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Education in the Media: Friday 4 January 2019

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Today’s Education in the Media blog looks at stories on higher education institutions’ research programmes, and children’s screen time.


Today, Friday 4 January, the Russell Group issued a press release leading on their latest data suggesting there has been a 3% decrease in EU students for this year’s courses. The data has been released alongside a joint letter to MPs signed by Universities UK, the Russell Group, Guild HE, Million Plus and University Alliance, warning of uncertainty for universities post-Brexit regarding UK-led research.

This was covered on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, as well as in print and online by BBC Online, the Independent, the Guardian, the Times, the Metro, the I News and the Financial Times.

A Government spokesperson said:

International students, including those from the EU, bring huge cultural and economic benefits to the UK and our world-class university system continues to attract large numbers of overseas students.

The latest UCAS data shows the overall the numbers of applicants and acceptances from EU nationals to full-time undergraduate higher education were both higher than in 2017, with the number of acceptances from the EU at a record high.

To reassure students and providers on the impact of Brexit, the Government has confirmed that EU nationals will get access to student finance on the current basis for the duration of courses starting before and in 2019/20, and their fees will be the same as domestic students.

Screen Time

Today, Friday 4 January, numerous publications reported on guidance from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health on children’s screen time. This was covered by BBC Online, the Independent, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Sun, the I News, the Mail and the Mirror.

Encouraging children to spend appropriate time looking at screens is a priority for the Education Secretary Damian Hinds, and he wrote an op-ed on this topic which was published in the Telegraph on Monday 31 December.

The Education Secretary acknowledges the potential benefits of handheld technology but also recommends that there are limits to the amount children use these devices – so as to ensure that there is plenty of time for children to spend on other activities and face-to-face socialising.

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