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SAF hosts ‘China in Focus’ Webinar

The SAF 'China in Focus' Webinar - three big things

Wednesday October 14th, 2020 
SAF hosted the invite only ‘China in Focus’ Webinar to over 60 partner institution attendees. The webinar is part of the ‘In Focus’ webinar series highlighting changes to overseas study markets and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic’s effects on student mobility. 

Zhao Ning and Carol Carmody co-paneled covering; SAF’s experiences over spring and summer 2020 and COVID-19 responses from Chinese universities. They also looked to the future sharing trends and predictions, here are a few. 

Chinese student interest in study abroad has not evaporated
We have not seen disinterest in study abroad. However, on the university side, there are several observations. We have seen our Chinese university partners begin to close down exchange programs for spring and summer 2021 and generally, there is an overall move toward restricting student mobility in the short term.  

COVID-19 responses are national and localized
According to Zhao Ning “another way to understand the differences in how local universities are managing with COVID, is in the differences in university policies of Beijing Forestry University and Beijing University of Technology. Both institutions are using facial scanning approaches with their student body.  Beijing Forestry is using the technology to ensure students are not leaving campus while Beijing University of Technology is allowing students to travel off-campus and using facial scanning technology for contract tracing in the event of a virus outbreak only.”   

There is a gradual trend towards the acceptance of virtual study abroad courses
Carol stated “currently 48% of SAF Chinese member universities have already indicated that they will award credit for winter and spring 2021 virtual programs. This is a rapid change from past Chinese university policy.” Zhao Ning added “Chinese universities have two points of view: First, they prefer in-person programming due to the traditional benefits of study abroad, but they also recognize that virtual programs are a good way for students experience overseas education at a lower price point.”

The event was co-paneled by Zhao Ning and Carol Carmody. Zhao Ning is the Executive Director of SAF China. Zhao Ning has been working with IES Abroad for nearly 15 years and at SAF she oversees the Chinese University Relations network. Before joining SAF, Zhao Ning managed the IES Abroad Beijing Center for 11 years. Carol is SAF’s Executive Director and amongst her 30 years of experience she’s accumulated a variety of international education specialties including: US outbound study abroad, international admissions, English language program management and marketing and international student advising. 

Interested to hear more? Let us know and we’ll be happy to share more details on past webinars and information on upcoming events. 

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William Haglund

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