Category Archives: Education

Government is Likely to Lose More Money in the Form of Outstanding Student Loans

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The percentage of unpaid student loans is about to touch the point at which the government will begin to drop the income gained from having increased tuition fees. Ministers in the government are of the view that 45 percent of university graduates may not earn enough to reimburse their education loans. The unpaid student loans are drawing near 48.6 percent at which experts believe that government will lose more money.

According to David Willetts, the universities minister, government has reviewed its student loans structure and about 45 percent of debt would be given up for lost. He was replying to a question asked in a parliamentary session.

Percentage of student loans soaring high

In just six months, the estimated debt figure increased by 5 percent from 40 percent. However, officials say that estimates may change, as they were based on long-term calculation.

While calculating the student loans, officials took account of the modification in the higher education funding in the academic session of 2012-13, when universities in England and Wales tripled their yearly tuition fees to £9,000.

Into the present system, students need to repay their loans after they start earning above £21,000. They have to repay the loans at 9 percent of their salary exceeding £15,000.

Ministers explain that an estimated 28 percent of loans may never be repaid in full, as the current repayment system has dropped the repayment levels so low that government is likely to retrieve less money than it could have under the old system.

On the current student debt issue, London Economics said that if 48.6 percent of student loans are not repaid, the tipping point would be reached, whereas Liam Byrne, the shadow universities minister of Labour party termed the current student finance system as vulnerable and indefensible.

Experts’ views on current student finance system

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Liam Byrne said, “What today’s figures show is that the government tripled fees, put students in thousands of pounds of new debt but the system now costs practically the same as the old system because so few students can afford to ever pay their debts back,” He further says that the figures will keep getting worse unless there is an improvement in economic outlook and graduate salaries.

Mr. Byrne adds, “It is clear we have built the student finance system on top of a money pit. I am afraid it can’t go on and we now need a debate about how we are going to pay for higher education and the nation’s universities in the decade ahead.”

A spokesman from government says, “Our universities are now well-funded and this is driving up the quality of the student experience and helping to stimulate economic growth. We are also protecting those on lower incomes and those from poorer backgrounds are applying in record numbers.”

Anticipating huge loss, the universities minister has not completely ruled out increase in the tuition fees for students post next parliamentary election. The Labour party has already warned the current system as a financial time-bomb that may create a big hole in the university education funding.

Hence, overseas students moving to England and Wales for higher education may have to pay more tuition fees in the next couple of years. So, students from relatively poor economic background can find an alternative in the form of online education. Some eminent universities from UK offer highly popular online courses to the students at relatively affordable tuition fees.

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How Online MBA Programmes Pose a Threat to US Business Schools?

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Source:bit.ly/1hUpmWZ

Online learning poses as a threat to the traditional face-to-face mode of education. A number of mediocre business schools are on the verge of getting shut down because of the rise in the popularity of online education.

Richard Lyons, the dean of University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, has a grim prediction for business education in United States. He says, “Half of the business schools in this country could be out of business in 10 years, or five”.

Top MBA programmes will soon start offering degrees online

According to Lyons, the biggest threat is that more and more top MBA programmes will soon start offering degrees online. It is sure to put the business model of industry in danger. Most business schools make revenue through part-time and executive MBA programmes, which will in near future have to compete with top online alternatives for survival among the same population.

However, this phenomenon is more likely to have an impact over lower-ranked business schools, rather than prestigious ones like Wharton and Harvard Business School. As soon as the recognised schools get into the fray of offering online degrees, even the students from remote locations who might have gone for convenient part-time programme nearby their homes will be drawn in.

Online MBA programmes are likely to attract high-quality attendees

Part-time and online MBA programmes do not burn a hole in the pocket of students, who are made to pay dearly in terms of tuition fees at full-time programmes. As most of the part-time and online MBA programmes are designed for corporate strivers staying put near campus, such programmes can be sure of stable flow of high-quality attendees.

In many cases, it is seen that working professionals with family responsibilities or other obligations do not want to relocate to some other places for having a business degree, which can boost their career prospects. Lyons says, “Education technology has the potential to make the proximity factor go away”.

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Source:bit.ly/1mq6d51

Part-time and e-MBA programmes have sticker price

Most business schools do not make public the total amount of financial aid awarded to MBAs, Lyons makes an estimate that a 25 percent discount on tuition fees is given to average full-time student at a top tier business school. On the other hand, an average student needs to pay only the sticker price at part-time and Online-MBA programmes.

Lyons says that if premier schools draw in the creamy students, part-time programmes with lesser demands may become less effective. These part-time programmes may not stay in business without an able and premium student body.

Reputed business schools are likely to offer their degrees online

While only a few reputed business schools have started offering MBA programmes online, a number of other business schools have. However, the elite business schools have now slowly started warming to online world, experimenting with non-degree online learning. Until now, online education was mostly associated with down market educational institutions, but it has mostly shed the stigma, as some of the top-tier business schools like Stanford, Wharton, and other prestigious institutions are likely to provide online degrees.

Online education is certain to change the patterns schools vie for students. With more and more traditional universities going online, for-profit MBA programmes have been dubbed as the early losers. As the big brands follow the online programmes, lower-ranked business schools may be reduced to dust in near future.

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Relevance of STEM Education seems to be Rising High for Women

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If experts are under the impression that men outscore women in terms of earnings, they might be taken aback on knowing that the number of women earning college degrees and higher credentials is actually more than men. Reports say that over half of the population in America not only comprise women but the workforce even takes them a bit less than half.

Despite, the majority of women fail to qualify for STEM jobs which are counted among the fastest growing ones that relate to disciplines like Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It’s indeed a sad scenario that keeps a lot of women deprived from such bright career opportunities and this crucial matter has now been realised by experts. The current census says:

  • In the United States, 26% of the STEM employees are women
  • Accordingly, 74% of the STEM jobs now employ men

One of the biggest reasons why this has been perceived as a critical issue on a global basis is the American families’ growing reliability on women who is considered to be the primary bread earner. So, what must be done now?

STEM gender gap must be eliminated

To gradually wipe off the gender gap for STEM, fields like science and technology must be made more accessible to women. For this, the Million Women Mentors (MWM), which is a programme initiated by STEMconnector, will lead to a collaboration between non-profit organisations, corporations and government entities. Well, this will raise support and awareness among women as well as young girls in obtaining STEM education. Moreover, there have been more than 50,000 pledges already made to young women in STEM fields.

As far as today’s scenario is concerned, STEM needs to play a strong role that would not only keep it exposed to women but also to students and minorities from economically weaker communities who have always been underrepresented while making way to STEM industries.

Local schools must look for career opportunities in STEM

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What local schools must require now are grants that would keep fetching them career opportunities in STEM. In fact, this would also encourage the younger generation, especially women to look for more of these prospective careers. It will also strengthen the importance of engineering programmes and thereafter bring more and more STEM instructors to areas of high requirements. With the introduction of the STEM Gateway Act in Congress, there will be a grant programme for elementary and secondary schools and community colleges that would cater to students coming from economically as well as historically deprived backgrounds.

Now, a ray of hope is left, and that is, women should stop representing them as “the only woman” in jobs related to computer science or something equivalent. Instead, membership can do a good job by helping young women place their feet on the right track and perhaps help them later to get promoted. Rather, a strong mentor can let all those young women progress in their respective careers and hence make them fulfil their dreams.

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Introducing Online Technologies in Education can Yield High Benefits for Students

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Technology plays a greater role in meeting with the current educational needs. In educational TV series as well as at the debates, the future of online technology and education is discussed by the eminent panellists and energetic audience.

Unlike students, teachers do not favour online education technologies

If students feel optimistic about the future of online technology and digital education, not every educator seems to have the similar perception. Some educators are anxious about the future of traditional teaching, and pose questions whether online learning could offer true engagement and meaningful activity. They are also concerned if social media could offer real interaction between the end users. In addition, some educators also raised concern about the role of virtual classroom in keeping the human element intact.

Though these are all well-founded issues, but symbolize the dodgy hypothesis that cherished educational priorities can’t be preserved under a different learning environment. There are online courses dedicated to promote valid learning and teaching and virtual tutors who are committed to provide significant engagement and instil the human element to the students throughout the world.

Disregard for online technologies at traditional set-ups

In the contrary, most traditional secondary and university classrooms ignore the priorities of live lecturers and teachers who can automate instruction. In such classrooms, education is objectified and students are isolated that reduces education to mere transfer of content.

However, the quality of educational experience in both, online and face-to-face learning medium, depends a lot on the reliability of the programme, the tutor and the student community.

Teachers and educational leaders should shrug off their reservations

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The teachers and leaders in educational sector share the views of not to integrate online technology in education. First and foremost requirement is that digital-naive teachers should move beyond the comfort zone and enter the world of digital-native students. Then, the traditional schools should show their faith into a relatively unknown and new world of online technology. They must let go of the familiar model that we embrace only because we know it so well, but not because it works so well. Third and most crucial, online education shift the power of learning from teacher to student. It works as a launch pad for learning rather than the provider of knowledge, and in doing so, it allows students to gain control over their own learning. It might be a worrying viewpoint for a number of educators and parents, as online learning is more about surrendering control and taking risks.

Internet has become a natural part in the lives of students. It has become the common platform for watching TV programmes and movies, accessing music, organising their day-to-day lives and interacting with friends. It does not surprise us when they do not look at online learning medium as an uncertain venture. Internet has provided young students access to plenty of educational material that teachers could not have anticipated while undergoing teachers training. 

Some people may argue that we require moving with caution, as students may suffer by the bold moves in adoption of online learning technologies. However, educationists suggest that the students’ future may suffer more because our teachers and leaders are too timid rather than too bold in introducing online learning curriculum.

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Burdened by Rising Tuition Fees? Consider Taking Part in Apprenticeship Program

For a long time, apprenticeship was seen as the connecting route between education and employment. Today, a large number of people are attracted to apprenticeship because it provides the opportunity to earn while they learn.

In the UK, National Apprenticeship Week, into its seventh year, aims to raise the awareness about apprenticeship programs among pupils, parents and teachers. The National Apprenticeship Week usually runs from March 3 to 7 every year.

Apprenticeships are Better for Young Students

Anyone aged 16 and above can take part in apprenticeship program, which generally lasts for between one and four years. Those taking part in the program are considered as the employees of the company, which is liable to pay at least the national minimum wage of £2.68 to under-19s. Participants can also study for their qualification, mostly after they are leased for the day, at college.

Those who are studying at intermediate, advanced and higher levels can take part in apprenticeship programs.

Participation in Apprenticeship Program

In terms of participation, it is still small in comparison with the alternate educational routes. About 108,000 out of 495,000 pupils enrolled for university course took part in apprenticeship in the first quarter of 2013-14. However, if compared with previous years’ trends, the numbers have grown swiftly. In 2012-13 alone, about 860,000 pupils were taking on apprenticeship programs. The figure is double from the past five years.

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Image Source: bit.ly/1oj4lYm

Apprenticeship programs have become more interesting alternative to full-time working professional and university students because of the recession and mounting tuition fees. The National Apprentice Week held in early March was aimed to increase awareness about the virtues of apprenticeship programs.

Karen Woodward, Deputy Director at the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) says that the prestige of the companies involved in the program has boosted the popularity of this career path.

Prestigious Companies Take Part in National Apprenticeship Week

Some of the prestigious companies taking part in the program include Rolls-Royce, BAE and BT, banks and consultancy firms like PwC and Barclays. Usually, there are more than 10 applicants vying for one place, which makes the competition stiff.

Woodward says, “Getting into some of these blue-chip apprenticeship programmes can be as difficult as getting into Oxford or Cambridge,”

In the National Apprenticeship Week, pupils belonging to diverse career fields, such as accounting, piloting, PR, project management, were given opportunities for 1,500 different roles in 170 sectors by about 100,000 employers.

So, pupils at intermediate, advanced and higher levels are suggested to take part in apprenticeship programs, as it may change the future course of their career for better.

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MOOCs: A Global Platform to complete Higher Education

As an educator, I feel immensely happy when I see people taking interest in studies. I really like youngsters who have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and are open to various ways and modes of learning. It is a universal truth, that there is no end to learning, and individuals who pursue academics to better themselves, prove this point. For many, putting careers on hold to study more is no big deal, but for most, even the thought of quitting one’s job is frightening. For such people online learning is the best option. However, online courses also cost money, or do they? MOOCs also allow students to study a plethora of courses without having to pay anything or going anywhere.

Image Source: bit.ly/1e0If8k

Image Source: bit.ly/1e0If8k

The convenience and popularity of MOOCs

Over the years, MOOCs have emerged as a very popular mode of learning for people who are keen on learning. MOOCs are meant for everyone who is interested in increasing their knowledge in a particular subject. People of all ages, religions, communities, and ethnicities can take up these online courses. These courses are free so they can be studied by anyone regardless of their economic condition. So, stay at home parents, teachers, students, working professionals, retired individuals, anyone can take up these courses. These courses are more popular because they can be studied from anywhere, anytime.

Satisfying the thirst for education or just a fad?

There are many who start these courses and drop out mid way, just for the sake of taking it up. There are many MOOC junkies all over the world, who find it necessary to join every MOOC that come across as interesting. Some of these people are actually serious about the course and complete it whereas many start with it and don’t see it through. Just because, it is free, many students who study in MOOCs don’t take it seriously and leave whenever they feel like. On the other hand, if these courses were paid, they would be compelled to complete them.

An alarming example…

The kid who lives next door, is working these days, but sometime ago, when I asked him, he said that he was studying a course on social care and health and recently he told me that he’s studying a course on fiction. So, worriedly, I asked him how he’s paying for them and how he’s studying two courses simultaneously and working. To that, he replied that he’s not paying for them and was studying them because he felt like it. Once he got bored of studying the first course, he dropped out and started the second. This amazed me and I asked him if will complete the present course, to which he replied, that he will, if doesn’t find disinteresting.

So, basically, I concluded that he was following a fad whereas an ex student of mine was actually, studying management at a MOOC to improve and do better at work. Another, reason why MOOCs can be treated as a fad is that most people who study these courses are already graduates and therefore treat this as an additional learning experience. So while for many, MOOCs are a blessing, for many, it is just another way of passing time. So yes, I believe, if you do want to quench your thirst for education with conviction, there’s no better way of doing it than studying at MOOCs as they are convenient.

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Fresh Set of Rules for Online Mode of Study!

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There is no doubt that learning online is a big opening for every learner across the world. The traditional education system that deprived thousands from the benefits of knowledge due to rigid schedule, stringent rules and four-walled confinement, was bound to incorporate changes with time. With increasing demand for higher education, more proficient skills and also a convenient lifestyle, education system has little scope to escape the occurring evolution.

Online Learning: Big Responsibility

With liberty comes responsibility. Freedom that learning achieved with technological intervention needs mature and responsible approach. Students who couldn’t afford to leave jobs or compromise with personal commitments preferred learning through online schools as it offers them a customized learning environment with exclusive options like:

  • Study anytime anywhere
  • Experience affordable learning by reducing travelling, boarding and food costs.
  • Learn with peers across the world.
  • Study under the guidance of the best people in the field.
  • Design course according to preference and convenience.
  • Learn through heated debates, intelligent comments and interesting updates.
  • Say goodbye to fat textbooks, boring speeches. Use vibrant tools to earn knowledge.

But to squeeze best results out of these exciting options including self-discipline to education becomes imperative. It’s true that learners no more need to confine themselves to strict rules or fear a suffocating environment in the midst of brick and mortars. The equation in between students and teachers are also changing rapidly. But one needs to pay attention that pupils studying at their own place and pace have no one to remind their deadlines, provide supplementary from library or ask to rectify the errors immediately. Now finishing assignments, tracking your performance and even finding out the best help are solely your responsibility.

Let’s find out some easy solutions to the emerging educational issues:

Making a routine is imperative: It’s true that education online has set learning free from every strict rule. And the entire world is in the mood for liberal learning! But the fact is knowledge never prefers chaotic  situation. No matter how you like to study or what your preferences are, a routine can always be arranged accordingly. And it will help you to attain goals easily.

Web Connects and also Diverts: Web based learning is enjoyable because it keeps you engaged with different educational activities and offers you a vibrant academic space filled with diverse dialogues. There is no doubt that all these components make learning hugely interesting but can also be diverting if you involve yourself too much in debates, dialogues, and other web-based activities. Remember, knowing everything about your text always comes first.

Experiment Less and Focus More: Internet, today, is awash with intelligent learning tools and platforms. You have thousands of apps activated on your pocket device that give you option to design a course suitable to your schedule, choice and capacity. But with new discoveries making its way every time, a student may spoil his/her productive time on experimenting with the fresh arrivals. Learning through game is a smart approach, but making education a mere entertainment has never been the intention.

Keep Record of your Study Time: You have exciting tools to study this time around. So, make them work for you. Studying for a fixed amount of time is very important. But it depends highly on what suits your mood and brains. If you don’t like to sit and study for a long time, you better make routine with regular intervals. If your work mundane business is coming on the way of education then take lessons before starting your day or when everything is over. No matter what is your style, but make sure that you study everyday and that too for a considerable amount of time.

Track Your Performance: Don’t ignore your mistakes or forget to appreciate yourself. In online education you need to remember that there’s nobody behind you to remind or rebuke every time. Finishing tasks and moving ahead flawlessly is your sole responsibility. So, it’s important to keep track of your performance that will help you to understand whether you are applying the right tricks and what amendments can lead you toward betterment.

A vital thing that every e-learner needs to remember is with internet we have fallen into a habit of scrolling and scanning the documents available on any site. This could be applicable when you are looking for small information or the content is not as important as the product you are searching on the site. But it’s something you should never try when you have your study material opened on your monitor. Whether you have the content printed or screened on your computing device, studying can never happen without proper attention.

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