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Welcome to our Summer 2018 Newsletter!

Articles published in the last few weeks


A levels v IB?
For many years the IB (International Baccalaureate) qualification has been looked upon as the ‘new kid on the block’, but actually the IB is only 20 years younger than the A-level and it was introduced into the UK in 1971. It is now offered by over 100 schools across England, Wales and Scotland. So what are the real merits of each qualification?

We explore with the help of top Boarding schools and Colleges in the UK….


What is an appropriate level of English for International Boarding school pupils?
IELTS 5.5 or is it much more complicated than that? Indeed, does this level actually allow international students to feel comfortable from both a social and academic standpoint as they acclimatise to a new way of learning, a new country and culture? With the help of Boarding schools and Colleges we explore this subject and the full post can be found here on The PIE’s web site


UK Parliament launches International student inquiry
A new inquiry has been launched by a British parliamentary committee into the landscape faced by international students in the country. The All Party Parliamentary Group for International Students will ask industry leaders, including BAISIS how the UK can “help map the way forward” for prospective mobile students. UK Education Guide is a supporting member of BAISIS.


Chinese students studying in the UK have higher stress levels than their counterparts in China
A new survey found that 16 per cent of Chinese international students in the UK show signs of “severe distress” – meaning that they have depressive symptoms most or all of the time – compared with 10 per cent of Chinese students at home. However, the study found that there was little difference in the distress levels between UK-based Chinese students and UK domestic students; 38 per cent of UK home students show signs of moderate or severe distress, compared with 37 per cent of Chinese students in the country.


International applications to UK Universities rise in 2018.
There have been 50,130 EU applications and 75,380 applications from outside the EU which represent a 2% EU rise and a 6% rise from countries outside Europe. Overall application numbers, including UK applicants, have dropped by 2% – to 636,960.

China (+14% from 2017), India (+23%), the US (+7%) and European countries including Spain(+11%) and Poland(+16%) have continued to rise.

These figures represent all full-time UCAS undergraduate applications made by June 30 2018 – the final deadline for applying to up to five universities or colleges simultaneously. More information here



Continuing our Guide to Edinburgh…


Places to Stay

If your guests are looking for somewhere special to stay in Edinburgh, you may want to point them in the direction of  The Witchery by the Castle Hotel.  This famously atmospheric hotel based close to the castle gates is not a cheap option but we mention it here as it offers a collection of opulent suites decorated in true gothic style with secret doors, four poster beds, antiques as well as all the modern comforts.


Eating and Drinking

Edinburgh has a great choice of eating experiences including traditional Scottish dishes, international cuisine, vegetarian and budget meals for students.

David Bann Vegetarian Restaurant has been part of the Edinburgh scene since 2002. Situated in the Old Town this restaurant offers a creative and delicious menu for vegetarians and it is testament to the quality of the food that it is popular even with carnivores. The food choice is varied and includes salads, wraps, curries and kofta, brunches and desserts.


The Elephant House cafe is always busy due to its fame as being where JK Rowling wrote much of her early Harry Potter novels. If you’re a Potter fan it’s definitely worth a visit for locally roasted coffee alongside a good basic menu of soup and sandwiches, pizzas, baked potatoes and the Scottish national dish of Haggis, Neeps and Tatties.


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The Manna House Bakery has been providing Edinburgh with fresh bread, cakes and buns for more than 10 years. This bakery has a cafe attached and students and locals alike make up a loyal following for it’s homemade, made from scratch everyday, local produce.


Located in the city centre is The Dogs, a favourite with students on a budget who like the combination of quality food and cheap prices.  You can expect curries, soups, and traditional meals such as soused herring, roast chicken and bacon liver and onions.


A trip to Edinburgh would not be complete without a visit to one of it’s traditional pubs.  The Conan Doyle pub so named for being close to the birthplace of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, author of the Sherlock Holmes novels has a unique character as well as real ales and good food.


Outside the City Centre

Morningside is an attractive leafy suburb and one of the most affluent in Edinburgh. This neighbourhood is friendly with plenty of cafes, pubs, restaurants and quirky shops as well as great charity and thrift shops.

Stockbridge is situated to the north of the city centre, it was once a sleepy village and while it retains its cobbled streets and classical architecture nowadays it offers upmarket and independent shops, bars and restaurants.



Luxury brands, high street stores, beautiful boutiques and independents, Edinburgh has them all in abundance and far too many to mention here. As befits a big city Edinburgh has all of the big brands - many on Princes Street and George Street and food shopping is easy with good access to supermarkets across all districts. We’ve chosen just a few of Edinburgh’s unique retailers to give you a flavour of what’s on offer.


For gifts, home accessories and vintage treasures Homer is inspirational.  Housed in a Georgian townhouse, just a few minutes walk from the city centre, the shop is set out over five themed rooms.




For bibliophiles, Armchair can not be missed; the hours will disappear delightfully in this treasure trove of second hand books. With floor to ceiling shelves and overflowing boxes of literary finds, you’re sure to find a real gem.



If you like to support local designers and independent brands then Godiva is well worth a visit.  This colourful independent fashion boutique stocks both alongside quality vintage clothing which will please anyone who likes their wardrobe to be unique.


We hope you are all having a good Summer. We will be back with more news in September!


Pat & the whole UKEducationGuide team

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