College Announces New Principal & CEO

City College Plymouth has appointed Ms Jackie Grubb as its new Principal and Chief Executive Officer.

The College’s Chair of Governors, Pauline Odulinski, said: “On behalf of the Board I am delighted to announce that, following the very robust recruitment process, we have appointed Ms Jackie Grubb as the new Principal and Chief Executive Officer at City College Plymouth. She was overwhelmingly the recommendation of those involved in the recruitment process which included staff, students, managers and stakeholders.”

“The Governing Body was unanimous in its decision to appoint Ms Grubb and felt she had all the qualities, skills and experience needed to lead us in the next part of our journey to excellence. The Board was particularly impressed with Ms Grubb’s excellent track record in leading and managing in both Good and Outstanding organisations.”

Jackie has commented that she is looking forward to working at the College: “I am honoured to have been appointed Principal and Chief Executive Officer at City College Plymouth and am looking forward to working with such a dedicated team of staff, Governors and stakeholders, to ensure that all students continue to receive an outstanding experience and the College remains at the heart of the community.”

Jackie is currently the Principal at City of Westminster College, part of the United Colleges Group. She has a wealth of experience in further education having commenced her career as a lecturer more than 30 years ago. As well as being Principal at City of Westminster College, she has been Deputy Principal atBasingstoke College of Technology, Director of Curriculum at Swindon College and an Additional Inspector for Ofsted.

Jackie will take up her post this summer and is keen to spend time at the College before she joins. She will be meeting with local stakeholders when she visits.

College Tops South West Student Achievement Tables

The students at City College Plymouth gained the top spot for success in Apprenticeships in the South West and scored first place in the region for 16-18 year olds.

As a result of the hard work of students and staff, the Government’s national achievement rates tables for 2017/18 name City College Plymouth as the best college in the South West for Apprenticeships and education and training courses.

Principal of City College Plymouth, Penny Wycherley, praises the commitment of students and staff for the College’s success. She said: “These latest figures prove just how amazing our students and staff are, and how hard they have worked to achieve these fantastic results.

Penny continues: “It’s also testament to the close working relationship we have with the region’s employers who work with us to design quality programmes. Our courses meet the needs of industry and result in our students being guaranteed the best experience so they leave us ready to work. Employers can be confident that they are hiring someone who has the up-to-date industry knowledge and skills that their business needs to succeed, because their new employee studied at the region’s number one college!”

These latest figures secure the College’s position as one of the region’s leading education and training providers. In the Government’s national ‘FE Choices Student Satisfaction Survey 2017/18’, City College Plymouth students ranked their college first in the country for student satisfaction.

UK extends post-study visa for international students to find work

The UK government is allowing international students to stay up to one year after their study visa expires to find work in the UK.

It comes as part of a government initiative to increase recruitment by more than 30 percent and boost income to the sector from its current £20 billion per year to £35 billion per year, the government announced last week.

“The strategy includes a number of measures to help the sector maximise the potential of UK education exports abroad, including…Extending the period of post-study leave for international student visas, considering how the visa process could be improved for applicants and supporting student employment,” the UK government website notes.

According to the Department of Education, undergraduate and Master’s students will be able to stay for six months post-graduation, while doctoral candidates will be able to stay up to one year. All graduates currently get to stay for up to four months post-graduation, with PhD candidates can apply for an additional year.

It also states there will be more support for getting international students into employment, hinting at a policy change from the country’s current “hostile environment” policy which deters international students from working in the UK.

As Brexit looms, UK universities are bracing for their financial coffers to shrink. They stand not only to lose a pool of EU students post-Brexit, but also the European Research Development Fund – a specially-allocated investment that funds a substantial number of projects amounting to more than £26,627,123 between 2014-2020 – across higher education providers in the UK.

To offset this, leading universities are looking to recruit more non-EU students, especially those from China and India, according to Sir Anton Muscatelli, Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow University and Chairman of the Russell Group.

“As we prepare to leave the EU it is more important than ever to reach out to our global partners and maximise the potential of our best assets – that includes our education offer and the international students this attracts,” Education Secretary, Damian Hinds, said in a statement.

The new UK International Education Strategy also includes the appointment of a new International Education Champion, a £5 million GREAT Challenge Fund to promote the entire UK education sector internationally, better data on education exports and closer relationships between government departments.

Universities UK, the representative organisation for UK’s universities, welcomed the visa extension, noting, however, that it could be extended further.

“We would like the government to go further and extend this opportunity to at least two years and we will continue to urge them on this point.”

Chief Executive of UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs) told The PIE News“The big news is the numerical target.

“If all government departments, including and especially the Home Office, got behind this and simplified our massively complex visa rules, we could really start to motor.”

Indian students, however, are less impressed with the announcement. Calling it a “lollipop” to entice international students, former De Montfort University student, Nimesh D Soni, who graduated in 2011, said it was “a joke” to expect students to land a job within six months.

“The purpose behind the post-study work permit is to gain work experience and recover education costs, mostly through loans. Who would get a highly paid job after their degree?” he told Times of India.

“It took me nine months to get a proper job after finishing my studies. At least two years would be appropriate. This is just a lollipop,” Nimesh said.

Another student, Malhar Khushu, who is currently reading biochemistry at Oxford, suggested that the real motive behind the visa extension move is clear.

“The UK sees international students as cash cows to profit from. This statement, while appearing benevolent, is clearly aimed at using international students to boost the post-Brexit British economy. If they really wanted to improve their international numbers, lowering the cost of international fees would very easily do the trick,” he said.