Drop out students get help to finish their degree at home

There can be many reasons why students might not complete their studies, indeed about 20% of all potential graduates leave before they have finished studying. If this happens it can sometimes be difficult to get back into HE, and you can feel wary of signing up for another 3 years. However one of the best kept secrets is how you can use your previous studies, if you finished a year or more, as advanced standing with the Open Univerisity, allowing you to complete that degree you always wanted whilst staying in Somerset. It seems other people also agree as Gordon Brown PM today announced an £12 million plan to help some of the 35,000 students who drop out each year from their studies finish their degree with the OU. Along with some other advisers I have a meeting with the local Open University regional office a week Monday and I’ll see what else I can find out about this initiative. Press report here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/jun/24/drop-out-open-university-fund – UPDATE: This is a pilot project in the North East at the moment, but if successful could roll out across the UK. One to keep an eye on. I’ve got a HE update session with the OU in our region in a couple of weeks time and I’ll check on what else is new in this area

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Which is the best University to study History in ?

If you are an adviser this is often the sort of question you get which can trigger a long and involved discussion. Whilst valuing the need to talk it might be useful to use some impartial source to get some ideas and facts first. In an ideal world what would we want ? Well somebody such as UCAS, which covers all applications to undergraduate study in the UK and another group such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) would be a good pairing. If they could show the information on a website that you could look at yourself it would be great. Well now you can. Click on www.unistats.com and you will be able to compare student satisfaction, job prospects, Degree class and progression and what students were doing 6 months after graduation plus even more info. Interesting reading and you can still ask the original question anyway, but it might provoke an even more interesting discussion !  And in case you were wondering…the question to the answer is, or course,  best in what way ?

Explore Higher Education and see the world !

Sometimes you just wonder if there is more out in the big wide world than you are aware of. This can be about holidays, people, and places to visit or, as this is a blog about Higher Education, universities! You may have heard about the Russell Group of universities in the UK, comprising 20 research intensive institutions which have quite a high media image, but have you heard of their equivalent in other countries? Such as the Australian ‘Group of Eight’, the Canadian ‘Group of Thirteen’, the American Ivy League institutions or the Universitas 21, which is a group of universities from 11 countries?   There are other groups of Universities in the UK, such as the 1994 Group and the Millions+ group of course, but these are not shown on this map…yet

Apart from being useful to know in case these questions ever come up in a quiz they can help you be aware of the wider world of HE which you might want to consider. Some degrees in the UK can include time abroad as part of your study. Some uni’s may have links with other institutions abroad which you could benefit from. If you like league tables, of which there are many, the QS World University Ranking lists even more.

Normally this would primarily be of interest to those who like long lists but a helpful fellow in Germany has plotted the location of the Top 100 universities in both the QS World University Rankings and the Shanghai Jiao Tong exercise on a friendly, interactive Google map to be found here. http://www.university-rankings.net . All the other university groupings mentioned above can also be viewed on this website.