NAFSA: NCUK reflects on the Largest International Education Conference


Year after year the annual NAFSA conference gets bigger and bigger. This is a reflection on the growth of international activities and their importance for higher education with around 10,000 people attending from all over the world.

The conference this year provided us with a great opportunity to catch up with many of our NCUK Delivery Partners, such as Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas (UPC)Can Achieve Lanzhou, The Chopras Institute of Education, Delhi, CEG (CATS and ONCAMPUS) and INTO to name a few.  A number of the NCUK Universities also attended, allowing us to share our latest news with each other.

Increased diversity of participants at the NAFSA conference proves that internationalisation is now on the agenda of institutions around the world. Increasingly non-Western Higher Education Institutions are becoming host institutions, receiving more and more western students as fostering global citizenship and intercultural competencies becomes a fixed part of academic curricula.


The sessions provided at NAFSA showcased the activities and ways in which internationalisation is being implemented. This is great in getting a real sense of the current trends and key challenges. This year, subjects such as refugees, sustainability, and employability were hot topics to discuss.

While the day is always busy with meetings, many evening events are a great chance for meeting new people. Building rapport at these more casual events can be quite beneficial as they sometimes allow for the most surprising connections to form, which in turn can help grow business so never miss out on those chances!

Liberty Bell

If you’re interested in attending an international education conference, NAFSA has it all. Attendees from all over the world spend the week at NAFSA viewing presentations and exhibitions, as well as networking at quite a number of receptions. However, be prepared for one of the busiest weeks of your life! It really is full on and a bit like visiting Orlando, there’s no way to do everything you want in one week!

Georgina Jones, NCUK Marketing Development Manager

Every year there’s such a variety of talks and panels to choose and attend and this year, NCUK was delighted to be part of a panel discussing: New Research to Inform International Enrollment and Success Strategies with StudyPortals and the American Council on Education. NCUK Marketing Development Manager, Georgina Jones was NCUK’s representative on this panel and used this platform to launch a summary of our ten year review of NCUK student results with NCUK and our universities. This report provides a high-level analysis of international students academic performance and degree completion of NCUK preparatory and pathway programmes’. The findings presented are based on a unique set of longitudinal data for NCUK international students who successfully completed the International Foundation Year (IFY), International Year One (IYOne) or Master’s Preparation qualifications and progressed to one of our partner universities in the UK.

The PIE News recently published a blog written by NCUK’s Georgina Jones which informs readers about evidencing success for international students in higher education.

Overall. the conference this year was great for providing networking opportunities and building relationships for NCUK, but one has to be strategic and do a lot of prior research to get the best out of these opportunities.

For now, NCUK turns its view to the next key events in our international networking year – the Pie Awards in September and EAIE in Geneva. Perhaps we’ll see you there? If so, come over and say ‘Hi’.