News articles tagged with 'international students'
AGCAS at the ASET conference - international students and work experience
Representatives from AGCAS's Placement and Work Based Learning Task Group and Calli Amiras, International Careers Consultant at Brunel University, joined forces to deliver a workshop on the provision of work experience for international students at ASET's conference earlier this month.
Calli briefed workshop participants on the work Brunel University has undertaken over recent years and shared details of new initiatives aimed at supporting international students.
Chair of the Placement and Work Based Learning Task Group, Michelle Kavan, commented:
'We invited Calli to speak at the workshop. Brunel University is actively engaged in supporting international students at all levels and some academic schools have established international task groups to encourage overseas employers to offer placements to sandwich degree students.'
Brunel University won the AGCAS Innovation Award in 2007 for its services to international students through the 'Doing Business In ...' programme of events.
As research for one of the modules of the AGCAS/Warwick CEIGHE Diploma, Rachel Coombes, trainee careers consultant at the University of Exeter, examined to what extent UK institutions should be trying to support international students with overseas labour market intelligence (LMI).
This issue had been raised in my institution in relation to whether we should be providing country-specific employability pages. In undertaking research into the matter, I contacted a number of UK higher education institutions through AGCAS-SERVICELINK to gain their perspective on the situation. I was surprised by the amount of interest in my enquiry.
Growing demand for overseas LMI
There is definitely a growing demand from students for overseas LMI, particularly with the growing numbers of international students attending UK institutions. However, with a growing global marketplace it is not just international students who may need this information, but home students looking to work abroad too. Given the number of different countries students may be interested in, how best to provide this information, and to what extent, seems to be a topic high on the agenda for a number of institutions.
There are many useful websites that institutions are using to support their students. The main ones are:
• AGCAS Country Profiles on the TARGETjobs
(Find out about working abroad) and TARGETcourses (Studying abroad)
• Going Global
• Prospects Country Profiles
These websites collate some fantastic resources around specific countries and pull together information that would be highly resource-intensive for institutions to do on their own.
For some institutions, developing their own country specific LMI wasn't something they had time and capacity for. One institution I spoke to, however, seemed to have developed a very interesting approach to their institution-specific overseas LMI. They did not to go into detailed overseas LMI, thereby duplicating what may already be on other websites, rather they had created country profiles which detailed the institution's DLHE information for a particular country along with alumni profiles, links to further information and jobs advertised by the university for that country. In this way, the information was very specific for that university and could be easily updated.
There was a small number of institutions who were starting to provide specific workshops for certain countries. These workshops often focused on the countries where the majority of international students came from such as China, India and Nigeria. Some institutions are also running more general sessions on working overseas, rather than focusing on a specific country.
Virtual international careers fairs also take place in a number of institutions and a few are even able to run careers fairs overseas in a select number of countries.
A number of institutions are already using their alumni as sources of overseas LMI. The majority are providing case studies on their websites of how alumni have sourced jobs in various countries and advice they would give. This information not only helps current students, but also prospective ones too.
In reviewing the approaches of different institutions across the UK, it would appear that enabling students to access overseas labour markets is not all about information giving. Further support can be given by providing skills sessions and raising students' awareness of the importance of targeting their applications to the country they are applying to.
Using information resources already developed by AGCAS, Going Global, etc and combining these with institution-specific information can help support students in a less resource-intensive way. However, as with providing information on the UK labour market, it is impossible to cover all aspects, which makes it even more important to empower our students with the tools to start helping them along in the process.
For further information, please contact: Rachel Coombes, Trainee Careers Consultant, University of Exeter.
Pilot Projects Scheme: UKCISA invites bids for funding
The UKCISA Pilot Projects Scheme aims to encourage innovation and develop and publicise examples of best practice in international student support. Institutions are invited to bid for funding for projects which match this aim.
Institutions may submit proposals for projects which they will pilot and then write up for dissemination for the benefit of the UK education sector as a whole. PMI-funded grants of up to £5,000 (plus a limited number of up to £10,000) are available.
AGCAS members are eligible to apply for this scheme if they meet the other criteria. Full details and an application form are available on the UKCISA website. The deadline for applications is Tuesday 18 May 2010.
A number of AGCAS services have already benefitted from UKCISA Pilot Project funding in previous years.
What is PMI2?
Launched in April 2006, the Prime Minister's Initiative for International Education, commonly referred to as PMI2, is a five-year strategy to secure the UK's position as a leader in international education and sustain the managed growth of UK international education delivered both in the UK and overseas. Read more about PMI2
From China to the East Midlands
China - East Midlands: Business and Employment Possibilities, an event conceived by a group of careers advisers based at universities in the East Midlands, was organised to facilitate introductions and break down pre-conceived ideas held by both international students and potential employers of international students. Catherine Klimes, Head of Careers and Employability at the University of Northampton and one of the organisers, describes how they did it.
In collaboration with the East Midlands China Business Bureau, a regional development team responsible for encouraging trade and inward investment, the group focused on targeting those already trading with China, along with those eager to engage. The universities were tasked with recruiting students; EM China Desk business delegates.
Six weeks later, at the beginning of June, 250 students and graduates met 36 delegates representing a wide range of organisations for a day of keynote speakers and workshops at which businesses and students sat side by side, inter-dispersed with dedicated sessions, culminating with the infamous ‘opportunity to network over lunch’.
The day itself resulted in one company with pre-circulated vacancies being inundated with potential applicants. Other companies were equally amazed at the sheer volume of interest shown in them. This has led to follow up requests from many of the companies represented.
With this in mind, the group are starting to explore similar styled events on behalf of our elective mix of internationals and those wishing to engage with them.
Greenwich targets international students
The Guidance and Employability Team (GET) at the University of Greenwich recently piloted a topical workshop to an international cohort of current MBA students. The aim of the workshop was to help international students bridge the cultural gap and to equip them with the employability tools needed to succeed in a fast-changing world.
The workshop involved a range of simulation exercises, cross-cultural awareness techniques and an overview of current regulatory and visa requirements.
Kevin Coutinho, a professional equality and diversity trainer/consultant currently working at the University of Cambridge, worked with GET staff at Greenwich to develop and deliver a lively, interactive and challenging programme. Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, with requests for similar events in the future. Anil Bali, an MBA student from 2009, said:
"It was really helpful to get insights into the UK way of recruiting. Having someone who's not from the university adds a different perspective and was an incentive to attend."
This article was first submitted to Phoenix (October 2009).
Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced a package of changes to Tier 4 of the points-based system, the category dealing with student visas. Foreign students from outside Europe wanting to come to the UK to study will now be required to meet stricter entry criteria.
The changes follow a review to the current design of Tier 4, which explored whether this struck the right balance between facilitating access of genuine students and preventing abuse by economic migrants. The changes are planned for the coming weeks and months.
The new measures will include:
• a ban on foreign students studying below degree level if the course includes a work placement - unless that course is being provided by a university, college or training provider which has the status of 'highly trusted sponsor';
• a requirement for students to demonstrate their English language ability by passing an approved secure test - this will apply to all students studying below (foundation) degree level, including those coming to study English language;
• the introduction of tougher criteria for defining which course providers count as 'highly trusted sponsors' of foreign students.
The Home Secretary's written ministerial statement about the changes is available below. Further details are available from the UKCISA website.
Heriot-Watt University Careers Service has produced a series of industry simulation case studies to help international students, and others, gain industry awareness without having to undertake a formal placement.
AGCAS members who have registered with this site and signed in can read more about the initiative in the report below by Nick Thow, Director at Heriot-Watt Careers Service.
This article was first submitted to Phoenix (May 2010).
Employers who reject job applications on the basis of the need to obtain a work permit could be acting illegally. AGCAS has obtained the view of a leading business immigration lawyer on the implications of the Osborne Clarke Services v Purohit case, which highlights the conflict between UK immigration law and employment law.
Philip Trott, Partner and Head of Immigration at Bates Wells & Braithwaite in London, outlined the ramifications of the case, which ruled that there was indirect discrimination on the grounds of race when an application from a non-EEA national was rejected.
There is a clear conflict in the points based system between the RLMT (resident labour market route), which allows employers to sponsor an immigrant only if no suitable resident workers are available, and the Osborne Clarke legal judgment.
AGCAS CEO, Margaret Dane, said: "AGCAS is pleased to be working with AGR on lobbying the UK Border Agency (UKBA) to clarify matters for employers, students and careers staff."
AGCAS members who have registered with this site and signed in can download Philip's report below.
AGCAS is very pleased to launch the report of the PMI 2 funded visit to India by representatives from AGCAS and NASES during February 2010. A team of nine careers professionals undertook a range of visits in three major cities: Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
The report aims to expand the range of resources and contacts available to careers and employment professionals, improve their understanding of the Indian labour market, employers and graduate recruitment processes as well as exploring the experiences of UK educated Indian alumni.
Download India Visit - A Report on the AGCAS and NASES PMI2 Visit to India.
AGCAS has published its response to the Home Office's student immigration system consultation, which sets out the government's aim to ensure that only genuine students who are committed to their academic study come to the UK.
The AGCAS response was compiled by Yasmina Mallam-Hassam, Chair of the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group, with contributions by other members of the task group and AGCAS members who provided insights from their own institutions.
Download the AGCAS response
A consultation document outlining major changes to the student immigration system has been published by the Home Office. The consultation sets out the government's aim to ensure that only genuine students who are committed to their academic study come to the UK.
The proposals include:
• cancellation of Tier 1 General (closing one of the routes to continuing employment in the UK)
• preventing international students from working anywhere but on campus during the week during term time
• proposed closure of Tier 1 Post Study Work
If made law, these changes will have major implications for international students and their employability and make the role of the careers adviser in advising these students immeasurably harder as it would close off the major routes for international students to gain work experience and develop work-based skills. The impact on international student recruitment also needs to be considered, as the incentive to study in the UK with increased fees and little opportunity to gain skills required by employers back in their home countries would make the UK a less desirable education destination.
The closing date for responses is 31 January 2011. AGCAS members are free to respond individually and also to contact Margaret Dane, AGCAS CEO, and Yasmina Mallam-Hassam, Chair of the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group, with feedback for the official AGCAS response.
Download the consultation document and response form.
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group has compiled guidelines to help members understand the issues of the consultation so they have the key information with which to feed into the AGCAS response and formulate their own responses. The guidelines are available to download below.
Launch of improved job search facility for international students and graduates
AGCAS, HECSU, NASES and The Careers Group, University of London, working in partnership, have undertaken enhancements to the International Graduate Jobs on Prospects.ac.uk as a result of research with international students and graduates, employers and careers professionals. The work has been funded by the Prime Minister’s Initiative for International Education (PMI 2) and develops the work undertaken in a previous PMI 2 project which saw The Careers Group, University of London’s International Job Online made available through www.prospects.ac.uk.
International Graduate Jobs has:
• 100s of jobs;
• from lots of employers;
• in a wide range of job sectors;
• which are available worldwide.
Improvements to the website have addressed key points made by careers advisers in the research, namely that international students and graduates needed to take a more strategic approach to their job search, and also the following issues for students and graduates:
• helping them avoid a 'scattergun approach' applying for anything and everything;
• encouraging them to look for information, advice and guidance – not 'just vacancies';
• helping them to develop their awareness of effective job search strategies;
• helping them to improve their understanding of the application process.
In addition to improving the search functionality, the general interface and usability of International Graduate Jobs, the new system will include value-added content to address some of the issues raised. This is achieved through contextual links to content related to the job ad the user is viewing. For example, if they are looking at a job in China there will be links to the AGCAS Country Profiles and the i-graduate Country Guides, plus more general information about working abroad. As part of their recent update the Country Guides now include example CVs for all the countries covered, and for some there are individual cases studies. The Country Profiles and Country Guides provide a wealth of complementary information, and hopefully by giving international students and graduates access to these resources at a high level they will be encouraged to make use of them.
The enhanced International Graduate Jobs was launched in early March 2011 and is being promoted to international students and graduates, employers, careers and student employment services.
AGCAS has warned that a government clampdown on the sort of work international students are allowed to do while in the UK will affect the experience UK universities can offer both international and home-based students. It would also impact upon the job prospects of UK students and the economy as a whole.
Impact on universities, courses and employers
A recent survey (A UK Guide to Enhancing the International Student Experience, produced by i-graduate for the UK HE International Unit) showed that for over 90% of students from China, India, Malaysia and Pakistan, the opportunity to gain work experience while, and immediately after, studying is a major reason for coming to the UK. Without this chance to gain the practical skills and experience that they need to be competitive when they return home, a significant number will look elsewhere.
Many higher education programmes, especially in fields such as engineering, science and business, are only viable because of the revenue that international students bring with them. Without this income, many university courses will close, causing a shortage of places for home-based students in strategically important subjects and, in the longer term, skills shortages in areas of huge importance to the UK economy. AGCAS believes that job losses would result, not only in the HE sector, but far beyond it.
Impact on home students and the UK as a whole
UK students undoubtedly benefit greatly from studying and working alongside talented young people from around the world. It is essential for their employability that they are able to demonstrate an understanding of other cultures and the ability to work collaboratively with peers from other countries. These are the skills and attributes that UK and international employers now demand, and which the UK's globally-renown universities currently provide.
Anne-Marie Martin, AGCAS President and Director of The Careers Group, University of London, said:
'Higher education careers services work closely with employers from a wide range of sectors who look to UK universities for the talent their businesses need in this country and globally. They all tell us how crucial it is for potential recruits to be able to demonstrate cultural awareness, alongside other employability skills and knowledge. University careers services have taken this message on board and are helping both international and UK students not only develop key skills alongside their academic study, but also to sell what they have learnt to potential employers. We are preparing students for a labour market which will be increasingly global.'
Margaret Dane, AGCAS CEO, said:
'AGCAS is far from alone in being concerned about any measures which would make it less attractive for international students to come to the UK. Some people, perhaps, assume that fewer international students would mean more jobs for UK students. However, all the evidence points the other way. There would be a negative impact across the board – including on UK graduates and businesses.'
Loughborough University recently completed the first phase of a two-year project with Tsinghua University, Beijing, in China, looking at the employability of UK-educated Chinese graduates.
Key findings included:
• 39.2% of respondents offered internships to fresh graduates, which could strengthen work experience.
• Most popular methods for Chinese businesses to target UK-educated Chinese graduates were organising online recruitment fairs (54.9%) and job fairs in China (50.5%).
• For Chinese recruiters, company loyalty, expectations of salary and employment conditions commensurate with the Chinese market, influenced satisfaction with overseas-educated Chinese graduates.
Download the Loughborough University PMI2 China visit report, which includes a parallel survey of UK graduate recruiters. Bilingual e-leaflets for prospective Chinese students and employers were also produced as part of the project.
This article was first submitted to Phoenix (May 2011).
Carol Ellis, Careers Consultant at The College of Law, has been exploring the main issues facing international students drafting their CVs alongside UK/EEA contenders in a competitive jobs market.
AGCAS members who have registered with this site and signed in can download Carol's article below.
This article was first submitted to Phoenix (May 2011).
Staff at the University of Sheffield Careers Service have been working collaboratively with colleagues from other sections within the university, and organisations outside the university, to provide enhanced services to international students.
Judy Everett, Careers Adviser (International Students and Employers) and Amy Gray (Jobshop Coordinator) outline the support offered:
We decided to develop a CV/applications workshop to be run jointly with colleagues from the university’s English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC). The original motivation for this workshop was the desire to help international students improve the quality of their applications for part-time positions, including the English language content. However, it quickly developed to also include applications for internship and graduate positions and to cover CVs, covering letters and application forms.
The workshop is in two parts:
Part 1 has input aimed at increasing the students’ awareness of what makes a good CV/application and how to 'sell' their skills and strengths as international students. There are also interactive elements - reviewing sample CVs and peer review of their own CVs. Students are then asked to use the information and resources to produce their own high-quality documents for the following week’s session.
Part 2 consists of each student having two individual appointments: the first, with a careers service staff member to review the content and structure; and the second, with a staff member from the ELTC, to review the spelling, grammar and punctuation. Students can use both services for follow-up appointments, if needed.
The workshop was very well received and students asked for a further one on interviews. So, we have now developed a collaborative half-day workshop on interview skills. It includes a range of aspects of interview preparation, technique, and performance, including spoken English language skills. This year we are running each workshop three times during the course of the year.
National Insurance numbers
Another initiative is the collaborative work with Job Centre Plus staff to issue National Insurance numbers to international students. We were the first careers service in the region to do this and it involves inviting a team of their staff to spend a day at the careers service registering students during individual half hour appointments. They visit approximately five times during the year - in three years we have registered over 500 students.
We have also run several joint sessions with the International Adviser from the Students’ Union Advice Centre.
Such initiatives have proved popular with international students who seem to appreciate us working with other organisations to deliver enhanced services.
This article was first submitted to Phoenix (May 2011).
From April 2012, the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Scheme will be closed and 'replaced' by a new provision under Tier 2 Sponsored Skilled Workers. Full details have not yet been announced by the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and may not be released until as late as March 2012. The AGCAS Internationaisation Task Group is gathering examples of how all of these proposed changes will affect students, with a view to submitting evidence via Universities UK before April 2012.
There will also be a Student Entrepreneurs category, but there is no further information on this at present.
The information on the new Tier 2 scheme is that applicants must have a job offer from an employer before their student visa expires (currently the length of the course, plus 4 months), and must be paid a minimum salary that is likely to be in the region of £20,000 (or the salary specified in the Standard Occupational Code published by the UKBA). The individual also has to meet points requirements. The employer will not have to apply the Resident Labour Market Test, unlike the main scheme under Tier 2.
We are already aware that these requirement may be difficult for some sectors to meet, particularly for SMEs who are not presently licensed as Tier 2 sponsors. If you have any examples of how these proposed changes may adversely affect your students, please send these to the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group via Yasmina Mallam-Hassam. We are keen to submit such evidence via Universities UK to lobby the UKBA on the development of the scheme before April 2012.
Signposting to sources of help
As careers professionals, we are only allowed to give generic information and not advice (pertaining to an individual student). It will be difficult to give definitive information to the new intake of students, particularly those on Master's programmes, who will be due to start this October. Given the current information inferring Tier 2 General as the main route, it may be sensible to include a link to the Tier 2 Register of Sponsors information on your international student pages so that students can target employers who are already registered and also check to determine if an employer of interest is registered to take migrant workers under Tier 2 General. It would also be useful to make them aware of the UKBA Employer Helpline so that if employers need advice regarding the routes to recruiting a non-EEA graduate, they can obtain it from there. The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) advice line is also an excellent source of support for international students.
• Tier 2 Register of Sponsors
• UKBA Employer Helpline: tel 0300 123 4699 or via email
• UKCISA advice line open from Monday to Friday, 1pm - 4pm: 020 7107 9922
There will also be a talk given by a representative from Laura Devine Solicitors at the AGCAS Biennial Conference on Wednesday 14th September 2011, Securing global talent: the immigration cap and beyond.
A vacancy has arisen in the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group. Applications are invited from members who possess expertise in and a passion for developing the employability of international students and home students with an international career focus.
This is a very proactive group, who have had a role in delivering key PMI2 initiatives on behalf of AGCAS. The task group is continually looking for new ways to enhance the international student experience and to promote the internationalisation of home students. Applications are particularly welcome from members with plenty of ideas and energy to build on this solid foundation. The role is demanding, and will require good organisation skills and commitment to balance the workload with your 'day job'. However, you will reap the benefits of collaborating within a diverse group of dedicated individuals, including careers professionals, international student advisers and international marketing managers.
If you are interested in joining this group, please email your CV and a covering letter to Yasmina Mallam-Hassam as soon as possible, or by Monday 26th September 2011 at the latest, outlining your reasons for wanting to join, as well as any relevant experience or attributes you would bring to the group.
Provision of quality education and a commitment to principles of social mobility and fair access, coupled with rising fee levels, can be a challenge to HEIs in their home country, but how are these addressed, if at all, at branch campuses abroad?
Ayesha Peeran, Careers Adviser at Cranfield University, asks whether international students are looked on merely as income sources.
AGCAS members who have registered with this site and signed in can download Ayesha's full article below.
This article was first submitted to Phoenix (October 2011).
A briefing paper analysing the implications of the closure of the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Scheme, and also of the new Tier 2 proposals, on universities and businesses in the UK has been published by Universities UK. The paper, Impact analysis of the closure of Tier 1 Post-Study Work Route, was produced following consultation with the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group and university departments throughout the country.
The paper forms the basis of lobbying discussions with the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and HM Treasury.
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group would like to thank all those members who contributed their views to this document.
The Higher Education Academy (HEA), in partnership with the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), is inviting HE and FE institutions to submit applications for funding for pilot projects supporting internationalisation.
• enhance the teaching and learning experiences both for international students studying in the UK and home students in the context of internationalisation;
• promote intercultural understanding to prepare students for employment in a global context.
Connections: Pilot projects supporting internationalisation will be funded by HEA in conjunction with UKCISA. Grants of up to £10,000 are available. Full details of the application procedure and criteria for awards are available in the funding document on the HEA website.
The closing date for applications is Monday 30 January 2012.
The UK government has released their statement of intent, which outlines the changes they wish to make to the immigration rules around international student work. It is expected that the changes will come into effect on 6th April 2012.
• Students will still be able to work 20 hours per week during term time and full time during vacations and for the remainder of time after their course until their visa expires.
• Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) will close to new applicants on 5 April 2012.
• Tier 2 (General) will be open to recent graduates with a Bachelor's or Master's degree, PhD, or a PGCE or PGDE, from a UK recognised or listed body. As per the normal Tier 2 requirements, applicants must have an offer of a skilled job from a licensed sponsor and be paid at least £20,000 or the minimum appropriate rate set out in the relevant Code of Practice. However, the employer will not have to complete a resident labour market test and the jobs will not be subject to the annual limit on Tier 2 numbers (ie, the Certificates of Sponsorship will be in the Unrestricted category).
• Tier 4 migrants will be able to switch into Tier 2, as described above, once they have been awarded their qualification. This means they will not be able to move from Tier 4 to Tier 2 if they have not completed their studies, except for PhD students who, as now, must have completed at least 12 months of study.
• A new Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) scheme will be introduced for those who have been identified by UK universities as having developed world-class innovative ideas or entrepreneurial skills, but who are not yet in a position to meet the full requirements of the Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) route. There will be 1,000 places in the first year and this will allow them to develop their businesses in the UK. The HEI will have a key role to play in identifying and maintaining contact with applicants.
View the Statement of Intent: Changes affecting study, post-study work and maintenance requirements for students and workers.
The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) is running masterclasses for employers and careers professionals on this topic on 30th March in London and 23rd March in Manchester.
Today (21 March 2012) is the final day of the NUS's International Students' Campaign survey, which aims to research the realities and the perceptions international students have about employment in the UK.
Ahead of the enforcement of the new visa regulations and the closure of the post study work visa in April 2012, the campaign felt it was vital to gather concrete facts about how international students felt about the changes almost a year on from the first announcements.
NUS International Students' Officer, Christina Yan Zhang, said:
"This survey will ensure that international students have a strong and clear voice on the issues of immigration and employability. Please send this survey to all the international students in your institution so we can gather as many views as possible."
AGCAS members are invited to direct international students to:
Evidence from the International Student Barometer survey shows that the lack of placement opportunities is one of the most frequent criticisms by overseas students of their time in the UK. Here, members of the AGCAS Placement and Work-based Learning Task Group offer their perspectives, including both 'real' and 'perceived' reasons as to why international students have greater difficulty accessing placements.
AGCAS members who have registered with this website and signed in can download the task group's report below.
This article first appeared in Phoenix (May 2012).
The European Business School London (EBSL), part of Regent's College London, offers compulsory 36-week placements as part of two international degree programmes. Both the BA (Hons) in International Business (BAIB) and the BA (Hons) in International Events Management (BAIEM) are unique in requiring students to complete placements in either the vacation periods, or part-time alongside their studies. This integral component of the degree ensures students graduate with the much sought-after skills employers are looking for, while avoiding any lengthening of the study period.
All placements are validated by staff in the Careers and Business Relations Department and students failing to complete the minimum requirement of 36 weeks will delay their completion and graduation.
Students are supported in their search for internships with a comprehensive, daily-updated, vacancies board. Students on both programmes engage with the Careers and Business Relations Department as early as their first semester, working through a career plan, which ensures they have CV, covering letter and application writing skills and are well-prepared for interviews and assessment centres.
Andre Georgi, currently in the final year of the BAIB and working on placement in China, said:
"My 36 weeks of work experience are best described in three words: enriching, challenging and ground-breaking. I have learnt to prove myself in a variety of industries worldwide, developed a professional network prior to graduation and feel more confident within a fiercely competitive working environment. In retrospect, this programme, supported by the in-house career services, might have been the most valuable part of my time at EBS, helping me understand what I really want to do upon graduation."
Dr Nick Bowen, Principal Lecturer for the BAIB, said:
“From the point of view of students, alumni and employers, the work placement element of the programme is invaluable; it is regarded as a key building block in the preparation of international business managers.”
Ivo Detelinov graduated in 1994 with a BA (Hons) in Business Administration and is currently a Director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch. He believes that the requirement of 36 weeks' work experience has helped him in getting where he is today:
"Now in a hiring position, I look most favourably at applicants who have varied work experience and internships on their CVs."
Regent’s College London believes the integral placements of these programmes to be unique and finds that they really do produce outstanding graduates with the skills and knowledge required by employers.
This article first appeared in Phoenix (May 2012).
The recent report Global Graduates into Global Leaders focuses on the need for UK graduates to work across national borders, manage complex international and intercultural relationships and understand global aspects of the world of work. Instrumental in driving the number of UK students going overseas is the need to increase the number of international work and study placements available to them.
Here, members of the AGCAS Placement and Work-based Learning Task Group offer their perspectives on how to drive the number of UK students going overseas by first increasing the number of international work and study placements available to them.
AGCAS members who have registered with this website and signed in can download the task group's report below.
This article first appeared in Phoenix (May 2012).
The Workplace Experience Programme for International Students is a Scottish government-funded project to help international students at Scottish universities gain exposure to employers in Scotland through a range of opportunities, including work shadowing, mentoring, company visits, short projects and placements. Companies involved range from multinationals to small/medium enterprises (SMEs). As well as giving students experience of the workplace in Scotland, these opportunities also help to expand their transferable skills and develop a local network of professional contacts.
All international students (including students from European countries) currently studying at a Scottish university are eligible to apply for the programme.
The programme plays an important role as part of an overall strategy for universities as they continue to develop internationalisation links and partnerships. There are real benefits for the company as projects are focused on business improvement by utilising, for example, the use of the student's language skills and cultural knowledge to increase confidence and opportunities to trade overseas.
Overall, student and company comments are overwhelmingly positive:
"This programme will be significant in helping employers engage with international students. In the past, I have enjoyed working with students from different parts of the world and I am delighted to have an opportunity to work closely with a few of those studying in Glasgow this year." Business Mentor, Maclay, Murray & Spens
This article first appeared in Phoenix (May 2012).
Business Networking: Developing employability skills through forum theatre
The Careers Service at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) are continuing to support and promote the highly successful business networking events that were developed through PMI2 funding. The most recent business networking events have been delivered to master’s students in the School of Health and Life Sciences and to MBA students.
Our international students are high-level users of the Careers Service and we want to provide additional support to ensure that they are aware of the essential employability skills required for the UK and global graduate recruitment markets.
By developing a highly engaging and participative approach, we want students to:
• actively explore and practise a range of business networking skills;
• learn directly from employers and alumni;
• improve self-confidence and personal marketing.
We believe that this approach is ideal preparation for entering the job market and an excellent opportunity to further develop both language and social skills in a supportive environment.
By incorporating ‘forum theatre’ into the workshops, we introduced a drama technique that explores solutions to issues that arise in specific situations, and this was a core element of the skills-based workshops. Delivering forum theatre effectively involves funding drama professionals and working closely with them to design and develop appropriate material.
In our scenario, students observed a networking event. They watched the scene as an active audience, and not passive observers, and were invited to stop the drama at critical moments and encouraged to discuss how to improve the situation.
The workshop activities culminate in a business networking lunch with a range of graduate employers and alumni. As the business networking events have become school discipline-based events, the range and spread of guests has reflected this. For example, the networking guests for the MSc Bioscience event included graduate employers, SMEs, a sector specific recruitment agency and an academic recruiting for Doctorate-level posts.
The networking lunch provides students with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and practise their networking techniques. A plenary session is also held and employers are invited to provide feedback to students.
We believe that we have developed a winning combination of activities and this has been endorsed unanimously by both students and employers:
'Superb illustration of what to look at when thinking about approaching employers in a networking situation.' (Student)
'To support international students in this manner is highly commendable and sets your university apart from many others I know.' (Employer)
The Careers Service at GCU will continue to promote business networking and forum theatre events as a very powerful, energising and engaging way to develop employability skills in a highly effective way.
Note: Business networking has also featured in the poster presentations at the SHEEF Scottish Higher Education Employability Conference: Strengthening Partnerships with Employers in June 2011.
Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU): BIO Employability Exit (BEE) Initiative
The Division of BIO within the School of Health and Life Sciences and GCU Careers Service have created the BEE Initiative. This initiative addresses employment rates for international MSc students within biological and biomedical sciences (BIO) with an emphasis on improving career prospects both locally, globally and in their home country. It aims to empower graduates to understand the value of transferable 21st century graduate attributes, develop career management skills and raise confidence in dealing with employers.
BEE Initiative content
• The creation of an employer seminar series and networking events
A seminar series of guest speakers from industry and academia are invited into the Careers Service to give insight into working in different industrial companies and research settings.
• Networking – forum theatre workshop
Forum theatre is an innovative way of engaging students in issues relating to employability. Actors are used to perform short scenarios in the role of international students as they explore the challenges and dilemmas they face with networking and dealing with cultural differences and experiences of the UK labour market. The workshop has a facilitator who provides a link between the performance and the audience, prompting the spectators to ask questions or comment on the action. The audience are active participants and the session can be stopped at key points to address issues or to ask questions allowing them to shape the outcome of the events that they are observing.
This is a non-threatening and informative way of encouraging students to benchmark, evaluate and reflect on their own skills in these areas and how they can improve. Employers are also invited along to participate in the workshop and provide a real opportunity for networking. Employers attending include SMEs, large scientific companies, representatives from professional bodies, scientific recruitment agencies and members of academic staff involved in recruiting PhDs.
• Launching an Academic Career workshop
Many students wish to apply for a PhD studentship and to continue in the field of scientific research. Applying for such positions is different from applying for an internship or job in industry. A workshop has been developed to provide guidance on considering an academic career and how to apply for such positions.
A current PhD student presents to students on their role and why they decided to do a PhD. This gives students the opportunity to find out more about the day-to-day activities of a PhD student. Academic staff from BIO inform students of their role and how they launched their academic career. BIO academics are, in this instance, the employer/recruiter and can therefore give useful advice on what is required on academic applications. The careers adviser delivers a practical session on preparing academic CVs and application forms.
• BIO internships
Students/graduates are invited to apply for an internship, which involves working in a university research team for three months. This year, this has been expanded to include a teaching assistant post and an industry-based internship. As the majority of the students/graduates are international, this gives them the opportunity to have UK work experience. Internships are advertised on the university careers service website and students submit an online application.
Candidates are selected to attend a competitive panel interview. The panel consists of the lead recruiting academic, the programme leader for MSc Biosciences and the careers adviser. Questions are set in advance by the programme leader and the careers adviser. All candidates are scored by the panel. Successful candidates are appointed to the appropriate internship. This gives the student the opportunity to experience an authentic UK selection process. Students receive feedback from the careers adviser at each stage of the selection procedure.
• Preparation for internships (as part of the BIO internships programme)
Prior to the internships being advertised, students/graduates are invited to attend a preparatory workshop delivered by the careers adviser and programme leader. This workshop supports students/graduates in applying for the internships and develops their career management skills. It involves practical, interactive exercises on completing applications forms, interview techniques and identifying and evidencing scientific skills and soft skills. The careers adviser draws on their own knowledge from contact with graduate recruiters and the expertise of the academics in Bio to identify the skills required.
• Career development workshops
This project embeds tailored and specific career management and employability workshops throughout the MSc programmes. Following graduation, career management skills are further developed by the BEE initiative workshops. Our graduates have found these very useful for honing skills and increasing their confidence.
• The development of the BIO Careers Net online community
An online community has been created where students and graduates can view all events and information relating to BEE activities, as well as blog entries.
• BIO job club
Students meet regularly in the Careers Centre to get tailored support from the careers adviser with their job search. The job club also encourages students to support each other and share their experiences of job hunting.
BEE Initiative outcomes
The BEE Initiative has proven particularly successful for a number of students who have gained significantly from the support and experience obtained. Feedback is very positive from students, academics and employers. Participants have found jobs in the NHS, scientific companies in the UK and overseas, and have secured PhD positions.
See also Business Networking: Developing employability skills through forum theatre
AGCAS welcomes the government's response to the Wilson Review. In its response the government has announced that it will provide some seed corn funding to support AGR and AGCAS to work in partnership on the implementation of the Wilson review recommendations aimed at AGR and AGCAS.
AGCAS President, Anne-Marie Martin, said:
"AGCAS is keen to assist delivery on many of the agendas. Careers and employability services offer fantastic services to assist students, graduates and employers to come together. Whether employers are seeking part-time, permanent, temporary employees or interns or volunteers, they should check out their local university careers service. Many careers and employability services also support students to develop enterprise skills and to set up their own businesses or social enterprises."
A national centre for universities and business was also announced. As the voice of higher education careers and employability professionals who work at the interface between universities, businesses, students and graduates, AGCAS looks forward to working closely with the new organisation.
Implementing Wilson recommendations
AGCAS has recently been collecting evidence of how Wilson's recommendations are being implemented by its member HE careers and employability services across the UK. Here are examples:
• Newcastle University's work to encourage employment in local
SMEs together with enterprising graduates
• Yorkshire Universities' Graduate Internship Scheme
• University of Exeter's support for postgraduates and
• Glasgow Caledonian University addresses employability of
international STEM students
• Queen Mary, University of London, brokers work experience in
• University of Derby Careers Management Research Project
• Empower with Plymouth University
If you have any queries about AGCAS' response to the Wilson Review, please contact Chris Jackson (0191 240 3525) in the first instance.
The University of Chichester will be launching a new initiative for home and international students from January 2013. This scheme will give students the opportunity to work collaboratively and co-tutor each other in language skills and cultural awareness.
The premise for a student to student co-mentoring scheme was initiated as a result of the international advisers identifying that many of the international students felt lonely and found it more difficult to integrate into university life than home students.
Developing cultural awareness
Chris Dancer, Head of the School for Enterprise, Leadership and Management, also recognised that the international students in his subject area seemed more detached from their class groups. He champions the idea of a scheme that will encourage a diversified community and comments:
"This is an innovative programme of support designed to develop local students' global and cultural awareness and to develop our international students' confidence and language skills. But, most of all, we aim to help both sets of students to integrate and to encourage an ethos of cooperation and understanding, and maybe form some lasting international friendships!"
Integrating international students
The scheme will be piloted by Melanie Hall, Head of Careers and Employability, Paivi Leivo and Maria O’Riordan, Student Support Services, and Sue Lavender, Head of Applied Language Studies. They will collaborate to teach students how to mentor effectively, improve their English and develop a wider understanding of different cultures.
The University of Chichester are proud to be running a scheme that will broaden students' cultural skills and understanding, and are delighted to announce that it will be turned into an accredited module for September 2014. It will also support the university's mission to increase employability figures, as it will be offered to students who are interested in teaching or who want to apply to teach English abroad on one of the many international schemes available.
For more information, contact: Melanie Hall, Head of Careers and Employability, University of Chichester.
The Higher Education Commission's report on postgraduate education was launched at the House of Commons on 29 October 2012. Clare Jones, a member of the AGCAS Research Staff Task Group who, together with the AGCAS Postgraduate Students Task Group and senior AGCAS staff, coordinated the AGCAS response to the inquiry, attended the launch event.
Dr Graham Spittle, who chaired the inquiry, formally launched the report with responses from David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, and Shabana Mahmood, Shadow Minister for Higher Education.
Issues affecting postgraduate education
During the launch, Dr Spittle stressed that postgraduate education had been neglected in policy debates and strategic thinking and that the inquiry had revealed a number of gaps in the evidence base needed for the development of policy. Both in the report and at the launch, reference was made to 'a perfect storm' of increased fees, students being less willing to incur further debt, and more stringent immigration conditions leading to significant damage being inflicted on the health of the postgraduate sector.
Dr Spittle and Ms Mahmood both highlighted the need for a review and reform of funding mechanisms for postgraduate study, improved access, especially for home students, and the potentially damaging effects of changes to the immigration system on international student recruitment. In his speech, David Willetts remarked that the concerns expressed on the effects of the undergraduate fee changes may be exaggerated and that any future Exchequer involvement in funding would lead to greater central scrutiny of who is undertaking postgraduate courses and what they are studying.
Implications for AGCAS and its members
Members of the inquiry team also stressed that the report was a first step in raising the profile of postgraduate education and that further work will be required. In terms of implications for the involvement of AGCAS and careers services, recommendations 1 and 2 highlight the need for more data on employment outcomes and improved understanding of employer needs for postgraduate skills. Section 7 of the report also deals with research degrees highlighting the need for more information on the quality of research conducted at doctoral level and concerns expressed by industry regarding the narrowness of the UK PhD. The evidence submitted by AGCAS on postgraduate careers is included in the report on page 44.
Find out more about Postgraduate Education: An independent inquiry by the Higher Education Commission and download the full report.
The University of Nottingham recently held an event designed to support Indonesian students based at universities across the UK who return to their home country to work after graduating. The event, organised by the Careers and Employability Service and the International Office, reached out to Indonesian students in Britain and encouraged them to take future opportunities in business with Indonesian and British companies.
Panel sessions at the event were designed to offer careers advice on working in business and management, the latest UK visa information and guidance on corporate social responsibility. Students were also provided with opportunities to network with senior executives of the participating companies who sponsored the event. Colleagues from the Careers and Employability Service hosted round-table discussions in the afternoon sessions.
Among the guests were representatives of global businesses with Indonesian subsidiaries, including Jardines Ltd, BP, Shell, McKinsey, Permata Bank, Prudential and Fluor.
Sharon Bell, Associate Director of the Careers and Employability Service, said:
"We were delighted to be able to host over 100 Indonesian students from across the UK at this event. All of the students who attended showed real energy and enthusiasm in developing their employability skills, and it was a great opportunity for us to work closely with the Indonesian Students Society. The attendance of The Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency T M Hamzah Thayeb, underlined the importance of this event."
Vania Gunawan, member of the Indonesia Society at The University of Nottingham and currently studying for a Masters degree in risk management, added:
"This event enables Indonesian students to meet experts in the global business. I believe I will gain plenty of information on skills and experience needed for entering this very competitive area."
The University of Nottingham is the first British higher education institution to host such an event.
For more information about this event, please contact: Sharon Bell, 0115 9513672.
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group has produced a guide to help employers navigate the complexities of recruiting international graduates from UK universities. Recruiting International Graduates - A Guide for Employers provides an overview of the key schemes in place at the time of writing (June 2013).
The guide does not replace the need for employers to seek their own legal advice in these matters, but it does go some way to demystifying the immigration options available to international graduates.
Download Recruiting International Graduates - A Guide for Employers
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration has launched an inquiry into the closure of the Post-Study Work (PSW) route for international students. The PSW route allowed non-EU graduates to seek employment in the UK for up to two years after their studies, and was closed by the Home Office in April 2012. AGCAS members are invited to contribute to an official AGCAS response to the inquiry.
The inquiry will examine the effect of the changes to this visa category on universities, students and local economies. It seeks comments on the following questions in particular:
• What has been the impact on international student numbers or demographic profile?
• What has been the impact on businesses and universities?
• Has there been any wider economic or social impact at local/regional level or nationally?
• How has the closure of the PSW route been viewed internationally? Has it had any implications for foreign trade and commerce or wider diplomatic relations?
• What approach have our competitors in the international student market taken to post-study work opportunities?
Call for submissions
The APPG on Migration is seeking written submissions from parliamentarians, universities, businesses, charities, students, lawyers, local government, employers, trades unions and other sources of relevant evidence. Individuals who have direct experience of the impact of the changes to the visa category, as well as support organisations and advisers, are particularly invited to share their views.
AGCAS members are invited to contribute to an official AGCAS response to the inquiry. Please contact Jenny Blakesley, AGCAS Vice-President and Director of LSE Careers, with feedback for the official AGCAS response by the 1 September 2014.
AGCAS members are also free to respond individually via the APPG on Migration website or directly to firstname.lastname@example.org by the closing deadline of 30 September 2014.
Download the inquiry outline
AGCAS members are invited to contribute to an official AGCAS response to the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education's (QAA) consultation on the draft revised version of International Students Studying in the UK: Guidance for UK Higher Education Providers, now entitled Assuring Quality for International Students Studying in the UK: A Guide for UK Higher Education Providers.
This document is designed to assist higher education providers in assuring and enhancing the quality of the learning experience for international students studying in the UK. It supplements, but is not part of, the UK Quality Code for Higher Education.
Why the QAA are consulting
The document Assuring Quality for International Students Studying in the UK: A Guide for UK Higher Education Providers is being reviewed in order to ensure its continuing efficiency. This will ensure that the changes reflect the sentiment of the sector and those who work more closely with international students, and that the document continues to hold value for all who use it.
What is the scope of the consultation?
This consultation aims to gather comments on each section of the revised document and its utility in assisting HE providers in assuring and enhancing the quality of the learning experience for international students studying in the UK.
AGCAS members are invited to contribute to an official AGCAS response to the consultation. Please submit your feedback directly to Gemma Green, AGCAS Communications Manager, using the questions posed on the consultation questionnaire by Monday 2 March 2015. All comments received via this route will be used to inform the AGCAS response.
Others who wish to reply to the consultation themselves (or on behalf of their institution) should use the online survey.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration has published an inquiry report into the impact of closing the Post Study Work (PSW) route in 2012, which allowed non-EU graduates to seek employment in the UK for up to two years after their studies.
AGCAS was amongst the organisations that contributed an official response to the inquiry, which looked at the impact of the policy change on universities, foreign students and local economies after the government failed to introduce a suitable replacement.
Evidence received by the committee reveals that the PSW route was a cornerstone of the UK's competitive offer to international students and that closure of this route has significantly reduced the attractiveness of the UK, leading to the first-ever drop in international student numbers in 2012/13 in a growing market.
The report highlights the fact that there has been an 88% drop in international students gaining post-study work in the UK, most significantly amongst skilled workers. The inquiry heard from business leaders that the new routes on offer as a substitute recruited only a small number of graduates and prevented some businesses from recruiting the skills they needed in areas with known skills shortages.
Download the Post-Study Work Opportunities in the UK report.
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group is seeking three new members to help shape the careers support available to international students at UK universities and encourage UK students to gain an international outlook.
The group meets two to three times annually to work on a wide range of events, conferences and resources. They are particularly keen to encourage applications from all areas of careers activity: employer liaison, information specialists, DLHE, careers education and guidance practitioners.
How to apply
If you are interested in becoming a member of the group, please send an email with a covering letter and CV attached explaining your interest, highlighting any relevant experience and what you believe you could contribute to the group to Justin Richardson.
The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday, 6 July 2015.
The next meeting of the task group will be held in September (either a teleconference or face-to-face) and it is hoped that the new members will be able to attend this meeting. For further information about the work of the task group and an informal chat, please contact Ellen Parkes (outgoing Chair).
UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) has launched a new grants scheme to support pilot projects and research. The scheme is open to UKCISA members and provides an opportunity for universities, colleges and students' unions to expand or adapt services which support international students or enhance members' understanding of the international student experience.
The aims of this scheme are twofold:
• Pilot projects: to encourage innovation, and develop and disseminate
examples of best practice in international student support (ten grants of
up to £2,000).
• Research: to enhance UKCISA's understanding of the needs and/or
experience of international students studying in the UK (two grants of
up to £5,000).
How to apply
UKCISA members are invited to submit proposals for pilot projects or research they will carry out. Both will be required to present projects or research findings in an appropriate format for the benefit of the membership as a whole. This may include a presentation at a future UKCISA conference.
Applicants should complete the application form and email it to the UKCISA Director of Policy and Services by 5pm on Friday 21 August 2015.
For full details and application forms, visit UKCISA Grants Scheme 2015-16.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published a call for evidence for a wider review of the Tier 2 route of the Points Based System, the route for skilled workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA) who have an offer of skilled employment in the UK.
Why are the MAC consulting?
The government has commissioned the MAC to review Tier 2 with a view to making recommendations about significantly reducing economic migration to the UK in order to address concerns about the rising number of migrants in that route and reliance on them to fill shortages.
What is the scope of the consultation?
The consultation is split into two parts:
1. Minimum Salary Thresholds for Tier 2 (June 2015)
AGCAS contributed a response to the first part of the consultation, focusing on international graduates seeking employment in the UK after completing their studies in the UK, ie those 'switching' into Tier 2 from Tier 4
2. Review of Tier 2 (July 2015)
This latest call for evidence seeks views and evidence from partners to help inform its response to the wider Tier 2 review.
The MAC has been asked to look at:
• Options to refocus the route on areas where there are genuine skills
• How to limit the time that sectors can remain on a shortage list.
• The implementation of a levy on Tier 2 visas, to fund apprenticeships.
• Restrictions on the automatic right of Tier 2 dependants to work.
• Tightening up on the intra-company transfer (ICT) route, including
applying the immigration health surcharge to ICTs.
• Raising the minimum salary levels that migrants have to be paid.
The call for evidence document (Section 4) sets out the questions on which the MAC seeks views and evidence from partners.
AGCAS members are invited to contribute to an official AGCAS response to the consultation. Please submit your feedback directly to Gemma Green, AGCAS Communications and Engagement Manager, by Friday 28 August 2015. All comments received via this route will be used to inform the AGCAS response.
The Phoenix Editorial Team is seeking articles for the next issue of AGCAS's digital journal, which is due to be published in February 2016. The main theme of the next issue will be Employer Engagement. The Editorial Team is interested in receiving examples of good/innovative practice, evidence of research, views or opinion pieces on a range of topics based on recent and/or previous experience of working with all types of employers from all sectors.
The main theme of the February 2016 issue of Phoenix will be Employer Engagement.
In light of the recent BIS research paper, Understanding Employers' Graduate Recruitment and Selection Practices, which looks at the approach to graduate recruitment adopted by employers and how this has evolved over the years, the team is interested in receiving examples of good/innovative practice, evidence of research, views or opinion pieces on any of the topics listed below based on recent and/or previous experience of working with all types of employers from all sectors.
Capturing the employer engagement agenda
• Working with different types of employers (from multinationals to engaging with SMEs and local employers in the region)
• The realities of working with employers: managing employer expectations, improving employer satisfaction, measuring impact
• Employer approaches to social mobility
• The evolution of employer events
• Current trends in employer recruitment practices
• Employers and international students: navigating graduate recruitment and immigration rules
• How much influence do/should employers have on campus?
• The role of the employer engagement professional/team in the modern-day careers and employability service
• What drives employer selection - who are you working with and why?
• What do employers really want?
The aim of Phoenix is to instigate debate amongst our readership through the sharing of best practice and experiences of HE careers and employability service delivery. We are especially interested in receiving articles that offer views and opinions rather than full explanations of operational delivery.
We are also happy to consider non-theme articles on topics of interest to our readership, which includes careers and employability professionals, employers, academics, partner organisations and the wider HE community.
The deadline for copy is 5pm on Monday 4 January 2016.
Article word count
A one-page article is 550-700 words. A double-page spread is approximately 1,000 words.
All contributors are offered full editorial support from a member of the Phoenix Editorial Team.
How to submit an article
Please submit all items as a Word document to Gemma Green, Editor of Phoenix.
If you are interested in submitting an article, or have an idea for an article that you would like to discuss further, please contact a member of the Phoenix Editorial Team.
In her first monthly update to AGCAS members, Elaine Boyes, AGCAS Executive Director, outlines AGCAS's strategic theme topics and invites feedback from members.
In an article I wrote for Phoenix a few weeks ago, I outlined the areas that I would be focusing on in my first few months as AGCAS Executive Director. These included working to define and articulate the AGCAS strategy.
I have met with a number of colleagues from a variety of member services over the past few weeks. These colleagues have kindly shared with me their priorities and concerns, and have allowed me to bounce ideas off them. I appreciate the really helpful advice and input they have given me, and I hope that member services will continue to let me invite myself to visit.
A number of common priorities have become clear from these visits, particularly members' need for AGCAS to have a stronger voice on issues surrounding employability and the role of the careers professional. This is an area that we will be focusing on throughout the year.
From these meetings and from meeting other organisations within our space, I have developed an initial list of potential 'strategic theme' topics, including those below, which I would be really grateful for your feedback on:
• social mobility;
• employability in the TEF and the league table era;
• defining the HE careers profession;
• working with international students, alumni and employers.
Are these the priority 'themes' for AGCAS members? Please email me your feedback. I look forward to hearing from you.
On 24 March 2016, the immigration minister James Brokenshire announced there would be no amendments to the rules for international students switching from Tier 4 to Tier 2 in order to work in the UK after their studies. The statement came in response to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC)'s review of Tier 2.
The immigration minister said:
"Employers will continue to be able to recruit non-EEA graduates of UK universities without first testing the resident labour market and without being subject to the annual limit on Tier 2 (General) places, which will remain at 20,700 places per year. Additionally, we shall give extra weighting within the Tier 2 (General) limit to businesses sponsoring overseas graduates, and will allow graduates to switch roles within a company once they have secured a permanent job at the end of their training programme. These changes will take effect from autumn 2016."
"There will be no change to the work rights of dependants of Tier 2 migrants."
Minimum salary threshold
The minimum salary threshold for new entrants, which applies to Tier 4 (General) students, will remain at £20,800. It was also confirmed that employers who sponsor Tier 4 (General) students under Tier 2 will not have to pay the immigration skills charge when that is introduced.
Read the full ministerial statement.
See the AGCAS response to the MAC call for evidence regarding the Review of Tier 2 (July 2015) and the Review of Minimum Salary Thresholds for Tier 2 (June 2015).
In Spring 2016 the Midlands International Group, a consortium of 16 universities, delivered a webinar series consisting of 13 online events targeted at international students. The sessions were supported by funding from UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) and careers professionals from across the region worked with employers and alumni to run a week of online sessions, which were designed to prepare for students for the global job market.
The project provided opportunities for information-sharing, student employability development, employer engagement, reflection/action planning, and networking within the international student community across the Midlands.
Lots of interest
Over 1,000 students registered for the interactive sessions on a range of topics, from developing a global mindset and making the most of your time in the UK, to top tips from international recruiters, graduate entrepreneurship and visa law. Several of the webinars were run by top graduate employers and opportunity providers, including KPMG China, the Global Career Company, BUNAC and Access Tier 5. Technical support, critical to the project success, was delivered by the University of Birmingham IT Team and used an Adobe Connect platform.
Feedback from students and employers indicated using this technology-based approach as an ideal way to reach large numbers of international students across institutions. In particular, students valued the opportunity to interact with employers and careers professionals online, to build a clearer idea of what’s needed to enter the graduate job market, and to plan their next steps.
All webinars in the series were recorded and are available for use by the professional community supporting international students online.
If other AGCAS members, member services or regional groups are interested in finding out more about the Developing Your Global Career webinar series, or the Midlands International Group please email Iwan Griffiths.
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Past events tagged with 'international students'
Wed 14 May 2008
This one day regional AGCAS event on 14 May 2008 at Manchester Metropolitan University provides an opportunity to update and develop your knowledge of working with international students.
Amanda Wood from the University of Manchester careers service, who works as an international careers adviser, will give an insight into her role and her recent trip to China.
Amanda Wood from the University of Manchester careers service, who works as an international careers adviser, will give an insight into her role and her recent trip to China. Nicola Walton, international officer at MMU, will ensure we are up to date with all the latest schemes and legislations. The afternoon sessions will include the International society and HECSU will unveil their latest LMI research for India and Hong Kong. This is a REGIONAL AGCAS TRAINING COURSE FOR THE NORTH WEST REGION and the AGCAS Office will therefore NOT be involved in bookings. However, if you wish to use AGCAS Training Vouchers in payment then please contact Jan Cornish at the AGCAS Office.
Please apply on a Regional Course Booking Form (available below) to Hazel Doyle, the course contact.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT IS PRIMARILY FOR AGCAS MEMBER SERVICES IN THE NORTH WEST REGION. Others may apply if there are still places available when services in these regions have been accommodated.
Full Price: £42.00
Conference Members: £34.00
Affiliate Members: £29.00
Associate Members: £25.00
Thu 30 Sep 2010
Build your confidence in providing information regarding the immigration regulations and permissions for international students on this course.
Please note that the content of this one day training event is the same as the one which ran in March 2010.
Build your confidence in providing information regarding the immigration regulations and permissions for international students on this course.
Who is it for?
The event is designed for careers service staff who deal with international students and who wish to know more about current immigration legislation. It is specifically designed for AGCAS members, but NASES members can also attend free of charge.
What will you get out of it?
• Gain an overview of the current regulations with regard to work permission for international students.
• Identify the various sources of immigration information and referral points.
• Develop confidence in providing information (not advice) relating to permission to work issues.
• Develop ideas for encouraging employers to recruit international students.
• Share good practice with other services on working with international students.
Registration from 9.45am for a prompt 10.15 start. The course will finish at 4.30pm.
How to apply for this course
Open to AGCAS and NASES members only - attendance FREE. Please complete and return the application form below.
Wed 24 Nov 2010
A training event by NASES for FE careers and employability staff working with international students, it provides an overview of the regulations and allows delegates to exchange information and share best practice. This one-day event is funded by the PMI2 initiative, so is free to attend, but places need to be booked.
• the rules and regulations - permission to work, National Insurance and tax issues;
• workshop session discussing the challenges faced by staff working with international students;
• workshop session exploring innovative ways of overcoming the challenges identified;
• sharing best practice and generating ideas;
• case studies from employers and international students.
Further information and booking details at www.nases.org.uk/training
While this event is FE-focussed, with priority given to bookings from FE services, much of the information will also be relevant to staff from HE institutions.
Tue 25 Oct 2011
The aim of this workshop is to give an update of the Chinese job market, provide information about employers' recruitment strategies and offer practical information to help colleagues who work in career guidance and graduate service provision to Chinese students.
Includes a panel discussion for universities, colleges and private organisations who deliver training and professional development programmes in China, or who wish to enter this market.
This event will provide a forum for UK organisations to better understand the professional training and education opportunities in China.
This is not an AGCAS event.
Thu 08 May 2014
This AGCAS North West regional training session will cover the changes to Tiers 2 & 5 of the points-based system for international students.
This is a chance to update your knowledge and support of international students.
Starting with drinks and refreshments at 10.00 for a 10.30 start, due to finish by 12.30/13.00.
How to book
To book your place please complete a regional booking form (available below) and send it to Hazel Doyle.
Please note that this event is primarily for AGCAS members in the North West and North East regions. As the event is run regionally by AGCAS members, the AGCAS office will NOT be involved in bookings. However, if you wish to use AGCAS training vouchers in payment then please contact Jan Cornish at the AGCAS office.
Wed 13 Jun 2012
This North East AGCAS regional training event will provide insights into current issues related to working with international students.
• intercultural awareness;
• updates on the regulations on the 'right to work' in the UK, in particular the new Tier 2 and
implications for guidance;
• examples of good practice from two careers services.
There will be presentations, interactive sessions, discussions, Q&As and a chance to share best practice and experiences across the group of participants.
How to book
Please note that this event is primarily for AGCAS members in the North East region. As this event is run regionally by AGCAS members, the AGCAS office will NOT be involved in bookings. However, if you wish to use AGCAS training vouchers in payment then please contact Jan Cornish at the AGCAS office.
The organiser of this event and the contact for information purposes is Judith Everett.
For bookings, please apply using the Regional Course Booking Form (available below) and send to Alison Clay or tel 0114 222 7446.
Wed 30 Apr 2014
A joint one-day event designed and delivered by AGCAS and UKCISA demonstrating the various ways that careers services and international student advisers are working together to help international students into work after their studies.
This year's event is designed to demonstrate the various ways that careers services and international student advisers are working together to help international students into work after their studies.
Over the course of the day we aim to:
• Discuss the impact of post-study work changes in legislation
• Understand what information HESA collects and why
• Share best practice about Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 4 (DES) and Tier 5 post study work options
• Share resources and knowledge about working together as careers and international advisers, working with employers and students, and preparing students for the world of work and international students for their return home.
• Understand the impact of post-study changes on institutional staff
To deliver on these aims we have contributions from:
• Dominic Scott, Chief Executive of UKCISA
• Daniel Kidd, Head of Training, HESA
• Sharon Bolton, Head of International Student Support, Imperial College London
• Niru Williams, Head of International Student Advice, University of East London
• David Gee, Careers Consultant, University of the West of England, Bristol
• Helen Eastham, Head of International Students Advisory Service, University of Birmingham
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Resources tagged with 'international students'
Job Search and Career Planning Online Seminars for International Students
The University of Glasgow's Careers Service has developed a course of seminars for international students in HE whose first language is not English. These seminars are designed to raise students’ awareness of, and improve their skills in, UK graduate job search, creating effective CVs and covering letters, completing online application forms and competing in job interviews.
Find Your Way to Work has been produced for international students seeking the facts about working in the UK and the permissions or visas needed in different situations.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is the UK's national advisory body serving the interests of international students and those who work with them. The UKCISA website, especially the latest news section, is a useful resource for careers professionals.
UKCISA PMI Best Practice Case Studies
UKCISA has compiled a series of case studies aimed at showing how best practice in institutions is benefiting the experience of international students.
This PMI2-commissioned report outlines how universities and businesses can work together to develop more globally-aware graduates. The focus of the report is on the issues for UK employers in recruiting international students and graduates who have been studying at UK higher education institutions (HEIs).
PMI2 In Focus
This is a quarterly e-newsletter produced by the British Council and designed to provide updates on PMI2, the UK's international education strategy, and progress made against aims and objectives.
Starting Your Career In - Country Guides for International Students
This series offers practical advice to international students who have chosen to return to their home country to look for work. Each country guide includes key facts about current trends and jobs, advice about seeking employment, hints and tips for making a successful application, and helpful information sources.
Most of the case studies featured here were generated from UK alumni contacts made during the China visit to Beijing and Shanghai by members of the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group in 2009. The case studies represent the views of individuals at different stages in their careers.
Some have provided the information on the understanding that their names and institutions will remain anonymous, while others have been happy for these details to be disclosed (hence the presentation of the information in different formats).
This report outlines the PMI2-funded visit to China by representatives from AGCAS and NASES during March 2009. Two groups of HE careers and employment professionals specialising in work with international students visited Beijing and Shanghai to meet with Chinese government bodies, employers, recruitment agencies, HE careers staff and alumni from UK universities.
This guide, produced by the QAA, examines how HE providers can support international students studying in the UK and enhance their experience. It is aimed at all staff with responsibility for international students or who engage with them, including student advisers, international officers, student services managers and careers advisers.
UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) has developed a Working After Studies section of their website, which provides an overview of the main immigration categories for work after study, illustrated by case studies of international students supplied by the AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group.
Cultural awareness for the UK workplace
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group has produced this workshop for careers practitioners to deliver to students within their institutions. Its aim is to help students understand the culture of UK working environments.
Job hunting in China
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group has produced this workshop for careers practitioners to deliver to Chinese students within their institutions. Its aim is to help Chinese students gain an understanding of the employment market in China, including how to market themselves and identifying sources for job hunting.
Job hunting in India
The AGCAS Internationalisation Task Group has produced this workshop for careers practitioners to deliver to Indian students within their institutions. Its aim is to help Indian students gain an understanding of the employment market in India, including practical guidance on the preparation and application processes for employment and strategies for success in job hunting.
India Visit - A Report on the AGCAS and NASES PMI2 Visit to India
This report covers the PMI2-funded visit to India by representatives from AGCAS and NASES during February 2010. A team of nine careers professionals undertook a range of visits in three major cities: Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore. These visits aimed to improve understanding of the Indian labour market, employers and graduate recruitment processes as well as developing relationships with UK educated Indian alumni and expanding the range of resources and contacts available to careers and employment professionals.
This report aims to offer a best practice guide on working with international alumni to support international students' career development and employability.
In 2009, AGCAS received PMI2 funding for five pilot projects to allow the development of better links with UK and overseas employers and UK alumni overseas.
These projects aim to support the development of an expanded list of employer contacts to be available through the employer database currently under development by HECSU and of an enhanced resource of success stories/case studies about international student and graduate employment in the UK and abroad.
A guide for employers recruiting international students and graduates
A new guide has been published highlighting the benefits of, and offering information on, employing international students and graduates who have studied at UK institutions. The guide is based on original research by the Council for Industry and Higher Education (CIHE).
Between 2007-2011, AGCAS, NASES, HECSU, The Careers Group, University of London, CIHE and i-graduate delivered a series of PMI2-funded employability projects.
The International Graduate Insight Group (i-graduate) was commissioned to run a study of International Graduate Outcomes by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) in November 2009.
This report looks at the way the UK and other countries track and report student migration flows, how that fits into the wider tracking and reporting of overall net migration flows, and how that relates to the UK government's net migration target.
Provides advice for international students on seeking work outside the UK, getting work experience, job hunting in the UK and visas and work permits for working in the UK.
The 2012 edition of Education at a Glance enables countries to see themselves in the light of other countries' educational performance. It addresses the needs of a range of users, from governments seeking to learn policy lessons to academics requiring data for further analysis to the general public wanting to monitor how its country's schools are progressing in producing world-class students.
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was commissioned by the government earlier this year to review the Tier 2 codes of practice, which set out the conditions employers must follow when recruiting workers from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). This report presents the MAC's findings and key recommendations.
This research report investigates how advancing equality and diversity can support the internationalisation agenda. With clear recommendations, case studies and feedback from staff and student interviews held at six Scottish institutions, the research suggests ways to evolve institutional culture to attract and support international students, and to consolidate relationships with the local community.
This report presents the findings and recommendations of a review of the shortage occupation lists for the UK and Scotland undertaken by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC).
This guide has been prepared by the lnternationalisation Task Group, in association with Gya Williams Immigration, to help employers consider recruiting international graduates from UK universities. Its aim is to provide an overview of the key schemes in place in April 2016.
This interactive graphic shows how the UK as a provider and host of internationally mobile students has evolved over recent years. The data stretches back as far as 1978. From 2002, differences in gender, age, level and disciplines studied are displayed for incoming students.
This report proves that there is strong public support for international student migration, and that people seem to understand the economic and educational benefits brought to Britain by those who come here to study.
This report examines the importance of international student integration in the context of the UK higher education sector, international student decision-making and the UK student perspective. Alongside insight into trends in international student decision-making, the report features the results of an exclusive survey which provides an understanding of UK student perceptions on the integration of international students.
This report, the fourth in Universities UK's series The funding environment for universities 2014, focuses specifically on international (non-European Union) students. It examines recent trends in international student enrolments in the UK, sets these within the context of an increasingly competitive market internationally, and assesses the potential impact of recent changes on universities, in terms of both course provision and the wider funding environment.
This CEP Discussion Paper investigates the rapid influx of overseas students into UK higher education and the impact on the number of domestic students.
In 2015, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) was commissioned to review Tier 2 of the points-based system to address concerns about the rising number of migrants in that route and reliance on them to fill shortages. The review was split into two parts:
• Analysis of Salary Thresholds
• Balancing migrant selectivity, investment in skills and impacts on UK productivity and competitiveness
This series of three UK Competitive Advantage reports on international students examines the UK's comparative position with respect to international student recruitment and the international student experience at undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research levels.
This handy booklet includes key statistics on international students and higher education. Facts and figures cover a range of areas, from where international students want to study, to which countries undertake most internationally-collaborative research.
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Documents and files tagged with 'international students'
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Others tagged with 'international students'
• AGCAS Careers Education
• AGCAS Careers in Architecture and the Built Environment
• AGCAS Careers Information Professionals
• AGCAS Editors (AGCAS Publications Team)
• AGCAS International
• AGCAS New to HE Careers
• AGCAS Research Staff
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