For students in countries around the world, studying at prestigious institutions in other countries is an opportunity to broaden horizons, access a new language and culture, enrich one’s life experiences and enhance career prospects. This appetite is arguably greater than ever after the challenges of the pandemic. However, a desire to study overseas doesn’t make the prospect any less daunting. Fortunately, the path studying overseas is paved with stepping stones, and a helpful roadmap can come in the form of ‘pathway programs’ – courses and learning experiences designed to support you in meeting your goals.
Opportunities to make the most of education
The PIE News (Professionals in International Education) recently wrote about the value of this widespread and well established practice, run by many universities in the UK, as well as by private providers. The courses are designed to give students the chance to fully prepare in a supportive environment that has an understanding of the regional entry requirements and processes, at the same time as acclimatising to a local culture and improving their language skills, especially in ways which will be specifically relevant to their course. The result is invariably happier students who are not only more successful in their applications, but also at finding the right destination for them, settling into their new academic community and enjoying the duration of their course.
Advice for students and education providers
Last year, our own founder, Mengmeng Wang gave a webinar with the China Britain Business Council about the future of UK education pathways for overseas students, drawing on her own experiences as well as her professional expertise. In it, she highlighted all the elements she believes parents and children should bear in mind when finding products or training to get into the school, university or graduate recruitment programme of choice. It’s the same principle that education bodies and companies can use when designing their courses to attract overseas students as well. We call it PACE. It stands for Passion, Academics, Critical Thinking and Exposition – the things that the right pathway courses help you to draw out, develop and hone.
Diversity and international collaboration for studying overseas
Importantly, as PIE highlights, these courses also support diversity in higher education: “[they mean] a student cohort is more likely to include students from countries large and small, talented young people with the potential to do well in their degrees while benefiting their host nations economically and culturally.”
Overall, given the value of education and collaboration on an international scale, providing opportunities for educational success is something we should all seek to support. The right pathway programmes give students the tools they need to present themselves in the best way possible and get the most out of the international application and education process. Given the implications it has for the future of individuals and their potential contributions to society, it is a worthwhile and valuable route to take.