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Study Courses More Accessible Than Ever

Thanks to the emergence of the web, potential students no longer have to sign up to full-time courses at universities. Remote learning is becoming increasingly popular in many countries around the world, and it's easy to see why. As long as you prepare properly and have somewhere to study, anyone can sign up to an interesting and rewarding course.

While many people feel the urge to attend a university or college on a full-time basis in order to fully absorb the student experience, there are a significant number who simply cannot spare the time, the commitment or the money to adopt such a strategy. There was a time when such individuals simply missed out on an education, but it's not the case anymore.

The advent of the internet has changed our lives in so many ways, but few can have been as gratefully welcomed as the chance to study remotely. Thanks to the web, students from any location in the world can sign up to a reputable course in a subject of their choice, thereby enhancing their career prospects without having to move abroad to do so.

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My Time Studying in India

As part of India Week, Medicine student Somasundaram Rajasundaram describes their experiences of living and studying at Manipal University in India.

"It was early September of 2009 when I finally received my tickets from the government of Seychelles. I was to leave for India in a week to study Medicine at Manipal University (above). Although I'm of Indian origin, it didn't help much in the initial phase of settling down.

The first thing that hits you in India is the general state of pollution, dust and the suffocating heat. Gradually a tolerance develops, but not without a couple of attacks of the flu.

Studying in India

The workload is immense, straight from day one. It taught me a lot about time management. The Indian education system places a lot of emphasis on raw memory, but thankfully my university also gives equal importance to application of the acquired knowledge. A hands-on approach is the buzzword these days, and for me that meant we actually got to learn human anatomy on a cadaver- something most other medical schools can't afford to put in place. Teaching and lecturers in general are of the highest order, with dedication like no other.

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The Changing Future for International Students in the UK

The landscape of the UK higher education system has gone through a huge process of change over the past year and the effects this change will bring are still largely unknown. One group of students who face increasing uncertainty over their position in the system are foreign students. With international student visas becoming harder to obtain and EU students facing the same increased fees as UK students, many feel that overseas students are being marginalised.

A recent study (Patterns and Trends in UK Higher Education) showed that international student numbers have increased hugely in the last decade, but as the new rules are introduced, the real question is whether this trend can continue.

Increased Tuition Fees

There are a number of issues to be considered when addressing this question. First of all, there is the fact that EU students, just like British students, are facing the new £9,000 a year tuition fees from 2012 onwards. This sudden tripling of the fees will inevitably make European students think twice about coming to study in the UK, especially when there is already more expense and effort involved to study outside of their own country.

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Improving the International Student Experience

With international students paying upwards of £10,000 for each year of study in the UK, it takes a top class experience to make them feel they have got value for money. New British students can struggle with arranging accommodation, finding a part-time job, making friends and managing their studies, but for international students all this can be ten times harder.

Arriving alone in a new country that speaks a foreign language can be one of the most difficult things to do, and universities have a duty to make it as easy as possible for new students. However, do they currently help enough? For every international student who finds arriving and settling in a painless process, there is a story of struggle. Even if universities are currently helping every step of the way, there is always room for improvement.

Equally, now, more than ever, not only is it the universities' duty, but it is actually essential to their survival that they keep their international students happy. The financial benefit of students from around the world (not to mention the welcome cultural diversity they bring) is now indispensible to the Higher Education sector in the UK.

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