Category: UK

Implementing the Augar report would help democratise education

“While the Augar report may be flawed, it does make some really important recommendations”

The Augar report was overdue. Not since 1963 had the Government ordered an examination into further and higher education. And while not all of Augar’s recommendations have been universally welcomed, the report does propose measures that aim to democratise education and transform access to learning for all adults.

Beyond the headline recommendations of lowering student fees and extending the period in which graduates repay them, the Augar’s report should be admired for offering a holistic approach to the challenges in adult education and exploring alternatives to traditional university qualifications that can meet the needs of the economy.

Read More

The instrumental impact of EU funding on Swansea University

“As a research-led University with a strong sense of civic mission, regional economic and social development are a major priority”

As Wales braces for what could be a perfect economic storm in the months ahead, Ceri D. Jones, director of Swansea University’s Research, Engagement and Innovation Services looks at the impact of EU funding on regional development, and some of the seeds of hope in the pipeline.

Recently Ford announced its engine plant in Bridgend is set to close in autumn 2020, with the loss of 1,700 jobs.  Just weeks ago, British Steel was put into compulsory liquidation – re-igniting major concerns about an industry that employs thousands in Wales.  With the UK set to leave the European Union on the 31 October, Wales is set to lose out on hundreds of millions of pounds each year in EU funding that has been driving economic and social regeneration in recent years.

Swansea University is located within the ‘West Wales and the Valleys’ region, which has been identified as one of the most deprived regions within Northern Europe, and as such, is a net beneficiary of EU funding.

Read More

How online education can transform the international student experience

“If the online learning platform is of high quality, there is no reason why the online learner should be disadvantaged when studying virtually”

The facts are pretty clear-online education provision is growing and, not only does it benefit working adults who can fit studying around their work and family commitments, but it also has the power to transform the lives of international students.

Take high tariff, popular courses in the UK, such as veterinary science and medicine. The average premium international students are paying to study in the UK is £20,000 per year, so an additional £100,000 over a 5 year study period. Fees for international students typically increase every year across almost all Universities, so the cost of study in the UK is consistently rising.

Read More

Working as a university residence assistant is about personal development as well as helping others

“Students were motivated to become an RA by their desire to help other students navigate what they had found difficult themselves”

Residence life – the US-led programming of activities and support for students in university accommodation – is taking off in the UK and Ireland. At its heart are the students who work as residence assistants (RAs), usually for pay or subsidised accommodation. But the benefits of being an RA reach far beyond the financial, and money is rarely the motivation, as the recent Residence Assistants Panel at the CUBO Residence Life Conference revealed.

The RA panel was part of a two-day professional development event for residence life professionals. It featured five of the eight students awarded a 2019 CUBO RA Award for outstanding services as residents assistants, including Shiyi Xu, aka Agnes, from Hong Kong.

Read More

Learning and Long-Term Memory

“If we want to be effective in education, we need to help students build up the content of their long-term memories”

By some quirk of fate or coincidence, 1956 was the year that saw both the founding of TASIS by Mrs Fleming and the publication of one of the most significant articles ever in the field of education.

Written by American psychologist George Miller, it was titled “The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two.” It helped to establish the powerful truth that short-term (or working) memory is limited both in duration and capacity. This is important because if short-term memory is necessarily constrained, then to be effective, education has to focus on something else.

Read More

Could a diverse student cohort support good decision-making in your university?

“Having students as part of a diverse team can really motivate everyone involved”

Over 40,000 students chose to study at The University of Edinburgh last year, and 45% were from outside the UK. One of the major advantages of having a diverse cohort like ours is the wider perspective it brings to the institution, encouraging students to view the future opportunities available to them on a global scale.

Students can bring a fresh perspective to decision-making within an institution, particularly around how to best enhance student satisfaction and improve learning outcomes. That’s why when we decided to make lecture recording available at scale to improve our students’ learning experience, we put students at the heart of our planning.

Read More

What do international parents really want from UK boarding schools?

“”School rankings still matter, but ‘safety’ has also started to be mentioned more often”

It is so often assumed that international parents are only focused on one thing when it comes to selecting a boarding school for their child-rankings. So, if a school or college has outstanding A level results, then that school will go to the top of the list of possible schools parents and their children are considering.

However, things seem to be changing…

Read More

Winnie Eley, University of Southampton, Vice-President (International)

“International partnerships at their best would see appreciation, reciprocity, effective flow of communication and rigorous debate as and when required”

Winnie Eley joined the University of Southampton as Vice-President (International) in October 2018. She moved to the UK from Australia where she spent five years as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (International and Advancement) at The University of Newcastle. This followed roles at The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and with the British Council in Nigeria and Hong Kong.

Read More

How Sustainable Development Goals can mobilise collaboration

“University teaching and learning will shape generations of graduates who will go on to tackle these challenges in their professional lives”

In just a few months’ time, a very different sort of university league table will make its debut on the world stage. This new global ranking will be the first to measure universities’ success, not by reputation or research output, but by their contribution to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a set of global targets aiming to end poverty, protect the planet, and promote peace and prosperity for all.

Read More

Dealing with overseas classrooms and a cauldron of cultures

“With a smorgasbord of cultures, the task of teaching a room of students from around the world requires extra steps”

Teaching the next generation can be a tricky proposition in any situation, no two students are exactly alike and techniques that work well in one classroom may fall flat in another.

For the most part, though, you know roughly what you’re trying to achieve and have designed a roadmap to reach the end. But what about truly diverse classrooms?  Travelling around the world as an international educator is immensely rewarding but also presents unique challenges, how exactly should you deal with a classroom in a different country containing a mix of students?

Read More