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1. Executive Summary:
This briefing is writing mainly focused for students who are usually wanted to come for studying in UK. This briefing paper is writing as a case study format.
In the whole briefing paper, I am trying to brief introduction about my organization and my client. After that, I focused my client problem that will be met when they are intended to go in UK. I mainly identified Mr. Ashfaqs' problems which he is facing both in the time of applying and the time of reaching in UK based on PEST analysis. This briefing paper also indicates that the SWOT analysis based on my consultancy firm.
I generally tried to focus on the comparison of Political issues such as education laws, health services. In the Economical issues, I focused the living cost, accommodation cost, entertainment cost etc. in the Social issues, I focused the cultural differences between UK and Bangladesh with the helping of Greet Hofstede's five cultural dimensions and Technological issues.
I am trying to identify the some possible solutions and recommendations which are helping to remove all the barriers when Mr. Ashfaq is reaching in UK. I mentioned also some forecasts and outcomes because if United Kingdom can follow this forecasts and outcomes carefully, it will help to cope for living and matching in UK societies and cultures effectively for all international students and also Mr. Ashfaq. At the end level of my briefing paper, I mainly tried to identify that how to prevail over the communication gaps and language barriers and what are the ways to cope up with modern facilities, societies and communities.
2. Terms of Reference:
Every student have an own dream about their higher education. Many different countries in the world are providing higher studies for students. Mainly Students are choosing United Kingdom and Australia for completing their higher studies means after Higher Secondary Certificate or A-level Equivalent. But United Kingdom is very popular for higher studies like Bachelors Degree and Post Graduate Degree for international student because, it provides high standards, up to date facilities, and try to advise a right way for an international student to build his/her career path with several opportunities. For this reason, United Kingdom becomes much potential country for higher studies and so on; students are now choosing their best option for completing their higher studies in United Kingdom.
For looking the high percentage rate of international students in United Kingdom, I choose this briefing paper which is being focused on Studying in UK. As a senior Consultant of MACES, I mainly focused on the Bangladeshi students who are wising to complete their Post Graduation programme from our country like Bangladesh where are actually prospecting and providing information's about UK study for establishing their academic and professional career. Mainly, my client name is MR. Ashfaq who want to go in UK for completing their master's programme in UK at University Of Bedfordshire. I am trying to provide several information about different factors what a student needed such as the university which is considered at our panel like University Of Bedfordshire, university of Wales, University of Huddersfield etc. information, the UK living cost and life styles, working and education condition of international students and what are the issues needed to be considered before actually moving abroad for academics and professional career. Mr. Ashfaq is consulting at my firm because Mr. Ashfaq is choosing University of Bedfordshire, University Of Huddersfield etc, and then he came to my office for consulting about the information about courses, living cost, distance and tuition fees, procedures of apply etc.
In the present situation, students are trying to obtain a higher degree from an international institution with international education system. So, an extensive range of issues has been discussed on the basis of Political, Economical, Social/Cultural, and Technological factors in the paper which will be considered a simple guideline for students that how to handle the status of conditions while planning to go abroad especially to the UK.
As the point of the paper is to conduct a comparative study between the different cultures, systems and group of people such as UK and other countries and the study only focuses on the international students from other countries who are trying to move In UK for completing their higher studies.
3. Overview of Situation:
Each year a wide range of students are travelling from different countries in the world for study purpose. These people are habituated many different types of cultures and communities such as Caribbean, India, Pakistan, Africa, Southeast Asia, China, and Bulgaria. A little number of EU students is studying in UK because In the Government of UK is providing many facilities for EU students rather than other countries student. EU students are much familiar about UK cultures and communities.
In UK, most of the students are international as they consider that the education system in UK is far more high-status and maintain very high levels of standards of their teaching qualities. International students believed that the high status of education system in UK, students are thought that they will gain vast knowledge about their academic purposes. They also thought that the high standards of teaching facilities will make their career path in the right way. Following to these factors, an international student are taking opportunity to mix with different cultures and communicates with each other which will help an international student to remove commutation gaps.
During the time of studying in UK, as a consultant, Mr. Ashfaq and me is facing some problems such as understanding problem, adapting to anew life, relationship problems, English language test problem, applying problem, living cost problem, New visa system etc. Mr. Ashfaq is also facing some real challenges while touching and adapting the new culture and environment. He can find many difficulties in communication, adjusting to the new culture, learning the rules and regulations, expressing their own views, careers advices regarding opportunities during his period of study.
This types of problems may be raised because there can be a conspicuous difference between the Political, Economical, Social/Cultural and Technological standards. These types of cultural differences can create some serious problems. In the view of my consultancy time with Mr. Ashfaq, I have been seen that most of the time Mr. Ashfaq is stated some problems such as the problem of language, communications, lack of knowledge about higher education systems in UK, Visa system and new point based system, course selection problem etc. On the other hand, as a consultant, I am facing some serious problems like lack of knowledge about study systems in UK, a little bit knowledge about universities information, student support problem, sharing the information problems, and lack of up-to-date information etc.
This types of problems both as a consultant and students showed that how important it is for our countries students to learn the standards, efforts, requirements both the cultures and environment. Through, this briefing paper states such information that Mr. Ashfaq can learn and try to gain some clear idea about studying in UK. Although, it can help for Mr. Ashfaq that how they can understand the education systems in UK and can try to receive the challenges of new education life and new life style to obtain his own goals as an individuals.
4. Analysis of Current Situation:
SWOT Analysis is a strategic planning method which can be used to assess the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats involved in a project. It involves identifying the objective of the project and specifying the internal and external factors that are favourable and unfavourable by achieving that objective. The technique is credited to Albert Humphrey, who led a convention at Stanford University in the 1960s and 1970s. (Taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis).
Here I am trying to analyze my SWOT analysis based on my consultancy firms Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.
Strong relationships: My consultancy firm can be registered as a Bangladeshi representative with University of Bedfordshire, University of Huddersfield, University Of wales etc. Because of my long years consultancy with University of Bedfordshire, I can build a strong relationship with all the staffs who are working in University of Bedfordshire. So Mr. Ashfaq can easily get admission from University Of Bedfordshire which he is choosing already. After that, it will help me to know about him from University of Bedfordshire and it will help to be relaxed for me and the parent of Mr. Ashfaq.
Strong Financial position: My consultancy firm is economically solvent. I recruited all of the employees with great reward and facilities who are working in this sector more than two years. I also provide students in English support programme and also many short courses like diploma certificate with experienced teachers.
English Language centre: in my consultancy firm, I am providing for students in various types of English course like IELTS, HND programme etc.
Branches: In the starting time of my consultancy, I was opened 3 different branches in Bangladesh which was situated in DHAKA, CHITTAGONG and SYLHET.
Objective: In my consultancy firm, I am trying to set a goal. My goal is that I am trying to help all the students to go in UK with different types of information which he/she will be needed.
Data Collection facilities: I put it all the data like student's data, employee's data, and university information data with modern equipment. I kept all the students data that who are entering my consultancy firm. I also kept the data after getting VISA which is helpful to recognise my students in future.
Shortage of consultants: In my consultancy firm, shortages of consultants are a main factor. In our country perspective, educational consultant is not available because in the few years back, there are no educational consultancy firms who are directly acting as a representative in Bangladesh.
Unable to deal with multi-disciplinary assignments because of size or lack of ability: Sometimes as a consultant, I am facing some serious problem when the time of dealing with multi cultural assignments because Bangladeshi people are not used to deal this types of factors.
Well established position: My consultancy firm are located in the prime position in the city. Because of my long year's consultancy experience, students are coming first at my consultancy firm. In my consultancy firm, Visa refused record is almost 0%.
Technological advances: In my consultancy firm, I was build a new software for students record and day to day communicate through email with universities who are registered in my panel.
Course selection: I am trying to organize some short courses for students who are suppose to weak in English and the students who are not good in their previous academic background like diploma courses.
Job opportunities: I also provided some sort of job opportunities for students who are completing their bachelor's degree.
Relationships: Each year, I am trying to build a strong relationship with new universities like in 2009, I am considered as a Bangladeshi representative of University of Worcester.
Large consultancies operating at a minor level: Mainly the main threat in the present situation that I am operating my consultancy in a minor level.
Competitive advantage: Now in Bangladesh, there are many educational consultancy firms are available. So in the present time there may exist in the competitive advantage.
Loss of key staff: Sometimes I am facing a serious problem when an experienced person is resigned his job or switch his job to another consultancy firms. In that case, I am loosing my key staffs.
Here I am trying to analyze the PEST analysis based on my student like MR. Ashfaq who is facing such Political, Economical, Social and Technological factors in UK.
United Kingdom is more stable and well recognised political country as compare to other country because United Kingdom is the developed country. United Kingdom is very careful about the immigration, employment. They are observed all the time for student living, working facilities etc. While a student determined to travel UK for completing the studies, he/she is required to get a visa, which is to be stated by officials at a British Embassy in Bangladesh or whatever the countries. Once all the procedures are cleared, the visa will be placed into the student's passport.
According to UK Border Agency (2007-08), suggests that the requirements enter United Kingdom as a student is that:
The applicant has to be accepted as a full-time student for a course of study at under-graduate or postgraduate level.
The applicant should be able to meet the costs of his course and accommodation.
The applicant does not intend to engage in business or to take employment, except part-time or vacation work.
The applicant intends to leave UK at the end of his studies and will not stay illegally.
(Taken from the http://www.bia.homeoffice.gov.uk/)
The fundamental part of legislation regarding education in England and Wales is the Education Act 1996 which is being a consolidating act which incorporates the 1944 Education Act.
Health and Safety Issues:
The weather condition in UK is cold as compare to other Asian countries. So in that situation, most of the students can difficult to match with this changing weather and it is a serious harm for international students both mentally and physically.
UK government are providing a free National Health Service (NHS) for international students for their health and safety issues.
When the time of studying in UK, a student can able to work part time beside his full time study. UK government is fixed working hours for international student which is 20 Hours in a week. Government also fixed the rate that £5.52 per hour. Based on this rate, a student can easily bear his/her tuition fees and living cost easily.
UK is the more financially solvent country in the whole world. They can easily cope up with all the sectors like education sector, trade sector because modern facilities, technological advances are available here. In UK, labour markets are more efficient rather than Asian countries. So here, students can easily get a job because of high demand in labour.
The cost of living in UK varies such factors like Location, accommodation, food travelling and entertainment costs beside the academic costs. Some comparison has been stated below:
Cost Per Month (£)
Food & Drink
United Kingdom2 Average figures taken from: http://www.workandliveabroad.com
The above data from the table of comparison can be increased each year based on the economic condition in UK.
Social & Cultural Issues:
Culture is moderately related to lifestyle, social interaction, communications style. All of the countries can their own culture, customs and beliefs. Sometimes students are faced a big problem when they are entered in multi cultural society like UK. Students are facing mainly language problem, communication problem etc.
Differences of Social Values:
There may exist different social values, beliefs, political; views in UK. The UK society is more individual than collectivists. Here, people are more individually freedom and try to lead their own life as own life style. They can not dependent with each other. But in the Asian cultures are totally opposite of UK culture.
According to Guirdham (2002) suggests that ''cultural differences affect individuals on basis of their involvement in work, agreement to their status, time management and involvement in our feelings and the relationships.''
If we try to identify based on Geert Hofsted Cultural Dimensions then we can easily understand the difference between cultures.
Power Distance In UK, people are not much aware of other people social status, beliefs and powers. They are totally causal in the time of communication not formal. In the office, power is totally distributed with inequality position but in Bangladesh, people are trying to build strong relationships with other.
Individualism In UK, people are more conscious about individualism which may creates weak relationship with each other. In the corporate sector, people are trying to do their own work without the help of higher authority here. But in Bangladesh, People are trying to build the strong relationship individually with team work.
Masculinity In UK, people are always getting preference with equality means all sexes of people whatever male or female. They are working together with most efficient factor. But in Bangladesh, most of the time, they preferred male rather than female.
Uncertainty Avoidance In UK, people are always ready to take uncertainty avoidance in all the sectors but in Bangladesh, people are far away from uncertainty situation. So that's why business sectors in Bangladesh are very poor because most of the businessmen are not ready to take some sort of risks.
Long-term Orientation In UK, people are not concern about long term orientation. They are trying to do some works without proper planning. If people are facing big trouble then they are trying to find solution for it. It will be taken longer time. But in Bangladesh, people are trying to do some works with future planning.
Based on these cultural dimensions and differences in social values, we can understand that what the differences between UK and Bangladeshi culture are. As an international student, he/ she will have to easily understand that when he/she will have to face all these issues then he/she should have got knowledge about how to match with these different cultures.
In UK, there are highly technologies which they can be used in each and every sector. People are more advanced with technologically whether they are stayed at home, work, other places. People are communicated with each other by using internet because every place is captured in WiFi network. So in that reason, UK is more effective and efficient in each and every sector. Here students are adopted their academic lessons quickly because most of the institutions are using multimedia projector for delivering their own lectures. In the present perspective, most of the academic institutions are working in association with several multinational large companies to provide the students with recruitment ground. So that's the reason, students are getting news from internet and that will help to be employed.
5. Solutions and Recommendation:
Solutions: Through the above analysis, we can identify the possible solutions are given below:
Meet with the different cultural people: Students should try to hang out with local and other countries international students. So that's why, students can easily understand the different cultural background, lifestyles, beliefs, thoughts etc.
Language Barriers: Students should try to study some international journals, articles and newspapers. They should also try to make some good relationships with other international students. In the meaning of that, they can easily cope with all the people who are belonging in different cultural background and easily remove language barriers through this.
Course Selection: Students should try to get proper knowledge about their courses which they become selected before coming in UK. Students should try to take courses which will be indicated the future prospects for students. Without planning, course selection is not indicating a good sign.
Recommendations: Through the above analysis, we can identify some possible recommendations are given below:
Pre-session English support: IN UK, the time of studying for a postgraduate level, Universities should try to introduce some pre-session English language support for international students. It will help to get ideas about English language. During the time of pre-session course, they can easily match many different cultures and societies. As a result, after completion their pre-session course, they can easily cope with academic lectures in English and effective about UK cultures.
Work permit: UK government should be able to get work permit more for international students because they can easily balanced their tuition fees and living cost. In UK Government, they gave the work permit only 20 hours for international students according to their law. It should be increased because it will help a student to be motivated with his/her studies and accommodation.
Scholarship: if student should get a scholarship from UK government, then it will help much for students to bear their accommodation fees. Thus, it will help to be motivated for international students to concentrate their studies properly.
Visa systems: UK government is always intended to change their immigration rules for international students. It might be much affected for students. If UK government is fixed their immigration rule, students can get their visa for higher education easily. It will help for all of the students in all over the world who are already thinking for going in UK to complete their higher studies like post graduation programme and also further studies like PHD.
6. Forecasts and Outcomes:
Moving towards in UK: Bangladeshi students are more fascinated for studying in UK institutions because it provides students for multicultural knowledge and efficient environment with other international students. They also provided students with supreme support in education, value for money with a wide range of academic courses supporting to high technologies and modern equipment to the time of delivering the lectures and lecture materials.
Academic problems: Students can look different problems such as the visa system, language barriers, mixture of different cultures etc. Besides students can face different types of difficulties such as how to access study resources, how to use about library materials thorough invisible and visible way, how to capture the lecture materials, how to do after graduation because there is less opportunity to get a good job in UK.
Degree evaluation: Students will be highly appreciated for studying in UK because after graduation students can develop their academic and working skills effectively and efficiently. In UK post graduation degree is valued all over the world. After taking the post graduation degree from UK, students can get knowledge about independence, creativity power which will help too much for coping in any other countries in the whole world. In the present time, UK degree is highly valuable in all over the world corporate sector.
Technological knowledge: United Kingdom is highly technological advanced country over the past few years. In all over the sector like education sector, corporate sector, industrial sector etc, they can be used modern equipments and facilities. During to that reason, student can easily understand about the modern technologies. With the knowledge of these types of technologies, they can move around any other countries and easily matched with these countries throughout in every sector.