Greetings from the team at Bristol International College!
We continue to update you on relevant issues from the world of international education and the latest update on the impact of COVID-19 on our provision of courses both in Bristol and online.
Do students struggle more online?
Susanna Loab (professor of education and of public affairs at Brown University and the director of the university’s Annenberg Institute for School Reform) points to research showing that weaker students generally do better in face-to-face classes. She argues that just like in brick-and-mortar classrooms, online courses need a strong curriculum and strong pedagogical practices. Teachers need to understand what students know and what they don’t know, as well as how to help them learn new material.
At Bristol International College (BIC) our online courses are based on a very strong curriculum (London University’s prestigious International Foundation Programme) and they are delivered by experienced online teachers who set rigorous norms for engagement—such as requiring students to regularly ask questions and respond to their peers—that are different than the norms in the in-person setting. This ensures that the weaker students don’t get left behind.
Across the world right now, virtual courses are allowing students to access lessons and exercises and interact with teachers in ways that would have been impossible if an epidemic had disrupted schools even a decade or two ago. So, although some may still be sceptical of online learning, now is also time to embrace and improve it, which is exactly our philosophy at BIC!
UK exam grade uncertainty can be avoided by studying for the IFP with Bristol International College
Catherine Lough, from the Times Educational Supplement, has suggested that given the strained relationship between Ofqual and the DfE (revealed from minutes of their meetings during 2020) the worrying question now is how will the greater challenges of the 2021 summer exam season be resolved?
She says the potential problems for next year only appear to be deepening and some senior figures in the exams sector feel that students in 2021 will need GCSE and A-level grades that are more generous than those in 2020, to ensure they are not penalised for all the learning time they have missed.
Ofqual now has new leadership but the discussions that went on behind the scenes in the run-up to this year’s results do not inspire much confidence for what is to come.
Whilst the uncertainty over A-level grades looks certain to continue, students at Bristol International College will benefit from studying the one-year International Foundation Programme as an alternative to a two-year A-level course and with universally recognised grades awarded by the University of London.
The University of Bristol joins UK-wide calls for government to support post-Covid recovery plans.
In a joint declaration, the 11 Core cities of the UK, including Bristol, and 24 of their universities have outlined how they can contribute to boosting and broadening the scope of research and development spend, create high skilled jobs and facilitate social and economic recovery at a regional and national level.
Professor Guy Orpen, University of Bristol Deputy Vice-Chancellor, said: “This joint declaration sets out how the UK can harness the combined power of universities, their cities-regions and the local and global businesses within them to renew and level up the wider economy”. (Source).
Director of Admissions
Bristol International College
Melanie Gray is already well-known to many international educational agents. Here she answers a few questions we put to her:
Q. What have you enjoyed most about working in international education for over 20 years?
A. I have loved the opportunity to travel and to meet so many people from different cultures and backgrounds. The best part of my job is building relationships with agents, families and students, many of whom have become firm friends over the years. It is incredibly gratifying to hear of the academic and career successes of students who I helped to place in top UK schools and colleges.
Q. In these uncertain times, what encouragement can you give to families who are still concerned about sending their children to study in the UK in 2021?
A. I believe the UK is a safe place to study and that schools and colleges have done an amazing job of staying open to deliver the high quality educational provision the UK is famous for. As a parent myself, I of course understand the reluctance to make either financial or emotional commitments at this time, but I can assure parents choosing Bristol International College that their children will be in excellent professional hands if they come to Bristol to start our International Foundation Programme in September 2021. For those who remain uncertain we also have an excellent online option which provides the same pathway to a top UK university in 2022.
Q. What in your opinion makes Bristol International College special?
A. I’ve worked both in and with traditional UK boarding schools, so I think the thing that attracted me to join BIC was that it was something new and innovative and was led by a great team of people. I also strongly believe that there is a real demand for the streamlined journey to university we offer with the University of London’s International Foundation Programme, and I am keen to help international students benefit from this unique opportunity.
About Bristol International College:
• BIC is a University of London Recognised Teaching Centre which runs an on-campus and online version of UOL’s International Foundation Programme (IFP)
• IFP is an intensive 8-month programme for students aged 16-17 who wish to access leading universities in just one academic year
• IFP courses include: Mathematics & Statistics, Pure Mathematics, Business Management, Economics, Accounting & Finance, International Relations, Law
• 100% university progression for IFP graduates: 60% Russell Group; 30% University of London; 10% top international universities
• The on-campus BIC IFP includes an exclusive full-time 8-week professional internship in a leading Bristol based company e.g. Rolls Royce, Airbus, KPMG, BBC Bristol, Banco Santander, etc.
I would be delighted to meet you, either in person or via the Internet, so that I can introduce you to the huge range of opportunities that Bristol International College can provide.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch,
CEO & Principal