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UIC holds the 11th International Postgraduate Education Information Fair from 21 to 29 October, which builds a platform for UIC students and overseas colleges and universities by applying both online and offline communications for the first time.

Struck by the COVID-19 pandemic, international education is facing multiple challenges and obstacles; yet still, many students are passionate about international education. In the opinion of the students, globalisation remains a trend. They believe choosing Sino-foreign cooperative universities or pursuing overseas studies can not only broaden their global horizons but also expose them to different cultures, which may significantly influence their lives.

Studying abroad amid covid19

A total of 53 institutions of higher education from 15 countries and regions participate in the 11th International Postgraduate Education Information Fair. Among these institutions were many QS top 100 institutions, such as the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Toronto, King's College London, the University of New South Wales and the University of Hong Kong. Compared with that of 2019, the total number of participating institutions increased by more than ten.

 

Overseas study full of uncertainty

Zhang Zixin has been taking online classes at home for about a month. She has just graduated from the Public Relations and Advertisement Programme of UIC in June 2020, and now, she is a postgraduate majoring in Public Policy at University College London (UCL). Since 28 September, Zhang Zixin and her classmates from all over the world have started "study abroad online". The arrangements for the next semester remains uncertain because of the pandemic.

Like many overseas students, Zhang Zixin is facing many obstacles in her journey. Even so, she is full of hope for completing her studies in the UK. In June, the British Embassy Visa Office in China gradually resumed operations, and she obtained her visa in mid-September and bought a flight ticket to London in early November. Still, it remains uncertain whether she could make the trip.

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Zhang Zixin said that the only thing overseas students can do is to keep calm and try to adapt to various uncertainties during this uncertain year. The international education she received at UIC helped her quickly adapt to the courses of studying abroad. She is very grateful for the full support of her parents. Meanwhile, UCL also has a similar programme with UIC's Mentor Caring Programme (MCP), which allows her to communicate with her supervisor online whenever she meets any difficulties in study and life.

Zhang also explained that studying abroad for a master's degree is not only about learning knowledge. To her, studying abroad is also a way to broaden her horizon, experience different lives and cultures, cultivate a holistic view, and get out of the comfort zone, all of which could be helpful for her future.

When taking classes online, Zhang Zixin cherished her opportunities to communicate with teachers and classmates. Still, she also felt a little discouraged to meet each other only through video cameras at home for such a long time. If there is a chance, Zhang would love to experience the local life and meet up with different people in the UK in person.

 

Direct access to studying abroad information

For many domestic students, it is still attractive to go to famous overseas universities for further study. Every year, more than 70% of UIC graduates choose to go abroad, and UIC is committed to providing more possibilities for students' postgraduate studies and career development.

In her speech at the opening ceremony, Associate Vice President (Student Development) of UIC, Prof Stella Cho, said that UIC is committed to developing international higher education in China. She explained that the curriculum at UIC is in line with international standards in terms of teaching language and curriculum, and continuously delivers high-quality graduates to the world. Thus, UIC International Postgraduate Education Information Fair aims to provide a consulting platform for students to enter world-renowned universities.

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Prof Stella Cho talks about UIC's commitment to developing international higher education

Prof Stella Cho also introduced the new one-to-one consultation service on further education planning launched by UIC Career Development Office. By communicating with experienced teachers, students can identify their interests and potential, and then make their own choices on further development.

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Prof Stella Cho (1st from left) and Vice President Prof Mao Yaqing (1st from right) present certificates to employed teachers for the consultation service

The University of Queensland in Australia has been participating in UIC International Postgraduate Education Information Fair since 2015 and has admitted more than 80 UIC graduates in the past three years. Feng Yijiang, cooperation manager of the Queensland, said that he found that UIC students have unique thoughts on the understanding of courses and the exploration of their directions on future development. He also explained that the curriculum of the University of Queensland fits well with UIC. The international education UIC students received in their undergraduate studies was a big help for them to adapt to studying in Queensland well.

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Many enthusiastic students seek consultation

It is the second time King's College London (KCL) participates in the Information Fair. KCL has accepted more than 80 UIC graduates over the past three years, and the numbers are increasing yearly.

Zhang Shaohan, Senior International Marketing Officer of KCL, explained that the international curriculum of UIC trained students of outstanding academic and English abilities and with the courage to take attempt and innovate. She is looking forward to UIC students bringing more vitality to KCL. In her perspective, though the COVID-19 pandemic brought stress and challenges to both appliers from China and universities in the UK, it is also providing both appliers and universities more robust adaptability, flexibility and creativity.

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Under the pandemic of COVID-19, more students turned to international programmes in China, and as a result, UIC's Graduate School was given support by plenty of students. This year, around 400 postgraduates were admitted into UIC, having courses taught by professors of both UIC and Hong Kong Baptist University and receiving a degree from HKBU upon completion. At the Fair this year, UIC has also set up a booth to facilitate students to understand the enrollment of the taught and research-based master's courses offered by UIC.

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Diversified choices in postgraduate studies

Under the COVID-19 pandemic, students have more thoughts on their planning of international education.

Ma Yongyan, a senior from the International Journalism Programme, attended the 10th International Postgraduate Education Fair in 2019. This time, she has a more straightforward goal of knowing the curriculum and application requirements for the field of journalism of universities in Hong Kong. She tends to choose Hong Kong for postgraduate study considering that Hong Kong is nearer and safer than other regions and countries.

He Jingyu, a senior, majoring in the Applied Psychology Programme, plans further to study counselling psychology in universities in North America. During her junior year, she went to exchange at Worcester State University, and this experience refined her goal of going abroad for postgraduate study. One of her favourite colleges, the University of Toronto, participates in online information sessions of the Fair.

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He Jingyu consulting on programmes

Junior Huang Xiaoyi, from the Applied Economics Programme, would hope to continue her graduate studies at UIC. What attracts her the most is the Master of Arts in Communication — Media Management Concentration. In her opinion, the quality of faculty and teaching at UIC are all satisfying, and UIC Graduate School is the right choice for her as she hopes to work in China in the future.

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Students communicate with participating institutions

Zhong Yingyu, a junior majoring in the Accounting Programme, plans to apply to universities in the UK or Hong Kong, China. Due to the pandemic, Zhong Yingyu worries that applying to some colleges will become problematic. The Fair offered her opportunities to communicate directly with admissions officers. She felt satisfied and reassured by their answers.

 

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Many honoured guests attended the opening ceremony

 

From MPRO
Editors: Samuel Burgess, Deen He, Zhang Fan,
Ma Yiran, Xia Meng, Wang Yihui