higher education

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Number of UK Universities to Increase

The number of official universities in the UK is set to soar in the next year, after the government announced new plans for more relaxed regulations for institutions to gain the prestigious title. They are proposing that the number of full-time students needed for the institution to qualify will be cut from 4,000 to just 1,000. This could lead to more than a dozen small Higher Education colleges in London and throughout the UK winning full university status, in what would be the biggest expansion of universities for twenty years.

The Benefits of a Name

The proposals are all part of the wider scheme to create a more competitive and diverse Higher Education system in England, and the colleges awarded university status will enjoy a number of benefits. The association of the name alone will allow the colleges a better reputation, as they will be connected, in name at least, with the top universities in the UK. Furthermore, they will also be able to gain from the financial benefits that universities are eligible for.

Prof Peter Lutzeier, principal of Newman University College, Birmingham, has backed the proposals, explaining:

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Best Universities in the World for Social Sciences Revealed

The latest world university rankings for social science courses have been released, with Harvard (pictured above) coming out top in all but one of the six disciplines ranked. The American university topped the tables in accounting and finance, economics, law, politics and international relations, and sociology, whilst it was just beaten by Stanford in statistics.

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Opposition to Visa Cuts Increases

A number of British MPs have criticised the student visa changes that are to be introduced by the government next year, arguing that they will harm the economy.

The government first announced the cuts earlier this year, in a bid to reduce immigration into the UK by up to 230,000 over five years. However, official figures released in June predict that the new restrictions could cost the economy £3.6 billion.

Figures Dismissed

Despite being calculated by her own department, the Home Secretary, Theresa May, has dismissed this figure and instead asked the migration advisory committee for a "better assessment and a better judgment of the true picture".

However, the Home Affairs Committee is outraged by May's refusal to believe the facts, with the chairman Keith Vaz revealing:

"The Home Secretary's dismissal of the impact assessment is very disappointing. The government appears to be not only making policy without adequate immigration statistics, but also ignoring its own evidence. We reiterate the need for an immigration policy which is both evidence-based and does not adversely affect the British economy."

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Combating Increased University Fees

With more and more universities revealing that from 2012 they are going to start charging the maximum amount of £9,000 per year for UK and EU students, there have been a number of suggestions of how to minimize the impact it has on the students. In the last few days two more alternatives have been put forward.

The Open University

Firstly, the Open University announced yesterday that it will be charging just £5,000 per year for full-time students, making it one of the cheapest universities in England. Similarly,

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Latest UK University Changes Explained

The Higher Education system in the UK is in a period of huge change as new government legislation is affecting everything from tuition fees to international visas. To keep you right up to date with how these changes may affect you, here is a summary of the recent developments.


International Student Numbers Expected to Double

The number of non-EU international students coming to study in the UK is expected to double in the next four years as universities look to benefit from the extra money they bring in tuition fees.

Some notable examples include Durham University which is planning for a 97% rise in the number of international students between now and 2014-15, and Exeter which expects a 73% rise.

This would continue the current trend which saw the number of non-EU students rise by 7.8%, from 2009 to 2010, with a 27.8% increase in students from China and a 20.4% rise in students from Singapore.


Brazilian Students Encouraged to Study in UK

The British universities minister, David Willetts, flew to South America last month to set up a scheme that will encourage 10,000 Brazilians to come and study in the UK. The Brazilian government would provide scholarships of up to £18,700 per student to give its brightest students the chance to study at a world class university in the UK.

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