British voters went to the polls today, but the outcome of this election will have long-lasting implications that reach well beyond the country’s borders – including for Wittenborg and other universities in Europe.
Whichever party wins today’s elections will determine Britain’s policy on education and immigration, which holds ramifications for international students as a British education is still one of the most highly regarded in the world, though its high tuition fees and controversial student visa system are seen as drawbacks. However, many political experts predict a hung parliament – where none of the parties win an outright majority of the 650 seats up for grabs in the House of Commons.
Wittenborg University of Applied Science is proud to offer its students a British education in the Netherlands!
Under partially British-management, Wittenborg which is a private institute, has been exclusively teaching English-taught Bachelors since 2007. Around that time it also started working closely with the University of Brighton, mainly with the School of Service Management and Sport. The partnership has developed from what was initially a possibility for students to do their final year in the UK, to Wittenborg offering dual-taught Master of Science programmes in Apeldoorn, and developing joint research projects with its counterparts in the UK.
Wittenborg has promoted the use of research literature and the writing of essays and papers from the outset, allowing individuals to excel whilst also working in groups. The institute combines this very British approach to its education with the more exam-based style common to European higher education institutions.
Besides its academic links with the UK, Wittenborg has, and continues to, draw many British students.
Who are the main players in the British election?
The Conservative Party and the Labour Party have been the two biggest political parties since 1922 and it is highly unlikely that this election will change that. Most parties have suggested that there should be a clampdown on any abuse of student visas.
- Conservative Party – Also known as the “Tories” and led by current British prime minister, David Cameron, the Conservative Party rules in a Coalition Government with the Liberal Democrats. In 2010 the Tories trebled the tuition fees to £9,000 with some observers fearing an even higher increase. For this election the Tories have promised a review of the student visa system alongside “new measures to tackle abuse and reduce the numbers of students overstaying once their visas expire”.
- Labour Party - Led by Ed Milliband, Labour lost the previous election as governing party. One of the biggest controversies surrounding its education policy is its plan to cut the maximum cap for university tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000. Tuition fees were introduced by the last Labour government and the current £9,000 maximum was introduced by the coalition government. Labour is also pushing for a tightening of the visa system.
- Liberal Democrats – Led by Nick Clegg (who is half Dutch!), the current deputy prime minister. Though a small party, it acted as kingmakers in the 2010 elections by going into coalition with the Tories. The party’s opposition to tuition fees was once a big selling point, but they burned their bridges with students when they paved the way for £9,000 tuition fees as part of the Coalition Government. The Liberal Democrats have pledged to take action against those abusing the student visa system.
- United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) – Led by Nigel Farage the party have not been in parliament before, but they caused an upset in Britain by winning the biggest share of votes in the 2014 European Election. UKIP wants students from the EU to pay the same student fee rates as international students. UKIP is calling for the most stringent curbs on immigration, but recognise that international students make “an important contribution to the UK” and wants to look into which institutions can take in students from overseas.
- Scottish National Party (SNP) – Led by Nicola Sturgeon, The Scottish National Party has gained ground since 2010 – before that Scotland was traditionally dominated by support for Labour. The SNP also wish to “see the reintroduction of the post-study work visa so students who have been educated in Scotland can spend two years working here after their studies and can contribute to growing our economy
Dutch and British degree for Master Students at Wittenborg
Wittenborg University currently offers three Master of Science awards, joint-taught British degrees, in Hospitality Management, Tourism and International Event Management. The programmes last for one year and are fully delivered in the Netherlands at the Apeldoorn Campus. Modules are all jointly taught by lecturers from Wittenborg University and the University of Brighton, using the same British curriculum and standards. Successful students are awarded a UK MSc degree and a Wittenborg University PGDip.