Study International Programmes for UK Students

Study International Programmes for UK Students

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More British students vying for American universities

Record numbers of British students are preparing to study at American universities to escape the introduction of £9,000 annual tuition fees, figures suggest.

The scramble for places has reached such a level that students are now struggling find places to sit the traditional US higher education entrance exam, it has emerged.
Some 28 test centres in Britain run the SAT – a standard reasoning test used by many US colleges to dictate entry – and most have reported record demand.
The number of students taking the test in this country has increased by a third over the last two years and some students are now being forced to travel to mainland Europe to sit exams.
Almost 9,000 British undergraduates and postgraduates studied in the US last year and the number is expected to soar in 2012.
The disclosure comes as the cost of a degree rises from £3,375 to a maximum of £9,000 for students starting courses next year.
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It is feared that the move is fuelling an exodus towards universities in Europe and America where fees are lower or students are often eligible for generous scholarships.
Foreign universities are also targeting British students.
Last week, almost 130 American universities – including many top Ivy League institutions – were represented at a major US college recruitment fair in London.
This Saturday, around 1,500 students will attend the Student World Fair which is being billed as a showroom for 40 institutions from Europe, the United States, Australia, Hong Kong, Jamaica, New Zealand and Canada.
Jemma Davies, of MJD Consultancy, which is staging the exhibition, said a number of factors including fee rises and increasing globalisation combined to “to make the prospect of studying abroad that much more attractive”.
“At the same time, foreign universities have been alerted to the prospect of attracting UK students, and are looking to actively market to them,” she said.
America is still seen as one of the most sought-after destinations for British students.
Most institutions require students to take either the SAT or the alternative ACT exam.
The most competitive institutions ask for the main SAT aptitude paper plus two or three subject-specific exams.
In the current academic year, British tests are staged on October 1, November 5 or December 3, with later exams in January, May or June.
But many test centres accredited by The College Board, which administers the test, have reported record demand. All places were taken in London and the south-east for the October exam and many test centres are already full for November.
Janette Wallis, a senior editor of The Good Schools Guide, said: “It’s not rocket science to have foreseen that when tuition fees climbed to £9000, interest in university abroad would skyrocket. It’s not just the US – we’re getting more inquiries about universities in Europe and farther afield like China and Australia.”
Jill Hurst, who tutors British students preparing for the American test, said: “We couldn’t find spaces in any of the London centres for the October test.
“We ended up having to send kids to centres miles away, for example down in Dorset, and even those spots were going fast.
“My concern is that many UK students may be deciding to look at US schools only now – post A-level results – when testing seats are hard to find. They should start the process about 18 months before entrance.”

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A world of university opportunities: The benefits of studying abroad

The UK higher-education landscape is changing rapidly. With universities able to charge up to £9,000 for tuition from 2012 and some 200,000 students missing out on a place this year, prospective students could be forgiven for thinking the terrain is simply too hostile and abandoning their plans for higher education.

However, The Student World Fair – to be held at London’s Emirates Stadium on Saturday 8 October – intends to show students that all is not lost, and that the grass might actually be greener on the other side. It’s free to all students, parents and schools, and aims to gather all the information students might need under one roof.

“Studying abroad is a common practice all over the world, but the UK hasn’t really adopted it,” says Jemma Davies of MJD Education, a partner in the fair. “With the rise in fees and competition for places, we don’t want students to give up hope – there are alternatives. You don’t have to take a gap year or start your career, there are institutions around the world who would snap you up.”

Institutions such as BI Norwegian Business School, for example, one of the 50 or so higher-education exhibitors who will be at the fair. “The fair allows us to tell students about the school first hand and what we stand for,” says Feite Van Dijk from the school. “It’s a good opportunity for students to talk to schools and find out what’s in it for them.”

In fact, with exhibitors from the US, Canada, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and all around Europe, the fair will allow students to find out about career prospects, life on campus and much more, from a wide range of institutions. There will be representatives and former students on hand from every university, so students can ask questions face-to-face.

“We’ve also got interactive seminars so you can learn what to expect in terms of employability if you gain your degree abroad,” adds Davies, “and there are country-specific things too, so you can learn the ins and outs of studying in that place.”

In addition, the Fair will attempt to address some of the common concerns that students, parents and schools alike have about entering into higher education overseas. Cost is a regular talking point, says Davies, “so we’ve got institutions who charge nothing for tuition to those who charge £30,000. There are lots of different options.”

Language can also be perceived as a barrier by many students (62 per cent of those asked by the Fair’s organisers see it as a potential problem), although with the majority of courses taught in English at overseas universities, this is easily overcome. Slightly harder to tackle are the distances involved, but Davies puts this into context: “Driving from London to Newcastle would take you six hours, while a flight to Amsterdam is only an hour, so you can still study in the EU and not be too far away from home.” And for those students happy to put some distance between themselves and the nest, there are options in Jamaica or Australia.

While it’s natural for students to have reservations about heading overseas, Van Dijk believes that it’s only a matter of time until more students begin to look beyond our island: “There are better career opportunities and better value for money opportunities outside the UK. Once a few make that step, others’ll follow.”

If finding out about those career prospects and more isn’t quite enticing enough in its own right, there’s also the prospect of winning £3,000 towards your overseas studies or one of five iPads for all those who register; but the real benefit will be finding out first hand what living and studying abroad is like, says Davies. To get the most out of the day, she suggests getting involved. “Don’t just wander around picking up brochures. Speak to people. Think of realistic questions about practical things, not just queries about the course. It’s hard to get to an open day in Hong Kong, so this your a chance!”

Students can find out more about the fair at thestudentworld.com, which has details of all the exhibitors and a forum. But whether or not they choose to study abroad, it will still be “a fun and informative day out,” says Davies – and it might even open the door to a world of opportunities you never knew existed.

Russ Thorne, the Independent

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Goodbye to the gap year: Students give up travel to avoid 2012 fee hike

Mail online:As students battle to secure a university place before the 2012 fees hike, the gap year abroad has fallen by the wayside.
Thousands of teenagers, due to receive their A-level results on Thursday, have scrapped plans to travel in favour of going straight to university.
They will be the last to secure a degree costing £3,290 a year before fees are increased, and in some cases tripled, next year.
As a result, just 6,000 18-year-olds have deferred a firm offer of a place on a university course for this year, according to admissions service Ucas. Last year 20,000 did.
Universities are baffled as to why anyone would take a gap year this year and are telephoning those who want to do so to check they understand the increase in fees.
Studies show students starting in 2012 will face an average of £56,000 of debt on graduation, compared with around £27,000 if they started their studies this September.
Clare Beckett, head of recruitment at the University of West London, which is to charge £7,500, said: ‘Gap years are a thing of the past. I can see them not existing. We have had very few people actually wanting to defer.
‘Any students that have chosen to defer, we have actually called to remind that there will be a hike in the fees and ask if they really want to defer. A couple still have but very, very few.’
Stuart Rees Jones, founder of gap year company Camps International which organises volunteer work abroad, has seen an increase in students opting to fit volunteer work around their degree.
‘It would be a terrible shame if travel and volunteer work become a life-style choice,’ he said.
‘If students don’t do a gap year there’s a risk they’ll have little to offer but a string of academic qualifications.
‘What employers want are individuals. I have faith that future students will recognise this and want to do volunteer work.’

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Youngsters are facing unprecedented pressure to get on a course with around 350,000 students set to chase 40,000 places through last-minute clearing on Thursday.
One vice-chancellor has called on ministers to scrap the Government cap on numbers. David Green, of Worcester University, said universities should be able to accommodate more students than the 350,000 annual limit.
He said: ‘Every individual university has a number imposed on it by the Government and if it exceeds the number of new students, even by one, it is fined.
‘It’s a false economy. The Government is saving money if people go to university because they don’t go on to the dole queue that costs £2,500 a year in benefits payments alone. The Government should lift the cap.’

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Parents splash the cash for ultimate student pads

Barely a minute’s walk from Spitalfields market and a stone’s throw from Liverpool Street station is London’s newest private student apartment block. Nido Spitalfields is a 33-storey steel and glass tower among a maze of Victorian warehouse conversions and bars.

Students swipe electronic key cards to access the building from a glazed glass atrium with views of an open courtyard, where young people sit sipping drink. On the top floor is a fitness suite and spacious entertainment area called the Sky Lounge, with panoramic views of the City. All flats have a single bed, a desk with internet connection, a toilet, a shower cubicle and a kitchenette.

You might have seen the advertisements for independent student living in luxury city-centre apartment blocks, led by Unite Group, Nido Student Living, Team and INTO University Partnerships. In London, demand for this type of accommodation has been fuelled by rising numbers of students from home and abroad, and by parents willing to pay for security and peace of mind.

As it is mostly parents who hold the purse strings, the marketing has to tick their boxes. Joanna Lorente, web and brand marketing manager for Nido, often meets parents on guided tours of the accommodation. “The first thing they always ask is about security; are our buildings safe? And what about the area: is it safe at night? I tell them all our buildings are swipe-card entry, and there’s an onsite residence life programme.”

Prices range from £340 a week for a self-contained, single-bed studio at Spitalfields to £690 for a large apartment. A shared twin room can bring the cost down to £195 per person per week. Nido has blocks at Kings Cross, Spitalfields and Notting Hill Gate. Naadir Mustafa, an undergraduate at University College London, decided to head to private halls in Kings Cross for his third year. He’d previously been in shared student halls.

“I’ve got three friends renting Nido apartments,” says Mustafa, from Karachi, Pakistan. The atmosphere was welcoming and the services efficient.

“You will find 30 to 40 nationalities at Nido,” he says. “When I was living in halls it was mainly English students, so I felt a bit left out.”

Nido’s location on Pentonville Road is also handy. “I walk to UCL with three other friends and if I leave at 9.50am I can be at my lectures by 10am without worrying whether there’s a train strike.”

His father Daanish helped persuade Mustafa the move made sense. “My main concern was for my son’s safety. Living on his own might have meant there was no one around to turn to if he was ill or if he locked himself out late at night. Nido’s very secure. I also like the fact that he has a student experience. We could have afforded a flat, but he wouldn’t have had the same experience.”

According to a report by property consultancy Savills, Spotlight on Student Housing 2010, student accommodation is a booming business. “The London supply pipeline has grown by nearly 30 per cent over the past 15 months to 19,000 bed spaces, highlighting widespread demand.”

In contrast to the growth in developer-led student apartments, the private rental market is declining. However, there are still good deals to be had outside the city centre, and it’s a lot cheaper to share – particularly in larger flats in less fashionable parts of London. Savills estimates the average weekly rent for a student in private accommodation in 2009-2010 was £97, a lot lower than in luxury student apartments, but then the accommodation is more basic.

Goldsmiths, University of London, estimates students renting in the private sector in south London are paying around £110 a week. “We hold events, run by our students’ union, where flat-sharers are put in touch with one another and vacant rooms/flats are advertised,” says Sally Grimley, Goldsmiths’ accommodation services manager. Her team works closely with the University of London Housing Service to support students looking to rent in the private sector. For example, they provide housing lists from approved letting agents and landlords and offer legal advice before, during and after tenancy.

“We advise students that money and lifestyle are the most frequent causes for falling out. Best friends do not necessarily make good house mates and we would advise students to think about their approach to home life and try to find people who complement their lifestyle,” she adds. The shortage of places in student halls led Goldsmiths to provide 1,000 bedrooms for its 7,400 full-time students, most of whom find alternatives either sharing with a local family or renting. Demand means the best flats get snapped up. “We advise anyone flat hunting to start looking early,” says Grimley.

After your university’s housing and welfare office, try the National Union of Students. The NUS campaigns for better student housing. It runs an advice line, explains standard contract terms and warns you what to look out for when entering a rental agreement; see http://www.nusonline.com for details.

A spokesman for the NUS said: “There’s a whole economy at work here as students are moving all around the UK. It may seem a cliché but students are no different from other people. They want somewhere safe and sensible to live.”

Independent Online

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Clearing 2011: How about studying abroad?

A level results day is imminent. As many as 100,000 students will be looking for university places in clearing. Opportunities abroad are available in many countries around Europe, USA and Australia writes Journalism.co.uk

Caught in clearing on A Level results day? How about studying in Europe or farther afield?
Harrow, 12 August 2011

A-level results day 2011 promises to be a disappointment for an estimated 100,000 students in England. With British universities unable to fulfil the demand for places, students are advised to consider universities elsewhere in Europe, USA or Australia.

International higher education advisor A Star Future has compiled a list of available places at universities this September and October.

There are opportunities in a wide range of subjects from business to medicine, classical civilisation to hotel and tourism management.

“The situation changes so rapidly at this time of year that any list of available places is quickly out of date. For example, there are many courses that are full at the moment where vacancies could open up next week. We try to keep on top of developments in order that we can offer the best advice possible to British schools and students,” commented Mark Huntington, managing director of A Star Future.

Last year, A Star Future helped a small number of students gain places at universities in the Netherlands, Czech Republic and Australia during clearing. This year is expected to be much busier and many parents and students have already been in touch looking to line up an alternative should the worst happen next Thursday.

“With the increase in tuition fees coming in 2012, reapplying next year is not an option that many students will wish to consider,” continued Huntington. “Average student debt is estimated to reach £60,000 for a three-year degree starting in 2012. Many options around the world are considerably more cost-effective and even countries such as Australia are unlikely to prove more expensive in real terms.”

A full list of available clearing vacancies is hosted on the home page of the A Star Future website and will be updated regularly over the next two weeks.

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Expats speak out: does working abroad boost your career?

Expats speak out: does working abroad boost your career? ( Daily Telegraph)
A new poll has found over three-quarters of women who work abroad believe that doing so has improved their career prospects.
According to a survey from Natwest International Personal Banking, 83 per cent of women who work abroad believe the experience will stand them in good stead for moving up the career ladder.
Apparently, having spent time working overseas is generally considered to demonstrate a number of important skills to employers.
Out of over 400 women interviewed by NatWest, over half (52 per cent) said that the experience of working overseas had exceeded their expectations.
Members of the Telegraph Expat community on Twitter agree, and say working abroad has been a valuable and enriching experience.
“Moving abroad is the best thing I ever did,” said Eleanor Fullalove, Property & Living Editor of FrenchEntrée.com. “I have worked in Nice and in Paris and the opportunities I’ve had to work abroad helped advance my career.”
“While I was at university, I spent eight months working for an English language newspaper in Nice. After graduating with a degree in English and French, I was employed as a sub-editor at a magazine publishing company in Bath. Unfortunately, I was made redundant 18 months later and found it difficult to get another job in publishing. At that point, I decided to go freelance.
“So I went back to the same newspaper in France that took me on as a student. Then I found myself in Paris on an assignment for a big American publishing house with a branch in the French capital – they wanted me to interview celebrities on the front row and at parties during Paris Fashion Week.
“I’m convinced it was my French that set me apart and of course, the experience already gained working in France. I might have always been surrounded by English speakers in the work place, but living with French people whilst in France really helped me gain fluency in French.”
Alison Meehan agrees. She runs Costa Women, a social network community for women living in Spain, and draws on her vast experience working globally to stay ahead of the competition.
“I have worked in Australia, Dubai, Thailand and Spain; all of which were for different reasons and all gave a different work experiences.”
She advises securing a job before you move to make the most of your time abroad.
“If it’s a posting for a job then that experience is very different to moving somewhere for a life choice. Traditionally, the woman would find it hard to get a role which fit their skill-sets once they have arrived with their husband who moved for work. In my early days in the Middle East, it wasn’t uncommon for the employer to ask for the husband’s approval for the wife to work!”
She points out that the experience of a new culture, language, customs and someone else’s view of the world are invaluable in the current competitive jobs market – and can also give them the confidence to start their own business.
“People find that their boundaries and minds are expanded and far more often would find ourselves in a situation where we have to live outside of our comfort zone. However, once out of the comfort zone, maybe the prospect of going it alone is now a viable option.”
“This provides a great challenge and good chance for them to do what they have always wanted to do and monetise a hobby, or skill-set that was put to work for an employer previously.”
For more information about these or any other programmes, please contact us to discuss your potential
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