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The UK Welcomes Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama is currently in England on day three of his first UK state visit, and has already met the Queen, Prince William and David Cameron among many other top British figures.

Mr. and Mrs. Obama arrived in Ireland on Monday and although they were only there for less than 24 hours, they managed to fit a lot in. In Ireland’s capital, Dublin, the President made an already famous speech to re-affirm the ties between the US and Ireland. To huge cheers he started the speech in true rock star fashion:

"Hello Dublin! Hello Ireland! My name is Barack Obama of the Moneygall Obamas, and I've come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way."

He followed this by meeting with a distant cousin of his and then sampling a traditional Irish pint of Guinness, although there was one slight hiccup when the President’s armoured car (nicknamed ‘The Beast’) got stuck on a ramp when coming out of the US embassy in Dublin. You can see the (hilarious) video below this post. On Monday evening the Presidential party decided to leave Ireland a day early to fly to England over fears of the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud moving in on Tuesday.

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Latest UK University Rankings Released

The Guardian newspaper today released its 2012 UK university league tables, placing Cambridge in top spot for the first time in six years.

Cambridge (pictured above) pipped Oxford to first place, with St. Andrews, LSE and UCL making up the rest of the top five. The big movers of the table were Middlesex which climbed 37 places to 75th since last year, and Birmingham City University which fell from 66th to 90th.

The Guardian’s table is based on data only for full-time undergraduate students, and the universities are ranked according to how much they spend per student, their student/staff ratio, the employability of their graduates, what grades applicants need, a value-added score and student satisfaction.

Below you can see the top 30 in the league table.


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The Future for International Students in the UK

Universities UK, the top representative body for higher education in the UK, today moved to dismiss a number of misconceptions about the visa and tuition fee changes being introduced in Britain. Foreign Students went to find out more.

The President of Universities UK, Professor Steve Smith, was joined by the head of the International and Europe Unit, Dr. Joanna Newman (above), in reassuring international students that they “are an essential part of the UK higher education system” and will remain so.

Indeed, despite the tightening of student visa regulations and the increase in Home/EU student tuitions fees, they fully expect the number of international students coming to the UK to continue rising, just as it has for the last decade. So why are they so sure of this?


Visa Changes

Professor Smith allayed fears that the changes to visa regulations will prevent international students from studying in the UK, instead suggesting that they will have “little or no consequence on legitimate international students”. The tightened rules will simply remove those people currently abusing the system by gaining student visas through fake private colleges.

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Your Weekend Sorted

Every Friday we reveal all the very best things to keep you entertained this weekend . Whether you are staying in, or going out, have a shoestring budget or are feeling extravagant, there is something for everyone.

Staying In



  • Comic Relief: The annual celebrity filled night of entertainment to raise money for Comic Relief is really the only choice tonight. Expect three and a half hours of performances from Peter Kay, Harry Hill, James Cordon and Take That, and special episodes of MasterChef, Eastenders and Outnumbered. Love it or hate it, Red Nose Day is truly now a British institution.

When? Friday 18th, 7-10.30pm




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Shine! International Student Awards Winner Announced

Last Wednesday, the UK’s brightest and best international students gathered in London for the Shine! 2011 International Student Awards ceremony. Every year the Shine! Awards celebrate international students and what they bring to the UK.

Rather than focus on the academic side of things, they instead act as a way for students to tell the inspirational stories from their time studying in the UK.

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