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- BIS report shows Tier 4 changes damaged UK FE sector The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills has released a report assessing the economic benefits of Tier 4 students to FE colleges and to the country more broadly, and the effects on colleges of the 2011 changes to Tier 4. Read the report here.
While Study UK welcomes the increasing awareness in Government of the benefits that international students bring to the UK, we are concerned to see that the research confirms that changes to Tier 4 have had a significant negative impact on the UK’s further education sector. The research shows not only that the increased restrictions on Tier 4 learners have led to lower student recruitment numbers and a loss of a significant amount of income for colleges, but that some colleges have reduced their overall course offer as they no longer have sufficient numbers to run these, creating a negative impact on individuals in their local communities that may want to take these courses.
Although the research concentrates on publicly funded colleges, similar effects of the Tier 4 changes are being felt amongst independent providers. Study UK shares the concerns of public FE colleges that continuation of current Government policies will have a significant long-term negative impact on the cultural and economic benefits which our sectors bring to the UK, as well as damaging the reputation of the UK among international students in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
- New directors for Study UK
Study UK is delighted to announce the election of three new members to its eight-strong Board of Directors, who bring with them a wealth of knowledge and experience in the fields of national and international business and education.
Sue Edwards has an unrivalled record in promoting the UK as the destination of choice for international students, having worked for over 20 years with two of the industry’s biggest names, Aspect Education and Kaplan International Colleges, and currently serving as Chair of Study UK’s sister association English UK. Sue will be representing Study UK’s providers of international foundation year programmes on the Board.
William Hunt started Greenwich School of Management with his brother in 1973 and has led it through four decades of growth to reach its current position as one of the country’s largest independent providers of higher education, delivering a wide portfolio of specialist courses across three sites in London. William assumes representative duties for the association’s independent higher education institutions.
Paul Kirkham was inspired to take his successful career in business in a new direction after taking a course at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance during a sabbatical break. Having acquired the Institute in 2003, he has overseen a programme of investment and development that has seen the organisation more than quadruple in size over the last five years. Paul becomes Study UK’s first director of communications, leading on its new public engagement and information strategy.
Sue Hindley, Study UK Chair, said: “We are delighted to have three such tremendously talented and highly respected figures from the sector join our board. Their outstanding combination of skills, experience and commitment will help to advance the cause of high-quality independent education everywhere, and to cement Study UK’s position as the national representative body for the UK’s independent sector. I am confident that we now have an association and an executive team that truly reflects the diversity and depth of provision available at non-traditional institutions, and the Board is looking forward to working with our growing membership in the months ahead to demonstrate the value and importance of the independent education sector to a wide range of national and international stakeholders.”
- Indian students lose out in choice of UK degrees Study UK welcomes the Prime Minister's comments yesterday encouraging Indian students to consider higher education in the UK, but is disappointed that his Government continues to deny these talented young people a free choice of where to study. Sue Hindley, Chair of Study UK, explains:
"Thousands of Indian students each year have chosen to take their degrees at one of the UK's excellent university partner colleges. These smaller, independent colleges offer full undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes at convenient locations across the UK, with a friendly and supportive atmosphere and excellent value for money.
"Sadly, none of these students will be allowed to work for even a single day while they're here, after the Government changed the visa rules to actively discriminate against independent colleges, even those with top marks from the Quality Assurance Agency and a clean bill of health from the UK Border Agency. Student can be fully registered with a leading university, studying the exact same course as their on-campus counterparts, and yet they won't have the chance to find a part-time job, or even voluntary work in the community.
"The Prime Minister talks up the employment opportunities for Indian students who graduate here. But the inconvenient truth is that independent college graduates, even with a first-class honours degree from a UK university, will find it very hard to get a foot in the door of the graduate job market without this all-important work experience."