Welcome to our June 2018 Newsletter!
In this month’s edition: City guide to Edinburgh and Tier 4 Visa changes…
UK eases Tier 4 Visa requirements for 11 countries, including China
The UK government has added a number of major Asian nations to the list of countries in which international students benefit from a “streamlined” British Tier 4 visa application process. 11 nations including China, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia and Mexico have been added, but not India. UK universities have seen a huge dip in recruitment from India after the abolition of post-study work visas in 2012. The addition of the 11 new nations brings the total number of countries on the list to 28. Within the Education sector the hope it that the next step will be to take international students out of the net migration government target.
New English language exam converter tool launched
We really like this new service that is being offered by English Exams. It explains what education, professional and immigration doors each exam can open, and most importantly provides a helpful tool to those who don’t know their IELTS from their TOEFL: a score converter wheel.
New QS University rankings for 2019 published
MIT at Number 1 and 5 UK universities in the top 20-Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial College, Edinburgh and University College London. Full listing here
Ucas rejects racial profiling accusations
UCAS, the UK's Central University Admissions system has pledged to work with representatives of ethnic minority groups after an analysis found that black students were significantly more likely have their applications to UK universities cancelled because of alleged fraud.
A report published by the admissions service says that black applicants represented 52 per cent of all UK-domiciled applicants whose applications were “flagged” for potential fraud between 2013 and 2017, despite representing only 9 per cent of the total number of applications.
Overseas Student poaching a growing problem
The problems, as some agents, consultants and educators see it, start when students are “unethically” poached from one institution to another by rogue agents, lured by the assurance of a ‘grass is greener’ scenario that does not always work out in the students’ best interest. In Canada there are reports of local Agents going into college cafeterias to mingle with students, asking queues of people if they would like to switch schools. The student churn situation does not just affect Canada, in the US, there are similar rules in place; students on an F-1 visa are permitted to transfer between schools as long as they follow standard Homeland Security procedures.
Students can pack up, move state and join another institution, but it does create a window for possible security issues or fraud...
Changes in rules and regulations mean that student churn is not quite the same problem in the UK because a student’s visa is tied to their institution and switching to a new school would require a new visa process. Full article here
City Guide: Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and was established in the 12th century by King David as one of Scotland’s earliest royal burghs (burgh is the Scottish word for town). It is a hilly but compact city which makes it easy to walk around and there is plenty to see and do including a medieval Old Town and an elegant Georgian New Town. As befits a capital city, Edinburgh offers historic buildings, galleries and culture, a castle, a world famous arts festival as well as its own parliament.
Things to See and Do
Edinburgh Castle is iconic and well worth a visit at any time of year. Within its grounds you can see the Stone of Destiny, the Scottish War Memorial, a statue of Robert the Bruce, the Royal Palace and the Scottish Crown Jewels.
The Royal Botanic Garden is truly beautiful and are renowned internationally for its horticultural excellence and offers a tranquil haven just one mile from the city centre. There’s plenty to see and stroll around including an Arboretum, Rock Gardens, Alpine House and Woodlands. Admission is free.
If you like Art galleries and Museums you really will be spoilt for choice, we’ve picked out a few of our favourites to get you started.
The Scotland National Gallery occupies a stunning building right in the heart of the city centre and exhibits some of the most celebrated Scottish artists including John Singer Sargent and Henry Raeburn. Admission is free.
If you like contemporary art then don’t miss the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art to the west of the city centre. Home to more than 5,000 works of 20th century art, with outdoor sculptures by artists such as; Barbara Hepworth, Rachel Whiteread and Henry Moore. Admission is free.
The Fruitmarket Gallery offers a mix of art, books and a very popular cafe. As you may guess from its name this gallery was previously a fruit and vegetable market and has grown its reputation for selecting and promoting the very best new and emerging talent. Admission free.
National Museum of Scotland is Edinburgh’s largest museum and shows exhibits from around the world in a stunning Victorian building, go up to the rooftop terrace rooftop for a breathtaking panoramic view of the city. The museum also offers great guided tours to help you make the most of your trip. Admission free.
The People's Story museum is located in the Canongate Tolbooth, which is a historic landmark in itself. This fascinating museum offers a glimpse into what life was like for Edinburgh citizens in days gone by from crime and punishment to the suffragettes, working conditions at Leith docks to 1970’s punks - you will leave with a real insight into how Edinburgh has become the city it is today. Admission free.
Arguably Edinburgh’s most famous cultural destination is the Edinburgh Festival Fringe which takes place every summer. As the world’s biggest Arts festival it fills the city with new and established talent, so popular it is said that the population of Edinburgh doubles when it is on.
A great way to experience the view of Edinburgh and surrounding areas is to take an open top bus. The Majestic Tour heads north of Edinburgh's city centre towards the port of Leith; highlights include the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, the Royal Yacht Britannia and the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Leith is a vibrant and creative port district which is well worth a visit and can be followed by a stroll along the riverside Water of Leith Walkway back towards the city ending your journey at the back of the sculpture garden at the Modern Art Museum.