We know that students are the creative minds, business leaders, and entrepreneurs of the future, so our News page is a source of up-to-date and inspiring articles from around the world, as well as updates about what’s been happening right here at Axial.

Is there a ‘typical’ international student in the UK?

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 17:33 Written by Rhodri Llewellyn
Just as political party lines have become increasingly similar in their focus and objectives, we must consider whether the objectives and ambitions of international students on UK programmes have also experienced a gentrification since the turn of the century. The recent decade has seen the international education sector become a more broadly established (and hopefully more refined) service industry, where a unique set of needs has evolved, which is not limited just to those of academia. As those needs have been more clearly defined over this development phase of international education, institutions have re-visited their strategic plans to consider what impact international education might (and should) have on the way universities and colleges are run. This has meant reviewing educational delivery from two opposing aspects; the first being the way in which education is offered out to students, whether those students are from home or abroad, and the second being the requirements and preferences of those students – to determine if any mismatch existed. And this is where one might ask, is there a ‘typical’ international student on whom we can model the ideal educational system.

Each of us individually would of course profess to not being typical, and we would not want to be classified as such, but do many of not share at least some common objectives? Many institutions would argue that we indeed do share some typical traits, especially when it comes to the ideal outcome of our study experience.

One area that we have seen this typified is in the emergence of city-based satellite campuses being established by universities and colleges from the UK and abroad, and more commonly than not that city is London. There are 2 fundamental requirements of the modern-day student that might be met by such geographic campus networks. One is the propensity for London to be seen as increasingly synonymous with the UK, resulting in the greater degree of international students making London their first choice as a destination (sometimes because they simply don’t know of any other viable UK destinations). The second reason is the centralisation of economic activity – and therefore career opportunities – in the UK. This writer sees bright prospects in a number of locations across the UK, but the quantifiable trends in international student preferences cannot be ignored and London has therefore enjoyed a Spring-time of institutional development across the city.

Universities such as the University of Sunderland and Coventry University are 2 notable additions to the London academic landscape, with modern city-based campuses providing students with world-class UK qualifications at the doorstep to the country’s financial centre. The opportunity to study programmes up to MBA level, and at the same witness first-hand the operation of a world-class financial city, has proven a successful formula to meet the needs of many students, especially those looking toward a Business school. There may well be an element of ‘typical’ in all of this educational progress, but we might be short-sighted to suggest that typical must always mean unexciting. In this case, it indeed seems that exciting times lay ahead in international education, and as Axial Colleges continues to develop its international Study Centres and its ties with universities here in London, we see the benefits rolling out to students across continents near and far. And if students are typically happier with the overall outcome of their study experience, then we think that’s a good thing!

Level 7 Postgraduate programmes give our students international MBA pathways in 2015

Wednesday, 11 February 2015 15:58 Written by Rhodri Llewellyn
Since the recent financial crisis rocked world economies, the last few years have seen a surge in the number of new-graduates and professionals alike re-visiting the halls of universities, filling lecture rooms in Business-schools across the UK, Europe and beyond. Why has this been a steadily emerging trend, and what has been the impact on employment prospects for job-hopefuls in post-crisis Britain?
When we look at why a return to studies was considered by so many in the first place, the underlying factor has been generally attributed to the complete lack of work options that scores of newly-qualified and newly-unemployed were faced with when world economies took a rapid dive in growth, and indeed the contraction in productivity across all sectors meant there simply wasn’t the requirement for operations to continue at the pace they had been. Smaller operations meant reduced demand for manpower, logically. This situation was further exacerbated by the ‘stock piling’ approach that many of the larger firms had taken to acquiring skilled personnel, as they regularly took on potentially valuable candidates even if they didn’t have work for them at the time, as the risk of eventually having the work but being caught short on skilled personnel became a systemically distressing prospect. So when robust growth seized en-masse, it was not just the active workforce that spilled into the lines of the unemployed, as this was further leveraged by the cache of idle-employed who were never really put to good use in the first place. This resulted in quite a crowd of the ambitious-but-unoccupied.

This brings us to the question of why the trend of university re-enrolment emerged noticeably in the years that followed the economic crisis. In simple terms, to differentiate oneself in the icy economic climes of 2008-10 to see any prospect of a continuing pay-check, meant either possessing high levels of the sort of experience that companies actually still had a requirement for (usually coupled with a swingeing pay-cut), or to stand out as a beacon of hope for the future with the knowledge and bright new concepts for cultivating a productive future that is often associated with good qualifications. For many that meant re-acquainting themselves with their text books to push their qualifications to a higher level.

For the many who were unable to maintain any sort of employment during the darkest days of the recession, there was a compelling case for preparing for better days that would hopefully come. This was less about future-proofing their career-success, and more about ensuring they were prepared simply to keep up in the highly competitive job market when the good times did eventually return, as there was now an entire body of crisis-affected workers who were all stood at the gates awaiting those same anticipated job openings. Taking a more positive view, the UK (and many other countries across the world) was experiencing an up-scaling of the academic quality of its workforce on a scale that could have a truly marked effect when the economy finally rebalanced.

You might be wondering why this brief and sweeping overview of recent British industry is relevant in a news-piece about level 7 programmes at Axial Colleges. With world economies now as intertwined as ever, and with Axial College developing its Study Centre campuses in more new locations, the opportunity for career-hungry graduates and professionals to enhance their future prospects with a UK Postgraduate qualification plays a small part in broadening the level playing field of our international applicants. With university partnerships offering students further pathways into combining our programmes with a UK MBA or Master’s Degree, students can enjoy study abroad opportunities to add further kudos to their CV.

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