Boris Johnson advocating an easing of the visa regime in order to attract “top scientists” to Britain misses the point somewhat (Johnson eases UK immigration restrictions for top scientists, 9 August). Of course, any efforts to increase the appeal of Britain as a working environment for the sciences is very welcome. However, to attract the world science community to our shores does not begin or end with easier visas for the already established, welcome as they are. The real story begins many years before when young students and postgraduates are being developed in our universities and laboratories.The ease or difficulty of studying and commencing a career in Britain is what will determine whether they develop those links that will bring them here to stay.
I am reminded of the slogan on car stickers in the 1980s in an era of cuts in education: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance!”
Die deutsche Islamwissenschaftlerin dankt ihrer Grundschullehrerin, weil die beherzigte, was Kaddor besonders wichtig ist: der Gleichheitsgrundsatz.
Mit ihrem "Gute-Kita-Gesetz" spült Bundesfamilienministerin Franziska Giffey mehr als fünf Milliarden Euro in die Kinderbetreuung. Das macht die Kindertagesstätten nicht zwingend besser.
Zamzam Ibrahim calls for the government’s Prevent strategy to be scrapped
The new president of the National Union of Students (NUS) has called for the government’s Prevent anti-radicalisation strategy to be scrapped and has urged universities to do more to tackle the black attainment gap and racism on campus.
In her first interview since taking up office last month, Zamzam Ibrahim said she had seen the impact of Prevent in universities first-hand, with events being cancelled and students being referred because of membership of the Palestinian or Islamic societies.Continue reading...
Get your CV on track before uni with a year of travel, work or ethical volunteering
Whatever you want to do with your gap year, a little planning goes a long way. As Stefan Wathan, CEO of the Year Out Group, emphasises: “You could ‘suck it and see’ if you want to be flexible and spontaneous,” he says. “But you run the risk of leaving it too late to really get value out of your year.” Better to have a plan in place as early as possible – if you need to raise funds, set aside some time for paid work, with a deadline to motivate you to save.
You can combine classic money-saving tricks with new technology to save effectively, adds Rosie Bannister of MoneySavingExpert.com. “Put money in a savings account, and think about having a new clothes ban or making your own lunches,” she says. “Track your spending too – there are lots of apps out there now to help you.”Continue reading...
Finding a part-time job, setting up a student bank account and sticking to a budget will take the hard work out of managing your money
A government report has recommended slashing tuition fees and bringing back maintenance grants. This might sound like cause for celebration, but it won’t mean much until the changes are implemented. Even then, students would actually pay more to go to university, says Martin Lewis, from Money Saving Expert.
The amount you owe in tuition fees is irrelevant because most people never pay it back in full, he says. But the government’s Augar review proposes increasing the loan repayment period from 30 to 40 years, so students will likely end up paying more overall.Continue reading...
Extracurricular activities are more than just an add-on to your studies. The ‘soft skills’ you learn are prized by employers
From bagpipe playing to the Nicholas Cage appreciation society, universities across the country have all kinds of weird and wonderful activities on offer for students. But extracurricular activities are more than just an add-on to your studies. Whether they’re faith, politics, sports or culture related, societies have been proven to improve students’ academic performance and employability. The “soft skills” you learn, such as leadership, organisation and resilience, are what employers are looking for.
“It’s important that students realise how much extracurriculars can help them build personalities, skills and CVs. Companies are looking for degrees and grades but, more importantly, what you can bring to a role in terms of personality and skills apart from your degree,” says Nupur Nair, societies executive officer at Loughborough students’ union.Continue reading...
Sean Cullen avoided getting a diagnosis for his dyslexia until he was in his second year at university. “The stigma around students not wanting to disclose disability is big. They think it will be detrimental to their studies if they have a difficulty,” says Cullen, who is now studying for a PhD at Brunel University, while also working as a disability officer for the students’ union.
Cullen, who became physically disabled as a result of an accident prior to attending university, is now receiving the support for his dyslexia he should have had from the start. “The message has been drummed in that because you have additional needs you’re not going to perform as academically well. That’s not the right message.”Continue reading...
Your degree will give you all sorts of transferable skills, but not necessarily a clear career path – so choose a course you love
Alice Brazil-Burns studied theatre and performance at Warwick University because she was passionate about the stage. But after graduating, and working at a major film company, she decided to make a big change, and enrolled on a master’s in management at the London School of Economics.
“I want to change the system in an organisation by working within it,” she says. “I don’t have the answers yet, and where I’m going to place myself, I’m not sure. But my theatre degree has given me all sorts of important skills: empathy, self-awareness, people skills, and studying how people think.”Continue reading...
When Deniz Ronayne, 22, missed out on his grades for the University of Birmingham, he didn’t know what to do. “I was just floundering,” he says. “So I ended up getting a job in a restaurant.”
Ronayne, who now studies history and politics at Queen’s University Belfast, says working for a year meant he saved money and rethought his uni choices. Looking back, it was the best decision he’s ever made. “I love being in Belfast and it was nice to earn money and get a sense of what life is like outside of school. It was like a little taster of what is to come after uni, budgeting and keeping yourself afloat.”Continue reading...
It’s always a good idea if you can make an open day, but it’s especially important for students entering through clearing, who might find themselves spending the next three to five years somewhere unexpected.
“A large amount of information can be found via websites, but attending the university gives the opportunity to meet the staff and current students and get a real feel for what it will be like studying and possibly living on campus,” says Andrew Tedder, an academic admissions tutor at the University of Bradford.Continue reading...
Overpredicted on your A-level results? Lost a place at your first-choice uni? Don’t panic. Clearing’s a good time for a do-over
Clearing can be a great opportunity to completely rethink your choice of degree course – and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
“Between choosing courses, applying, and then studying and taking your exams, a lot might have changed,” points out Hannah Morrish, higher education lead at online forum The Student Room. “You might have changed your mind. Clearing can be a good opportunity to review if this is really the right pathway for you. For many students, clearing turns out to be a blessing.”Continue reading...
Lots of schools will have teachers on hand for clearing, but parents can help ease the pressure too
Lots of schools will have teachers on hand for clearing, but parents can help ease the pressure too. Mums and dads might want to take the day off, so they can provide emotional support as well as helping with practical things, such as researching courses and unis, note-taking and advice. Ultimately, however, the choice lies with the student – parents should guide them to follow their gut feeling, rather than being forced to say yes to a course or university that’s not right. In our case study, a mother and daughter talk through their experiences on the day.
Samantha Pettitt, 19, studying biomedical science, University of Hertfordshire
On results day, I logged in and found out I was in clearing. I started phoning any university that did a biology-based course. I got five offers and went to my mum and dad and we sorted through them. They helped find the websites and contacted anyone we knew who’d been there to get advice. They suggested writing a pros and cons list, and calmed me down as I was so stressed. It was so good to have them there, especially as they’d come to all the open days. They kept me level-headed and they just kept saying: “It’s OK.” In the end, they were genuinely happy that I was doing something I wanted to do.
There’s no denying that results day can be a bit daunting. Experts give advice on keeping stress at bay, and using social media to broaden your choices
It might be hard to stay calm if you’ve received disappointing A-level results, but take comfort in the fact that clearing really does work – last year a record 60,000 students found a place this way. “You’re among thousands of people who go through this,” says Paul Woods, marketing and student recruitment director at Middlesex University. “Students can take control. But it needs to be a staged approach.”Continue reading...
Social media is now a core feature of the clearing process, and can be useful for planning ahead. Here’s how
From Snapchat to Instagram stories, this year we’re likely to see universities making even more use of social media in the run-up to the big day.
Emma Leech, director of marketing at Loughborough University, says that although a small number of universities make offers through social media, most tend to use it ahead of clearing day to engage and inform students through web chats, Instagram stories or live Q&As.Continue reading...
A myth-busting account of how languages emerge, change, and influence the way we think
As a boy, David Shariatmadari would sit in the hallway and listen to his Iranian father speaking Farsi on the phone to his family in Tehran. It was an early introduction to the estranging beauty of unfamiliar language. So began an interest in linguistics that has given birth to this book, a skilful summation of the latest research on how languages emerge, change, convey meaning and influence how we think.
Each chapter explodes a common myth about language. Shariatmadari begins with the most common myth: that standards of English are declining. This is a centuries-old lament for which, he points out, there has never been any evidence. Older people buy into the myth because young people, who are more mobile and have wider social networks, are innovators in language as in other walks of life. Their habit of saying “aks” instead of “ask”, for instance, is a perfectly respectable example of metathesis, a natural linguistic process where the sounds in words swap round. (The word “wasp” used to be “waps” and “horse” used to be “hros”.) Youth is the driver of linguistic change. This means that older people feel linguistic alienation even as they control the institutions – universities, publishers, newspapers, broadcasters – that define standard English.Continue reading...