When are we finally going to have an online high school for all?
The Government is considering making overseas education a national priority, according to the BBC’s Andrew Walker.
The idea is being taken up by Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, who has been working with the Home Office to identify and develop opportunities for students from overseas.
The government is now seeking advice from experts on the best way to deliver online high schools.
There is no firm timeline for when the move would be rolled out, and there is no timetable for the change to happen.
But, for many people in the sector, the idea is an intriguing one.
“It’s a great idea that has really been around for a long time, and I’m very excited that the Government is looking at it,” said Professor Tim Woodcock, the director of the Institute for Higher Education at Cardiff University.
He said it could be a game changer.
For the first time, he said, students from outside the UK could attend higher education classes in the UK, rather than having to travel abroad.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to be done by all parties to make sure that we’re doing the right things for students, for teachers, for employers, and that the country is able to get a competitive edge in terms of where we invest in education,” Professor Woodcock said.
He said overseas students would be better able to make their case to get an education in the country, and could help students from other parts of the world better understand the English language and cultural requirements in the classroom.
“This would really help to prepare them for higher education and that would be a big plus for the UK,” he said.
But, as a parent, he fears the move could backfire on the UK.
“I think the main thing that would happen is that if you have a family with a foreign child who has some issues with their language and who doesn’t speak English well enough, that could be really challenging for them to integrate into the community,” he added.
“It could also be really hard for parents to keep their children at school when they’re not fluent enough.”
‘You don’t have to have a PhD’The move to overseas education could also lead to the reintroduction of compulsory university courses for some students, who could potentially lose out on some of the extra financial help offered by international students.
“A lot of the money that goes to overseas students is really meant to be used to support them in the first place,” Professor Woodscock said, adding that overseas students might be more inclined to stay in the community.
“You don the same degree in two years.
It’s just not as easy as it might be for a student from outside of the UK to get into a university in the United Kingdom.”
He also questioned whether the move to online schools would be enough to change the way students were taught in schools.
“For the parents that have their kids in a school, it’s really hard to explain to them that they’re going to be learning from someone that’s not fluent in English and they can’t communicate properly, so you don’t need a PhD to get in,” he explained.
“You just need to be able to articulate that you’re going on an overseas course and that you can communicate, that’s it.”
Mr Morgan said the Government was working with schools to identify best practice to ensure that overseas education was delivered correctly, and the move was a positive move for the country.
“We’re looking at a number of things and we’re working with our partners around the world to identify what the best opportunities are for this kind of learning,” he told BBC Radio Wales.
“As part of that work, we’re looking to see if we can have some international students, some teachers that are overseas and able to teach to those students.
“I want to make it absolutely clear that we have the power and the opportunity to change things.”
It’s not just about learning in the comfort of their own homeThe move could also open up opportunities for overseas students to study in more advanced degree programmes.
Prof Woodcock explained that a study has found that some students from abroad who had already received an education had more advanced degrees in English than those who had not.”
So the question that is going to come out of this is is that students from different countries, they all have different needs and different learning styles and different interests,” he continued.”
What we’re going for is to ensure we can offer that learning that’s as relevant to a variety of students in the world as possible, and in doing that we need to make the most of the resources that are available.
“A spokesman for Education Secretary Morgan said she was “delighted” that the government was working to address the issue of overseas education.
We will provide our full support for the Government’s ambitious plans to make online high-schools a national focus and to create an inclusive and connected education system, he added in a statement.”