Our colleagues, Dr Yusuke SAKURAI and Ryoko NAKANO, attended the APAIE 2022 Conference and Exhibition in the last March. APAIE is a major international education conference and networking opportunity for international education administrators in the Asia-Pacific region. It offers a valuable opportunity for them to promote their international collaboration and improve their international education programs.
Seminars and presentations covered many topics related to international educational practices. The major conspicuous topic concerns information about the impact of the coronavirus outbreak in higher education. They include, for example, the fact that international student numbers have been recovering in some major areas, such as North America. Australia, which was slow to lift immigration bans, has seen stagnation in the number of incoming international students. There was also a report that Chinese students were slow to return to the global student exchange arena. Some presentations commented on the importance and their practices of supporting international students’ mental health and well-being too.
Another major topic was new educational practices in higher education. Some presentations talked about the integration of online and face-to-face international education and internship programs. Some panels raised their concerns about the acceleration of post-pandemic global international education; it seems that more local knowledge may be neglected if global standardisation has accelerated. Many others also shared their fear of international education. Namely, online education is useful, but the digital divide between different geographic areas should be noted.
Yusuke and Ryoko presented our project report in a concurrent session with presenters from the U.S. and Canada (Chair: Mirka Martel, Institute of International Education, United States & Melissa Payne, Canadian Bureau for International Education, Canada). Our panel presented insights into structural changes and transformation in student global mobility during the COVID pandemic, which will be useful for future research on the impact of the global crisis. Research from Canada focused on student perspectives on inclusion and access, virtual learning and navigating the education landscape during the COVID pandemic. Yusuke and Ryoko’s presentations offered insights into the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Japan, as well as university leaders’ perceptions of their decision-making on resuming bilateral student exchange programs. Research from the United States reported the trend in the international education field one year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and highlighted the effects on international student enrolment and U.S. study abroad. The diverse panel showcased the unique effects of the pandemic on international mobility in these countries.