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Ideas and optimism at INTO’s inaugural US partner conference

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Ideas and optimism at INTO’s inaugural US partner conference

As Peter Drucker, the management guru famously said, “There are three types of company, those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what’s happened.” Leaders from across INTO’s US network gathered recently in Washington DC, to reflect and to explore the power of the network to continue to make things happen as it enters its second decade in North America

As Peter Drucker, the management guru famously said, “There are three types of company, those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what’s happened.” Leaders from across INTO’s US network gathered recently in Washington DC, to reflect and to explore the power of the network to continue to make things happen as it enters its second decade in North America More than 100 people from across INTO and the partner network attended the high-profile event. Participants included institution presidents, provosts, deans, and chief financial officers, as well as key staff from student services and enrollment management. The event was an opportunity for everyone to speak about their experiences, reflect on successes and address current and future challenges. Most importantly, it was a chance for INTO’s US university partners to share their insight on the imme… Read the full article
As Peter Drucker, the management guru famously said, “There are three types of company, those that make things happen, those that watch things happen and those that wonder what’s happened.” Leaders from across INTO’s US network gathered recently in Washington DC, to reflect and to explore the power of the network to continue to make things happen as it enters its second decade in North America

More than 100 people from across INTO and the partner network attended the high-profile event. Participants included institution presidents, provosts, deans, and chief financial officers, as well as key staff from student services and enrollment management.

The event was an opportunity for everyone to speak about their experiences, reflect on successes and address current and future challenges. Most importantly, it was a chance for INTO’s US university partners to share their insight on the immediate and longer-term potential of the network to help them provide exceptional experiences to students from around the world.

A key moment was when Robert Powell, a Senior Consultant with The Economist’s Intelligence Unit, framed some significant geopolitical considerations for INTO’s work. He painted a picture of broad economic growth for the world’s developed economies, while acknowledging the political and economic headwinds that continue to challenge short-term international enrollment projections. 

Robert suggested that INTO’s partners could do worse than be guided by the wisdom of Winston Churchill, who famously said that while a pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity, an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. “In terms of playing offense, universities need to use all the resources that they can find, including stepping up outreach efforts,” he said - including perhaps considering expanding offshore campuses.

Craig Riggs, editor of international education trend website ICEF Monitor, reminded delegates that, while challenges do exist, international students are resilient, the underlying demand is robust, and the US is, and remains, the world’s most popular study destination.

Other conference presenters - drawn from the ranks of INTO staff as well as experts at partner institutions - covered an expansive array of topics. Key panels explored global trends in international student mobility; marketing strategies for international student recruitment; the practicalities of engaging in public-private partnerships; ideas for financing international education; and on-campus approaches to serving international students following enrolment.

After recalling his own experiences as an international student, George Mason University President, Dr Ángel Cabrera, spoke passionately about the importance of working to influence government policy affecting the flow of international students. He also touched on the potency of a partnership, combining the global reputation of an internationally renowned university with the additional reach and support for international students that INTO provides. The reasoning behind George Mason’s partnership with INTO is, he said: “The realization that we could not achieve the goals that we had with our own resources, and that we would be better off with a partner.”

Several of the conference sessions, led by university partners, were designed to elicit ideas to help the INTO network capitalize on its strengths and realise its potential to support partners as it moves into its next decade. The sentiment behind these sessions was summed up by Sebastian Royo, acting Provost at Suffolk University, Boston, who said of the offer to students: “As a sector, we need to present a more compelling vision of what we do– to move beyond descriptions and focus squarely on positive outcomes  .”

The conference was also an opportunity for INTO employees to share a series of new initiatives, and showcase some of the technological innovation designed to deepen our understanding of international student trends, and power our global reach among students and their families.

The INTO Partner Awards

INTO’s Awards Evening at Washington’s famous Newseum, was a perfect combination of business and pleasure. The cocktail hour, held on a terrace overlooking the city, provided a picture-perfect view of a nearly full Harvest Moon rising over the US Capitol Building.

The Awards recognized INTO’s US partners and key staff. To that end, Dr JoAnn McCarthy, Director of Academic Affairs at INTO University Partnerships, was honored as the second inductee to the INTO Hall of Fame, in recognition of her invaluable work in helping develop INTO’s presence in North America.

Following a ceremony in which each of INTO’s US partners was recognized, the University of South Florida was presented with INTO’s Transformational Partnership Award, as a tribute to USF’s extraordinary growth in international recruitment, as well as its impressive rise in several significant rankings of institutions of higher education.

Delegates from INTO and from university partners left the conference energized, brimming with ideas – and focused on a common goal: to continue to work together to reach, recruit, retain and support international students from every corner of the world. 

As Andrew Colin, INTO’s Founder said: “We are simply going to build the world’s most powerful, most effective international student recruitment network.  Together we will do that by delivering outstanding experiences to students.”

View a video of the conference highlights here.

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Students star in INTO Newcastle 10-year celebrations

On Friday October 6th 2017, hundreds of colleagues and students old and new gathered in the elegant setting of Newcastle Civic Centre to mark a decade of success, and pay tribute to all those involved in the initial setting up and subsequent running of INTO Newcastle University. To say that such energy and dedication has more than paid off would be a massive understatement as, over the years, INTO Newcastle has helped around 15,000 students to spread their wings and achieve academic success far from home. So, it was fitting that the person in charge of their education, Academic Director Chris Heady, should be the one to extend a brief welcome to everyone and bring Centre Director Kevin Conroy to the stage. “There are many possibilities in Newcastle on a Friday night, an… Read the full article
On Friday October 6th 2017, hundreds of colleagues and students old and new gathered in the elegant setting of Newcastle Civic Centre to mark a decade of success, and pay tribute to all those involved in the initial setting up and subsequent running of INTO Newcastle University.

To say that such energy and dedication has more than paid off would be a massive understatement as, over the years, INTO Newcastle has helped around 15,000 students to spread their wings and achieve academic success far from home.

So, it was fitting that the person in charge of their education, Academic Director Chris Heady, should be the one to extend a brief welcome to everyone and bring Centre Director Kevin Conroy to the stage.

“There are many possibilities in Newcastle on a Friday night, and we are very pleased you chose this one!” said Kevin, who has been at the helm of the third INTO centre from when it first opened its doors until today.

“Over the years there have been blood, sweat and tears, but also many wonderful success stories among the more than 15,000 students who have studied at INTO Newcastle, more than 10,500 of whom have progressed on to Newcastle University,” he said.

The figures – a retention rate of 98 per cent; a pass rate of 98 per cent; progression on to Newcastle University of 75 per cent; and a student satisfaction rate of 94 per cent – stack up to, “an overall amazing success,” said Kevin.

Kevin invited some of the key partners to the stage, beginning with Newcastle University Executive Director of Finance and Joint Venture Board Member Richard Dale and Tony Stevenson, former Deputy Vice Chancellor and Joint Venture board member, who was there from the beginning.

Richard Dale said: “I am very honoured to have been asked to say a few words. It is a very special anniversary and we should all be proud. In 10 years, the Centre has made a significant contribution to the increase in international students at Newcastle University. INTO’s success has allowed the University to invest in our estates, research capability and student experience.”

Tony Stevenson said: “Though I have just retired from the University (six days ago!), I have been involved with INTO Newcastle University throughout its 10 years. The idea for the Centre goes back to 2006 when the University was struggling to recruit international undergraduates. As part of our International strategy we explored the creation of a pathway centre. We ran a procurement exercise and we chose INTO because of its joint venture model with the university academically interdigitated in the development of the programmes. At that time, I had no idea how successful the Centre would be.”

INTO CEO John Latham then put the achievements of the past decade into context. “INTO Newcastle has beaten the trends of growth in the UK HE sector as a whole by a factor of three and has combined that performance with delivering exceptional student success. To get to that level of performance in just ten years, you deserve immense credit!”

Co-Founder, Deputy CEO & Executive Vice President North America, John Sykes said: "The University has been a fantastic partner – absolutely amazing. But one person I can’t leave out is Kevin Conroy. Your leadership and what you have done is incredible. I would also like to thank other “founders” Gareth McKay, Chris Heady and Anthony Mancini. So, here’s to the next ten years!”

After dinner, it was over to the real stars of the show – some former students whose futures have been shaped by their time at INTO Newcastle University.

As he looked around the room, Marco Cheng (Hong Kong), who had joined the International Year One in 2015, has since gone on to study Business at the University, and has become an Academic Peer Mentor, said: “Without you guys we couldn’t have achieved success and had such a good experience here in Newcastle. I just saw some faces from last year – teachers. In Chinese we are taught to praise and appreciate how teachers give all they have to students to raise their standard. They make such a big difference to us and I would like to thank them all.”

Alua Yermek, from Kazakhstan, graduated with a first-class degree in Computer Science, having taken the International Foundation (Sciences & Engineering) Programme at INTO Newcastle, added: “Success can’t be described in just a few words. I first became acquainted with INTO in 2012 and getting a scholarship to study at INTO Newcastle was the greatest day ever for me. But I was worried about the UK education system and that I would miss my family. But I didn’t need to worry because the teachers were so kind and supportive and guided us through life in a foreign place. Congratulations on the tremendous impact you have had on so many of us.”

Alaa Otain, from Saudi Arabia, attributes her first-class Law degree from Newcastle University to the staff at INTO Newcastle.: “A lot of things happened in my family just after I arrived in the UK, like my brother got ill. But INTO people helped me get through everything and I can’t thank them enough.”

Alaa’s empathy with people living far from home, and the problems that can arise, has since motivated her to co-found NEST -an organisation designed to help refugees to adjust to life in the UK and one which, were it not for the help, support and education she herself received at INTO Newcastle, would not exist today. What better tribute to INTO’s third centre?

And after that, it was dancing and celebration all the way….

Happy birthday and congratulations to everyone involved over the past ten years!

For more about the INTO Newcastle students mentioned in this article, please click here

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Newcastle Students Alaa For Website

Million-dollar gift brings new OSU building closer

A million-dollar donation from a local entrepreneur is helping to turn the construction of a much-needed academic building on INTO partner Oregon State University’s Cascades campus from dream to reality. The generous gift from Charles McGrath, the founder of a Grace-Bio Labs - a biotechnology company based in Bend - means that Oregon State University (OSU) has now has raised $8.9 million of its $10 million goal. Other donations toward the OSU-Cascades campus expansion include $5 million from an anonymous donor, $1 million from the Tykeson Family Foundation, and $500,000 from the Bend Foundation. The future building will be the second academic building on the OSU-Cascades campus and will focus on… Read the full article
A million-dollar donation from a local entrepreneur is helping to turn the construction of a much-needed academic building on INTO partner Oregon State University’s Cascades campus from dream to reality.

The generous gift from Charles McGrath, the founder of a Grace-Bio Labs - a biotechnology company based in Bend - means that Oregon State University (OSU) has now has raised $8.9 million of its $10 million goal. Other donations toward the OSU-Cascades campus expansion include $5 million from an anonymous donor, $1 million from the Tykeson Family Foundation, and $500,000 from the Bend Foundation.

The future building will be the second academic building on the OSU-Cascades campus and will focus on the teaching of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics.

“Charles’s gift is an extraordinary statement of leadership and vision,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. “It demonstrates his personal commitment to higher education in Central Oregon, for OSU-Cascades’ expansion, as well as for innovative science education.”

The timing of the building project couldn’t be better, as Grace-Bio Labs has recently expanded to a new location near to the OSU-Cascades campus, and the company’s research innovation experts and academic leaders at OSU-Cascades are currently in the process of exploring opportunities for collaboration. Such opportunities could potentially include new academic degrees and public-private partnerships, with a focus on developing a skilled and professional workforce and creating new jobs in the bioscience industry.

The Cascades campus recently received $9.5 million in capital funding from the Oregon State Legislature to enable it to begin the expansion project - including site preparation on the 46-acre property adjacent to the existing campus and owned by OSU. In addition, the money will be used for classroom, office and security improvements at the nearby OSU-Cascades Graduate & Research Center. However, OSU was tasked with raising an additional $10 million to pay for the actual construction of the new building.

With the campus well on the way to its goal, OSU-Cascades students can look forward to an enhanced academic experience in the very near future. For more about the OSU-Cascades campus and the unique degrees offered there, visit osucascades.edu/

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OSU Cascades For Website

Whatever your flavour, you’ll find it at INTO Stirling

A unique new menu devised by a top international chef is drawing lunchtime crowds of students and others to Umami restaurant, situated in the brand new INTO University of Stirling building. Chef Arjunan Sokalingam, who describes his speciality as Asian and Oriental cuisine, spent a month creating a vast array of dishes covering all the main Asian styles of cooking - from Japanese and Korean to Thai and Malaysian - specially for international students at the Scottish campus.  His creations have already come to the attention of the broader local community, with Stirling residents joining university staff and students in the queue for fresh wok dishes, curries, exotic vegetable soups … Read the full article
A unique new menu devised by a top international chef is drawing lunchtime crowds of students and others to Umami restaurant, situated in the brand new INTO University of Stirling building.

Chef Arjunan Sokalingam, who describes his speciality as Asian and Oriental cuisine, spent a month creating a vast array of dishes covering all the main Asian styles of cooking - from Japanese and Korean to Thai and Malaysian - specially for international students at the Scottish campus. 

His creations have already come to the attention of the broader local community, with Stirling residents joining university staff and students in the queue for fresh wok dishes, curries, exotic vegetable soups and other culinary delights.

Arjunan is an experienced chef, having worked for the Shangri-la in Kuala Lumpur and, in London, at the Michelin Guide restaurant Café Spice Namasté and the Asian School of Catering where he cooked for and taught students. He has also developed menus for restaurants at the UK headquarters of global multinationals. 

Arjunan, who works for hospitality provider company BaxterStorey, was seconded to INTO University of Stirling to create a wide-ranging menu for Umami and share his recipes and cooking techniques with local chefs.

INTO University of Stirling Centre Director Sandy Tippett, said: “There was a gap for a restaurant at the University of Stirling that caters for Asian palates. There is also high demand among international students for freshly produced main meals that remind them of home-cooking in their own countries that they can enjoy on campus.

“With the growing intake of students from around Asia to the University of Stirling through INTO pathways, it made perfect sense to have this Asian-Oriental themed restaurant in the sparkling new INTO University of Stirling building,” she added.

The name Umami is a Japanese word for a complex flavour that can’t be categorised as savoury, sweet, salty or bitter. It was chosen because it encapsulates the theme of serving Asian food that emphasises combinations of tastes and textures.

The brief to BaxterStorey was to create a menu to suit a wide range of food preferences and dietary requirements, and that was in keeping with a student budget. Every meal at Umami is prepared from ingredients bought at local supermarkets, with dishes rotating daily over a month. 

Included on the list for one lunchtime every month is Arjunan’s signature Malaysian beef rendang, which includes coconut and galangal – a close relative of ginger.

Malaysian-born Arjunan, who has five siblings in the catering industry in Asia and whose father was a chef, makes every meal from scratch. “I don’t use processed foods because these contain preservatives and acids,” he noted.

Arjunan said of his approach to cooking: “I want people to taste different foods, flavours and ingredients. Every day is different here over one month, from the meats and vegetables to the garnish, organisation and plates.”

“I like to move between cuisines. Doing different things and experimenting with colours and flavours keeps me interested in my work. I practise at home with small portions and then gradually build portions and hand over the menu and method to the head chef,” added Arjunan.

“Loved my first lunchtime visit to UMAMI at INTO Stirling today. I predict it will be very busy with happy students & staff!” said Head of Student Support Jill Stevenson on Twitter.

“I like the variety of sources with spaghetti. I like that the service is fast. They cook quickly and everything is clean,” said third year business studies student Elina Makhmoutova of Moscow, Russia.

Umami regular Gary Cheung, from Hong Kong and who is also studying business and management at the University of Stirling from an INTO University of Stirling pathway programme, agreed that the service is good at the new restaurant. “I always have the egg noodles here, with black bean sauce and with sweet chilli,” he added. 

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Sirling Chef For Website

WSU car license plates earn $613K for scholarships

Thanks to a brilliant fundraising initiative, Cougars can now be spotted roaming the streets around INTO partner Washington State University (WSU) – and further afield. It may come as a relief to some to learn that we’re are not talking wildcats, but about their likeness on specialty car number-plates. For, at the start of each academic year, the WSU Alumni Association organizes the sale of crimson license plates embossed in silver, featuring the words ‘Washington State University’, and a stylized picture of the University’s beloved feline mascot. Prices for the WSU plates vary, but $28 from each one sold goes towards scholarships for students in the WSU system… Read the full article
Thanks to a brilliant fundraising initiative, Cougars can now be spotted roaming the streets around INTO partner Washington State University (WSU) – and further afield.

It may come as a relief to some to learn that we’re are not talking wildcats, but about their likeness on specialty car number-plates. For, at the start of each academic year, the WSU Alumni Association organizes the sale of crimson license plates embossed in silver, featuring the words ‘Washington State University’, and a stylized picture of the University’s beloved feline mascot. Prices for the WSU plates vary, but $28 from each one sold goes towards scholarships for students in the WSU system.

Since its inception in 1994, widespread interest in this spirited plate has resulted in a healthy population of ‘Cougs’ – so much so that today it is the most popular of the 44 specialty plates issued by Washington State’s Department of Licensing. And the sheer number of ‘cats’ on the road has had a great effect on the student population, too –in the 2016-2017 academic year, the ‘Coug’ license plates set a new record, having raised $613,283 towards scholarship funds since 1994.

To the delight of all involved, sales of the plates continue to mount – for since the WSU Alumni Association took over the plate program in 2007 the number and sales have doubled. “It’s a thrill to see Cougar pride expressed so earnestly across the state and in a way that benefits the education of future Cougs,” said WSU Alumni Association Executive Director Tim Pavish.

Plates can be obtained from local licensing offices across Washington State, and for further details visit the WSU website

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WSU Number Plates For Website

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