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In a post-COVID environment, higher education institutions must continue efforts to build their brand, recruit and admit students.

View from the Forest Recap: The International Office - Post-COVID

The coronavirus pandemic has truly shaken up the international education sector. In 2019, Canada had reported $23.6 billion in international student spending. This amount, according to Dr. Roslyn Kunin in her GlowEd webinar presentation in June 2020, was up by 63 percent compared to the numbers in 2016. This momentum was expected to continue for higher education institutions (HEI) until COVID-19 hit. (The World Health Organization declared the pandemic official on March 11, 2020).

In this episode of “View from the Forest,” MSM Higher Ed President Donna Hooker sheds light on some of the challenges the International Office must overcome and notes some solutions for institutions to thrive in a post-COVID business environment.

Donna recalled how just recently in the middle of a Zoom breakout session—where colleagues were reimagining their future in the field—she observed a tale of two sides which led her into reflection.

“One participant, a bit junior, expressed doubts of her future. She had been laid off from her first international role due to COVID. The other was a more seasoned manager who wondered how the work she had come to love would evolve post-COVID. She noted that the work required long hours, significant commitment and huge energy—but it came with so many rewards, benefits, and opportunities,” Donna shared.

“I found myself reflecting on my own career,” she said. “In the very early days, international education was small.” 

Donna, who has worked in the international education field for 30 years, then proceeded to honor her leaders and mentors: “They shared everything they knew, learned and experienced with other institutional representatives to grow the sector we know of today.”

In line with COVID-19, Donna noted that it was important for “institutions who rely on international revenues to balance budgets” to “continue the efforts to build their brand, recruit and admit students.” She also brought up the challenges of having to adjust to lockdowns and health and safety protocols, and their probable effects on revenues.

However, the seasoned educator remained optimistic and highlighted how HEIs will be quick to adapt and utilize post-COVID solutions through “new ideas and models” and education technology. Donna concluded on a high note, confident in the M Square Media brand—one of the world’s leading education service providers—and in its ability to continually serve the needs of institutions and agents during these times.

“It is very rewarding,” she said, “…to be able to fulfill our own aspirations of making our world a better place, one international student at a time.”

For the full video, watch Episode 3 of View from the Forest now on the MSM Higher Ed YouTube channel and click subscribe for more videos.



President, MSM Higher Ed

Donna Hooker has worked in the international education field for 30 years. She has a comprehensive knowledge of policy and practise in the public post-secondary education system in British Columbia, Canada and worldwide. She is a past board chair for the BC Centre for International Education and has held senior management roles at BC Institute for Technology, Vancouver Community College, and most recently at Capilano University.


Donna Hooker, MSM Higher Ed President

Donna Hooker, MSM Higher Ed President, takes you to her lush home in Upper Fraser Valley, British Columbia to talk about different trends and issues affecting the international education industry. Watch, learn and subscribe to the channel to get her invaluable vlog series, “View from the Forest.”

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MSM Higher Ed offers education management solutions that create opportunities for students while building capacity for international student enrollment and new revenue streams for partner institutions. Through viable public-private partnerships (PPPs), licensing agreements, program pathways based on articulation arrangements and pan-national and transnational program delivery, we create opportunities for students to earn career-oriented credentials preparing their career or academic advancement. MSM Higher Ed manages private institutions Eton College Canada, Q College, Q Academy, Taylor Pro College, Extreme Pro Training, and College Multihexa.

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