How UK Students Can Counter the “Earn or Learn” Budget Strategy

A degree from the UK is certainly a great way to build a promising career and land a lucrative job. However, with rising tuition fees most students are having second thoughts and deciding to forego their academic dreams. The situation is being made worst by further steps taken by UK politician to manage grants and student loans. Let’s take a look….

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The Osborne Budget

George Osborne, First Secretary of State and Member of Parliament (MP), urged the youth to “earn or learn” in the recent budget speech. It also resulted in cutting out student benefits and grants, which induced complaints that students have been targeted unfairly.

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The resonance of his stringent approach was set up by the planned “youth obligation” for students between the age 18 to 21 years on universal credit. The chancellor claimed it would offer learners with “an intensive regime of support from day one of their benefit claim” from 2017. He also added that for young people between 18 to 21 years of age, housing benefit would automatically be no longer available.

Osborne said “It is not acceptable that in an economy moving towards full employment some young people leave school and straight on to a life on benefits. So for those aged 18 to 21, we are introducing a new youth obligation that says they must earn or learn.”

One of the primary aspects of the Osborne budget, the new proposed national living wage, will not be applicable for individuals under the age of 25. It will be introduced at £7.20 in 2016 and by 2020 will rise to £9.

Are The Youth Missing Out?

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YMCA, the youth charity, believes that the youth has “missed out most” in the proposed new budget. Chief executive of YMCA England, Denise Hatton, said “The chancellor confirmed in his speech the policy of ‘earn or learn’ for 18 to 21-year-olds, yet this was not backed up by specific measures to make this happen. The additional apprenticeships pledged [in the budget] will not help young people if, as happened in the last parliament, the greater numbers of them are going to those aged 25-plus.”

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, commented “Cutting housing benefit altogether for 18 to 21-year-olds could be nothing short of catastrophic, and lead to a rise in homelessness.”

George Osborne also declared that the existing system of student grants will be eventually discarded. This prompted experts to argue that the youth from low-income backgrounds across the UK will be discouraged and prevented from higher education.

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Sir Peter Lampl,chairman of the Sutton Trust, said “Shifting grants to loans may move them off the balance sheet, but it could also put off many low- and middle-income students and tip the balance against their going to university. Since grants were reintroduced, there have been significant improvements in participation from full-time less advantaged students, and this will be put at risk by today’s budget plans.”

What Can You Do?

So what can you do to counter the Osborne budget plans and still pursue a recognized UK degree without emptying your saving account or running in to huge student debts? There are a few ways that can offer you some counteractive solutions, but if you ask me studying online is certainly one of the best options for you.

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When you pursue your degree from a reputed UK business school by online study, you will not only receive high quality education but you will also be able to earn an accredited degree without taking out any student loans. Most online courses offered by reputed institutions in the UK are highly affordable and allow you to avoid the crippling burden of student debts. Moreover, as online learning programmes are highly flexible, you can easily opt to work a full time job and pursue your studies simultaneously. As you will be able to gain relevant work experience while studying, it will add certain value to your resume.

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The Bottom Line

The new proposed budget plans will result in transforming the higher education scenario in the UK as more and more students will be deterred from pursuing college education. But the fact remains that online education will provide an easier, more accessible and affordable learning option to our students and empower them to achieve their academic goals.

What do you think? Feel free to share your thoughts and views with us by commenting below.

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How Online Summer Learning Can Help High School Students

With growing demand for summer online programmes from students across the globe, more and more institutes are now designing and offering a wide range of courses for the benefits of the learners. Shayla Davie and her twin sister Kim enrolled in an online summer course at their mother’s suggestion, after completing their freshman year.

Kim Davie says “I wasn’t all for it.”

That was last year. This year both the sisters are willingly pursuing another online summer course from the International Connections Academy to prepare for next fall’s schedule.

Kim adds “You could still work the class into your schedule. Any free time you had, you could use it.”

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Why study summer courses online

Whether you are determined to get an edge over others, managing difficult subjects, retaking advanced classes, getting ready for college entrance exams or simply securing a head start, online summer courses offer a great opportunity for high school students who aspire to study a college degree.

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Michael Boothroyd, executive director of SAT and ACT programmes at Kaplan Test Prep, says “You might be traveling or you might be doing a summer enrichment program, things like that. So online programs obviously travel with you.”

Today, learners have a lot of options. Among the 75 per cent of school districts in the nation that provides some type of online or blended learning options, most of them offer their courses during the summer time, according to Susan Patrick, president and CEO of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning. Currently, there are over 24 states with statewide virtual schools, where courses are organised by private establishments such as Connections, along with conventional college test-prep firms such as Kaplan which have moved online.

Are these classes valuable?

Patrick says “I think it’s really important for students to determine the goal of why they want to enroll in a summer school class.”

However, learners keen on studying online must find out how much it will cost them, as some public school systems ask for fees, along with the level of educator’s involvement and course format. The format of the class can actually be widely diverse and can even contradict with other plans for summer.

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The courses offered by the International Connections Academy, would require you study for around 2 hours daily. Where as the courses that have been especially developed for gifted or high-performing learners, like Northwestern University‘s Center for Talent Development’s Accelerated Summer Option, you can invest around 6 hours daily for the concise 9 week honours and Advanced Placement courses.

Make your summer count

The associate director of the Center for Talent Development, Eric Calvert says that generally the programme is not meant for learners who want to squeeze their summer learning into a busy schedule which comprises of camps, vacations or other learning opportunities. However, this is mostly not a problem as these type of online courses usually attract learners who are focused on learning, says Calvert.

Michael Boothroyd of Kaplan Test Prep adds “I think students should make the most of that time, particularly if a rising junior is an athlete or a scholar athlete or involved and really committed to fall extracurricular activities.”

What are your thoughts on summer online programmes? Feel free to share your views and add to the discussion by commenting below.

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Online Learning Is Gaining Ground Over Classroom Learning

With the digital revolution, the definition of education has changed drastically. Now students do not need to study from heavy text books, blackboard and notebooks; instead they are more comfortable with learning on laptops, smartphones and tablets. As the idea of online education has significantly influenced several educational institutions, learning which is limited to the traditional classroom only has now become obsolete.

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Most of the developed and developing countries have already taken the leap towards this advanced and improved form of education; however the pace of adoption widely varies in different nations depending on their preparation and willingness after deliberating the strengths and weaknesses of altering learning modes to modern from traditional.

Restructuring Modern Learning

The classrooms prevalent in universities has proved to be the bedrock of higher education for far too long, when studying online sounded like learning Hebrew to most people.

Aditya Malik, CEO and MD of Talentedge, recently wrote “With technology taking a greater turn in recognition, people are welcoming ‘online -learning’ with open arms as it has redefined new age education by bringing the concept of a classroom beyond the four walls. The next big thing in this space would be mobile learning. ”

For instance, in India the internet penetration is exceptionally high, as the nation has the 3rd largest internet population in the world now with 190 million people, following USA with 275 million and China with 620 million.

Malik added “The advent of the internet has undoubtedly changed our lives, making it inevitable for education to be absorbed entirely online. eLearning has only a few challenges and several beneficial opportunities cinched with it.”

Unmatched Benefits & Facilities

Some of the greatest benefits offered by online education include courses from the leading universities worldwide, high flexibility and convenience, 24/7 access, affordability, instant interactivity, learning at your own pace, excellent growth and job opportunities etc. It also allows the learners to easily access top-notch and high quality education and training from anywhere in the world.

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Online learning is now getting adopted at the primary level and secondary level of education as well. It has been observed that every 3rd institute provides the option for online study to their students. It allows aspiring learners to apply for courses & programmes and earn degrees and certificates from leading universities online. However, if online education can completely replace on campus education is a question for another day.

Making Education Accessible

Talentedge MD and CEO Aditya Malik further wrote “The introduction of technology has not only aided the students but also the faculty, and as a result education is now accessible to everyone. Students now don’t have to depend on the classroom setting that tends to group students together in large numbers, often making it difficult for the faculty to provide the necessary close attention. But online education enables highly effective learning coupled with personal attention owing to an individually-focused communication through e-mails, chats and live video sessions.”

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What do you think about online education? Are you already an online learner? Then feel free to share your opinions and experiences with us by commenting here. We would love to hear from you.

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How Mobile Learning Is Transforming The Way We Learn

With further advancements in technology, mobile learning is becoming more and more popular among schools and learners worldwide. As a result growing number of institutes are getting equipped to offer and manage mobile learning opportunities. Many schools are now organising BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the classroom to allow students access digital content through the cloud and expand their learning experience.

Growth of Mobile Learning

Online learning is the future education. Pens and papers are omitting from our lives rapidly.

Onlinelearningthefutureedutation from Jan Felton

In the last few years, a prominent shift has been witnessed from traditional classroom learning to the more flexible and affordable online education. This revolution has been greatly supported by the advent and development of mobile learning which has made education more accessible, flexible and convenient. M-learning has impacted education is a very positive way by making our learners more empowered, engaged and independent. It boosts the confidence of both young and adult learners and enables them to access and use information, learning content & materials any time anywhere. Spending your time sitting in a classroom or even in front of a computer and consuming information has become obsolete now. Now students wish to learn on the go.

Future of Mobile Learning

Experts believe that merging technology and education has proved highly beneficial for both learners and educators. As we usually prefer concepts that enable us to achieve our objective and requirements easily, mobile learning can successfully help us in this regard as a numerous students are pursuing M-learning globally. There is no doubt that it can be highly effective and useful, but the level of its efficiency depends on how the learner will use the facilities offered by an educational app.

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The fact is, mobile learning offers several benefits to learners and makes sure they receive an excellent learning experience. Many mobile apps possess the ability to alter the way teachers and students view education as a responsibility. For example, when we offer education via an entertaining and engaging medium, we can easily ensure that our learners are more responsive regarding various learning activities and tasks. No matter whether you need to do some research, check some new information or simply revise a specific topic before a test, mobile learning makes it all possible with just a tap of your finger while you are on the go.

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This advanced concept of learning encourages real time learning automatically. This means M-learning endorses active learning and is focused on meeting the exact needs of the learners within a given time frame. Moreover, mobile education apps are extremely effective in demonstrating student engagement and overall learning experience. For instance, learners can have excellent opportunities to interact and communicate easily with their instructors, lecturers and fellow learners even out of campus working hours. You can easily connect with your educators through online forums and get your queries clarified almost instantly. By improving social interaction opportunities, it makes learning enhanced and more collaborative.

What are your thoughts on mobile education? How do you use your phone to access educational content online? Add to the discussion by sharing your opinions, views and experiences with us.

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Why UK Universities Demand Higher Tuition Fees

Are you planning to earn a university degree from the UK? But are you ready to pay ridiculously high tuition fees and land up with a crippling student debt? More and more UK universities are now pushing for increasing their tuition fees and demanding that the limit on tuition fees across England should be lifted. It will allow them to boost the fees in accordance with the inflation over the existing maximum limit of £9,000.

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Rising Tuition Fees In UK

Representing most university leaders, Universities UK claims that the amount of the fees, which have been fixed back in 2012, have been reducing in actual terms. Hence, universities now want to protect the value of tuition fees. Jo Johnson, Universities Minister, has planned to inform UK university leaders that they must enhance the level of education they offer. He will also focus on developing the quality of teaching across different universities as he believes that it must have the same status to ensure the research quality.

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However, university leaders will ask the minister to raise higher education funding. They are currently planning to get the £9,000 cap on tuition fees lifted and boost university funds as they feel there is a strong need for increasing maintenance support for students.

According to the vice president of Universities UK, Janet Beer, the real value of tuition fee was “being eroded considerably by inflation.” She said “Allowing the value of the fee to be maintained in real terms is essential to allow universities to continue to deliver a high-quality learning experience for students. Financial support for students’ living costs needs to be improved.”

How It Will Affect Students

Professor Beer believes that students are getting increasingly concerned regarding the dearth of support while they were studying instead of the rising amount of debt which they need to repay later.

She added “These changes should be made now to ensure universities can continue to provide high quality education that meets the needs of students.”

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Moreover, according to reports published by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA), the most student complaints in 2014 were made against degree classifications and academic grades that were awarded. Issues with finances and the universities comprised of only a small percentage of the problems. There is a significant rise in student complaints as statistics from 2014 reveal that more than two thousand students made complaints, which is almost 3% higher than previous year.

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However, many other experts believe that increasing the tuition fees in UK universities further will affect the abilities of aspiring students to pursue higher education. It will not only result in increasing the amount of student debt, but it might also affect the national economy in the long run. Moreover, the UK government is planning to cut down grants provided to the needy university students. It seems to be even more financially challenging for the learners to pursue UK university programmes.

Megan Dunn, president of the National Union of Students, said “The proportion of graduates unable to pay back student loans is already increasing at such a rate that the Treasury is approaching the point at which it will get zero financial reward from the tripling of tuition fees.”

Is It A Smart Idea To Earn A UK university Degree?

If you ask me, the answer is yes! Earning a UK degree can offer you the best job opportunities as they are highly valued worldwide. However, it is imperative that you go for an affordable degree from UK university as it will allow you to study an accredited qualification without feeling the burden of debt. This is where online university programmes come in.

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Online courses are highly affordable and only cost a fraction of what most traditional universities charge. You will be easily able to a recognised degree without spending excessive time or money. Moreover, as online university programmes offer excellent flexibility, convenience and accessibility, you can choose to study from your home and also do a full time day job at the same time.

The Bottom Line

So if you want to earn a UK degree in a flexible and affordable way, the I would suggest that studying an online university course will be the most beneficial for you. You will not only gain essential knowledge and skills, but gain relevant experience as well.

What do you think? Add to the discussion by sharing your thoughts and opinions here.

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How Online Education is a Saviour of our Planet

Are you learning online? If not, then it is about time that you get started to earn your desired degree. The fact is, nowadays most aspiring learners are opting for online education instead of classroom learning and conventional distance learning. With the help of digital education, you can easily learn in a highly flexible, convenient and affordable manner.

Get Quality Education

Now various online courses and MOOCs are are being offered by renowned and reputed universities and colleges worldwide which is enabling learners to pursue quality education right from the convenience of their own home. A new study, based on almost 75,000 course reviews, has found that learners of MOOCs (massive open online courses) are now ready and willing to pay for quality content.

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Coursetalk, a MOOC reviewing service, discovered that paid courses were rated 1.4 times higher by learners than free courses on an average. It was also found that average ratings are likely to increase as the cost of courses rise further. The study was sourced by Coursetalk from 74,297 reviews on 7526 courses that were offered to learners by 46 MOOC providers. According to course ratings, the top 5 MOOC providers were listed as –

  • Treehouse
  • Stanford Online
  • Coursera
  • EdX
  • Code School

The MOOCs that were easier to absorb and navigate, were fun, engaging and interactive and had effective subject matters were usually favoured by the reviewers. Moreover, courses that had efficient delivery and adequate source material with active student forums also received excellent reviews.

A Green Revolution In Learning

Moreover, many educators and students believe that eLearning is the most Eco-friendly way of learning. Just think about how much energy consumption takes place when students commute to their colleges on a daily basis. This results in unaccountable amounts of fuel and CO2 emissions. Moreover, the institutes also consume excessively large amounts of electricity which they require to offer their various service and operate properly every day. None of these elements are applicable in digital learning.

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However, the biggest advantage of online learning is that it helps to save a lot of paper…and I mean a lot! There is no need for text books or notebooks as most of the content will be delivered to you online. Furthermore, you can complete all your assignments and exams on the computer and hence save paper. Did you know that the paper industry is among the biggest energy consumers and and utilises more water than other industries? It is also the 3rd largest industry in terms of creating water, air and land pollution. Paper comprises of more than 40 per cent of all wastes.

But online education does not involve so much energy consumption neither does it result in excessive pollution. You can easily opt to study whenever you want and wherever you are. There is no need for traveling, consumption of fuel or heaps of stationary. All you need to do is connect with the internet and access all your content.

Learn Green & Clean

The truth is online education is the true green learning solution. It not only allows learners to access educational opportunities from even the remote parts of the globe, but it does not require large amounts of energy consumption.

What do you think? Share your opinions and views with us by commenting below.

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Online Colleges Creating New Jobs To Meet Growing Demands

Do you think studying a business degree can help to give your career the boost it deserves? Well, I can tell you from experience that earning a degree or diploma in business management will certainly give you a professional advantage over other and enable you to achieve your career goals. Not only you will become eligible for a wide range of employment opportunities, you will also be able to advance to management and leadership roles.

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Study Online, Build Your Career

However, the fact remains that studying business has become a very costly affair these days thanks to the rising tuition fees in most universities and business schools. It is primarily for this reason that more and more aspiring learners are now opting for online business education to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge and build their careers in the most affordable way. In fact, the demand for online learning is growing so rapidly that several online institutes in the UK and the US are now expanding their offerings. Moreover, many online education platforms are also creating new jobs to cope with the growing demand of their courses.

Growing Job Opportunities

Virtual College, based in Ilkley in West Yorkshire, Northern England, is gearing up to recruit 25 qualified professionals, even though it currently has more than 100 employees. As the company reaches it’s 20th anniversary, it is ready to expand further. Virtual College, a pioneer in the online education sphere, currently has a wide array of available jobs at different levels ranging from administration, sales and technical roles.

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Rob Knox, chief executive of the firm, said “In June 2013, we celebrated one million online learners. Since then the number has increased to 1.7 million, a huge increase of 70 per cent, in just 2 years.” His enthusiasm was shared by the HR manager Fiona Robinson, who said “We work in a rapidly changing sector working on exciting, cutting edge projects for organisations from the NHS and Home Office to courses for schools and caterers. The chances are that you or someone in your family has already taken one of our online courses and if you haven’t already, you will soon.”

The Virtual College, established in 1995, offers over 300 different online courses, including business administration, and experiences over 1,000 new learners every day form private and public sector businesses. The platform was listed among Europe’s top 20 e-learning companies in last year’s European EdTech 20 rankings. Knox added “This was a strong endorsement of the company’s innovation and strategy to build more meaningful e-learning for companies and learners.”

Growing Demand For Online Degrees

Apart from this, there are many other job opportunities that online business graduates like you can avail in different sectors and industries. Most of the startups as well as established business now look for trained professionals who possess the basic business skills. This is where your online degree will help you.

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Today online business education has gained immense popularity worldwide both among individual students and organisations. As a result, many leading universities and B-schools in UK are now offering business programmes to aspiring learners to meet the rising demands. When you earn an accredited business degree from a reputed UK business school by online study, you can be rest assured about getting the highest quality education with high levels of flexibility, convenience and affordability.

Hence, you will be able to easily access the content over the internet and study right from the comfort of your home or workplace at any time you want. What’s more, you can choose to do a full time or part time job while you earn your degree. This will help you to add significant value to your CV and earn a recognised degree without emptying your bank or taking out a student loan.

Get The Best Opportunities

Moreover, as most employers are now recognising and accepting online business degrees, you will get the best employment opportunities and have a specific edge over your competitors. This will empower you to land a lucrative job or get the next big promotion. If you ask me, online business study is one of the best ways of building your career and achieving your goals.

Are you an online learner? How will you land your dream job? Share your views and experiences with us by leaving your comments below.

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