International Education News Roundup – April 2020

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As can be expected, a lot of the international education news is based on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However there are some green shoots out there with new schools openings in Bangkok and 2 notable senior appointments…Congratulations to Julie Hunt & Lisa Baisillo.

Qatar Petroleum Recruiting For An Experienced Education Leader

Qatar Petroleum is seeking an experienced educational leader for the post of Head of School at Mesaieed International Secondary School.

The Head of Secondary School is responsible for 600 students. The school has a total of 1300 students from over 40 countries in the age group of 3-18 years.  The school has excellent facilities that are aimed at enabling and empowering teachers. The school follows the English National Curriculum.

However, this is made more globally relevant to the international cohort by using aspects of the IPC along with their own Competence Framework, which ensures that their learners needs are best met.

The students have the option to sit for IGCSEs and A Levels as appropriate, in the Secondary section. The school is based over three sites, the Foundation Stage site, Primary School site and the Secondary campus.

The application process closes on April 26.

Covid-19 Impact on CIEEE

The Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE), a nonprofit organisation, has announced a significant reduction in its workforce. According to a press release issued by the organisation, this includes both its domestic and international employees.This decision has been taken in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The press release adds that like millions of organisations, large and small, CIEE has paused active pursuit of its mission in order to heed the guidance of international leaders and medical experts who have asked that everyone, everywhere, stay in place to give healthcare professionals the time and space to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each year CIEE sends 15,000 Americans abroad to study, intern, and teach; and welcomes more than 30,000 international exchange visitors to the United States. 

CIEE’s extensive worldwide network of international exchange locations operates in 63 sites across 42 countries, including the United States

New International School in Bangkok, Thailand

The first all-girl’s international school in Thailand will start functioning from August 2020. The North London Collegiate School (NLCS) is located in central Bangkok. It will be a British school offering the UK National Curriculum up to age 16, with pupils sitting GCSEs, followed by the IB Diploma Programme in the sixth form.

It promises to bring “NLCS’ ethos of rigorous scholarship, extra-curricular excellence and outstanding pastoral care to Thailand”. The school campus has an area of 30,000 square-metre with “brand new, state-of-the-art, facilities designed specifically as an all-girls campus.”

Google’s COVID-19 Offer for Education Users

Google is offering advanced Hangouts Meet videoconferencing capabilities to all G Suite and G Suite Education customers at no extra cost. The features, usually available to enterprise tier subscribers, include access to larger meetings of up to 250 participants, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers in a single domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive. The offer is in place until July 1. G Suite also now has over 6 million paying businesses as of March, an increase from 5 million paying customers in February 2019, the company told CNBC on Tuesday.

Julie Hunt Appointed Elementary School Principal Of Shanghai American School

The Shanghai American School has announced the appointment of Julie Hunt as their next Elementary School Principal starting summer 2020. 

A press release from the school states that Julie is an innovative and aspirational leader committed to inspiring and celebrating excellence. Julie has served in leadership positions at K-8 schools around the world, including principalships in Colombia, Brazil and Indonesia.

The press release adds that Julie is a true community-builder who has optimised parent involvement and home-school relations through transparent communication, community events, parent workshops and fundraisers. Julie has chaired committees, as well as planned, hosted and presented at regional and international conferences. 

Julie earned her B.A. with honors in History/Political Science from Queen’s University, a Bachelor in Elementary Education from Queens University, her M.Ed. at Brock University and an Advanced Educational Leadership certificate from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Lisa Biasillo appointed Head of Vienna International School

Vienna International School has announced that Lisa Biasillo will be their next Head of School. Lisa is an American educator with a decade of experience at international schools. For the past three years, Lisa has served as the Head of School at Green Hills Academy, Rwanda’s largest international school.

As Head of School, Lisa restructured leadership teams to be more efficient and led initiatives to make the school more financially sound, such as implementing solar and outsourcing non-core services.

According to the press release, Lisa also served as Principal & Executive Director of Cambodia’s Footprints International School for seven years where she was a dynamic leader who designed and implemented a monitoring system to track student, class and school achievement.

Lisa holds a B.A. from Canisius College, an M.Sc. in Poverty Reduction & Development Management from The University of Birmingham and an M.Ed. in Elementary Education from the College of New Jersey.

58% of European Higher Education Institutes launch Covid-19 Response Plan

The European Association for International Education (EAIE) launched a survey to assess the various impacts of the virus on international higher education. The Association came out with a report titled ‘Coping with COVID-19: International higher education in Europe‘.

The report states that just over half (58%) of the respondent institutions are currently implementing a response plan. Nearly 30 percent of higher education institutions in Europe have yet to put in place a response plan to the Coronavirus outbreak.

The study states that the survey respondents expressed a strong desire for better guidance at the national level as they work to navigate the many dimensions of this situation. They are also seeking access to good practices modelled by other higher education institutes.

A matter of concern is that 13 percent of the respondents stated that they had received reports of discriminatory reports against individuals who were from COVID-19 affected countries.

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