Tag Archives: higher education

Ace that Test! Successful Tips for Online Learners in Higher Education

Ace that Test! Successful Tips for Online Learners in Higher Education
By Kyle Albert

For students who are enrolled in an online course, participation in activities and collaboration with peers are vital to gain success from this learning environment. But without the physical presence of classmates and professors, how are we going to accomplish that? In this entry, we will teach you the most effective and tech-savvy methods on how to lucratively immerse yourself in an online classroom experience and gain success out of it. Continue reading

This post was submitted by Kyle Albert.

Indian Students to be Given Permission to Work for 6 Years After UK Graduation

British High Commissioner to India James Bevan goes on the charm offensive to show that the UK is open for business.

In an attempt to tackle the “myth” that Indian students can no longer work in the UK following completion of their studies, Mr Bevan spoke recently saying the situation is in fact quite the opposite.

Mr Bevan gave a speech in India, claiming Indian students could remain in the UK to work for up to six years as long as they get “graduate-level jobs” paying at least £25,000 per year.

His speech was in response to the large drop in the number of UK student visas being granted to Indian students. The numbers of Indian students being granted a student visa have dropped from 30,000 in 2011 to 20,000 in 2012. Mr Bevan did admit his belief was that the UK’s tougher student visa regulations were to blame, particularly the removal of the Post-Study Work route, which allowed students to remain in the UK and work for two years following their studies, at whatever level and salary.

Mr Bevan did reaffirm the UK Coalition Government’s aim of attracting more Pune and Indian students to the UK: “Eight of ten Indian students who applied for student visas got them. Any genuine student will get a visa. One of the reasons for the drop is also that for four to five years, many Indian students were getting enrolled in low quality or fake universities mainly for the purpose of working in the UK. Now, the number of students has reduced but the quality has gone up.”

However, on his second trip to Pune since becoming High Commissioner in May, Mr Bevan added that there was a real drive for UK educators to open overseas campuses in India, and Pune in particular, as it is often referred to as “the Oxford of the East.” He said, “The Northampton University and Lavasa are thinking of a tie-up, which should fructify in the near future.”

Bevan also stated he wanted to see more British investment in Pune and more Indian investment in Britain: “From a business perspective, we are keen on investing in sectors like automobiles, aerospace and information technology, in which Pune has a strong foothold.”

Little information was provided during his speech to backup his claim that Indian students would be able to work for a further six years after graduation. Your comments are most welcome.

UK Universities Unharmed by Tightened Visa System claims UK Immigration Minister

The UK’s Immigration Minister Mark Harper has recently accounted that the UK Higher Education sector has not been harmed by changes to Tier 4 of the Points Based System, and that British Universities continue to attract “the brightest and the best.”

Speaking to The Pie, an online education magazine, Mr Harper said, “We are not harming genuine students. More university students are coming here and bogus students are being kept out. There is no limit on the number of students who can come to the UK.”

On coming to power in 2010, the UK’s Coalition Government pledged to reduce net migration levels to the tens of thousands while stamping out abuse of the system. During his interview, Mr Haper did concede that the number of Tier 4 student visas granted has fallen by around 20% in 2012, but was adamant this drop came from non-university students. In other words, Mr Harper believes the tightening of the student visa system has adversely affected the Further Education sector, and not Higher Education. He went on to claim that there had actually been a 1% increase in the number of international student migrants studying at university in the UK in 2012.

Further, Mr Harper strongly suggested that UK Further Education colleges were guilty of selling immigration not education. He said that the fall in the number of student visa grants was because 500 Further Education colleges had lost of not renewed their Tier 4 sponsor licence, meaning they could no longer sponsor students from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Stating that too many UK colleges had “sold immigration not education”, Mr Harper defended his government’s action to remove abuse from the student visa system.

Despite there being a sharp drop in the numbers of students from India and Pakistan – a drop of around 25% in 2012 – the Minister for Immigration was optimistic about the future. He cited a rise of 9.6% in non-EEA applications to study at UK Universities, figures derived from a report released by UCAS – the UK’s Universities admissions body – in January 2013.

Mr Harper concluded that, “Numbers from India and China have seen big increases. This shows that, despite stories to the contrary, [international] students continue to want to come to the UK to study at our world class universities…By protecting the reputation of the British education system, we will be able to compete in a global race.”

Study Group teams up with university partners to host third annual Nigeria Roadshow

Study Group, a world leader in education and training for international students, today announces its third annual Nigeria Higher Education Exhibition. The exhibition is run in partnership with the British Council from the 12-19 May and based at its headquarters in Lagos.

Representatives from four Bellerbys Colleges and a number of UK universities will welcome students to the exhibitions and provide individual advice from UK Higher Education professionals. The group will also visit local schools in Abuja and Lagos. Study Group will seek to boost awareness on the wide range of education options available in the UK.

The exhibitions will be attended by six of Study Group’s twelve university partners: the universities of Sussex, Stirling, Newport, Lancaster, Lincoln and Liverpool John Moores. Representatives from each will attend the eight-day event to encourage Nigeria’s best young minds to apply for the opportunities available at their campuses.

“We are proud to be participating in the Nigeria Higher Education Roadshow organised by Study Group”, commented Professor Scott Davidson, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Lincoln. “We have just announced plans to open an International Study Centre (ISC) at our Brayford campus, and the Nigeria Higher Education Roadshow is an ideal opportunity to talk to students and tell them about what we can offer here at Lincoln.”

In the run-up to the exhibitions, Study Group has announced this year’s ‘Annual Nigerian Scholarship Scheme’. It represents a unique opportunity for Nigerian students to secure a prestigious three or four year scholarship to one of the universities’ International Study Centres (ISCs). The winners will be announced live on 14 May at the British Council Office in Lagos.

Offering four further scholarship opportunities will be representatives from Study Group’s four Bellerbys Colleges, located in Cambridge, Oxford, London and Brighton. Offering programmes ranging from GCSE and A Level to university level foundation and postgraduate preparation courses, Bellerbys College provides international students with a safe and stimulating springboard for entering the UK’s top universities.

James Pitman, Managing Director, Higher Education UK and Europe at Study Group, commented: “We are delighted to be able to offer eight hard-working and gifted Nigerian students the opportunity to come and study with us in the UK. We want to ensure that Nigerian students have the best advice and guidance on the application process. With the increasing globalisation of learning, it is more important than ever that young people have access to the UK’s gold standard education.”

A host of international education agencies will also be joining the exhibitions providing staff to answer students’ queries on the spot. In addition, students hoping to study overseas will benefit from the recent opening of a new Study Group office in Lagos with a dedicated Nigerian regional manager, further reinforcing the company’s commitment to the region.

About Study Group
Spanning five continents, Study Group is a global leader in international education, providing the highest quality educational opportunities for students from over 140 countries. Beginning in 1994 with 7,000 students per year, Study Group now has an enrolment base of 55,000 around the world.

Through Study Group’s leading set of partnerships with top universities, it is able to provide on and off-campus preparation courses for international students that ensure academic success and entry into some of the most prestigious educational institutions in the world. The quality of its UK teaching is confirmed by independent accreditation bodies worldwide including: English UK, Ofsted, British Council and the BAC.

The biggest intake of international students into Study Group’s UK programmes is from countries with emerging economies such as China, South East Asian economies, and in particular from oil-rich nations such as Russia and the Middle East.

For further details see: www.studygroup.com

This post was submitted by Study Group.

Newcastle University Receives Royal Seal of Approval

PRINCESS Eugenie gave the region’s best-known party city the Royal seal of approval as she started her student life yesterday.

The Queen’s granddaughter joined thousands of fellow freshers for their first day at Newcastle University, where she has chosen to study her three-year degree.

Asked why she had chosen to study there, the 19-year-old princess told reporters: “It’s a great city.”

Her Royal Highness arrived with a friend at the university’s Armstrong Building for a student induction session.

The sixth in line to the throne joined fellow undergraduates to be offered advice on accommodation, finance and welfare, and information about swine flu.

During her first year, the Princess will live in £96-aweek halls of residence alongside other undergraduates.

Unlike fellow students, she will be followed everywhere by royal protection officers.

Newcastle University has proved popular with students from public school backgrounds in recent years.

Dan Coverdale, editor of the Courier student newspaper, said: “Maybe she has come up with quite a few friends from her school. I think the attraction is that it’s a good city up north and it is something different, but you do get quite a lot of southern students.

There is a great social life here, but the academic side of it is good too.”

Eugenie will study English literature, the history of art and politics.

She gained A grades in English and art, and a B in art history in her A-levels last year at Marlborough College, in Wiltshire, before she spent a gap year travelling with friends.

A student survey last year named Newcastle as the best city to live in, and it is widely known for its lively nightlife with hundreds of pubs, clubs and bars.

International Students in UK Double

The number of non-European foreign students studying at UK universities has almost doubled in less than ten years, research has found.

International students provided a bigger source of income for UK universities in 2007/08 than government grants for research, according to an annual trends report, published by Universities UK.

Students from outside the EU pay more for courses at UK universities than their European counterparts.

The report shows that one in ten enrolments in 2007/08, some 229,640 students were from outside the EU. This is compared to 117,290 students in 1998/99, an increase of 96%.

In total, £1.88 billion of UK universities income came from non-EU students in 2007/08, compared to £1.76 billion from government research grants.

China provides the most students to UK universities, with 19,385 enrolments for first degrees, and 21,990 enrolments for all post-graduate degrees.

The Patterns of Higher Education Institutions in the UK report also reveals a 3.7% drop in the number of part-time undergraduate students between 2006/07 and 2007/08.

It says: “This may be a cause for concern, as part-time study plays an increasingly important role in meeting the higher level skills agenda and to lifelong learning.

“Amongst the various factors that explain this decline may be the different systems for student support now available to full-time and part-time students.”

Professor Geoffrey Crossick, chair of Universities UK’s Longer Term Strategy Group, said: “This year’s Patterns highlights the success of UK universities in challenging their counterparts in Europe, particularly in research and development and in attracting international students.”

Is the UK’s University System Becoming Elitist Once Again?

It was announced this week by the CBI – the Confederation of British Industry – that UK domestic university students should pay more in tuition fees and student loan interest. Is this a measure that’s really needed, or one simply to bring back the elitist nature of higher education in the UK?

The Director General of the CBI, Richard Lambert, commented that the increase in tuition fees was justified to, “preserve the quality of university teaching and research”. He goes on to add that the report published by the CBI has found that if Government spending cuts are to be made, then they should be aimed at already generous levels of student support funding.

Or as one of my colleagues aptly translates: Penalise those who are most in need and ensure that an already elitist system further discriminates against those who need it most.

For the rich, who have historically been the majority of students attending university in the UK, cuts in Government funding would not affect them in the slightest; they need worry about neither tuition fee funding nor student loans. Regardless of their academic ability, they are often – quite unofficially of course – certain of a place at a top university by rights.

The CBI has been quite adamant to publicly state that they are not in favour of denying help to those that need it. Indeed, their argument relies heavily on giving more emphasis to means testing. However, it is the very fact that means-testing be given more weight which demonstrates exactly who will be hurt by this proposed change.

The proposals put forward by the CBI will make it so much harder for children of low income families to better themselves through education. University should be for the brightest and most able students, hungry for success, irrespective of class or wealth. The increased burden of higher tuition fees and more crippling, commercial rates of interest on student loans really will make university too expensive for some. This will only increase the gap between the haves and the have-nots in society, ensuring that success and wealth remains in the hands of few. Call me a cynic, but isn’t that exactly what the upper-classes want anyway?

Student Dropouts Highest in Scotland

Students in Scotland are more likely to drop out of university than elsewhere in the UK. Despite a small improvement on last year, the student dropout rate north of the border is 10.9% compared to the UK average of 9%, figures released recently by the Higher Education Statistics Agency showed.



Of all 18 universities in Scotland, student dropouts were highest at the University of the Highlands and Islands, at 28.2% and Napier University in Edinburgh came second, had a student dropout rate of 16.0%. The best scoring university in terms of percentage of dropouts was St Andrews, with 1.8%, second was the Glasgow School of Art with 2.0%. Edinburgh scored a dropout rate of 4.6% and Glasgow 8.0%.

The University and College Union claimed that the wide fluctuations in student dropouts were the result of wide recruit bases of the universities; students from poorer backgrounds have been labelled as more likely to dropout due to financial constraints.

Whilst there has been improvement against last year’s figures, the change is marginal. In 2008, 11.0% of students dropped out in Scotland compared a UK average of 8.8%. In 2007, the percentage of dropouts in Scotland was a staggering 12.0%. The figures really do highlight the need for more to be done to ensure students complete their further education programmes.

Tony Acton of the University and College Union had the following comment on the issue of student drop outs:

“It tends to be the institutions that recruit people from poorer backgrounds that tend to have the higher drop-out rates. More resources should be put in for support when you are recruiting from poorer backgrounds.

“Those who go to university and have a family history of university tend not to drop out because they have more support.

“The Scotland-wide issue is that Scotland has recruited more people into higher education from different backgrounds, so that tends to mean that you are not recruiting the very top people all the time, so that wide recruitment probably contributes to the fact that Scotland has higher drop-out rates.

“But the first factor is financial. People drop out because they haven’t got money and what we need to concentrate on is giving more students support while they are at university, especially in the time of recession when getting a part-time job and getting a loan from a bank is more and more difficult.

“With the University of the Highlands and Islands, it might be that distance learning courses have a bearing, but it is difficult to say why that is happening.”

A University of the Highlands and Islands representative had the following to offer in response:

“The performance indicator quoted is for young (under-21) full-time degree entrants.

“Around 60% of our students are part-time and 72% are 21 or over, so this constitutes a relatively small window on UHI.

“Nonetheless, it is part of our mission to provide access to university-level education to as many potential students as possible, especially those who are not in a position to move away from home to study at a traditional university. For example, many of our students come from backgrounds where there is no history of university-level education in their family.

“In these circumstances, it is to be expected that some of these students will decide not to continue their studies, for a wide variety of reasons. This includes students who, subsequent to starting their course, find full-time employment – which for them is a very positive outcome.

“Of course it is of concern to us that the non-continuation rate among this particular group of students stands at around 33% and we are taking action to address it.”

Drop-out rates
Aberdeen 6.9%
Abertay 5.1%
Dundee 6.6%
Edinburgh College of Art 5.2%
Edinburgh 4.6%
Glasgow Caledonian 12.3%
Glasgow School of Art 1.8%
Glasgow 8.0%
Heriot-Watt 9.2%
Napier 16%
Queen Margaret 9.4%
Robert Gordon 9.3%
Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama 7.1%
St Andrews 2.0%
Stirling 6.6%
Strathclyde 9.2%
UHI 33.1%
West of Scotland N/A

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Higher education events held outside of the UK

If you are thinking of coming to the UK to study as an international student then you have come to the right place! We understand that sometimes it can be so hard trying to find exactly what you need. Sometimes you just want to talk to some knowledgeable to get a better understanding of the issues. If you live in any of the countries below, you will be able to go along and meet with a UCAS – Universities and Colleges Admissions Service – representative locally who can answer any questions you may have. If you wish to attend one of the below please contact us using the form below and we’ll pass details on to you. Good luck!

August

  • 13 to 15 August 2008: Singapore
    Education UK Roadshow
  • 14 August 2008: Argentina
    EuroPosgrados 2008
  • 16 to 17 August 2008: Hong Kong
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 21 August 2008: Brunei
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 21 to 22 August 2008: Cyprus
    Education UK Exhibition

September

  • 18 September 2008: Argentina
    EuroPosgrados 2008
  • 27 to 28 September 2008: Russia
    Education UK Exhibition

October

  • 7 October 2008: Argentina
    EuroPosgrados 2008
  • 16 to 19 October 2008: Brazil
    Education UK Postgraduate Week
  • 18 to 19 October 2008: Japan
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 18 October to 4 November 2008: China
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 19 to 21 October 2008: United Arab Emirates
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 21 to 28 October 2008: Vietnam
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 23 to 24 October 2008: Bahrain
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 26 to 27 October 2008: Kuwait
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 31 October to 2 November 2008: Indonesia
    European Higher Education Fair

November

  • 1 to 2 November 2008: Korea
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 1 to 5 November 2008: Taiwan
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 8 to 9 November 2008: Greece
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 8 to 9 November 2008: Malaysia
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 15 to 28 November 2008: India
    Education UK Exhibition
  • 24 and 28 November 2008: Thailand
    International Schools Road Show
  • November / December 2008: Qatar
    Education UK Exhibition

Want more info? Simply fill our the form below telling us how we can help and we’ll be in touch shortly.

The road to university by John Beckett

From EducationGuardian, 2008

As summer arrives, it’s a sure sign the exam season is upon us. But this doesn’t mean that preparation, thought and research into future plans for higher education need to be postponed indefinitely. Indeed, there are some crucial things students need to concern themselves with now, particularly those coming to the end of their A-level or equivalent studies.
A-level/year 13

Your first decision concerns which two offers from universities you should hold on to, if you have been fortunate enough to get two or more offers. Many students had a 6pm deadline on May 6, but some, who received late decisions, have a date in early June. If either deadline is missed, Ucas may decline the offers automatically. Those with a June deadline should go on to the Track Progress section of the Ucas website to make their decision online. The important principles here are:

· Your firm choice must be where you really want to go.

· Your insurance choice must be where you will be happy to go if you don’t get the grades for your firm choice.

· You cannot, other than in exceptional circumstances, look at other universities and courses after the results come out in August if your firm or insurance confirm your place at that time.

· If you’ve changed your mind about course or university since your original application, it is an option to decline any offers and enter Ucas Extra to make an additional choice. But this should only be done with caution and good guidance.

· If in any uncertainty with any of this, seek advice.

Next, sort out your future finances – these include tuition fee loan, maintenance loan (if required), grant (if eligible) and bursary. Most of these are dealt with by the completion of just one horrible form, a PN1. Best to get this done sooner rather than later, even though the deadline is late June. Some students will have to send this form plus documents (such as passport, birth certificate etc) – your school, college or local grants and awards office will advise – if so, send them registered delivery.

It’s worth contacting the accommodation office at your chosen university if you are going to be moving away from home. Your firm choice university will usually promise accommodation for your first year. By talking to them now and getting a brochure you will be able to see what’s on offer and at what price.

At the same time, contact your chosen university to find out if you are entitled to a bursary. Remember, this is an amount of money (minimum £305 but often over £1,000) that doesn’t have to be repaid. There may also be scholarships available, some depending on your academic performance, some worth considerable amounts of money, which will really ease your finances. In January, it was reported that at least 12,000 students from low-income homes failed to claim bursaries they were entitled to last year.

AS/year 12

There’s a lot of pressure on students in year 12 to do well at AS-level, so now is the time for revision and the actual exams. There will be time in June and July to make significant progress with matters such as course and university choice and personal statement (see later issues) in preparation for an autumn application. But it is worth stressing (and this is not coming from a teacher but a higher education adviser) that the AS grades really are crucial in the application process. The grades, unless your school or college does not declare them, go on to your Ucas application. What’s more, your predicted grades for the second year of your course (which go on the top of your reference) are heavily based on your achieved AS grades. It is rare to improve by two grades or more, and research does show that AS grades are very good predictors of A-level performance. So these weeks may be decisive for your future plans.

· John Beckett is higher education adviser at a London sixth-form college