Sarath Shyam

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region comprises large and significantly diverse populations, with countries in East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Oceania bordering the Pacific Ocean. Historically, the APAC region has been a dominant source of outbound students. However, the trend is shifting post-pandemic. Today, there is a decrease in the number of APAC students looking to study in popular destinations like the US, UK, and Canada. While international students already represent a significant proportion of the enrolments in Australia and New Zealand, other countries in the APAC region also welcome western students on campus instead of sending their precious human resources to study abroad.

Due to the diversity of population and policies, APAC universities have different education quality, a different internalization maturity, and different growth strategies. However, they can all compete head-to-head with established players in the international higher education scene. A great example is St. Paul University Philippines (SPUP). Established in 1907 by the Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) in Tuguegarao City upon the invitation of Bishop Dennis Joseph Dougherty of the Diocese of Nueva Segovia, SPUP has undergone various developments and improvements over the years. SPUP was among the Top 101-200 Innovative Universities in the world in 2021 and 2022 by the World’s Universities with Real Impact (WURI) with significant 2022 rank positions in Fourth Industrial Revolution (20th), Ethical Value (33rd in 2022 and 38th in 2021), Crisis Management (38th Place), and Student Mobility (49th). SPUP was also ranked in the 2022 Times Higher Education Impact Rankings. To give the global attention it deserves, this issue of Higher Education Digest features SPUP on the cover.

We also thank Ben Iverson (Director of International Programmes & Enrolment, Augustana University, USA), David Woods (Director of Financial Aid, CUNY Bronx Community College), Dr. Bob Habib (Training Specialist at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and adjunct professor at Regent University), Dr. Nabil EL KADHI (Disruptive Higher Education Quality Assurance Expert), Dr. Sandra Baroudi (Assistant Professor at the College of Interdisciplinary Studies- Zayed University, Dubai, UAE), Mark Ovens (Senior Partnerships Director, Studyportals) for sharing the insights and opinions with our audience.

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