Category: UK

UK study: the challenges facing Turkish students

“For many of them, receiving their acceptance letters is only the first of many hurdles”

By the UCAS deadline today, 15 January, thousands of Turkish students will have submitted applications to study in the UK. In this blog, Remzi Gur of Turkey’s Foreign Economic Relations Board discusses the challenges facing Turkish students attending UK universities.

The UK has been one of the most popular international destinations for Turkey’s ambitious student population, with 3,440 currently enrolled in universities around the country. The majority of them are postgraduates, studying business, social science, engineering and law.

Turkish applicants will have spent months, if not years, preparing to apply for competitive places in the UK’s most prestigious academic institutions. However, for many of them, receiving their acceptance letters is only the first of many hurdles. I am worried that the increasing complexity of the student visa processes and rising international tuition fees are driving many students away from the UK.

As The PIE News has reported, every year we hear of more and more Turkish students being denied student visas. The majority face rejections by British consulates in Turkey even after they have received offers to study in prestigious universities. Some agencies in Turkey assisting students with this process have reported visa denial rates as high as 60%.

Read More

What lessons can we learn from PISA ranking leader Finland? 

” In Finland for example, there is no national testing, no school inspections and no school league tables”

The latest  Program for International Student Assessment results has prompted questions about what certain countries are doing better than others when it comes to the quality, equity and efficiency of school systems around the globe. In this blog, head of School at ACS International School Cobham, Barnaby Sandow, explores some of the lessons that can be learned from Finland.

Scandinavian countries are world-famous for promoting happiness and wellbeing – and also for their exceptional education, whether measured in academic results, student happiness or overall progress to learning objectives.

You may have seen the 2019 PISA results recently which illustrated that most countries – particularly in the developed world – have seen little improvement in their performances over the past decade, even though spending on education increased by 15 per cent over the same period.

The report – outlined in this insightful editorial comment  – concludes that huge numbers of graduates are therefore likely to struggle to find their way through life in an increasingly volatile, digital world.

Read More

How European students will be affected by Brexit

“Despite many universities efforts to inform and support each of their students, a sense of uncertainty surrounding the subject is all too familiar”

The 31st October may have passed yet Brexit still looms and, with the UK remaining at risk of a no-deal following their withdrawal from the European Union, many people in education are still questioning exactly how European students will be affected by Brexit.

Despite many universities efforts to inform and support each of their students, a sense of uncertainty surrounding the subject is all too familiar for both EU nationals studying at UK universities and those participating in Erasmus+ programmes which since 1987 have granted all UK and wider European university students and lecturers the opportunity to study or intern abroad for up to a year.

So, what may a ‘no deal’ Brexit mean for European Students? According to Universities UK, whose members consist of both vice-chancellors and principals of institutions across the country, an exploration into the implications for universities and how to minimise risk has revealed that a failed Brexit negotiation will cause further uncertainty about the UK’s commitment and involvement with the Erasmus+ programme.

Read More

How to support and attract European students post Brexit

“Marketing of British higher education institutions needs to be relevant in this time of disruption”

The United Kingdom’s departure from the EU is a complex and controversial political process, now extended until January 2020. We are the second most popular study destination in the world for international students, behind the US, with almost 460,000 international students in 2017/18, with 30.3% of these coming from the EU.

Clearly, international students are very important to the UK’s higher education sector. Although Brexit should not concern European students currently studying in the UK up to Autumn 2020, as they will be granted “home status” by the government, it does pose a difficult level of uncertainty for European students going forward. Students who arrive after we leave the EU will need to apply for European temporary leave to remain in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Read More

How ‘Safety’ is moving up the agenda for international students & their families

“The pressure is on UK schools to make their schools as attractive as possible when it comes to projecting a ‘safe’ image”

Maryland lawmakers have approved a bill that will allow Johns Hopkins University to form its own, private police force to enforce the law on campus. Meanwhile, in the UK, over the past three years, universities have paid more than £2 million to 17 police forces in exchange for support.

Spending is rapidly increasing and the University of Northampton now has six fulltime police officers seconded to the University for 3 years, at a cost of £775,000. Safety is increasingly front of mind when students are deciding about overseas study locations. In IDP’s annual survey of almost 3,000 students in the five main overseas study destinations (US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) Canada leads the way in terms of ‘safety’ versus its international rivals, with the UK ranking 4th out of five.

Also, students from China are now reported to be as concerned by the safety of the destination country in which they intend to study as they are the relative academic position of their institution, according to the latest report from the Beijing Overseas Study Service Association.

Read More

Interest in the UK on the rise following the reintroduction of the post-study work visa

“The impact for universities and colleges specifically is crucial”

The UK government’s announcement on September 11 of the re-introduction of the post-study work visa for international students was a welcome piece of news and one with immediate impact. Two weeks post-announcement you can already see the following from IDP Connect data.

  • A significant spike of interest from Indian students
  • Postgraduate interest increasing
  • A major spike in postgraduate interest from Indian students

Although the new “graduate route” won’t come into operation for students starting until 2020-21, previous policy announcements have often had an immediate impact on the online search activity of prospective international students.

Read More

How Scandinavian teaching at a primary school differs from British methods

“Parents receive a more holistic progress report about their child’s development, this may seem somewhat strange to UK parents”

Earlier this year, the Department for Education announced plans to change the way that children across England are tested by using a statutory reception baseline assessment.

The Government hopes to introduce this by autumn 2020, but as we have seen, the decision to test children on communication, language, literacy, and maths when entering primary school, has been controversial debate around how early children should be academically tested.

Many parents and teachers argue that children should not be academically tested at four years old, as it puts too much pressure on them at such an early age, whereas others believe that introducing testing at an early age is vital.

Read More

The uncertain future of Britain’s education sector

“When overseas European teachers can no longer settle… the likelihood that they will opt to choose the UK as their base will be diminished”

It is no secret that Britain’s teaching workforce is struggling. Last year, every single secondary subject – aside from Biology and English – fell short of recruitment targets.

This January, Tes estimated this shortfall to be close to a thousand. In some subjects, such as Physics, hundreds of teaching spaces are going unfilled; despite initiatives and marketing campaigns being introduced by the Department of Education, domestic talent is not enough to fill teaching positions in UK schools.

Meanwhile, Britain has been hurtling towards an ever-likelier no-deal Brexit. Despite parliament managing to push through a bill to prevent a no-deal Brexit on October 31st  last week, Boris Johnson is still hinting at the prospect of crashing out on this date without an agreement, in a move which would defy law, but is still very much a possibility.

Read More

Future of UK academia hangs on UK immigration policy

“For academic visitors, applying for a UK visitor visa is now akin to rolling a dice”

Immigration reform is critical if the UK is to retain standards and reputation for academic excellence, explains immigration lawyer Anne Morris.

The UK immigration system is failing UK academia. Visa processing is protracted, expensive and unpredictable, undermining the efforts of educational institutions to attract and retain global academic talent.

The challenges are affecting both short-term academic visitors and longer-term recruitment programmes. The sector is missing out on staff and speakers and is in danger of losing its standing as a leading global hub of academic excellence.

Read More

Developing Effective International Strategies

“Strategy is about more so much more than glittering generalities or the constraining rigidity of fixed plans”

With the sector facing unprecedented challenges – and with internationalisation at the heart of many of these challenges – now is a critical time to think deeply about what constitutes an effective internationalisation strategy.

A recent review of some 52 university strategies undertaken by Goal Atlas found that nearly two-thirds of these ended in 2021.  When I spoke at the annual conference of the British Universities’ International Liaison Association (BUILA) in July, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that my session on developing effective international strategies in uncertain times was the largest attended session of the conference.

Clearly, there is both a need and an appetite for strategy. But what makes a strategy a good strategy?

Read More