Welcome to our March 2018 Newsletter!
English Language exams and how they might change in the next 5 years? –UK Education Guide’s predictions…
With online English language courses gaining in popularity, I review whether English tests will increasingly be offered online. Specific exams are linked to visa applications, but does that mean provisions cannot change significantly for other purposes? I firmly argue that change is coming and that’s good news for English learners….
The full article can be found here on the PIE’s blog
Spotlight on Mental Health
University Mental Health day took place a couple of weeks ago and the Times Higher Education magazine focused on the pressures on both staff and students in a recent editorial.
It highlighted a new initiative launched last September by Universities UK
The Step Change framework, which is currently being piloted at three UK universities, recommends that they work closely with the NHS to consider how mental health services should be commissioned and delivered to student populations.
“What it allows universities to do is look not just at what they’re doing within a university environment, but also to consider how they then interact with external agencies,” says Steve West, chair of UUK’s Mental Health in Higher Education Working Group and vice-chancellor of the University of the West of England, which is leading the trial.
UK Education Guide will be launching a series of articles about Mental Health in the Boarding school sector later this year...
Students are sceptical that different prices can be charged for different degrees
Students are opposed to the introduction of variable tuition fees in English higher education, according to a recent poll, amid growing criticism of the government’s hopes of delivering greater price competition in the sector.
Launching a review of post-18 education funding on 19 February, Prime Minister Theresa May expressed concern that “all but a handful” of English universities charged the maximum fee of £9,250 for their courses and that the level of fees charged does “not relate to the cost or quality of the course”.
However, a poll of more than 1,000 students conducted for the Higher Education Policy Institute, published on 22 February, reveals widespread scepticism among students about the idea. Of those surveyed, nearly two-thirds (63 per cent) felt that all full-time undergraduate courses should cost the same.
Meanwhile, Justine Greening, the former education secretary, has warned that lowering fees for some courses could leave disadvantaged students feeling compelled to choose these degrees, thus entrenching inequality.
Chinese parents - the powerhouse behind 100,000 Chinese students studying in the UK
Data from the Institute of International Education shows the UK welcomed almost 100,000 Chinese students in 2017. It is also important to remember that Chinese parents provide much of the financial support to make such a high level of mobility possible. According to HSBC's Value of Education report, parents in China are expecting to contribute on average £72,738 towards their child’s higher education abroad. In addition, these parents are the most financially prepared, with 55% saying they fund their child’s education through savings, investments, or insurance, and over two-fifths (43%) through a specific education savings or investment plan – twice the global average.
Source: HSBC's Value of Education report.
What’s new online?
As you know at UK Education Guide we try to highlight great online courses available via top UK universities. We do this predominantly through our feed to FutureLearn courses-(FutureLearn works with over 130 partner organisations and top Universities worldwide offering online courses). However, exciting news from the University of London which has announced the launch of 100% online Computer Science degree. It is hoped in time the course will be scaled up to have 3,000 students.
Arguably the most interesting news is that Coursera, the learning platform that the degree will be launched on, has said that the course cost will be adjusted based on whether a student is in a developed of developing economy. We will keep you posted on this interesting news…
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Second instalment of our Guide to York!
Places to shop
York is fantastic for shopping and has all of the big brands - many on Parliament Street - but is also renowned for its smaller and independent shops. Food shopping is easy with good access to supermarkets across all districts - you may want to shop around though as some supermarket chains offer more value than others.
There are many shops selling cheap clothes and some even offer discount on production of a university card both NUS and ISIC. York has some decent charity shops too, many can be found on Goodramgate, where you can pick up a bargain.
If vintage is your thing then regular vintage fairs are held throughout the year, including the fantastic two day Festival of Vintage held in April at York Racecourse. www.festivalofvintage.co.uk
York has many independent and specialist shops selling everything from perfume and jewellery to freshly ground coffee. Give The Dog A Bone is a gift shop popular with students, but in York you will enjoy exploring the different shopping districts and are bound to find your own favourite. www.givethedogabone.co.uk
Places to Eat
El Piano is a great vegan restaurant which offers Arab-Spanish food which is gluten and animal product free. Emphasis is placed on the use of local produce and fresh ingredients. You will want to share here with tapas style dishes including lentil tabbouleh, dhal, falafels, corn fritters, tortilla, and chilli. The wheat-free sticky toffee pudding is a favourite. The atmosphere is busy and fun. El Piano also offers an incredibly reasonable takeaway option. www.el-piano.com
Il Paradiso del Cibo is a tiny Italian restaurant with a seriously authentic family-run vibe and serves good, uncomplicated food at knockdown prices. In this no frills environment students are to be found alongside local foodies enjoying pizza and pasta dishes as well as perfectly cooked sardines, king prawns and salads. The service is bright and friendly. www.ilparadisodelciboyork.com
The students of York also love Brew and Brownie for its perfect pancakes and contemporary take on traditional Yorkshire fare. www.brewandbrownie.co.uk
See you next month!
Pat & the UK Education Guide team