Dubai(UAE) November 24, 2015:
Cheryl DarrupBoychuck is a crusader to improving the efficiency and integrity of international student recruitment. She was the brain behind transforming the “USJournal“ from the print to online in 1996. Now USJournal.com has domains in 17 languages, all dedicated to promoting US academic programs to non-US students. Cheryl DarrupBoychuck is now the Chief International Education Officer of USjournal.com. USjournal represents an exclusive list of US campuses, and help non-US students to learn in US.
She is also the founder and the Chief Architect of FundsV.com.
FundsV devises enhancements to a robust online system that improves the efficiency and integrity of the current funds verification process for prospective international students and host authorities around the world. She’s a frequent presenter at NAFSA: Association of International Educators’ conferences, and currently serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of “International Educator,” a bi-monthly magazine distributed to NAFSA’s 10,000 members worldwide. Here, Cheryl DarrupBoychuck talks exclusively to Gireeshkumar Balan, Editor, Edubeanz:
- What are the new trends in the International students’ migration to US?
The Institute of International Education’s Open Doors Report was just released: “The number of international students at U.S. colleges and universities had the highest rate of growth in 35 years, increasing by ten percent to a record high of 974,926 students in the 2014/15 academic year. This strong growth confirms that the United States remains the destination of choice in higher education. The United States hosts more of the world’s 4.5 million globally mobile college and university students than any other country in the world, almost double the number hosted by the United Kingdom, the second leading host country.”
- What are the new challenges in the International students’ recruitment to US?
Keeping up with the latest technology has always been both a challenge and opportunity for recruiting international students. Our target demographic expects instant gratification; if we can meet those expectations, we can also anticipate a faster Return on Investment.
- You are the CEO of the famous US Journal of Academic. You have made US Journal of Academic website into a 10-language website. A real Herculean task it is. So do you think languages will make communication with the students more active? How language helps in the process of international student recruitment?
USjournal has been committed to multi-lingual content since its inception in 1996 – driven by our college and university clients who are promoting their highly-regarded Intensive English Language Programs to non-native English speakers. It’s also important to accommodate the parents of international students in some cultures, who may not have adequate English proficiency to navigate the admissions process.
- For the past 15 years or so you were working in the International student recruitment sector. Can you sum up your activities and contributions as far as the advancement of global student mobility concerned?
During my career, I’ve seen the title of “Dean of Admissions” morph into “Vice President of Enrollment Management.” US higher education has become more like a business – which has both advantages and disadvantages. In order to advance global student mobility, we need to prove its value to all stakeholders. In some cases, that can be accomplished using numbers with dollar signs in front of them. However, I’m keenly interested in measuring Return on Investment when considering quantifiably elusive factors.
- Generally, tuition fees are increasing in the Universities in the US and UK for the recent past. This factor has been affected the affordability of higher education when you consider the students from the developing countries. How do you tackle this difficulty to facilitate International students’ admission to the US Universities? Will you miss talented students from the poorer nations due to this increasing cost of higher education?
There’s no doubt we miss talented students from poorer nations due to increasing tuition and living expenses. However, through online connectivity, those types of students are more empowered than ever before to reach out to universities, and tell their stories. Crowd funding opportunities are also available to disadvantaged students – as well as others who want to help them.
- Lot of academic frauds and financial documentation frauds are happening from prospective international students. How do you check that? Is there any mechanism in place?
The digitization of student records and financial data is one of the most exciting aspects of international education right now! Initiatives such as the Groningen Declaration aim to improve the efficiency and integrity of the international admissions process – paving the way for bona fide global student mobility.
- Many international agents promote fraudulent courses and Universities for minting money by luring innocuous aspiring students. This will affect the genuine recruiters looking for International students. How to tackle this issue?
While fighting fraud is a constant battle, online transparency provides additional defenses for students (and those within their spheres of influence) to authenticate academic offers.
- Now more and more recruiters of International students are increasingly depend on webinar. What is the relevance of webinar technology in International Student recruitment?
Webinar technology can be very valuable, in terms of a cost-effective way to engage targeted segments of prospective students.
- Now University’s from UK and US are establishing branch campuses in developing countries. For example, now the Mauritius and Dubai are strongly turning into the branch campus hub of UK and US Universities. India is also strongly stepping into this trend soon. So instead of traveling to the US and UK, a student can join to the branch campuses of the UK and US Universities in Dubai or Mauritius. It reduces the cost of education also around 40%. Will this trend kill the relevance of International student recruitment? What is the advantage of a student go to US or UK for studying?
No, I don’t think branch campuses will kill the relevance of a study abroad experience; the cultural immersion as a student in the US or UK really is priceless. However, the industry can anticipate the emergence of cost-effective hybrid models, where a student earns part of the degree at a branch campus, and the other part on the host campus.
- “Certification of Finances” is to help colleges and universities to obtain complete and accurate information about the funds available to international applicants who want to study in the United States. What all precaution do you take to make this mechanism fool-proof?
FundsV.com is one emerging technology to improve the efficiency and integrity of the requirement for the student to prove financial capacity. In essence, FundsV empowers the student (or financial sponsor) to point his / her financial data to the authority who requested it – minimizing the potential to manipulate paper-based documents.
- All aspects of international admissions will go paperless, even the funds verification, is also going digital. Will this new trend make the processes more transparent or open more rooms for malpractices?
There’s always risk involved; striking the appropriate balance between tight security and open access is key to success. We can learn a lot from the SWIFT model, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications, responsible for most international currency transactions. SWIFT has struck a pretty remarkable balance between securing their platform of sensitive financial data, with limited access to appropriate authorities.
- International education was “young” – perhaps 20 years ago it all started. Now, however, the business of global student mobility cannot be ignored: It’s grown into a major export sector for host countries around the world, ranking in the top ten industries for annual economic impact for the United States, Australia, Canada and others. Can you elaborate the economics and future of this business?
According to the US Department of Commerce, 975,000 international students contributed more than $30 billion to the U.S. economy in 2015 – and the United States represents just 22% of the entire global student mobility market. Experts predict growth to eight million globally mobile students by 2025. International education is worthy of our attention, for many different reasons.
- What suggestions do you have to increase the transparency and accountability for International Students Fund Verification?
I suggest we take advantage of robust and secure platforms to improve the efficiency and integrity of the process. FundsV.com has been researching effective ways to increase the transparency and accountability of international student funds verification since 2009.
- You were also part of a project in developing a global standard for International students’ fund verification. Now a new ISO standard of compliance, ISO20022 is in place. Can you elaborate more on this?
I contributed to the business justification for a new SWIFT message class, which essentially utilizes SWIFT’s network to transfer bank account data (not actual currency), with the permission of the account holder. SWIFT released the new message class in 2013, as a way for authorities to ease administrative burden with regard to financial data.
- What is your view on the higher education scenario in the Middle-East countries?
The Middle East is full of opportunity!
- Dubai is increasingly striving to become the higher education hub by attracting around 12 branch campuses from US, UK and Australia. What is the future of Dubai as an international education hub?
I’ve personally never been to Dubai, but colleagues are optimistic about its future as an international education hub.
- Which all way, the international education helps Arabs to create a better future?
International education exposes students to different cultures, and is designed to foster tolerance and understanding – not only for Arabs, but for all ethnicities around the world to create better futures for themselves.