Student News

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The Very Best of the London Olympics 2012

Excitement in the UK is building as the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics is gathering pace. Last night the full schedule for the world’s biggest sporting event was released, and from March 15th anyone can start applying for tickets.

Here are a few of the expected highlights:

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The British Dissertation

One-year Master's students in Britain are all too familiar with the situation described so brilliantly by my good friend and fellow Master's student:


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Installation failed. Please try again. 404 error: Season not found. Season "Summer" cannot be located. The season you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is unavailable in England.

Perhaps my friend was referring to the lack of sun and warmth that characterizes this time of the year in England yet is unthinkable for the season in his native Brazil. But perhaps he was referring to the lack of summer that comes from having to write a thesis during vacation. You have all heard that British people are obsessed with time, and one-year Master's programs in England are no exception. Forget about that September-May nonsense; here they last exactly one year. While we attend classes for the first nine months, the last three months after final examinations are destined to the dissertation writing process.

Foreign Students's picture

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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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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