Attracting the best & brightest minds to UK

My idea is to to make UK the destination of choice for pursuing Higher education(Post graduate studies and Phd) especially in the fields of science and engineering to student around the world.Thereby having promoting high quality research which should eventually lead to innovation and perhaps birth of new generation of British companies.

There has been a lot of talk about capping immigration from Non-EU Nations.But if closely analyze most of the immigration coming from Non-EU nations are generally highly skilled personnels such as engineers and doctors especially from South Asia.At same time if you analyze the immigrants from EU nations they generally are low skilled labour.

In this era of increased globalization due to low cost of labour present in countries like China and India most of the low skilled jobs will move to these countries.The only way Britain can improve its economy is by innovating especially in the fields of engineering& science.This countries like Britain,Germany and US have the key.I am from actually India where research is usually never encouraged and funds are very difficult to get . Moreover we don't have the facilities to conduct world class research. Many engineering graduates in India actually tend to go for higher studies in US instead of UK because of funding available.The ones coming to UK are not so brilliant ones who couldn't get into a good US universities.

But if you want to change this and attract the best student to your universities you will need to do two things.First make it easy for Non-EU students to work in Britain who have done their masters or Phd in British Universities.Second Make it easy for international students to get studentship and funding in Britain.

My idea revolves around the first.The post study visa which is of 2 year duration currently enforce is not much of use because you cannot extend the visa or convert into Tier 1 visa by yourself.The companies are reluctant to support you for Tier 1 visa due to the procedures and cost.They expect you to convert you immigration status to one where they can hire you directly.

My idea is make the post study  visa of 3yrs duration and convertible to Tier 1.Provided the candidate can show that he has worked in an engineering/science related job in Britain for at least 2 years out of those 3yrs.And other conditions such as he completed his post graduate education/Phd in a British university.This will not hamper British undergraduate prospects in UK as the post study work visa will be eligible to post graduate students.I must add very few British students actually pursue post graduate studies in Engineering/Science fields.

Secondly make it easy for international students to get Fully funded studentships and funds for research.This will encourage them to do research and innovate which will eventually help fuel the British economy.If you take this idea seriously and implement it you will get the cream of determined international students to do high quality research and replace US  as destination of choice for post graduate studies in the field of engineering/Science.I personally love to come and do research in an UK university.

Why is this idea important?

My idea is to to make UK the destination of choice for pursuing Higher education(Post graduate studies and Phd) especially in the fields of science and engineering to student around the world.Thereby having promoting high quality research which should eventually lead to innovation and perhaps birth of new generation of British companies.

There has been a lot of talk about capping immigration from Non-EU Nations.But if closely analyze most of the immigration coming from Non-EU nations are generally highly skilled personnels such as engineers and doctors especially from South Asia.At same time if you analyze the immigrants from EU nations they generally are low skilled labour.

In this era of increased globalization due to low cost of labour present in countries like China and India most of the low skilled jobs will move to these countries.The only way Britain can improve its economy is by innovating especially in the fields of engineering& science.This countries like Britain,Germany and US have the key.I am from actually India where research is usually never encouraged and funds are very difficult to get . Moreover we don't have the facilities to conduct world class research. Many engineering graduates in India actually tend to go for higher studies in US instead of UK because of funding available.The ones coming to UK are not so brilliant ones who couldn't get into a good US universities.

But if you want to change this and attract the best student to your universities you will need to do two things.First make it easy for Non-EU students to work in Britain who have done their masters or Phd in British Universities.Second Make it easy for international students to get studentship and funding in Britain.

My idea revolves around the first.The post study visa which is of 2 year duration currently enforce is not much of use because you cannot extend the visa or convert into Tier 1 visa by yourself.The companies are reluctant to support you for Tier 1 visa due to the procedures and cost.They expect you to convert you immigration status to one where they can hire you directly.

My idea is make the post study  visa of 3yrs duration and convertible to Tier 1.Provided the candidate can show that he has worked in an engineering/science related job in Britain for at least 2 years out of those 3yrs.And other conditions such as he completed his post graduate education/Phd in a British university.This will not hamper British undergraduate prospects in UK as the post study work visa will be eligible to post graduate students.I must add very few British students actually pursue post graduate studies in Engineering/Science fields.

Secondly make it easy for international students to get Fully funded studentships and funds for research.This will encourage them to do research and innovate which will eventually help fuel the British economy.If you take this idea seriously and implement it you will get the cream of determined international students to do high quality research and replace US  as destination of choice for post graduate studies in the field of engineering/Science.I personally love to come and do research in an UK university.

Grammar schools within comprehensives and toughen up University entries

Entry to University should once again become much harder and much more competitive. Far too many who are not academically gifted get worthless degrees and end up with huge debts,no jobs,and a life on the dole when they could have been learning a useful trade.
Similarly we should restore a Grammar school system but not the iniquitous "11+" with its "one strike and you are out" mentality.Grammar schools could exist within our comprehensive schools as a sort of "elite" (don't faint ye who are politically correct !) so that those who develop late could be "promoted" at 12 or 13 without actually changing schools, and those who couldn't make the grade would simply return to the mainstream also without changing schools.
Rigorous "streaming" is essential to allow those who are able but from deprived backgrounds to make full use of their talents and put them at the service of the nation.

 

Why is this idea important?

Entry to University should once again become much harder and much more competitive. Far too many who are not academically gifted get worthless degrees and end up with huge debts,no jobs,and a life on the dole when they could have been learning a useful trade.
Similarly we should restore a Grammar school system but not the iniquitous "11+" with its "one strike and you are out" mentality.Grammar schools could exist within our comprehensive schools as a sort of "elite" (don't faint ye who are politically correct !) so that those who develop late could be "promoted" at 12 or 13 without actually changing schools, and those who couldn't make the grade would simply return to the mainstream also without changing schools.
Rigorous "streaming" is essential to allow those who are able but from deprived backgrounds to make full use of their talents and put them at the service of the nation.

 

Fossilised studentification

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Why is this idea important?

The HMO planning policy introduced by Labour as affects so called 'studentification' has already been reduced by this new government, but there are still Article 4 uses of the regulations that need to go.

This NIMBY policy creates 'fossilised studentifcation' in that once those who have a protected monopoly in an area for their own HMO, they are not going to let it go back to family usage. It discourages competition and investment and creates a false market.

The regulation lacks other mechanisms – e.g., council or housing association accommodation designed for families, or proper investment in purpose built student accommodation.  Note that neither of these solutions incur a long term cost as they bring in rents too.  Universities, councils and investment enterprises are quite capable of addressing this themselves without artificial social engineering as is attempted by these regulations.

It also disadvantages home owners who wish to let out their home on a periodic or medium term basis. This restriction can actually be a disincentive for families to move into an area.  It also affects house prices in a way that is unfair to families – lowering the price by restricting the sales possibilities in an area where adjacent properties are fossilised into being HMO lets by this regulation.

The term 'studentification' is a pejorative which is underserved.  The argument that the area goes quiet when student leave is not much of an argument.  It probably originates with a few shop owners who do quite nicely when the students are there, but want a bit more business when they are not. Anyway,  it's nice when it goes quiet!

This policy is ill-thought out and an undue interference.  Get rid of it please.  We don't need it.

Allow scientists to study what they want

Funding for science is dictated by the government (or a body acting on behalf of the government). This is carried out by calling for research proposals in a particular area of science chosen by the government-often chosen by particular buzzwords seen in the media.

It wasn’t always like this, it was possible to have your own idea then ask for funds. Now we must wait until the government has the idea before we can get it funded.

Please increase the funds for “responsive mode” research and cut back on tHose which promote the government agenda.

Why is this idea important?

Funding for science is dictated by the government (or a body acting on behalf of the government). This is carried out by calling for research proposals in a particular area of science chosen by the government-often chosen by particular buzzwords seen in the media.

It wasn’t always like this, it was possible to have your own idea then ask for funds. Now we must wait until the government has the idea before we can get it funded.

Please increase the funds for “responsive mode” research and cut back on tHose which promote the government agenda.

Reduce top-down regulations at universities

British Academics are among the most regulated in the western world. The government is talking about reducing top-down control and let professionals get on with their work.

How about applying this to universities? The RAE/REF, TQA and QAA require excessive amounts of academic time – actually taking away considerable time and resources from teaching, student contact and research. There are also plenty of unintended consequences which haven't done the sector any good – e.g. the artifically distorted hiring cycles caused by the RAE/REF, artificial, over-complicated administrative procedures introduced to satisfy the QAA, endless monitoring routines which make teachers more timid and teaching less innovative due to the TQA.
Last but not least, there is also a considerable cost to these exercises, both within institutions and nationwide.

Cut the red tape and let academics get on with their work, which ought to be research and teaching – not endless admin.

Why is this idea important?

British Academics are among the most regulated in the western world. The government is talking about reducing top-down control and let professionals get on with their work.

How about applying this to universities? The RAE/REF, TQA and QAA require excessive amounts of academic time – actually taking away considerable time and resources from teaching, student contact and research. There are also plenty of unintended consequences which haven't done the sector any good – e.g. the artifically distorted hiring cycles caused by the RAE/REF, artificial, over-complicated administrative procedures introduced to satisfy the QAA, endless monitoring routines which make teachers more timid and teaching less innovative due to the TQA.
Last but not least, there is also a considerable cost to these exercises, both within institutions and nationwide.

Cut the red tape and let academics get on with their work, which ought to be research and teaching – not endless admin.

MERITOCRACY IS IMPORTANT FOR UNVERSITIES

The granting of a place at university should be based on academic ability, with no political interference or so-called positive discrimination. Reward merit, not quotas.

Why is this idea important?

The granting of a place at university should be based on academic ability, with no political interference or so-called positive discrimination. Reward merit, not quotas.

Abolish the 3 year wait for EU citizens & UK residents to pay home student fees

My husband (an EU citizen) accompanied me on my 2-year job posting abroad to South Africa, looking after my young daughter. We are now back living in the UK and my husband wants to do a PGCE, but cannot afford to because he would have to pay overseas fees rather than home student fees – a difference of around £10,000. Under current rules, we have to wait 3 YEARS until he will become eligible for home student fees. We have already been waiting 1 year and he is taking whatever low-paid teaching assistant / TEFL jobs he can get. 2 more years to go. It's nuts, especially when there is a shortage of good teachers, that people are forced to wait out 3 years in low paid work waiting for the chance to improve their skills.

Why is this idea important?

My husband (an EU citizen) accompanied me on my 2-year job posting abroad to South Africa, looking after my young daughter. We are now back living in the UK and my husband wants to do a PGCE, but cannot afford to because he would have to pay overseas fees rather than home student fees – a difference of around £10,000. Under current rules, we have to wait 3 YEARS until he will become eligible for home student fees. We have already been waiting 1 year and he is taking whatever low-paid teaching assistant / TEFL jobs he can get. 2 more years to go. It's nuts, especially when there is a shortage of good teachers, that people are forced to wait out 3 years in low paid work waiting for the chance to improve their skills.

Abolish tax payer funding of student unions

At the moment, universities are obliged by regulations to fund student unions on the basis of a levy per student. With record numbers of students, this means that at a time of austerity and cuts, student unions, which are not official organisations, are recieving record funding from the tax payer.

In addition to this record funding, the student unions receive privileged access to premises, utilities and IT services from the universities in which they reside. These are provided free or at pepercorn rates.

This funding and the provision of facilities and premises amounts to hundreds of millions per year.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment, universities are obliged by regulations to fund student unions on the basis of a levy per student. With record numbers of students, this means that at a time of austerity and cuts, student unions, which are not official organisations, are recieving record funding from the tax payer.

In addition to this record funding, the student unions receive privileged access to premises, utilities and IT services from the universities in which they reside. These are provided free or at pepercorn rates.

This funding and the provision of facilities and premises amounts to hundreds of millions per year.

Review of university fees – make the system fairer

 

The system needs updating. The way that the university fees are calculated simply does not work. I was at uni a couple of years ago and found a wide range of situations:

– rich parents who would not help their kids as they wanted them to learn to fend for themselves

– rich parents who paid for everything and the kids simply took out student loans so they could invest the money as it worked out better for them (and they have earned money without needing a job)

– poor parents who would/could not help with living expenses (kids did not pay fees)

– poor parents who helped out with living expenses and fees were not charged so effectively these kids had lots of money

The other situation that I think is rarely considered is the number of children a family has – is it right to charge the parents of triplets high fees for uni if they earn above a threshold when they have realistically less money to spend than a family on the same income with one child?

The current system removes money your parents pay into a pension from their total earnings, but not money they are paying to a mortgage. My mother moved house during my time at university and as she was 50 when she took out a £90k mortgage she was charged a lot each month. This was money that was not available to her so she had to reduce the amount she was paying into her pension, which subsequently slashed the amount I was able to get from my grant, even though she had less money in her pocket each month and I had not received any financial support from her (I never asked).

With many more people taking gap years these days, when students do start uni they are often much more mature and more independent and therefore less financially reliant on their parents, so why should their parents income have any bearing on their university fees?

I appreciate that fees cannot be scrapped completely but an overhaul is needed. It should be less heavily based on a parents income and maybe more closely linked to estimated earnings after a degree is completed (medicine costs more to teach and with F1s earning £30k should they not pay more in fees than someone who studies Biomedical Science which costs less to teach and has an estimated starting salary around £10k less? Law, whilst not necessarily costing more to teach, will net the student a higher salary, and therefore could be a good income earner helping to reduce fees for things like nurses, social workers etc)

Why is this idea important?

 

The system needs updating. The way that the university fees are calculated simply does not work. I was at uni a couple of years ago and found a wide range of situations:

– rich parents who would not help their kids as they wanted them to learn to fend for themselves

– rich parents who paid for everything and the kids simply took out student loans so they could invest the money as it worked out better for them (and they have earned money without needing a job)

– poor parents who would/could not help with living expenses (kids did not pay fees)

– poor parents who helped out with living expenses and fees were not charged so effectively these kids had lots of money

The other situation that I think is rarely considered is the number of children a family has – is it right to charge the parents of triplets high fees for uni if they earn above a threshold when they have realistically less money to spend than a family on the same income with one child?

The current system removes money your parents pay into a pension from their total earnings, but not money they are paying to a mortgage. My mother moved house during my time at university and as she was 50 when she took out a £90k mortgage she was charged a lot each month. This was money that was not available to her so she had to reduce the amount she was paying into her pension, which subsequently slashed the amount I was able to get from my grant, even though she had less money in her pocket each month and I had not received any financial support from her (I never asked).

With many more people taking gap years these days, when students do start uni they are often much more mature and more independent and therefore less financially reliant on their parents, so why should their parents income have any bearing on their university fees?

I appreciate that fees cannot be scrapped completely but an overhaul is needed. It should be less heavily based on a parents income and maybe more closely linked to estimated earnings after a degree is completed (medicine costs more to teach and with F1s earning £30k should they not pay more in fees than someone who studies Biomedical Science which costs less to teach and has an estimated starting salary around £10k less? Law, whilst not necessarily costing more to teach, will net the student a higher salary, and therefore could be a good income earner helping to reduce fees for things like nurses, social workers etc)