Most international graduates from UK universities believe their degree deserved their monetary investment, crediting their post-graduation success to British higher education, a new report has discovered.

Over 90 per cent of UK international alumni surveyed reported “being satisfied or very pleased” with all aspects of their lives, according to the survey by Universities UK International (UUK International). More than 4 in 5 (83 per cent) are pleased with their professions so far.

The survey suggests that international graduates from UK universities go on to successful and rewarding careers, and that the majority of them acknowledge that their UK degree is a vehicle for their success. The outcomes also reveal just how valuable our worldwide graduates are as ambassadors for the UK,” stated the report.

Chris Skidmore, the UK’s Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Development, said: “The outcomes are extremely encouraging, showing that a majority of international students enjoy their time in the UK and credit a UK degree with assisting them to get to where they are today.”

An overall of 16,199 graduates who had finished their studies in between January 2011 and July 2016 at 58 UK universities participated in the International Graduate Outcomes 2019 (i-GO), carried out by iGraduate. The majority (64 per cent) had finished two to five years prior, while the rest had finished their research five to seven years back.

The majority of respondents came from both non-EU and EU graduates who had studied at postgraduate level. The US is the most significant non-EU citizenship represented, followed by China, India, Nigeria and Malaysia.

Here are some noteworthy findings from the study:

83 percent stated their certification helped them get their job.

53 percent working in their home nations believe they make above average or well above average compared to peers who studied in their home country.

69 per cent of respondents feel having a UK degree indicated they might progress faster in their selected career.

The wage premium associated with a UK qualification was 202 per cent for Chinese graduates, 129 per cent for Malaysian graduates, 83 per cent for Indian graduates, and 50 per cent for US graduates (according to local graduate income data sources).

The findings fill the space in what we know about the career and other outcomes of global graduates, especially those who work outside the UK after they graduate.

It’s the “final piece of evidence” required to encourage the government to revive post-study work visas, for which the abolition in 2012 is blamed for the country’s stagnation international enrolments. Vivienne Stern, Director of UUK International, told Times Higher Education she would “eat her hat” if the modification to the immigration bill isn’t accepted when it goes back to Parliament.

“I think this report is the final piece of evidence just to show…why are we holding ourselves back when everybody benefits from international students choosing the UK?”

A report by London Economics for the College Policy Institute (HEPI) published earlier this year discovered comparable significant contributions to the UK economy. International students who stay on to work in the UK post-graduation might have contributed ₤3.173 billion to the Exchequer in tax and national insurance contributions over ten years, found the report.

The email you were praying for finally comes through:

We would like to invite you to attend an interview on August 28, at 9 a.m. at our office…

No sooner has the initial elation on receiving an invitation to an interview set in than the apprehension at the thought of an impending interview creeps up. No-one is immune to this daunting feeling – ask any highly qualified, self-assured or seasoned interviewee. The first step to successfully handling interview nerves is to accept that anxiety is natural; it’s an instinctive human response to a situation out of your control. The question now is how to overcome interview nerves and make a lasting impression on your prospective employer.

Prepare for it

If you’ve been applying for a number of jobs, it’s easy to forget about the actual one that you’ve been invited to interview for. Make sure to keep a copy of the selection criteria for each application as it will come in handy when you start preparing for the interview. Once you’ve familiarised yourself with the role, take time to look up the company for some background into what they do and get a sense of the organization’s culture and values. Don’t limit yourself to the company website but look into press articles or their social media presence and also widen your research to developments in the organization’s industry. All this information might provide good talking points during your interview, which will leave the potential employer impressed with how engaged and up-to-date you are. Your knowledge about the role and the organization will help you anticipate potential questions which you can practice answering with a friend or alone in front of the mirror. Preparation also includes mapping out your journey to the interview. Leave at least 30 minutes earlier to accommodate for any delays or diversions. Charge your phone fully and have a good night’s sleep on the eve of your interview, baggy eyes will only stress you more in the morning.

Turn Up (on time) 

Ghosting has not only become a trend in the dating arena as recruiters have stated an increase in the regularity of candidates not showing up for an interview without any communication to that effect. Not only is this a waste of time for a potential employer, but it says a lot more about you as an applicant. Not turning up without communication shows you are unreliable and unprofessional which are terrible traits in any field of work. A simple phone call or email to alert the recruiter of any changes will save you from gaining a reputation as an unreliable candidate. And when you do turn up,  be at least 10-15 minutes early as that will give you time to check in, use the restroom if necessary, and to acclimate yourself with the office.

Good manners will get you everywhere

Contrary to popular belief, your interview begins the minute you step into the organization’s building. How you carry and present yourself from the reception to the interview room has an impact on your overall evaluation. Be as polite to the receptionist or whoever is welcoming all interviewees as you are to the panel interviewing you. A firm handshake, a smile, good eye contact, confident body language, and proper posture will increase your chances at employability as most companies value likeability and professionalism in addition to good qualifications. When you enter the interview room, wait until you are invited to sit down and position yourself comfortably on the seat without slouching. Your interviewer will have warmed up to your presence before you even begin to speak,

Books are judged by their covers, houses are appraised by their curb appeal, and people are initially evaluated on how they choose to dress and behave. In a perfect world this is not fair, moral, or just, she says. What’s inside should count a great deal more. And eventually it usually does, but not right away. In the meantime, a lot of opportunities can be lost.

Susan Bixler

(The New Professional Image: From Business Casual to the Ultimate Power Look)

Listen and Ask Questions

Once the interview begins, be sure to listen and articulate your answers clearly and audibly. Pay attention to the questions and the flow of the conversation, and be honest in your responses, especially in instances where you don’t know the answer. The point is not to regurgitate information that you might remember from your research, but to show how you can engage and tackle situations that may be thrown at you. Active listening also includes observing non-verbal communication and learning from the people conducting the interview. While many candidates sail through the questioning particularly because they have prepared for it, some candidates fail to show the same level of engagement when prompted to ask questions themselves. This part of the interview is not simply an act of courtesy but a chance to show your interest in the organization and reveal a candidate’s thought processes.  Even if it’s just one or two questions, this will show your potential employer that you have done some research, you were engaged in the interview and it will also show your ability to think on your feet.

Be yourself

The pressure to impress during a job interview may drive you to take on a totally different identity or mannerisms that you believe will land you the job. But the simple truth is that hiring managers are looking for authenticity and personality during an interview, which is why it is crucial to just be yourself. Not only is the interviewer looking for a skilled and experienced candidate, but also considers which personality type will suit the existing team. Your bubbly personality could be the boost that the employer needs for team morale or your more passive and pensive personality could be just what the organization needs. Painting a false picture of yourself at interview will mean that if you do get the job, you might have to continue with the façade or suddenly appear like a different person to your new manager. Your authenticity will give you the opportunity to find a company and a position that falls in line with your values and goals.

With a little help from these suggestions, we hope your next interview will be your last one. Until then, keep working on yourself!

If you’re coming to the end of your degree program and wondering how to penetrate today’s competitive labor market given the increasing number of emerging graduates, this article is for you. While a good qualification from a reputable institution may get your foot in the door, you will need more than a generic CV or Resume to secure your seat at the table. Here are some tips on routes and ways to get you started on your career path.

Volunteering

Many recruiters today consider work experience as an essential requirement in addition to academic qualifications. Engaging in some voluntary work before, during or soon after your studies (as you wait for responses to your applications) is a chance to gain some practical experience while building on your work record. Volunteering also gives you the time to develop your skills and acquire new ones, with teamwork being fundamental and valuable to most potential employers. Whether you decide to dedicate your service to a cause that has no direct link to your career target or you do find a position in an organization you would love to work for, volunteering presents an opportunity for networking which could help you land a permanent job in the future. Instead of binging on a Netflix series all day, sign up for a voluntary position and expose yourself to new experiences while expanding your network and increase your knowledge.

Internships

Internships, like volunteering, provide an opportunity to demonstrate your suitability to a potential employer while developing career-relevant skills. Most companies now use internships as a recruitment tool for more permanent positions, so don’t write it off as a menial position. Paid or unpaid, an internship is essentially the first step into a professional career as it gives you the real-life experience of the job. Also, an internship often provides access to events and conferences where you will interact and network with professionals, who can potentially become future references, mentors or employers.

Develop Marketable Skills

In addition to certified technical skills, recruiters today are looking for employees with abilities distinguish candidate one from the next and leverage yourself in a competitive job market, you will need to develop and maintain a set of skills that will. This list compiled by the U.S. Secretary of Labor and the Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS)  highlights some of the key foundation skills and basic workplace competencies that are critical for employment:

  • Basic Skills – Reading, writing, arithmetic, mathematics, speaking, and listening
  • Thinking Skills – Abilities to learn, reason, think creatively, make decisions, and solve problems
  • Personal Qualities – Individual responsibility, verbal and written skills, self-esteem, self-management, and integrity
  • Resourcing Skills – Allocate time, money, materials, space, and staffing.
  • Interpersonal Skills – Participate in teams, teach others, serve customers, lead, negotiate, and work well with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
  • Information Skills – Acquire and evaluate data, organize and maintain files, interpret and communicate, and use computers to process information.
  • Systems Skills – Understand social, organizational, and technological systems; monitor and correct performance; and design or improve systems.
  • Technology Skills – Select equipment and tools; maintain and troubleshoot equipment, and apply technology to specific tasks.
  • Transferable Skills – Basic skills that transfer from one job to another, which include communication and interpersonal skills of managing, organizing, coordinating, and writing.
  • Adaptive Skills – Personal traits that develop through life experiences. Although these skills may not be specific to any one job or career, they are extremely important to employers and to sustaining employability; therefore, they are very marketable. These include passion, flexibility, leadership, patience, responsibility, maturity, decisiveness, commitment, and enthusiasm.

Continuous Skills Development 

Many young people are under the impression that graduating from a university means waving goodbye to readings, exams, and assessments. Unfortunately, today’s workplace is an equally intense and competitive learning environment that demands continuous skills development. New technology, legislation or customer demand may shift an organization’s goals and needs which has implications for the staff. So before you get the job, look into how you can improve your skills as this will heighten your employability levels. And after you have secured that job, continue to upskill and expand your knowledge through learning a new language, taking on a short course or joining and engaging with professional associations. The more skills you have to offer, the better your CV will be when compared to someone who just relies on his/her university qualifications. These are some useful sites for personal development:

  • Lynda.com is a leading online learning platform that helps people learn business, software, technology, and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Usually, they offer a free trial for LinkedIn members (another reason to set up a LinkedIn account) and they have a wide range of video courses so you can hit various topics you might need or interested in.
  • Udemy is a global marketplace for mastering new skills by learning from an extensive library of over 45,000 courses taught by expert instructors. It’s a learning marketplace where instructors from different fields create lessons on a diverse array of topics – from programming to woodworking skills to publishing your book. This site offers a plethora of courses so you have to hunt to find the perfect course for you.
  • Coursera is a wonderful resource for learning, reviewing, and discussing academia with lessons by top instructors from the world’s best universities and educational institutions. They have recorded video lectures, auto-graded and peer-reviewed assignments, and community discussion forums. For a starting price of $29, you can learn new skills in 4-6 weeks and earn an electronic course certificate that you can share.

Create a professional online profile

In 2019, your digital identity is just as important as your CV or Resume as most recruiters now conduct a web search of your name when considering candidates for a job. ‘I’m already on Facebook, Instagram and very active on Twitter.’ Great! But let’s talk about LinkedIn. The platform has developed into one of the most reliable vehicles for finding networks, internships and job prospects, and if you haven’t already created one, your LinkedIn profile is more important now than ever. Employers actively use this platform to source candidates, with some applications accepting a summary of your profile as a CV so ensure that it is up to date. Use LinkedIn to engage with other professionals in your field of interest, sharing useful and commenting on what others post. The more engagement and wider your network, the greater your visibility. DO NOT use caricatures and avatars for your online profiles. Instead, invest in some professional headshots for all your social media accounts.

Hopefully, these few pointers will guide and help you as you prepare for the world outside the walls of the university.

When Adam Curry and Dave Winer developed a program to download internet radio broadcasts to an iPod back in 2004, they probably had no idea that their program, the iPodder, would one day turn into a popular medium of information that we identify as podcasting today. Their invention was the foundation of on-demand audio which gives the listener the flexibility and the choice in deciding when and what to listen to, unlike traditional radio broadcasts, which often meant skimming through several stations just to tune that one exciting programme. A solitary listener, driving to work, seated on the bus, preparing a meal or counting steps on the treadmill, is immersed into what often feels like a more personal, more intimate and more authentic conversation. Unlike written and video content, podcasts are specifically designed to fit into those moments when you don’t want to scroll through your phone, but you need a little more than some background music. They also cater to those who don’t have the time to sit and read a 2 000 word article but want to keep abreast with current discourse, especially when the information is delivered in a creative and engaging manner, as opposed to the polished authority that traditional media transmit.

Smartphones and high-speed internet have catalyzed the growth of this particular digital medium with increasing content on any topic you can imagine – comedy to education, music, and technology. From panel discussions, narrative storytelling to solo-casts, there is a wide variety of podcasts providing byte-sized information (with room for further probing) and entertainment at no cost, as most podcasts are free to access. Podcasts also create communities, bringing together like-minded individuals to share and exchange knowledge and experiences on common interests. The conversation often turns into a sort of feedback loop where podcasters produce content which listeners consume and comment on, generating more ideas for more episodes. Whether you’re looking for inspiration and information, looking for some escape into the world of fiction, or just looking to optimize your time during a long commute, there’s bound to be a podcast for that will cater to your interests and time. Today, we’re highlighting seven podcasts that are worth a listen.

  1. Oxford’s Future Makers Podcast gives insight into key issues for the future of society in the light of the ever-changing times. Listen in for informative debates by the institution’s academics who are at the forefront of their profession as they explore past and on-going research in different topics. The first season of the podcast focuses on Artificial Intelligence, from the automation of jobs to the inherent bias of algorithms.
  2. The Conversation. Every week, Kim Chakanetsa hosts two women from different countries, backgrounds and age groups with common interests, passions or careers are shaking up the status quo. This podcast brings the female voice to the forefront, bringing together interesting and engaging women on a platform that values their unique experiences and knowledge. The show appeals to a range of professional fields – from skateboarding, climate change advocacy to sport.
  3. The Ted Interview. Fancy a 30-minute commute with  Bill Gates or making dinner with Andrew McAfee? This is the podcast for you! The host, Chris Anderson (Head of TED) delves into the provocative and powerful ideas of this time as he speaks with some of the world’s most interesting people.
  4. The Gary Vee Audio Experience. If you’re looking some motivation to get you going through your entrepreneurial journey, this podcast is a great channel to subscribe to. Gary Vaynerchuk is an entrepreneur, investor, vlogger, and public speaker and uses the podcast to share his insight on marketing and business through the #AskGaryVee show, keynote speeches and segments from his DAILYVEE video series.
  5. The Guilty Feminist. Hosted by Deborah Frances-White, the award-winning podcast and live show explores the big topics all 21st-century feminists agree on, whilst confessing the “buts” – the insecurities, hypocrisies, and fears that undermine most lofty feminist principles. Every episode, which is recorded in front of a live audience, begins with a confession: “I’m a feminist, but…”, an acknowledgement of the difficulty in living up to the tenets of feminism.
  6. Oprah’s Super Soul Conversations offers intimate, heartwarming and inspiring conversations about the significance of values, character, purpose and meaning in one’s life. Oprah, a celebrated media executive, actress, talk show host, television producer and philanthropist, sits down with thought-leaders, modern-day influencers and game-changers to unpack the current climate of politics, religion and culture.
  7. Jesus and Jollof No, this podcast is not about religion or the popular West-African rice dish. The name of the podcast is actually inspired by the two things that co-hosts Luvvie Ajayi and Yvonne Orji cannot live without. Join the two Nigerian women, who grew up in the United States as they have hilarious discussions about the things they love, their stories, and life in general.

 

 

 

  1. The Freshers Week Friend

You probably met during orientation at one of the many welcome events at your university or residence. It was great having a friendly face to help each other settle in the first few weeks since the move to London was a new experience for both of you. This friendship usually wanes off after some time as you realise you have different interests and make different friends. Or it might be forever at first meet, s/he could turn into the sibling you always wished for. Either way, everyone needs this friendship to get through the transition into a new residence, new university and new city. Even if you do grow apart, you are still able to exchange warm smiles and keep fond memories of those first weeks.

2. The Study Buddy

You’ll meet this friend in the department common room or the library more than once. A friendly chat during a study break and a few classes together, you find yourself engaging in mutually beneficial conversations over this theory or the other. The study buddy challenges you to stay on top of your reading lists and provides that healthy competition that motivates you to do well. This friendship thrives on helping each other succeed and can develop into a lifelong friendship as you explore other mutual interests out of the university walls.

3. The Classmate

You see this friend a couple of times a week, s/he even goes out their way to save you a seat when there’s a full class. There’s always some small talk about the pressure of writing that 5 000 – word paper or an upcoming exam. You enjoy this friend’s company in the university setting and even after several attempts of meeting up or hanging out in a different setting, it never really happens. This friendship one convenience and thrives on proximity — the minute you leave the lecture room each of you returns into your world only to meet at the next class. Social media heart emojis and thumbs up become the only way to keep up with each other’s lives after you graduate.

4. The Party Friend

Always up for a good time, the party friend knows where to get the cheapest drinks on a Tuesday night. After bumping into this friend a couple of times in the student bar, you exchanged numbers and now s/he is that familiar face that lights up and announces your arrival to the rest of the party group at every party. You’ve even grown to have one of those ‘So, where are we heading to after class?” type of friends. This friendship is coloured with a lot of cheering, toasting, bathroom runs, hugs and that one random blackout (that you still can’t remember). Even though you don’t have time to go out every Friday, having a party friend is good for those nights when you just need to blow off some steam.

5. The Friend for Life

This is your person. On meeting this friend it feels like the universe conspired for your atoms to meet at this point in your life. You feel like you’ve known each other all your lives and you find it so easy to talk about anything and everything. S/he just gets you — no judgement. You have so much in common and your differences seem to complement each other. This friendship tends to grow beyond university and lasts a lifetime. If you are lucky enough to find this friendship, treasure it.

According to the World Health Organisation, mental wellbeing is a dynamic state in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. It also entails an emotional resilience which enables us to navigate through and experience the ups and downs of life — the joy and pain, the excitement and disappointment. That ability to appreciate life despite its struggles also requires flexibility as one must continuously juggle and find a balance between conflicting needs, goals, duties and responsibilities. Together with the physical, social and emotional, mental well-being allows us to engage productively and effectively with family, peers and colleagues.

Efforts to strike a balance between the demands of academic life, societal expectations and reality have left many young people feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and deeply anxious. The expectation of ‘having it all together’ at all times plus the race towards unrealistic life goals has fostered a persecutory perfectionism among young adults and this often manifests as anxiety, self-harm, depression, eating disorders, and dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s personal achievements. This is compounded by the feeling of isolation despite various virtual connections and significantly impacts how students feel about themselves and how they engage with student life. Underlying causes vary from person to person, with some having nothing to do with the uni experience, although the demands of the academic journey can become potential stress triggers, ultimately impeding academic progress and personal development.

It’s taken for granted that good grades are achieved at the expense of disrupted sleep, anxiety, periods of stress and depression. While higher education can be overwhelming and challenging, the tendency to dismiss it as a norm, that university is just a period of stress and suffering that everyone has to go through creates a societal and personal stigma that makes the pursuit of mental well-being even more difficult. Students are then often reluctant to seek help, particularly for mental health illnesses, which studies reveal are alarmingly increasing as evidenced by the rise in cases of psychological distress and illness in universities. While mental health difficulties can develop at any stage in life, there has been growing concern in the student demographic as a highly vulnerable group.

Between writing long essays, studying for exams, pulling long hours into research for your dissertation and trying to maintain some sort of social life, it may seem like there’s just no time for anything else. It feels like there is an incredible pressure to excel in everything. It’s true that university is taxing and stressful but your mental well-being is crucial for you to get through that phase of life (and every other phase as well). Life only gets more complex and challenging as we transition and navigate through different stages ( just think back to how learning to write your name was such a big deal and the only worries you had were if you missed watching a certain cartoon after school). The pursuit of mental well-being, you will soon find, is a life-long exercise and it takes more than implementing “11 Steps to Boost Your Mental Health”. It involves taking care of your emotional, physical and mental needs constantly and consistently.

Now that you know this, it’s time to re-commit to taking better care of yourself ( it probably was one of those new year’s resolutions that never really made it beyond the list in your diary). Start today. On one of your study breaks, take a few minutes to jot down your achievements so far. Keep that note safe and every time you ever find yourself comparing yourself to your peers and apparently failing at life, look at that list of achievements. You did that! Now grab a bottle of water and place it within arm’s reach. Take a sip now and then, it’s amazing how keeping hydrated will keep you alert (plus all the trips to the bathroom will give you a bit of exercise). Try going to bed 30 minutes earlier tonight, and unplug — from your phone, from the internet, from social media especially. Instead, play your favourite song and just take those 30 minutes to relax and ease into a good night’s sleep.

Tomorrow is another day and you’ll tackle its challenges in the morning.

‘Tis the season of exams!

For many, the experience of entering an examination hall, locating a desk by candidate number or name and taking a seat to tackle a blank booklet and unknown questions evokes daunting feelings of mild panic and sweaty palms. One would think the anxiety would lessen as you climb the academic ladder, but for some, it only gets worse. With exams often constituting a large part of overall academic assessment, the only way to conquer the fear of exams is to prepare yourself adequately for them. Here are a few tips to get you started:

1. Study Timetable

Planning when and what to revise takes a bit of effort and establishing a schedule of your revision material is a great place to start. Set yourself a realistic and achievable timeline to cover the necessary material, outlining daily goals. With a schedule in place, it will be easier to breakdown your revision topics and assess your progress. While working styles and commitments differ, a daily planner will help you establish a routine for your day and compel you to prioritise your revision, with little room for procrastination. Allow for flexibility though, plans can change but having one will keep you in line.

2. Unplug

How often do you turn to your phone for the latest tweet, to check a notification or just simply to look procrastinate? As you prepare for exams, every minute counts and you cannot afford to spend two hours on YouTube watching babies squirming as they bite into a lemon wedge for the first time. Eliminating distractions is hard! Most of us struggle with self-discipline when it comes to social media and will need to uninstall our Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat apps during exam season. And, if you really cannot unplug completely for a few weeks, allocate yourself time to catch up with your friends’ stories on the revision schedule, so that you keep account of how much time you are spending on social media.

3. Take care of yourself

The temptation to live on fast food, energy drinks and coffee during exam season is understandable because there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to make a wholesome meal. However, its equally important to consider what you are consuming as much as what you’re reading as eating well and drinking lots of water will keep you energetic and refreshed. Take a walk to the park during one of your study breaks and just clear your mind with a change of scenery. And while you may be inclined to pull a few all-nighters, get some sleep and allow your body to rest well.

4. Teamwork

‘If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.’ You can cover a great deal by reading alone, but having a group of mates to study with will help you cover more topics and give you new insights into a topic that you may have overlooked or would have simply never considered. This is not to say you ought to substitute your own reading time for group sessions, rather strike a balance between the two and ensure that you’re reading enough to contribute to the study group. Use the group as a place to bounce off ideas and seek help when you’re stuck on alternative opinions on a topic.

Ultimately, doing well in your exams is a careful balance of a number of skills: being intentional and productive with your time, staying focused and through taking care of yourself throughout this stressful period.

All the best!

The ability to manage one’s personal finances has become an increasingly important skill in today’s world. One key to financial success as an adult is living within your means, which begins with being aware of how you spend your money and saving where possible.  Making ends meet as a student has its challenges as we’re limited to student loans or bursaries to sustain our daily needs which is why financial literacy, making informed and effective decisions about your finances, is crucial in maintaining a healthy financial status. How do I start? With the basics. This is a short guide on making small adjustments to your daily spending habits that will help you keep track of your finances as a student.

  1. Needs over luxuries

Whether you’re receiving an allowance, or you’ve taken out a student loan, make the most of what you have. This starts with having a clear budget. Sit down and make a list of all your expenses for the month, making note of what’s necessary and what can be regarded as a luxury. Prioritize your basic needs and allocate a specific amount of money to category – toiletries, groceries, entertainment. It may seem like a tedious task if you’re not into numbers, which is why apps like Monzo etc come in handy. Budgeting will help you see where you are overspending, where you can cut costs and have that extra bit of money to save.

  1. I’ll grab a sandwich later

Eating out, even something as small as a sandwich every day accumulates into unnecessary expenses that can be curbed when you develop the habit of preparing your own meal. There’s always a valid excuse for grabbing a takeaway – ‘class ended late at night’, ‘there’s an assignment to do’, ‘the deadline is tomorrow’ and in no time the year has already whizzed by and you still haven’t saved a pound. If you’re a resident at International Students House, don’t miss the free breakfast! Plan your meals in advance when you are working on your budget so you can stay within your personal limits. And if you’re utterly helpless in the kitchen, make friends who can whip up a decent meal and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Maybe in the next article, we’ll look at cheap and easy meals for the busy student?

  1. Yes, I’ve got my Uni card

From transport, food to tech, flashing your student card can get you discounts across the UK. Before you make your next purchase, check if there’s a student discount being offered, and start saving your pounds. Sites like Unidays are free to use and give students a range of ongoing discounts. Some offers include 10% off at ASOS, 35% off at Dominos, 12% discount on 16-25 Railcard, £10 off Papa Johns, 15% off at National Express tickets and 35% off at HP.

  1. Buy second-hand books

Unless your professor is being a little nit-picky and insisting that you have to buy the latest version of a particular textbook, stick to second-hand books. If you’re really on a save drive, you will have to get over shiny new books – remember why you’re doing this! Amazon has an option for you to select ‘Used’ when buying products which almost always dramatically reduces the price. You could also try sifting your way through second-hand books shops or charity shops – ones near your university often receive a heap of uni textbooks at the end of the term. Also, ask previous students – a quick Facebook post or email to the department will get you in touch with those keen to offload their books for some easy cash. And when your turn comes, target the newbies and make an offer for your textbooks.

  1. Walk away from the SALE stickers

As Kenny Rogers sang, ‘Know when to walk away, and know when to run.’ This applies to sales. Don’t get trapped in the ‘but it’s a sale’ syndrome. If you can live without it, then walk away.

  1. Get stepping

Ditch the bus and the tube whenever you can and take a walk. Not only will this save you unnecessary transport costs, but it’ll help you get fit as well. We spend the most part of our days of hunched over laptops screens, consuming endless cups of coffee with little effort in exercising. Take new routes to university and clear your mind while you explore London on foot.

7. How do you take your coffee?

Disposable or reusable? You don’t have to be a tree hugger but either take ten minutes to enjoy your coffee in-situ or take a reusable cup with you when you want a hot drink. There is no shortage of stylish, practical alternatives to the paper cup. Our resident bar, The Thirsty Scholar has a variety of reusable cups available, and every time you bring it in, you get 30p off every coffee purchase!

These tips are meant to just get you started on your financial journey. Through practice, diligence and patience, you will develop a financial maturity that will equip you with skills that for life.

The John F Kennedy Memorial is back at International Students House in a new weather-friendly location.

Cast by the renowned sculptor, Jacques Lipchitz, and unveiled by the late president’s brother Robert F Kennedy, the memorial has stood on our site for more than 40 years. Unfortunately, due to vandalism in 2017, the bust has had to be removed for conservation work and for security and insurance purposes he has now been re-homed inside International Students House.

Why is JFK with ISH?
International Students House was being built and it was agreed it was the most suitable site in London for a memorial for a youthful president who had become identified with liberal ideas.

What is ISH?
International Students House (ISH) is a residential, social and cultural centre for international and British students in central London.

We believe every young person should have the opportunity to succeed whatever their background. Together with our university partners and supporters, we provide scholarship opportunities, a safe home and a social programme to enable students to succeed while giving them a place to belong.

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When it comes to views about Europe, it’s well known that Germany and the UK differ sharply. Research after the Brexit vote shows that 68% of Germans are in favor of the European Union and only 11% would support withdrawal. Compare this with 54% of UK respondents who are favorable to the EU.

Similarly, during the 2017 general election campaign in Germany, nearly one third of Germans backed politician Martin Schulz’s idea for a “United States of Europe” by 2025. The corresponding figure for Britain was just 10%. And it seems these differences might run as deep as the way children are taught about Europe in school—as the findings of our latest research indicate.

We analyzed the treatment of the European Union in a sample of social studies and politics textbooks from both Germany and England. And we found that the way Europe is depicted in some English and German textbooks for secondary schools differs considerably. In English books there is less coverage of Europe and a more critical approach compared with the German textbooks.

In the English textbooks, Europe was seen almost exclusively in political terms—with strong emphasis on the EU being a controversial issue. In one book for example, although there are references to the European Convention on Human Rights along with the European court and a brief mention of the European Economic Area, most of the limited space given to Europe is about the European Union—and about “different viewpoints on EU membership.”

In the German books there was a very different approach: Europe is seen more expansively and positively with an integrated approach to politics and identity. The German textbooks also had references to Europe being “our historical, cultural and intellectual home,” a “community of values,” and, a place where “enemies became friends.”

The research

We looked at four English textbooks and nine German textbooks and compared the way Europe was covered. Overall we found that the textbooks from Germany deal with Europe in much greater detail and with more of a positive angle than those published in England.

We found that Europe not only receives more prominence in German textbooks but is covered with more breadth. Both sets of textbooks place a major focus on the political system of the EU but German books also include economic and cultural dimensions. And a number of German textbooks had separate chapters or sections on the political system of the EU and Europe as a cultural entity. Unlike the English books, some German materials also presented clear anticipated loyalties to Europe.

The project was informed by previous research, particularly, work undertaken by one of the project team which involved interviewing 2,000 young people across 29 European countries. The project aimed to find out how young people in Europe construct their political identities—which we found often transcend traditional boundaries of state and nation.

But we found that although both the English textbooks and German textbooks largely reflect the prevailing political climate in each country, they don’t necessarily reflect the views of young people. Young people in Germany and England share rather similar views about Europe. They are committed to certain values (which are seen as both general and European) and although young people are not just accepting of European identity and European loyalty without questions, there is, among both groups—but particularly the Germans—a sense of being European. This is not reflected in English textbooks.

Young voices

The range of activities in the German books is also far wider than those provided in the English books. Whereas the German books build on a sense of European identity by providing opportunities for varied student interaction including more work than the English books on advocacy, representation, and informed and responsible action.

By contrast, English books use brief individual reading exercises to consider the pros and cons of European membership. One book, for example, provides a list of “benefits and costs of EU membership” and then asks students to “design slides or charts to summarize the benefits and costs of EU membership.” The English texts also encouraged students to visit the websites of UK political parties for news on their position on EU membership.

This echoes the political context in England, where the Brexit debate is not one concerned with dynamic engagement but one associated with an equally balanced weighing up of pros and cons of membership. And in this way, we found that the nature of the educational activities that are available to teachers and students in our sample of textbooks tends to reflect national narratives.

Education in both countries is principally a matter of socialising young people into an established national narrative. This may seem to be easier to justify in Germany where there is a stronger alignment between the views of young people and (according to our textbook analysis) the content of learning resources. But in both countries, there are issues about the extent to which schools are the mirror of society and essentially engaged with promoting established views.

It seems then that in both countries, the most contentious issue of the 21st-century—the European Union—is simply being presented as a reflection of the existing national narrative for future generations.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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