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Samuel Chan Tue Jul 16, 2019
One of the best things about attending a UK university is the fact that you get far more than just a good degree. As wit...

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Study Article

【The Standard】Nottingham gives students a head start in business

One of the best things about attending a UK university is the fact that you get far more than just a good degree.

As with British boarding schools, British universities always take a holistic approach to education.

Across the country, you will find that universities invest in a great range of disciplines beyond academia, from sports and culture to student entrepreneurial activity.

An interesting example is the University of Nottingham.

 
 
TS Channel
 

Situated in the middle of the UK, this has a particularly impressive offering for anyone who is interested in business as well as their chosen subject. In addition to being a high ranking university academically, and having a beautiful campus, Nottingham goes to great lengths to help its students get started in the intimidating world of business and to prepare for international careers.

Regular readers may be aware that I am an alumnus of this university. I studied here for several years and had a happy and productive time. I made great friends and added to my understanding of British culture, learning things that weren't a part of life in a boarding school - such as shopping for the week's food in the local supermarkets.

Of course, I am bound to think highly of an institution that helped me to get to where I am today.

But quite apart from my own personal opinion and experience, the impressive stats about this university speak for themselves. It isranked as a world top 100 university in the QS World University Rankings 2020.

In the UK, it is placed at No 16 by The Sunday Times. It is also a member of the Russell Group - a group of 24 leading UK universities that includes Oxford and Cambridge.

When it comes to preparing students for business, there is a very good economics school here but beyond the classroom, there is the Ingenuity Lab. As the name suggests, this is a place to experiment with business ideas and try your hand at things in a supportive environment.

As with any good laboratory, it has impressive facilities. These range from the basic - office spaces, meeting rooms, Wi-Fi and printing - to the more advanced, such as the opportunity to apply for a two-year visa that allows students to stay in the UK and work on their start-ups.

There is also the Nottingham Ingenuity Fund which aims to invest 1 million (HK$9.83 million) in student and alumni enterprise.

Currently, the Ingenuity Lab actually has more than 160 new or early stage start-ups that cover many sectors. These include beauty and makeup, education, food and nutrition, sports, IT/tech and medical artificial intelligence.

Apart from these obvious attractions, there is also something more subtle to be said for Nottingham: it is a true multinational university. The global student community can claim to have students from over 150 countries. Given the global nature of life today, this can only be a good thing. The earlier students can get used to working, communicating and socializing in a multinational, multicultural way, the better.

Nottingham is just one of many British universities that offer more than a great academic education and a reputation that looks impressive when you get back to Hong Kong. It's important to try and step out of the typical Hong Kong mind set and open up to a different way of viewing what an education should be and what a good boarding school, college or university can really do for you and your future.

If you're interested in the University of Nottingham there is still time to apply for 2019. You can visit their website at www.nottingham.ac.uk/ugstudy/clearing/international/index.aspx.

【立場新聞】踢學生出校下令禁拍拖ㅤRuthin 非常校長強勢救校

香港曾經有殺校潮,不少成年人的母校可能已「被殺」,也有些瀕臨執笠的學校,在英明校長領導下成功「救校」。英國很多學校同樣有閉校之憂,當地私校界近年出產一位非常校長,頻頻使出辣招整頓學校,因而聞名,他正正是 Ruthin School 的校長 Toby Belfield。他提出踢學生出校、不准學生談戀愛等顛覆現代教育觀的措施,更重要的是力推亞洲學生獎學金,令全校多達三分一屬中國學生,偏偏在強勢管治下 Ruthin 排名全英五十大,不少學生入讀牛津劍橋,穩坐神奇四校之一寶座。

Ruthin School 每年學費近三萬五英鎊,非常校長 Toby 上任後,第一件事要求校董會批出奬學金,吸引亞洲最頂尖學生,令他們以優惠學費甚至免費入讀;學校同時採取亞洲國際學校式經營,雖然令校園氣氛似深圳多過英國,但的確迅速提升學校成績及排名,這種做法備受英國私校界傳統派攻擊,甚至有不滿 Toby 的校董,即時辭職以明志。

令 Ruthin School 聞名的絕對不止「亞洲化」,Toby 前年爆出「踢學生出校」驚人措施,他認為學校過度收生,為了騰出學位容納新生,指示下屬要踢走部分原有學生。此舉雖然被英國傳媒形容為公關災難,但學校卻未有真的受重創;事實上,當學位不再有萬全保證,成績、紀律欠佳的學生有可能被踢走,學生自然不敢放肆造次,Toby 一直深信措施可清瘀血,必定得到國際家長的支持。

繼踢人出校,Toby 去年再有新創舉:不准學生談戀愛。他表明對校內拍拖「零容忍」,如果發現有人偷偷戀愛,餘下只有兩條死路,第一,踢出校;第二,「畫花」學生推介信,再次令學校受廣泛關注。我早前在香港見到 Toby 談及此事,他打從心底深信家長會支持「禁愛令」,「Samuel,我們上了國際新聞,太好了,家長們會愛死我們了。」

Ruthin School 並非英國私校校長大會 HMC 成員,但「非會員」Toby 卻曾經受邀到 HMC 會議上演講,講解如何拯救一間面臨執笠的學校。不少 HMC 會員不將 Toby 放在眼內,有參加過會議的校長形容 Toby「insane」,但不得不承認,Ruthin 經「亞洲化」及推行新校政後,成績及排名均有所提升,更重要是解救了學校的困境。這位非常校長的改革決心及管理哲學,的確值得參考借鏡。

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Successful Cases

Kandace Ying

2018/03/29 - 00:00

Ruthin School, located in a small town of Ruthin, far away from the city distraction, leading me to concentrate in academic. Frankly, I spend most of the time in studying, and prepare myself in every Saturday test. It is demanding especially not being the smartest student at school, meaning that I need to spend more of my leisure time I used to have to study. On the other hand, I have met a lot of friends and schoolmates and they are mostly come from the Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and most of them from China, which is also the largest proportion of students in the school community. During the weekends, I habitually go to Tesco after Saturday test and then eat dinner with friends in common room or in town. Most of the time, I visit the Chinese restaurants either getting takeaway or dine in. On Sundays, school usually organises school trips to Manchester, Liverpool and Chester. During half term, in the order of safety, we are not allowed to stay outside school unless we are staying in with our parents or guardians. Furthermore, we are not allowed to have relationships with opposite sex in the matter of negative influence in academic. Drinking alcohol in school is prohibited and student who is being caught in disobeying school rules will be expelled unless the principal is being generous and suspend student for week(s). Indeed, trying to break the school rules bring a huge consequences and at the mean time to ensure students obeying the school rules. To sum up, my overall experience in Ruthin School is pleasant and hope striving my best in A levels.

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