We are here thanks to users like you
For you folks who keep an eye on HelloUni since our app launch party in partnership with the Welcoming Association, I’m pleased to introduce you all with the latest version of the app with new and more user-friendly features such as:
- the newly updated timetable with skills for living & working classes which are connected to the Welcoming’s google calendar;
- Sticky post shows one-off event so you wont miss any parties or special events
- New in-app messaging box to keep you notified about who replied to you.
The benefits of new features are:
1) Real-time updates about the classes and events
2) Access the timetable and events of the welcoming from your city/ country
3) RSVP the classes and see who else is going
4) Never miss one message from the online community
We love to hear feedbacks from users. Users such as Marina Twist inspires us to improve the app; she has recently alerted us about a bug in the system, and reported back to us. To reward her, we are going to send her a mystery prize!
If you let us know about your experience and story about HelloUni app, you might get a chance to win a prize. We hope you will find these updates helpful and make your life of accessing the services and classes easier and more fun.
Now’s the time to download or update your HelloUni welcoming’s app
APP Store searching for :Welcoming
Google play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ionicframework.welcomingnew262842
When applying to study in the UK, lots of options might come to mind. However, why not choose a university in Scotland?
Here at Scotland, we have the most dramatic landscape. Scotland has one of the biggest underground indie music scenes, giving rise to such famous bands as the Travis, Vaselines, the Delgados etc. It also has the breath-taking sight of a hundred male pipers skirling in the uplifting union every August. Most importantly, four of the six oldest universities in the English speaking world are in Scotland. It is the University of Glasgow, University of Edinburgh, University of St Andrews and the University of Aberdeen.
The University of Edinburgh
Students all over the world would like to start their magical adventure in the University of Edinburgh since J. K. Rowling selected Scotland as the home of Hogwarts. Apart from its mysterious stories, the University of Edinburgh is a prestigious university with an outstanding reputation. It is well-known in the areas of Media, Computer Science, and Medicine. It ranks 17th in the 2014-15 QS rankings. Moreover, it has been one of the top ten universities in the UK. The University of Edinburgh is also one of the most diverse universities in the UK, with students from over 140 countries. For more information, please refer to (University of Edinburgh)
The University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow also has high education standards in engineering, psychology and the humanities. It is one of the top ten universities in the UK and ranks as 51st by QS ranking in 2014-15. In addition], the University of Glasgow is one of the most popular international universities, with up to 91% student satisfaction (Student Barometer 2014). Located in the UK’s 3rd largest city, University of Glasgow is considered to be the perfect place for a splendid university life (University of Glasgow).
The University of St Andrews
For those who are seeking a romantic relationship, only University of St Andrews can provide them a prince. ‘Though William is already out of the market, we would settle for Harry’ (from Buzzfeed.com). Located in the small coastal town, University of St Andrews has a beautiful, fairy-tale landscape for gold-lovers. It also owns one of the best National league table teams in the UK. The university is notably diverse with over 45% international students from more than 100 countries. Finally, University of St Andrews has the highest ranking in the area of Physics and Astronomy (1st by The Guardian), [and one of the highest rankings in] Arts and Humanities (top 20 by The Times). (University of St Andrews)
The University of Aberdeen
The University of Aberdeen has welcomed students from over 120 countries since 1495. It is located in the 3rd biggest city in Scotland and is voted as Scotland’s safest university by Complete University Guide. Ranking 178th university in the world by The Times, University of Aberdeen attracts more than 4000 students annually for its strengths in Biology, social science and law. (University of Aberdeen)
Moreover, if you want to ask more questions about studying abroad, do not hesitate and join Hellouni community! Register on our website and get in contact with ambassadors from various universities around the world.
As a former undergraduate and PhD student at the Adam Smith Business School (ASBS), University of Glasgow, I am pleased to see that the school has recently been awarded the European Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) by the EFMD. The EQUIS accreditation is one of the most well-recognised benchmarks available to business schools to ensure excellence in teaching, student experience, research and outreach.There are 156 business schools have received the accreditation across 40 countries.
During my Enterprise Fellowship at the Royal Society of Edinburgh, I have been hosted within the ASBS; the school has provided an office space for me and given support with commercialisation and mentorship. From the internal emails I have received concerning the school’s preparation for EQUIS accreditation, I recognise that ASBS put in tremendous efforts for the visits and interviews from the panel judges.
There are significant implications on being EQUIS accredited. One of them will be to demonstrate an on-going effort of the school on deepening corporate engagement and internalisation, i.e. further development on collaborations on cross border research, dealing with students exchange problems, creating double degree partnerships, knowledge transfer to commercial world, etc. This is an exciting news to a tech start-up like ICAN Future Star ltd, as we believe there will be more resources made available for us, i.e. student working experience opportunities, research opportunities on big data and user behaviour, etc.
More information on EQUIS accreditation,:
The fundamental objective of EQUIS, linked to the mission of EFMD, is to raise the standard of management education worldwide.
- EQUIS assesses institutions as a whole. It assesses not just degree programmes but all the activities and sub-units of the institution, including research, e-learning units, executive education provision and community outreach. Institutions must be primarily devoted to management education.
- EQUIS is not primarily focused on the MBA or any other specific programme. Its scope covers all programmes offered by an institution from the first degree up to the Ph.D.
- EQUIS looks for a balance between high academic quality and the professional relevance provided by close interaction with the corporate world. A strong interface with the world of business is, therefore, as much a requirement as a strong research potential. EQUIS attaches particular importance to the creation of an effective learning environment that favours the development of students’ managerial and entrepreneurial skills, and fosters their sense of global responsibility. It also looks for innovation in all respects, including programme design and pedagogy.
- Institutions that are accredited by EQUIS must demonstrate not only high general quality in all dimensions of their activities, but also a high degree of internationalisation. With companies recruiting worldwide, with students choosing to get their education outside their home countries, and with schools building alliances across borders and continents, there is a rapidly growing need for them to be able to identify those institutions in other countries that deliver high quality education in international management.
Here at ICAN Future Star ltd, we are a team made up of former and current international students from China, Italy, England and the Netherland. Therefore, the team understands and is able to relate to the pain points and challenges facing international applicants when applying to studying abroad. The main problem facing international applicants is that they are often forced to rely on an agent to do applications for them. This practice comes at a hefty price for the applicants and their families (I know, I have been there and done it myself). In this article, we would like to put forward some arguments to point out the pros and cons of using agents when it comes to applying to study aboard. The arguments are based on the team’ personal experience and the focus groups the company conducted during October 2014 January 2015.
Agents often work with applicants and their families face-face for a period of time. The main services they provide are: 1) evaluating and checking out clients’ qualifications and preferences, then recommending suitable courses and universities to them; 2) project managing the multiple applications of one client: on average one client would be asked to apply between 4-6 universities and often more universities in multiple countries. Agents will remind clients about specific dates for funding application, deadline for submitting applications, interview, visa application, etc. 3) acting as an intermediary between the applied universities and the applicants. e.g. agents would write enquiry emails and personal statements for the clients based on their past experiences of working with the particular university.
The premium services where agents make the most money is the area they claim to be the most valuable for clients: Their insights or partnerships with universities. Because of these partnerships, agents tend to tell applicants and their families that their chance of being accepted will be much higher if they handle all the applications. For this service, they charge applicants on average £1000-£3000. They will also be paid by the university an extra 10% of tuition fee for every successful applicant they bring.
There is an inherent problem with this type of commission-driven business model, which is the agents do not behave in the best interest of the applicants or the universities. Often they mismatch candidates and universities, e.g. by under-evaluating candidate qualifications, recommending them universities of a from lower ranking / less known background. In addition, several reports have pointed out that agent were apparently prepared to relax entry requirements in the increasingly aggressive push for students (link to report). In other words, agents usually work for multiple universities and typically recruit students with the lowest qualification that each university they represent will accept, lowering the quality of students from particular countries. Well-qualified students from these countries begin seeking admission elsewhere, leaving only the minimally qualified. Academic units of the universities suffer.
Other issues with using agents are:
— The counsellor at agents who write your PS (personal statement) and application form may have not a sufficient English qualification.
— Each counsellor at agent is responsible for multiple applicants, sometimes up to 7080 at once, so they will be less likely to spend more time with each individual application.
In recent years, we have heard more and more stories about unscrupulous agents that cheat students and/or the universities they work for in many ways, such as overcharging for services, making promises that cannot be kept, demanding exclusivity contracts, falsifying documents and funneling unqualified applicants to academic programs to meet quotas. But because there is currently only one fledgling professional standard organization that promotes best practice for agents. There is no approval body or accreditation.
At ICAN Future Star ltd we believe in developing innovative and user-friendly mobile solutions to assist the needs and desires of the applicants to DIY applications. Disrupting the agents-dominated international recruitment market, we are a technology company that providing unbiased product and services to empower applicants to discover, research and apply for the most suitable courses and universities based on their own qualification and preferences.
China has been identified by the Scottish government as a high priority market with Scottish exports to China reaching their highest level in 2013, £560m. For long-term commercial cooperation, Scotland aims to broaden access to language and business collaboration learning opportunities by encouraging Chinese students to study in the Scotland. Furthermore, the Scottish government has formalized these connections with the Scotland-China Five Year Plan 2012-2017.
International students contribute around £441m a year to the Scottish economy. More first-year students from China have chosen Scotland universities than those from the entire EU in 2014 (see figure 1 below) of the graph from the Mail so as to support this claim). Chinese students also help establish sustainable partnerships between Scotland and China in education and economy. With these points in mind, Scotland aims to implement practical policies to attract Chinese students, e.g. The Scottish government’s Post-Study Work group calling for the reintroduction of the after study work visa for the non-EU students (BBC link).
In the Scotland-China Five Year Plan 2012-2017, Scotland government aims to increase the number of Chinese students studying in Scotland from 8.5% to 10% of the total Chinese student population in the UK. Meanwhile, the government encourages local authorities and universities to develop link and cultural exchanges with China. In 2015, the Scottish Council for Development and Industry (SCDI) held a China-Scotland Business Breakfast in the University of Glasgow, an institution which accepts 1500 Chinese students per year. International students, in the particular the Chinese ambassadors, helped to develop an affinity with Chinese institutions, the Scottish people and Scotland. Their positive experiences encourage Scotland to expand cultural exchanges and links with China.