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Welcome to our September 2018 Newsletter!


Welcome to the new academic year-we hope you had a great Summer break.

We hope to provide you with a round-up of the top UK Education news stories over the Summer and delighted, with the help of our friends at Cardiff Sixth Form College, to provide you with the first instalment of our Guide to Cardiff…


A real help for international students arriving in the UK - definitely worth a look!

The British Council has launched a free, open, online course for international students coming to the UK, aiming to prepare them for academic and social life in the nation.

The course, which was designed in collaboration with the University of Reading and Study UK, will focus on five key areas: UK HE, UK study ‘modes’, academic language skills, student support services, and life in the UK.
The offering, which will be accessed through online learning provider FutureLearn, will be available for four weeks from September 3. It will comprise of 12 hours of content. Online mentoring support will also be available.


Unconditional University offers come under increased scrutiny

Partners in Excellence (PiXL) – the largest network of schools in England and Wales has reported that one school has seen A*-E grades dive this Summer from 74 per cent in 2017 to 14 per cent this year, at a time when 40 students had received unconditional offers from universities.

The school received "an amazing number of unconditional offers", but results had "gone hugely downwards, with some kids not even going to school after they received the unconditional offers".

One student had achieved a place on a degree course after achieving two U's and an E.

The practice of offering 'unconditional offers' is not usually extended to international students. For example, the University of Birmingham does not offer unconditional offers to any student requiring a Visa to study in the UK.


More work needs to be done to 'internationalize' domestic students in the UK...

Numerous studies have shown the benefits for Western universities recruiting international students, finding that a diverse student body exposes students to different cultures and ideas, helps them develop globally relevant skills, and enriches classroom discussions.

However, a survey of more than 12,000 British undergraduates found that, while a majority felt that studying alongside international students gave them a “better worldview,” nearly a quarter (24 percent) believed that overseas students “require more attention from the lecturer.”
Meanwhile, more than a fifth (22 percent) said that international students “slow down the class,” according to the 2018 Student Academic Experience Survey, conducted by the Higher Education Policy Institute and Advance HE.

Vincenzo Raimo, pro vice chancellor (global engagement) at the University of Reading, said that the HEPI/Advance HE study should provide a “wake-up call” to universities to do more to “engage our domestic undergraduate students with the benefits of internationalization.”


UK Universities call for relaxation of Visa system to keep pace with international competitors

Most people in the UK believe that international students should be allowed to stay in the country for two or more years after graduation, new polling has revealed. The survey results were released by Universities UK as it called on the government to allow foreign graduates to stay on for up to two years after their course finishes, to match similar offers from rival nations such as the US, Canada and Australia.


Universities back call to fill technical education gap

A recent report from HEPI (Higher Education Policy Institute) has highlighted  the need to revive the layers of education that lie between school-leaving exams and university degrees, where employers say they face the biggest skills gaps. These qualifications were largely dropped when many Polytechnics in the UK became degree awarding Universities in 1992. This requires Universities and Colleges of Further Education to work more closely and provide meaningful pathways, says Christopher Hale, director of policy at Universities UK.



Cardiff is the capital of Wales and has a population of over 335,000 people and the Welsh parliament is based in Cardiff. It is the home to many important buildings and institutions, befitting a capital city.

It is also home to three Universities; Cardiff University The University of South Wales and Cardiff Metropolitan University. It also hosts the most successful, in terms of A Level results, College in the country, Cardiff Sixth Form College.

We thank Henrietta, Alice and the team from Cardiff Sixth Form College for helping us compile this guide to Cardiff - we think it’s our most detailed Guide yet! Really something for every kind of visitor to the city.


Places to visit in Cardiff

Cardiff Castle is one of Wales’ leading heritage attractions and a site of international significance. Located within beautiful parklands at the heart of the capital, Cardiff Castle’s walls and fairy tale towers conceal 2000 years of history.


National Museum Cardiff is situated in the heart of Cardiff’s elegant civic centre and houses Wales’s national art, natural history and geology collections, as well as major touring and temporary exhibitions. Admission is free.


Cardiff International White Water offers thrill, pleasure and family fun seekers an outlet to enjoy a wide range of on-site and off-site activities all year round. Located in the heart of the International Sports Village in Cardiff, CIWW is home to the UK’s very first on-demand Olympic Standard White Water Rafting and Indoor Wave facility.


Wales Millennium Centre is the nation's home for the performing arts situated at the heart of Cardiff Bay. One of the UK's top cultural attractions, the Centre provides an extensive programme of world class entertainment.


Cardiff Bay is home to a number of attractions such as Techniquest Science Discovery Centre (see below) ideal for all the family, Craft in the Bay, The Welsh Assembly at the Pierhead, Butetown History and Arts Centre and the Norwegian Church.


Techniquest is the UK’s longest established science centre. Techniquest offers interactive experiences that are accessible to all, and that have been enjoyed in its centre by over 5 million people since its inception in Cardiff in 1986.

Over 270,000 men worked in Welsh mines in 1920, the history of the decline of the industry and an insight into the harsh realities of working in a pit are brilliantly captured at the Big Pit National coal museum. In its heyday Big Pit employed 1,300 workers, now you can follow in their footsteps through interactive exhibits and the world-famous underground tour. Led by a real miner, it will give you a living, breathing taste of what life was like for those who made their living at the coal face.
Big pit National Coal museum

More Cardiff visitor information in next month's newsletter...


Pat & the whole UKEducationGuide team

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