2016 in review: the top 10 most-read articles
(File) Students and supporters shout slogans in downtown Johannesburg, South Africa. Pic: AP.

As 2016 comes to a close, it’s tradition to look back over the year and all that has happened. Most notably, there was Brexit and all its implications on UK universities and international higher education, as well as Donald Trump being elected as the 45th U.S. president and its potential impact on international students.

Students in South Africa held nationwide protests after the government announced that it was allowing institutions to raise their tuition fees, while Indian students were caught off-guard by the government’s decision to demonetise 500- and 1,000-rupee notes.

Sure, it’s been a tough year for many people, but it hasn’t been all that bad: a group of Australian teens helped recreate a US$750 pill at the cost of US$2 in a move to show Big Pharma the over-inflated price of medicine. A generous university student in the U.S. also started a pantry in his dorm so that broke students who can’t afford to buy food won’t have to go hungry. So there’s hope yet.

But what were the articles that you, our readers, found the most attention-grabbing? Here are the top 10:

1. Global IB graduates celebrate 2016 exam results

Over 149,454 International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme (DP) and Career-related Programme (CP) students around the world received their results from the May 2016 examination session, with 146 students achieving a perfect score.

Not bad, guys!

2. All you need to know about Canadian student visas

Image via Shutterstock

Hmm, our piece on Canadian student visas saw an awful lot of traffic after November 8 … Wonder why?

3. 6 of the most inspiring quotes on learning by Thailand’s King Bhumibol Adulyadej

Image via AP.

In October, Thais all around the world mourned the passing of their beloved King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was the longest-serving monarch up until his death at the age of 88. Over his 70-year rule, he implemented many education-focused policies and initiatives, and was a huge supporter of lifelong learning.

In this article, we paid tribute to his memory by sharing six of his best quotes on the importance of education.

4. U.S. News Best Global Universities Rankings 2017

The latest Global Universities Rankings from U.S. News saw Harvard University retaining its top spot, but it was also the first time that the top five was dominated by U.S. institutions, after the UK’s University of Oxford fell from fifth place last year to sixth place.

5. IELTS vs TOEFL: which is better?

If English isn’t your native language and you’re interested in studying at a university overseas which uses English, then chances are, you’ll have to take an English language qualification in order to get an unconditional offer to your institution of choice. There are several international exams available, with the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) being the two most popular.

However, some countries and universities have their own preferences on which qualifications they accept, so students should be sure of which one they will have to take. If you’re able to take either one, this article compares both exams side-by-side to help students decide which one is the best choice for them.

6. Alabama mom leaps for joy on kids’ first day back to school


Parents around the world could relate after an American mom from Alabama shared hilarious photos of
her celebrating the first day of the new school year to Facebook. The post quickly went viral, and it’s not hard to see why.

7. 10 American phrases you need to know before studying in the USA

You might think you know English, but once you arrive in the U.S., you’ll find that the English they speak is far different from the one you were taught. This article aims to help students make sense of phrases such as “get your ducks in a row” and “hit the nail on the head”.

8. Millennials have some choice responses to #HowToConfuseaMillennial Hashtag

Millennials are getting the brunt of the blame these days, from ruining hotels for everyone and ringing the death knell on democracy, and after the hashtag #HowToConfuseaMillennial became popular, they decided they’d had enough. You can be sure the clapbacks came fast and furious.

9. How to prepare for your IELTS exam

This article helps students know what to expect before the exam, from overviews on each section of the IELTS to tips and resources.

10. Teacher leaves students inspiring messages for students on exam day


Who doesn’t get a bit nervous before an exam? To give her students that much-needed boost of confidence on the big day, fifth grade teacher Chandi Langford of Woodbury Public School wrote personalised inspirational messages on each of their desks.

So that’s that! Here’s to a memorable 2016 and a bright year ahead in 2017!


Image via Associated Press

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