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EUPRIO’s 2014 conference will have a global outlook

The full programme for EUPRIO’s 2014 annual conference in Austria will be published later this month and it is going to be the strongest in the association’s 26-year history, with speakers from 15 countries, writes Nic Mitchell.

The conference is being hosted by the University of Innsbruck, situated in the heart of the Austrian Alps, and takes place from September 4-7. The overarching theme is ‘How to communicate in a world dominated by change’.

Among the headline attractions will be EUPRIO’s second look at emerging markets outside Europe. At our 2013 conference in Canterbury, England, we welcomed Katherine Ma, Director of Communications at Hong Kong University (HKU), who gave us an Asian take on ‘Western higher education’ and the internationalising of the student body, using HKU as a case-study.

India and the Middle East

Ashwin Assomull

Ashwin Assomull

This year we will be turning the spotlight on India and the Middle East, with Ashwin Assomull, a Partner in The Parthenon Group’s International Education Practice which advises education clients globally on growth strategies.

Ashwin leads his firm’s work in international public education working with governments and foundations throughout Asia and is a frequent speaker at leading education conferences globally, such as the World Innovation Summit in Education (WISE).

In his lecture on the internationalisation of higher education, he will encourage European universities to try to understand the actual opportunity size and scope of the Indian market and not simply see the Indian subcontinent as the ‘next big thing’ after China in terms of international student recruitment.

“Many universities are focused on the opportunity of the increasing numbers of potential students in India. While the opportunity and potential economic and social impacts are large, it is important to understand what barriers may prevent universities from fully maximising the demand gap of Indian education,” said Ashwin.

Ashwin will explain the current situation in India and how universities may find it difficult to fully benefit from the need for seats due to regulatory challenges both in India and in their home countries.

He will also provide examples of other opportunities in emerging markets with a focus on the Middle East and how it’s strategic location could also provide a channel to cater to Indian student demand.

The lecture will address strategic areas for European universities to focus on when developing a communication and marketing strategy and provide examples of best practices and how to best target the message to reach the appropriate audience.

Online and distance learning

We will also be looking at two dominant trends having a big impact on the higher education sector: internationalisation and online learning.

In this session, we will welcome Edwin van Rest, co-founder and CEO of StudyPortals, which is helping students to broaden their horizon by increasing study-choice globally.

He will be joined by Tim Gore, Director Global Networks and Communities with the University of London International Programmes, the unique 154 year-old system of distance and flexible learning with 54,000 students in almost every nation in the world.

Together they will present data on how these two trends are developing across the world, both from the perspective of what universities are offering, but also how the student interest changes.

This session will cover the insights and learning from a front running institute: The University of London – International programmes – operating on the intersection between online and international education.

Edwin and Tim will argue that distance learning promises a lot – but what exactly? And how to get there? How do MOOCs impact on institutional and marketing approaches? Who is offering full degrees online and how is that done? How and where does the student interest lie, and how can these students be reached?

As lectures are repeated on Friday, there is the opportunity of EUPRIO conference participants to attend both talks which promise to offer fascinating insights in the rapidly changing world of global higher education.

  •  Keep on eye on our @EUPRIO news twitter feed or like our EUPRIO Facebook Page to get regular updates.
  • The full programme is scheduled to go live on the website shortly when registration opens this month.