridge Judge received applications and supporting documentation by email, registered post and courier, a system that required significant administration.  Depending on how they arrived, documents were scanned and stored, before originals awaited collection by their owners.  Some documentation also required translation before it could be progressed, creating an inconsistent and sometimes complex admissions process. The admissions team had recognised that a more standardised approach was needed to improve efficiency and deliver a better experience for applicants, a requirement made more pressing by the Covid pandemic. The imposition of the Covid lockdowns that followed, meant that the team could no longer guarantee access to offices and physical paperwork, or that they would be there to receive registered mail or documents delivered by courier. In response, Cambridge Judge turned to Qualification Check. Our project team created a Cambridge-Judge branded version of the Global Verifications portal, accessible at a unique URL. The service is tailored to request only the information that Cambridge Judge require in their applications process and provides verification of credentials from universities across the globe. The system allows both Cambridge Judge and the applicant to see the results of the verification, while the cost of verification is carried by the applicant. Global Verification by Qualification Check enables Cambridge Judge applicants to upload their details in English, together with their degree certificate and transcripts, and a signed consent form.  Credentials are verified at source, and the outcome shared with both the applicant and Cambridge Judge admissions team, who can then progress the application. All documents are submitted and stored in electronic form, in a secure location. Applicants are able to see the progress of their verifications on-line, and Cambridge Judge is able to manage all verifications via a single management dashboard. Emily Brierley, Head of Cambridge MBA Recruitment and Admissions said “Qualification Check has allowed us to create a faster, more sustainable, and more efficient approach to verification of our applicants’ credentials.  It delivers a better student experience and has reduced the administration overhead of Admissions, leaving the team free to deliver value elsewhere.” Implementation of the new verifications system took less than two weeks to go live.  Initially there was a minor issue caused by one or two applicants entering their details on the public Qualification Check portal rather than Cambridge Judge’ system, but the transactions were easily transferred to the correct account.  Better signposting for applicants resolved the issue. For further information, contact [email protected]