THE WEEK OF PARTNER VISITS AND MANY RESOURCES

Hello!

Now that term has well and truly started, we have been out and about this week at a variety of partner visits and meetings, while organising publication of the resources we have developed over the summer period.

Sue (Director) and Andrew (Deputy Director) travelled to City and Islington College for the first partner visit of the academic year. Andrew also visited Goldsmiths University of London to discuss future collaborative work with Linking London partner colleges.

Back in the office Andrew has been putting the finishing touches to our new Adviser Guide to Sports HE, which will be completed ready for partner distribution next month. The updated student guide for Access Learners applying to nursing, midwifery and allied health professions courses is due in the office any day now, and multiple copies will be sent out to Access tutors at partner colleges over the coming week.

Sue attended the steering group for one of our NNCO projects – Reaching East and Reaching London – at UEL, and has been busy finalising the 2016-17 Linking London Business Plan. Sue also attended the HE in London Management Group along with Emily (NNCO Project Officer).  Over the summer several new resources have been added to the HE in London website, including a Higher Education Activity Planner and three case study films which are designed to help advisers plan their outreach activities.

Emily has been orchestrating the introduction of the personal statement tool to our NNCO website HECAIL, which was trialled in a very successful pilot scheme last year. She has also been preparing for the NNCO Learner Journey event which is taking place on the 17th October. Places are still available for any interested practitioners, and as an NNCO event it is open to both partners and  non-partners! To book a place please click here.

Finally, congratulations are in order for Office Manager Stuart, as he got married at the weekend!  Stuart has been with Linking London from the very beginning, and I’m sure you will all join us in wishing him, and his new wife, well.

More news and updates from myself and the team next week.

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THE WEEK IN HEADLINES

Hello Readers

Though most of the headlines over the past week have been devoted to the Olympic gold-medal-rush (congratulations Team GB), hidden amongst the column inches devoted to sporting spectacle have been some education stories which could have huge implications for our sector. This week our blog unpacks some of the biggest education stories of the past seven days.

National Student Survey

The results of HEFCE’s 2016 National Student Survey were published last week, with 86% of undergraduates in the final year of Higher Education responding that they are satisfied with their university programme. Out of Linking London’s partners, the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama was within the top 20 institutions for student satisfaction, and UEL were named as having one of the largest increases in satisfaction year on year (up 5%).

Several Further Education Colleges achieved 100% student satisfaction for their HE provision. Many of Linking London’s FEC partners provide Higher Education qualifications, and we hope this success in the National Student Survey will shine a brighter light on the importance of the provision colleges offer for HE students. Our colleagues as the Association of Colleges were also thrilled, with David Corke, Director of Education Policy at the AoC, stating on the their site:

“The colleges that provide higher education work very hard to ensure they are providing a quality service to their students and the local community and it is gratifying to see that students themselves say they are pleased with the education they receive.”

Apprenticeship Levy Update

On Friday the government published guidance on how the new Apprenticeship Levy would operate. The update is available to read in full here. TES have also published a handy 9 point guide to the update and its implications for the sector. Although the report indicates the levy is still set to be introduced next April, FE Week has reported that the CBI’s director for employment and skills doubts the new system will be ready for successful delivery by the deadline.

Our NNCO website HECAIL contains a free guide to Degree and Higher Apprenticeships, while Linking London members can access the partner area of our website to find our other published resources on Apprenticeships.

A Level Results Day

As we all know, A Level results day is fast approaching this week, and many publications have featured stories telling students how to survive the day – whether their results are better or worse than expected.  The Independent’s ‘A-level results day: the 5 things students should not do’ could be useful for advisers who are trying to calm anxious students, and the Guardian has a feature dedicated to Clearing success stories which some may find helpful. For readers seeking a summary of UCAS Clearing and UCAS Extra, we have a guide available in the ‘After Application’ section of our NNCO website.

That’s all our headlines for this week, more news from us to come next Monday.

THE WEEK IN EDUCATION NEWS

Hello Readers

The summer months are quiet ones for the education sector. The time when students and teachers alike flee the classroom to enjoy the sunshine (well, some of the time), and when we hunker down in our office to busily prepare resources and events schedules for the coming term.

So rather than repeat last week’s post, and reel off the extensive list of conferences, workshops and publications we are working on, I have decided to use this week’s post to examine the latest educational news, and how it ties in to the work of Linking London.

The Brexit Backlash

The majority of the Education sector voted to remain in the EU, but we were in the minority as the referendum results revealed. Much of the sector is still reeling, asking what Britain’s exit from the EU means for Higher Education.

Britain’s future in the Erasmus scheme has been thrown into doubt, with the head of the programme refusing to guarantee British participation beyond next year. We also heard this week that new Prime Minister Theresa May is considering placing heavier restrictions on student visas, allowing only the very best foreign students’ access to British Universities. Many of our partners have issued statements reassuring current EU applicants that they are still welcome, and that the immigration status of current students remains (as yet) unchanged.

HEI leaders from 24 EU countries have signed a statement acknowledging the imminent Brexit, but calling for collaboration to continue in spite of it:  “We as European university leaders wish to reaffirm our commitment to international cooperation and exchange in this turbulent time for Europe. We are strongest when we tackle issues collaboratively”.  These sentiments on the power of collaboration are shared by the Linking London team – through our collaborative partnership we aim to make our members stronger, and better prepared for the future of the sector.

The Future of FE

HE in FE is often overlooked, yet around 159,000 learners are studying HE at college.  Currently many FE practitioners fear the implications of the HE Bill, and are concerned that the Office for Students could price colleges out of the HE sector.  Many of our partner colleges provide HE for students. If they were no longer able to afford an HE offer this would be a serious blow to disadvantaged London students who rely upon their local provision.

Social Mobility

Finally this week there has been much discussion regarding the relationship between social mobility and education – a topic close to our hearts, as Linking London was founded to pursue improvements in student achievement, social mobility and social justice.

Alan Milburn, Social Mobility Commission Chairman, believes: “It will be impossible to make progress in improving social mobility until the educational attainment gap between less well-off and better-off children is closed.”

We welcome Mr Milburn’s comments on the importance of education to social mobility – Linking London operates on the belief that through education learners can overcome class barriers and realise their ambitions.

More news, updates and commentary next week.

 

THE LAST WEEK AT EGMONT HOUSE

Hello readers!

This week is the last we will be spending in Egmont House – the end of an era. Several rather large crates have appeared in the office, ready to transport our resources (and all important coffee stash) over to our new home in Tavistock Square.

Our NNCO evaluation has been completed and submitted to our external evaluators – London Metropolitan University and Sheffield Hallam University.  Emily, our NNCO officer, has been planning events for the autumn term alongside our Deputy Director Andrew, including more of the popular subject specific events. An end of project NNCO event will be held this December to celebrate its success.

I have been sending out multitudes of invitations to our partners and colleagues for the upcoming 10 year Linking London anniversary at Senate House! The RSVPs are rolling in, and the event is now only 2 months away (September 15th).

ANNIVERSARY INVITE

ANNIVERSARY INVITE

I have also been getting to grips with our EMSI Labour Market Information ‘Analyst’ tool. Our board requested a list of sample questions to illustrate how the data can be utilised, which I hope to have ready for partners shortly. In future we hope partners will pose questions for us to answer through the use of this detailed software.

Andrew has been continuing work on his Nursing, Midwifery& Allied Health Professions guide, and would like to thank Greenwich and Middlesex universities for their supporting comments for the publication.

HECAIL continues to be populated by us all, and we hope to publish a plethora of new content on the site shortly, included pieces on MOOCS, LMI, HE in FE, and Sandwich Degrees.

On a final note we are all incredibly jealous of our Director Sue this week, who has sent us these pictures of her Ireland holiday.

SUE'S IRELAND HOLIDAY

SUE’S IRELAND HOLIDAY

SUE'S IRELAND HOLIDAY

SUE’S IRELAND HOLIDAY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That’s it for this week; the next blog post will be from our new Tavistock Square offices.

THE WEEK LINKING LONDON HAD GOOD NEWS AND SUMMER RAIN

Hello readers!

Apparently this week marks the start of the British Summer, but nobody appears to have notified the weather of this. Hopefully the past week has been a productive one for you, and you haven’t spent it hunched beneath your brollies!

Last Tuesday was our final HE in FE Practitioner Group Meeting of the year, and boasted a rather full agenda! For many months our partners have requested a presentation on Consumer Law within the Education sector, particularly in reference to the latest CMA publication. In our last session of the term we hosted Eversheds International Law Firm, who gave an informative and enlightening presentation on the legal matters at hand for the FE sector.  We also had presentations from our colleagues at HEFCE, and the AoC, and we provided an update on our HE in FE mapping project.

Sue (our Director) and Andrew (our Deputy Director) visited Haringey Sixth Form College, who, we are very pleased to announce, have asked to join our network. Sue also met with Yolande Burgess to discuss the past successful year of engagement with London Councils, and how to build upon this promising relationship in the following year.

Our work with HE in London continues, with last week featuring operational and management meetings, attended by both Sue and Emily (Linking London NNCO Officer). Although the funding for this finishes this year, we were keen to discuss ways of sustaining the successful project.

The NCOP Proposal deadline grows nearer by the day, and our bid writing group continue to hone our London Networks bid, ready for the 1st of July. Our summarised proposal and letters of support were sent to partners last Thursday.

On a final note, our Twitter following has officially doubled since the new year – thank you to all who follow us for daily news and updates. You will be pleased to hear baked goods were eaten in celebration.

Please subscribe to this blog by clicking ‘follow’ to receive email updates, and more news from the network will be posted next Monday. Have a great week!