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Government Attacked as International Student Applications Fall

Amidst predictions that international student applications are falling, the latest attack on the government's stance on student visas has come from Universities UK chief executive Nicola Dandridge.

The latest figures from UCAS show that non-EU undergraduate applications for this year have increased by 0.8% on last year. Whilst this may not sound like a problem, the average increase has been 7% every year since 2007, meaning that international student numbers have been hit. Similarly, figures show that the number of Indian students applying to UK universities has fallen by 9%- a figure expected to rise to 25% by the end of this year.

More worryingly, the Office for National Statistics revealed in November that the number of student visas issued in 2012 had fallen by 26% compared to previous year.

Student visas have been a hot topic in Britain for the past few years, with politicians promising to tighten regulations to ensure fake students cannot cheat the immigration system. Along the way, it has become commonplace for high profile politicians to use phrases like "bogus students" whilst promising an aggressive clamp down on visas.

It is rhetoric like this that Nicola Dandridge believes is putting off prospective international students:

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Proofreading Your Essays: DIY or Hire a Proofreading Service?

Few things can cost you precious marks from your university assignments as easily as errors of grammar and punctuation. That is why proofreading and editing of your essays and reports are critically important to securing your best possible grades.

Ultimately, hiring a professional proofreader to review your writing is the optimal approach (for example, this proofreading service or another here). They have the skills, knowledge and, perhaps most importantly, the fresh eyes to give your work a rigorous analysis.

However, the downsides to using a professional proofreading service are that it can be quite costly. Furthermore, it may not be practical if you have only a matter of hours before the submission deadline or the text in question is very short, such as an email correspondence. In such situations, rolling up your sleeves and doing the proofreading yourself is the best available option.

DIY Proofreading Top Tips

Here are some general tips for proofreading your own writing:

Yuliya's picture

Bulgarian and Romanian Students Fighting for their Dreams

Yuliya is a Bulgarian first year Journalism student at UWE in Bristol. Here she argues that Romanian and Bulgarian students should be given the same rights as students from other EU countries.

"Despite being part of the last enlargement of the EU in 2007, Bulgarians and Romanians are still facing work restrictions in the UK. Although they will be lifted in 2014, many students face the risk of not finishing their studies. Not only are the living costs a problem, but so are the paid placements that are part of many undergraduate and postgraduate courses around the country.

Imagine you are a student coming from Bulgaria or Romania. You are passionate about the course you have chosen and you are impatient to settle down in the UK. You are ready to study hard and to work part-time in between the lectures, because you are coming from one of the poorest countries in the EU with an average salary of under £300 a month.

In the middle of September you say good-bye to your friends and family; you arrange your new accommodation; start meeting new people... everything seems perfect except the money issue. You know that you have to apply for the so called "yellow card" - the work permit you need as a Bulgarian or Romanian.

Foreign Students's picture

Student Photos of ‘Their London’

Students at Central Saint Martins college as well as other Londoners were asked to enter photos of ‘their London'. Thousands of entries of everything from iconic landmarks to English fry-ups were deliberated over by photography experts at the college. Twenty winners were then chosen, each with its own little story.

The competition was run by iconic London brand Beefeater Gin and the winning entries will all appear on a limited edition bottle later this year. Have a look for yourself at some of our favourites below.

Above: SANDRA: "#MyLondon is always busy with traffic.... An iconic London bus pulls up outside the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben...."

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Cat 'Arrested' at Brazilian Prison?!

A prisoner has enlisted the help of an unusual source at a Brazilian prison to smuggle in contraband. A white cat was caught crossing the main prison gate with everything needed for an escape taped to its body.

Guards at the jail in Arapiraca city, on the east coast of Brazil, were alerted when they noticed the unusual sight. The cat had strapped to it a mobile phone and charger, earphones, drills, batteries, a memory card and several small files.

A spokesman for the prison has since been quoted by a local paper, saying: "It's tough to find out who's responsible for the action as the cat doesn't speak". However, it appears the cat's name has been cleared after the feline was taken to a nearby animal centre, unharmed after its role in such a daring plot. 

Brazilian prisons are notoriously tough, forcing visitors to come up with more and more ingenious ways to make their lives that little bit easier.

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