higher education

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Protests Over Stranded London Met International Students

A protest is building outside Downing Street this afternoon as students and NUS members gathered to show their anger over the treatment of London Metropolitan University's international students.

Thousands of non-EU students have been left stranded after finding out today that London Met has lost its license to admit international students. The judgement from the UK Border Agency leaves 2,600 students with no university to attend when the new term starts in less than a month and with visas that will run out in just 60 days.

The university's international students find themselves in an impossible situation. Existing students returning for their second or third years, as well as new students arriving for their first year, now face a desperate scramble to try and find a place at a different university.

"Serious, systematic failure"

The whole process started when London Met was first warned earlier in the year about their treatment of international students and abuses of the student visa system. They then had their status as a ‘highly trusted sponsor' suspended by UKBA over a month ago.

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Thousands of Students Still Hoping for University Places

Tens of thousands of school students are waiting to hear if they have gained last minute spots on university courses. After A-level results were released last Thursday, school leavers throughout Britain are attempting to gain a precious university place through ‘clearing'.

‘Clearing' happens when the A-level results in Britain are announced. All the places on university courses held by students who then don't get the grades they need, are suddenly freed up. Other students can then attempt to fill these places by going through the process of ‘clearing'. UCAS, the university application system, confirmed almost 21,000 extra students have gained spaces through clearing, though as many as 162,000 are eligible for it.

All in all, almost 400,000 people who had provisional offers achieved the grades they needed and have been accepted onto university courses. Whilst this may sound like a lot, it is 30,000 down on the same time last year. Indeed, there are still 61,000 students waiting to find out if they have a place at their original choice of university. One reason for his could be the fact that for the first time in more than 20 years, A-level results as a whole were worse than the previous year.

Foreign Students's picture

Visas and Queue Jumping: International Students Hit the Headlines

International students have been headline news in the British media almost every day this week. The week began with an exposé by The Daily Telegraph newspaper which unveiled that foreign students are being accepted with lower grades than British students at some universities. After the backlash to this there was a plea from a government minister for overseas students to study in Britain, before the UK Border Agency insisted that the recent visa changes will not affect genuine students.

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British Students’ Love of the Arts

Angelique is originally from the Seychelles and has recently finished as a Law student at the University of London. Here she looks at one of the differences she has noticed between British and international students.

Each September, thousands of international students cross the border into the United Kingdom with the aspirations of attaining a degree, starting a new life and being submerged into a foreign culture. Months pass and quizzical looks emerge as Britain and British students reveal their oddities. The mind of an international student only wonders: "Are we right or are they right? Or maybe it's just a cultural thing". However, no one dares ask but sits there always wanting to know.

Studying the Arts at University

Higher education for international students is seen as a great opportunity and often difficult to attain with the high cost of living in the United Kingdom and excruciating tuition fees. Therefore, international students are always perplexed when told that a student chose to study Philosophy (for example) at university because they enjoyed it or had an interest in it. Many British students simply love the arts, such as philosophy, history of art, languages, photography, film production or illustrations. I wasn't sure if this was just my bias, but then I found this table:

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2013 UK University Table Puts Cambridge on Top

The latest UK university rankings were revealed this week, placing Cambridge in top spot for the second year running. Arch rival Oxford was placed second in the Guardian University Guide 2013 league table, whilst St Andrews in Scotland took third place.

The annual rankings are based on the quality of universities in a variety of different categories for full-time undergraduate students. The categories include:

  • How much they spend per student
  • Student to staff ratio
  • Career prospects of graduates
  • The ‘value-added' score between first and final year students
  • Final year student satisfaction (based on results from the National Student Survey)

The Big Winners and Losers

Here is the full top ten universities for this year, with last year's position in brackets:

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