Welcome to our May 2019 Newsletter!
Pippa’s Guardians is an exceptional family-run guardianship organisation which supports the welfare of international students at some of the very best boarding schools in the UK.
UK Education Guide in the news…
How online education can transform the international student experience…
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…
This article published in The PIE looks at the expanding provision of online degree and masters programmes in the UK and how online education can transform the lives of many thousands of International students.
Full article here: blog.thepienews.com/2019/05/how-online-education-can-transform-the-international-student-experience/
In other news…
Free online course to help prepare for living and studying in the UK
The British Council, in partnership with FutureLearn, will run this course again this summer-.Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK.
The course leader is Jonathan Smith, Associate Professor in Technology-enhanced Learning at the University of Reading who also teaches pre-sessional courses in English language and study skills.
You can register interest now to be advised when the course starts.
Top University official signals a shake-up in Chinese education focus...
The provost of China’s leading university has said that it is shifting towards cultivating students who feel comfortable challenging authority in the classroom, warning that focusing only on academic attainment risked turning campuses into “degree factories”.
Bin Yang, vice-president of Tsinghua University, told Times Higher Education’s Asia Universities Summit that the institution was “crossing over from cultivating ‘A’ students” – judged on their exam grades – “to ‘X’ students” – a model focused on a “spirit of disruptive innovation”.
And he highlighted reforms to the Gaokao – the national system of university entrance exams that allocates students to different tiers of institution based entirely on their test scores – that aim to give universities more autonomy in their selection of students.
China’s economy was moving from an era of “high-speed growth” to one of “high-quality growth” reliant on innovation, Professor Yang said.
Admissions scandal in US - What price for a place at Stanford University?
$6.5 million according to the LA Times
The family of a Chinese student admitted to Stanford paid $6.5 million to the man at the heart of the college admissions scandal, whom they met through a Morgan Stanley financial advisor, sources familiar with the case told The Times.
Yusi Zhao, who also is known by the name 'Molly', was admitted to Stanford in the spring of 2017, and her family, who live in Beijing, paid Newport Beach college consultant William “Rick” Singer the seven-figure sum for the work he did to get their daughter into the highly selective school, according to sources familiar with the case. The sources requested anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.
The 'Varsity Blues' scandal in the US Universities admission process has also shone a light again on the admissions processes for Boarding schools in the UK.
UK government investigated over its decision to cancel 36,000 student visas due to accusations of cheating on English language tests.
We have covered this story before and have been monitoring its progress.
The Home Office has also deported more than 1,000 people after its own probe into exam fraud began in 2014.
Spending watchdog the National Audit Office (NAO) said the Home Office's response would be reviewed after its decisions came under "public scrutiny".
In a statement the NAO said: "The Home Office revoked student visas where there was evidence of cheating, but its decisions have come under renewed public and parliamentary scrutiny in the wake of the Windrush scandal.
"The NAO is looking at the information held by the Home Office on the number of people alleged to have cheated and the action the Home Office has taken to date."
Reintroduction of post study 2 year work Visa for international students gaining strong support...
Former universities minister Jo Johnson has attracted significant cross-party support for his bid to force the UK government to reintroduce two-year post-study work visas – suggesting that it has a strong chance of success.
The amendment to the immigration bill, which also seeks to bar any future government from capping overseas student numbers without parliamentary approval, was proposed on 26 April by Mr Johnson and Paul Blomfield, the Labour MP who is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students.
Sincere thanks again to Oxford Summer Courses for writing our City Guide to Oxford
The founding principles for Oxford Summer Courses are pretty simple. An honest and authentic taste of Oxford education, Oxford living and Oxford culture, all served up by Oxford insiders. We share exceptional, authentic education with the world and we believe cultural experiences and educational experiences go hand in hand.
Day 2 in Oxford
Welcome to Sunday! After a full day of exploring Oxford on Saturday, you are probably ready to enjoy something relaxing this morning. This is why we recommend that you start your day with a coffee concert at the Holywell Music Room. These concerts are a favourite with the locals, and allow you to enjoy an hour or so of live classical music in Europe’s oldest custom built music hall.
The additional bonus of these concerts is that they come with coffee! You can grab a hot drink at the Vaults cafe near the Radcliffe Camera, which is housed in what was once the congregation house of the University of Oxford. This beautiful setting is a great place to grab a drink before or after the concert. We often prefer to grab our drinks after the concert and treat ourselves to brunch at the same time!
If you are not tempted by the menu at the Vaults, then head over to St Michael’s street for an easy and delicious take away lunch from Mission Burrito. This little hole in the wall cafe has long been a student favourite in Oxford, with a mouth-watering menu. Don’t be afraid to have your burrito spicy!
After refuelling, why not head over to the Covered Market and explore all of its independent shops, florists, bakeries, and coffee shops (a good idea especially if it is a rainy day!) This is a good place to find gifts for friends, or a beautifully wrapped bunch of hand-picked flowers. If by this point in time you are feeling rather peckish, try a cookie from Ben’s, which is tucked into one of the corners of the market. Often, the line for these cookies stretches outside the market! The market is also where the locals head when they fancy a nice pie as well, or fresh meat and fish.
Following your shopping excursion at the market, what could be more Oxford than punting along the River Thames? Punting certainly takes some skill, but it is a firm favourite with locals and tourists alike, especially on a warm sunny evening. Being on the water in Oxford is very relaxing, and you can see the gardens of lots of the colleges from the river as well.
There are several places to go punting in Oxford, but if you are already in central Oxford, we recommend stopping off at Magdalen Bridge. At this boathouse, you can hire traditional punts, row boats and pedalos, or spoil yourself with a chauffeured punt (the perfect way to enjoy some champagne, if you are so inclined!) The boathouse can also supply pre-order picnic hampers with your chauffeured punt.
After your adventure around Oxford’s waterways, you will almost certainly be hungry (especially if you gave punting a try!) We recommend Quod for dinner- located just a few minutes walk from the Magdalen Bridge boathouse in the Old Bank Hotel. A carafe of the rose from Provence is perfect for sharing out in the courtyard here and the specials are always delicious.
Once dinner has finished, and your 48 hours in Oxford is coming to an end, remember to take some sunset photos (or a selfie) before returning to your hotel or heading home. We hope you have had an amazing mini break in our hometown!