The future’s (partly) digital
As a higher education institution, you may have adapted your online programs as a result of the pandemic to be as close to the in-person experience as possible. But have you thought about your existing partnerships and how they’ll fit with your new or adapted online programs? Maybe your existing partnership agreement can be enhanced by including your new online program, increasing its availability to students?
And consider this — when restrictions lift, there will be potential students who may still not feel emotionally ready or comfortable travelling to and studying at an international university, however much they want to.
Longer term, having an online, as well as in-person student offer could open the door for students who cannot afford to travel but would like to achieve an international degree — an online option would mean they could still be included despite their circumstances.
“Delivering online and in-person will also allow all of us to adapt more quickly if we ever have another pandemic in the future”
What’s more, delivering online and in-person will also allow all of us to adapt more quickly if we ever have another pandemic in the future and then revert back to face-to-face learning without such a significant impact on our students.
If you don’t have any partners who help you reach international students, taking into account the impact of a pandemic on international education and student mobility, isn’t this something worth considering?
Progress now, travel when it’s safe
With the current travel restrictions in place, SQA’s Diploma to Degree program can be advantageous to students, offering a pathway with advanced entry, which allows them to study their first two years in their home country, without the need to travel. Students can do this knowing that an SQA Advanced Diploma leads to progression to the second or third year of an undergraduate degree — which, post-pandemic, and when it’s safe to teach in person and to travel, will be available in person by the time they complete their Diploma.
All this, with the added benefit that, if a first-choice country is not an option because of pandemic restrictions or some other emergency situation, the students still have other choices of countries where they can study in person, from SQA’s partners around the world.
It’s also a cost-effective route for those looking to gain international experience while achieving a degree, in turn making international university study more accessible now and after the pandemic restrictions are lifted.
Opening doors to opportunity
Once it’s safe to do so, students will want to travel again so that they can enjoy face-to-face learning, visit other countries and interact with other cultures. Through our Diploma to Degree program, SQA aims to open as many university doors as possible for students studying our SQA Advanced Diploma, whether that’s online and/or in-person — and many of these will be students you may not otherwise have reached.
SQA’s Diploma to Degree program enables student choice, and every student being open to the same options no matter where they are in the world or what their circumstances.
About the author:
Mags Hutchinson is the International Articulation Manager with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. With 20 years of experience in education at SQA, Mags’s role has included qualification development with a focus on SQA Advanced Qualifications. This has allowed her to launch SQA’s Diploma to Degree pathway and build partnerships with Higher Education Institutions around the world. She is very passionate about this program and the fact that it provides SQA’s students with exciting opportunities to study a Degree while gaining an international experience.