UK Education Guide Newsletter
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Welcome to UKEducationGuide’s December Newsletter!

Skills gap focus

Soft skills still undervalued by Universities, but not by businesses…

Soft Skills for Business Success reports that two-thirds of jobs will be “soft skills intensive” by 2030, compared to half of all jobs in 2000. The report also asserts that the number of jobs in soft skill-intensive occupations is expected to grow at 2.5 times the rate of jobs in other occupations.

So why are soft skills underdeveloped in higher education? Andreas Schleicher, director of education at the OECD suggests a pre-occupation with knowledge versus skills:  “this artificial dichotomy between knowledge and skills that has been invented by educators, this is not a phenomenon we find in the real world".


Hollywood revelations knock on to Education and highlight the particular need to protect international students

This article was written about US Colleges but is very relevant to the UK too.

‘Regardless of any changes in oversight, we all know sexual assault is a pervasive problem on college campuses. While institutions offer a variety of resources and support, one-size-fits all, blanket approaches intended to reach all students may very well miss a vulnerable population on the campus: international students. They come to our campuses from all around the globe looking to seize the rich and rewarding opportunities that our higher education system provides. In turn, they bring with them a cultural diversity that can be seen and felt across the institution. And when it comes to sexual education, international students have distinct needs that programs designed for their domestic peers don’t typically address.

Colleges and universities must take appropriate steps to educate, support and protect those students, taking into account varying levels of sexual education as well as cultural and social norms that may differ greatly in students’ home countries. A lack of understanding of what domestic students consider to be social norms and sexual cues -- like “no means no” -- can lead to confusing or awkward situations. Or worse, those misunderstandings can make international students vulnerable to victimisation’.

Best practice? A required program at Fraser International College at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, British Columbia, incorporates sexual education into the transition curriculum for all new international students. The material is embedded in a course that lasts a semester and covers everything students need to know to get used to their new lives. The sexual education portion covers consent and healthy communication, sexual health and gender orientation, and the cultural and societal norms around sex.


BBC highlights bogus education Agents operating in UK

A BBC investigation has uncovered evidence of abuse of the government's student loan system in one of the biggest private colleges in England.

The Greenwich School of Management (GSM) and its students receive around £66m a year in maintenance and tuition fee loans. The panorama programme states that agents supply fraudulent qualifications, offer to sell coursework and are able to "fake attendance".GSM London has an academic partnership with Plymouth University, which sees the city university award its degrees.


International students think the UK is good value for money

International students who are either already studying in the UK, or considering doing so, think British higher education is good value for money, according to new research released by QS.

However, they think Germany is a better value destination.
Plus, students from EU nations are also less likely to see the UK as a good value destination. The net score from EU students was +17, with only 19% regarding the UK as “very good” value, compared to 41% of students from Africa. 




This guide has been put together by 2 generations of my family - I used to attend the University of Southampton and now my daughter is a freshman there - so something for everyone, I hope!

Places to visit

The key feature of Southampton is its coastal positioning. Just take a walk along the front, breathe in the sea air and look at the boats in the Marina, and the visiting cruise ships-Southampton is the home of Cunard/P&O cruise lines.

Beautiful colourful borders at Osborne, Isle of Wight


I remember as a student taking the Red Funnel ferry from Southampton to the Isle of Wight to visit Osborne House, a favourite residence of Queen Victoria. We used to take a picnic and sit in the grounds, we couldn’t afford to go in the house, but it was a great day out and still is.

One of the other great aspects of Southampton is that wandering through the city centre you will walk past historic places, such as Bargate. Located in the middle of the city centre Bargate is the impressive north entrance to the medieval section of Southampton, which contains fascinating remains, monuments and buildings.

Get into the countryside

Less than 10 miles from the centre of Southampton is the beautiful New Forest, one of England’s National Parks. There are lots of places to visit in the new forest, but one place really worth a visit is Beaulieu the national motor museum. Beaulieu is also a really lovely village to stroll around.

Also, take a walk through picturesque Lyndhurst or Brockenhurst where there are plenty of excellent cafes and restaurants and some interesting shopping options, which we will explore in next month’s edition.


Shopping in Southampton centres around Westquay. A new complex with over 100 stores over 3 levels. It is already proving a magnet for my daughter and features lots of high street names all under 1 roof.

For more independent shops and places offering a local flavour a trip to the New Forest is worthwhile (see above) and there are some lovely independent shops in both Brockenhurst and Lyndhurst. 2 gems in Lyndhurst are Pages of Lyndhurst and the Old Apothecary


Pat & the whole UKEducationGuide team

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