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Education in the Media: Thursday 7 February 2019

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Damian Hinds, Universities

Today’s Education in the Media blog looks the Education Secretary’s speech on character and resilience and the newly published UCAS statistics.

Character and resilience

Today, Thursday 7 February, Damian Hinds gave a speech on the importance of all children having access to a wide range of activities to help them build the character and resilience they need to succeed. This was covered widely today in the I, the Sun, the Yorkshire Post, Daily Mail and The Times. The Secretary of State was also interviewed this morning on Good Morning Britain, Sky Sunrise, Talk Radio and LBC.

In the speech the Education Secretary announced the 5 foundations for building character - sport, creativity, performing, volunteering & membership, and the world of work - and made clear his commitment that all children should be able to access at least one activity from each of these foundations.

Education Secretary also said:

I want to make sure every child gets to build up their character and resilience by testing themselves from a range of enjoyable and activities. These activities don’t have to be a result of a physical exertion. They can just as easily be something you do at school or at home or in an office or that isn’t a hobby…

I am proposing the 5 foundations for building character, broad areas of activity which will help develop character and resilience in young people. All of them combine elements that will stretch and challenge and will help young people think, develop and grow and which will enhance their self-esteem and confidence. This is a distillation of what I have heard repeatedly from teachers, parents, children…

We need greater co-ordination to increase awareness of all the opportunities available. I want to make clear that I’m not piling on the extra chores to a school’s to-do list. What I’m asking for is a joined up effort from the entire community. We all have a vested interest in making sure that young people are resilient, resourceful and confident in their abilities. It’s not something that we can subcontract to schools…

We want our children to be happy, but lasting happiness can also involve doing some things which in the very immediate term may seem a bore or a chore. So when the opportunities are there, let's encourage children to grasp them with both hands.

UCAS application statistics

Today, Thursday 7 February, UCAS published their application statistics for the current academic year. The statistics show the number of Chinese students choosing to study here is at the highest on record and that EU students have not been put off coming here to study, with numbers higher than last year. The statistics were reported today by The Telegraph, Times, Financial Times  and Guardian.

A Government spokesperson said: 

The UK has always been home to world-class universities and the increase in international students shown today cements our status as a global leader in the higher education sector.

International students, including those from the EU and China, bring huge cultural and economic benefits to the UK. The upcoming International Education Strategy will set out work to maintain and support further growth in the years to come.

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