a guide to applying as an international student from Africa video transcript
Hello everyone. Welcome to the guide to applying as a student from Africa. Before we start we just have a couple of housekeeping notes for you to be aware of. Firstly this event is being recorded live. There's a question and answer function running throughout the presentation so please do submit any questions you have using the chat box to the right of your screens. We will answer as many as we can towards the end of the session. If you see a question you would like to know the answer to, please like it so we can ensure the most popular questions are being answered. I'm now going to hand over to Christopher Wyke who's our International Recruitment Officer for Africa.
Thank you, Jo. As my colleague mentioned, my name is Chris Wyke and I am the International Recruitment Officer specifically for Africa at the University of Derby.
During the session I'm going to cover a few key reasons why we think a student should choose the University of Derby as their first choice of where to study in the UK. I'll give you an introduction to the University and our city, some information about our academic excellence in teaching, our campus, sites and facilities, and what makes Derby graduates so employable. I'll also talk briefly a little bit about the subject areas we offer and the courses within those subjects. Then finally I will give you some information on financial support, entry requirements and how to apply, and we'll tell you a little bit about the support that international students have throughout their journey at the University.
The presentation should last around 20 minutes and then we'll have plenty of time for questions afterwards.
So let's begin with a video that explains where we are. The University of Derby, located in the heart of the UK where both city life and countryside are on your doorstep and by road, rail or air it's really easy to get to. Our Derby Campus is one hour 30 minutes by train from London. Our Buxton Campus is just one hour by train from Manchester and, if you're travelling from overseas, Derby is within easy reach of major UK airports. Plus we offer a meet and greet airport service when you arrive. Now you know where the University of Derby is, it's time to find out where we can take you. Visit derby.ac.uk.
Right, now you know where the University of Derby is. It's located in the heart of England in an excellent position to access all the UK has to offer. Derby has a significant strength in teaching and learning which is reflected in its achievement of being rated Gold in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF). We are rated in the Top 30 in The Guardian University Guide. Now this, the specific measurements are based around undergraduate study, so it's a key one when looking for programmes.
We've also though been rated as one of the Top 20 establishments in the country for academic experience and in the Top 250 modern universities in the world. If you come to Derby you will have a chance to use our first-class facilities. In the past 10 years we've invested over 200 million pounds in study, sports, recreation and wellness facilities to provide the best possible experience for our students, and you'll be living in award-winning accommodation in our halls of residence.
The city of Derby itself has held purple flag status for six years, recognising the safe, entertaining, diverse and enjoyable night out experience offered by our city centre. As well as a good choice of cafes, bars, restaurants and shops, there's also a theatre, cinemas, some great parks, an Art Centre and museums for you to enjoy.
The city's location mixes the best of city living with the ability to explore one of the most stunning national parks in the country. If you're a sports fan, Derby is also home to a championship football team with Wayne Rooney as a player coach at the moment, a county cricket site, and has one of only six indoor cycling velodromes in the UK. Derby also has a low cost of living when compared to other UK universities, but the region is great for business and opportunity as well.
The city of Derby is in the top 10 for creating jobs. Derby has the highest wages in the East Midlands and is ranked second in the UK as the best place to make a living. The city has a fantastic engineering heritage too, home to the likes of Rolls-Royce, Toyota and Bombardier. We're incredibly proud to be the only university in the city and in the county, and we're the much-loved second home to more than 1,700 international students from over 100 countries, creating a diverse and multicultural student community.
Student experience provided by the University has been rated amongst the best in the country. We have recently been ranked in the Top 10 in the world for international student learning experience in the Global ISB Benchmark Group of 2018. One of the reasons our students have such a great experience throughout the study is of course the quality and professionalism of our teaching. Our courses have been built by professionals and academic experts, with employability and up-to-date content firmly in mind. A great number of our academics have come from industry or are still involved in industry so they know what it takes to succeed in their specialist areas, and they are aware of the latest industry trends and developments and what employers are looking for.
Our campus is a short walk from the city centre and from the halls of residence. We have a number of sites across Derby and Derbyshire. As you can see we've been ranked in the Top 20 in the world for our campus buildings in the latest International Student Barometer. The quality of our facilities ensures that students are experiencing environments and technology on par with the highest levels of industry. Some examples of opportunities to use are a forensic house with seven replica crime scenes, crime scene car and blood splatter room, a purpose-built crown courtroom, a fully operational stock exchange environment in our Bloomberg financial lab, an NHS standard hospital ward and clinical skills suite.
We own and run Derby Theatre, a working commercial theatre in the city and students studying Theatre Arts will be based part of the time at the site. A new 10 million pounds sports centre includes a state-of-the-art gym, fitness classes, climbing wall, squash courts, tennis courts, and 3G and 4G football fields. We have computer games labs, fully serviced music production studio and media suite, specialist facilities for fashion and textiles, and a brand new STEM Centre building at our Markeaton Street site for science, technology, engineering and maths programmes.
Our amazing facilities are provided for one reason above all others - to improve the employment possibilities of our students by giving them real-world learning. Derby students are award winners, innovators and game changers. They've received national and international recognition for their work, embarking on the life-changing placements both in the UK and overseas to destinations including: for Social Work, India; for Art in Japan; and for Earth Sciences in New Zealand.
Closer to home they are also utilising their skills and expertise to make a positive impact in our local community. A degree, of course, is only part of the student story. Derby supports students to apply their learning with relevant work experience, work placements and real-world briefs. Tailored support includes CV workshops, employer events specific to the subject you're studying, career seminars and online support to make sure graduates are job ready and shine in a competitive marketplace.
In fact 96% of our graduates are either in work or further study within six months of finishing their course, according to HESA 2018. Here you can see some of the strong industry links we have with employers across the spectrum, from charities through to councils, SMEs to major multinationals. We have key partners across the city region, such as Toyota, Bombardier and Rolls-Royce, and as a result of these partnerships the University has a reputation for applied learning and industry relevant degree programmes, offering our 20,000 students unparalleled opportunity to gain professional work experience alongside their studies.
At undergraduate level we have a range of study options from a standalone international foundation programme for students whose English doesn't meet the requirements of the University and also from countries where they don't complete school at the same level, A level, so examples for that might be in Nigeria the WAEC, Ghana the WASSCE and in Kenya the KCSE are quite common examples where they don't meet the requirements for the first year of a degree but we have the one year foundation programme to bridge that gap.
We also offer 3 and 4 year bachelor degrees - the 4 year programmes are the ones which include a 1 year industrial placement - and we have the integrated masters. For those students who don't want to study overseas but still would like a UK qualification, the University of Derby Online offers a number of programmes to study by distance. Our University offers study in more than 45 subject areas, a few of which I'll go through now but you can find details of all of our courses on our website.
Starting with Business, Law and Social Sciences with its strong focus on quality, innovation and real-world learning, we support ambition and drive success and ensure students are best prepared to excel in their careers. Popular courses within these subjects include International Business, Accounting, Economics and Finance, Marketing, Law, Policing, Criminology, International Relations and Diplomacy, and Sociology. We have a large range of partners for student projects, guest lectures, masterclasses and even industrial placements, such as Rolls-Royce, Ford, Toyota, DHL, the United Nations and JCB.
Our LLB is the only one in the UK to train all key lawyer skills: drafting, advocacy, interviewing and negotiation. We are one of only 3 UK universities with an access field trip to the United Nations, and within the International Relations and Diplomacy programme we also offer a 4 year route where year 3 would be spent in The Hague.
We have life-sized courts with a 350 person capacity used for mooting and advocacy assessments by our Law students, but also for forensic science cross examinations and expert witness training for our Criminology and Forensic students. You can also see there are many accreditations for our courses, including things like CIMA, ACCA, British Psychological Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, to name but a few.
We also have an excellent reputation in events, hospitality and tourism management. You will be supported by our expert academics and work with fellow students to experiment and create new services. You'll blend knowledge from a range of disciplines together with practical experience through placements and field trips, to emerge as a multi-talented professional. We are actually ranked in the Top 5 for these subjects in the current Guardian University Guide, and we have strong links with local, national and international employers such as the Marriott and Hilton Hotel chains, the National Trust in the UK, National and Local Tourist Boards and even Disney World.
In the subject areas of Engineering, Mathematics and Technology, we offer a vast range of courses in computing, mathematics, construction management, architecture and then the various engineering disciplines such as aeronautical, civil engineering, electrical and electronic, entertainment engineering and mechanical, amongst other subjects. We provide an innovative teaching curriculum with a balanced programme of theory, but also with a large percentage of practical opportunities. Some of the facilities that you would be able to use at our new STEM Centre are things like Sound, Light and Live Event Technology Auditorium for entertainment engineering, our dedicated computer labs containing dual-screen and multiprocessor computers, games programming labs supported by both Nintendo and Microsoft, and engineering labs where you can study electrical and electronic, motorsport and motorcycle, mechanical and manufacturing, wood, metal and even a renewable energy lab.
Our Art and Design courses are taught at a special site created specifically for those subjects where we offer a diverse and distinctive range of programme. Some of the facilities available there are recording studios and post-production rooms, TV and radio studios and a newsroom, traditional and digital dark rooms, textile studios and classrooms and, as mentioned before, Derby Theatre where students work and study in a major live city centre venue has recently won the Excellence in Arts Education Award at the UK Theatre Awards. Some of the courses you can study within these subject areas are things like fine art, graphic design, illustration, animation and VFX in the visual communications area, as well as things like interior design and product design. We offer fashion and textile design, film and media production, a photography degree, performance areas like theatre arts, popular music production and a new music business degree.
We also offer in this area a number of courses in humanities and journalism but what makes Derby different in the way we teach this is the dedicated personalised support of the tutors, their experience and research reputation in their field of study, their current links they have with cultural organisations, authors and publishing houses, and an access to unique range of nationally and internationally important heritage sites on our doorstep.
Our Football Journalism course is the only one of its kind in the UK, offering a clear pathway to working in the football industry and meet the growing demand for highly knowledgeable and skilled multimedia journalists. You'll have the opportunity to see how football journalism works at Derby County, but also England's national training ground is just outside of the city, they have a media training session there. We've had guest lectures like Henry Winter, the Head of the Times for Sports, and even Gareth Southgate, current England Manager come to speak to our Football Journalism students. Some of the other courses we offer are more general journalism degrees, like Magazine Journalism. We also offer History, Global Affairs and Politics, English and Creative Writing, and Publishing.
In Education, in teacher training we offer a great experience always focusing on students as individuals and working hard to prepare them for the challenges of 21st century teaching and learning. In a climate where there's constant change, and the current pandemic a good example of this the education agenda is sometimes influenced by rapid shifts in policy and our aim is to prepare students to meet these challenges and they are translated into the modern classroom. We specialise in early years teaching but we also offer Education Studies, Special Educational Needs and Disability, and Teaching School Direct and Post-14.
We have some top class courses in this area. OFSTED rated our Primary Education and Further Education courses as "outstanding" and in a Newly Qualified Teacher Survey our students rated their training amongst the best in the UK. In Health and Social Care the University offers courses in Nursing, this will start newly this year in 2021, and we offer full degrees in mental health, adult and child nursing. We also offer Occupational Therapy, Health and Social Care, Social Work, and Creative and Expressive Arts with Health and Wellbeing. We also provide continuing professional development and learning beyond registration courses for current qualified health care professionals and we boast some of the best facilities in the country, and the strong links we enjoy with the NHS and a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies mean we're keeping our fingers on the pulse of what is currently relevant to the healthcare profession.
Some of the facilities that map to this are things like our clinical skills suites, NHS standard clinical areas with the latest diagnostic and simulated hospital learning equipment, and our immersive simulation room.
Finally, in the subject area of Science, we have a very strong research culture, with new knowledge designed specifically to save people and save places. Our expert staff are actively involved in current research and the students are encouraged to have an active mind at every stage of their learning journey, with the aim of becoming a leader in their subject. Wwe offer courses in biomedical science and human biology, forensic science, psychology, sport and exercise science, biology and zoology, and newly pharmacology.
Some of the specialist facilities around these programmes, as mentioned before, our forensic labs, but also biological and chemical laboratories, the crime scene house and crime scene cars, psychological laboratories including eye tracking and an observation suite, as previously mentioned our sport centre with its facilities which also includes a sports and exercise physiology laboratory, as well as a strength and conditioning suite. We also have things like an insectary, the glasshouse, and biology and zoology labs.
So now you've learned a little bit about the courses available, the city and the University, let's talk a little more about student life itself after you've enrolled. As mentioned before, most of our halls of residence are a short distance from the campus and are award-winning, but they are also within walking distance of the city centre and the main shopping site. Most first years live in the halls of residence, and rooms are grouped into flats with shared kitchens, and either have a shared bathroom or you can have en-suite.
Rent is all-inclusive and includes no separate bills. Living in halls is a great way for international students to live in a safe environment and make new friends through organised events and activities that are regularly going on. We usually advise students to live in halls in their first year at least, however if students prefer to rent a private property we can help you find this through our accredited landlord scheme. What we do know is that when international students first arrive they have some concerns about fitting in or making friends. At the University of Derby there are so many different support networks available to help with this aspect.
When you first start at the University you'll be assigned a personal tutor, and this tutor will be for the duration of your studies. A personal tutor is there to support you in your progress throughout your studies, help find work experience and somebody you can go to with any concerns during your time here.
At our library you'll have a subject librarian who can help you access books, help with reference writing and help with academic writing and note-taking specific to your subject area. But we also have the Derby English Language Centre which will offer students the opportunity to develop your English language skills through a range of pre-sessional and free in-sessional courses, so we like to work closely with students to help them improve their academic writing if needs be, their presentation skills, pronunciation and grammar, amongst many other things.
We also have a doctor's surgery on-site which is available to all students. Any full-time student studying for more than six months is entitled to free medical treatment. We separately have a Student Wellbeing team that offer a free and confidential service to all students, supporting with health things from long-term health problems to how to get a good night's sleep, support for learning difficulties such as Dyslexia and Dyspraxia, support for students with things like Autism, and also support for students with mental health issues perhaps, or disabilities.
At Derby we also have a Student Money Advice and Rights Team who can provide financial advice and even budgeting workshops for students. Our Careers and Employment Service is there to help you find your part-time job whilst you're studying, which I know is very important to many students, but also will give you careers advice for up to three years after graduation on looking for that postgraduate job. They can support with CV and cover letter skills, interview and assessment techniques, as well as many other things.
We also have a team of chaplains and faith consultants who are on hand to help our award winning multi-faith centre, which even includes separate male and female prayer rooms. But the one department that you'll probably have the most interaction with and will find you get the most help from is our dedicated International Student Centre which was ranked the best of all UK universities who participated in the International Student Barometer survey.
The International Student Centre supports all of our international students, providing a broad range of services as well as helping you settle into the UK and make new friends. They will start off by organising airport pick-ups through our free meet-and-greet service, invite all students to come along to our welcome events when you first arrive in Derby, and the team can also provide advice on the visa applications and support with any welfare concerns throughout your studies, and even if you just want a chat and a cup of tea they're there for you. Of course study is the main reason for being at university, but there are lots of ways to enjoy things outside of class as well. This is just a few ways students can get involved in university life at Derby.
The Union of Students runs more than 60 societies, from academic and active to charity, religious and cultural clubs. Students could join one of the cultural groups like Derby Worldwide or the Afro-Caribbean Society, or one of the interest groups like the Film Society or the Music Society where they can meet both UK and other international students on a less formal basis. We also have more than 40 sports teams across the University, covering a wide variety of sport from basketball to badminton, American football through to lacrosse.
We feel our undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are competitively priced and offer exceptional value for money. Our course fees will vary depending on the mode of study, so if you were studying on campus, for instance, you would pay more than if you were studying online, but for the latest fee information please see our individual course pages on our website.
You can see the current tuition fees which are valid for both September 2020 entrants and also January 2021. However we have a range of discounts and scholarships available for international students. Full details again are available on our website but I'll just pick out a few of the most popular ones today.
First I'll start by saying international applicants will automatically be assessed for a number of scholarships and discounts so there's no need to complete an additional form. Our Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship is one year's full fees tuition fee discount. To be considered for this students would need to achieve high grades exceeding our entry requirements, but also demonstrate exceptional achievements in extracurricular activity either in your own time or through employment over the last few years, so make sure to include that in your personal statement and also any awards or certificates. Add those to your application.
However, if you're not successful in getting the Vice- Chancellor's Scholarship we also have a number of regional scholarships in the form of discounts with 3000 pounds off the tuition fees, and 5000 pounds for international excellence. Plus there is also a further 500 pound discount if you pay all the tuition fees by enrolment. Terms and conditions of course apply and you will find all of those on our website.
Each of our courses has its own entry requirements so it's best to check our website for the most up-to-date qualifications. You'll also find the international qualification requirements there as well. So before starting the application process what we say to students is you should have made a clear decision on the course you're applying for, but if you would like more advice on your suitability for a course you'll be able to find the Programme Leader's email address on the course webpage, as well as the entry requirements. Or you can contact me directly, or an agent, if you want a conversation about the different programmes. Those contact details will be at the end of this presentation.
There are the options of applying through UCAS or online directly through the relevant course page on our website, but you can also apply through one of our agent partners. You'll find your nearest one on our website, again at derby.ac.uk/agents or if in Nigeria you can apply directly through our full-time member of staff based in Lagos. Contact details I'll give at the end of this presentation.
To complete and submit your application you will need to include your qualifications, so details including your certificates and your transcripts, a scanned copy of your passport, a personal statement showing your interest for the course and subject, and anything extracurricular you've done, and a relevant academic reference.
Students should also be aware that you'll need to provide evidence of English, however for many African countries we will accept the English grade from your high school qualifications, so the most common examples we receive are WAEC, the WASSCE in Ghana, KCSE in Kenya, and also things like the South African Matric and the Zimbabwean GCSE. However if you need any help with the application process you can contact our Admissions team and they'll be able to help you along the process. Once again, please do visit the website for more details on applications and international requirements.
There is no deadline for our direct applications but it's important to leave enough time for students to sort out their visa. Talking of which, we have a dedicated Visa Adviser here at Derby, meet Ash Slater.
So I'm sure you're aware but international students who are coming to the UK to study a full- time course for more than six months will need to apply for a tier 4 visa. This is valid for the duration of your course so, as we mentioned before, when you have the option of a 3 or 4 year degree you need to know when you apply for your visa which version you are applying for because the visa will be issued for the duration of that programme. However, there's lots of helpful information above visas and immigration on our website so please go to derby.ac.uk/visas
Also a lot of excellent advice is available from agents and also, as I mentioned before, in-country staff in Nigeria. On top of this visa to study, you may or may not be aware, but our government has recently announced the return of the post-study work visa in the UK. The new graduate route will allow eligible students to work or look for work at any skill level for a period of two years after completing your course and there will be no cap on the number of students who can apply for this route. Our International Student Centre will be able to help you with this visa application.
Thanks everyone for listening through the web and I hope you found it useful and it has given you lots of reasons why the University of Derby and Derby itself is a great place to study in the UK. Please visit our website where you'll find more specific information.
If you have any questions you can email us at any of the three email addresses you see on this slide. I also mentioned in Nigeria we have a dedicated member of staff. Please also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
So now it's time for any questions.
Thank you very much, Chris, that was great.
Just a few questions because you've covered so much in that presentation - 'Is it too late to apply for September this year, for September 2020?'
No it's not. As I mentioned before, if you apply directly yourself or through one of our agents we have no cut-off date. You just need to allow enough time to get your visa. We are currently looking to start on time at Derby, so students would need to be arriving at the University for September the 21st, so as long as you can allow enough time to get your visa and arrive by September 21st there is still time to apply to study with us.
Okay, how long does it take to get a visa? How long is that process usually?
Well that varies from country to country so it depends on how many applications for the office. So a common example would be it will take longer to apply to get a student visa in Nigeria than it may do in South Africa and that's simply because there's far more applications in Nigeria than South Africa. But on average it's somewhere between two and four weeks to get a student visa after you've applied.
The process of Derby was once you have an unconditional offer, you would pay a deposit that's refundable if you get a visa rejection, we will then issue a confirmation of acceptance which is what you use to go for your appointment. We will also assist you through that, as will agents. We will check your bank statements, check your finance and all your paperwork to make sure that in order, to give you the best opportunity when you go for your visa interview.
Thank you.So how would a student go about finding an agent to help them with their application?
Well there are two ways really, it's quite straightforward. Either you can go onto our website and there's a good section on all of our agents with their contact details, or you can happily contact either the International Department or directly to myself and I will put you in contact with the agents in your locality.
Okay great, and the question 'How do I apply for a scholarship?'
As mentioned, you don't have to apply for a scholarship you will automatically be assessed when you apply to study at Derby. We look at every application which is why I said make sure that you put in as much detail as possible or anything you've done exceptional or above meeting our entry criteria, because they are competitive scholarships and we will compare your application to other applicants.
Okay thank you, and so a question on the English language testing - 'Where can I take my English language test?'
Well there are a number of places you can take it, as mentioned we will accept all UKVI CELTs but the most common one is the IELTS test centres which you will find in most countries. The easiest way to find out where the closest IELTS test centre to you is to contact the British Council in your country because the British Council run a lot of the IELTS tests and also preparatory courses as well. However for this September and maybe for January, because of the pandemic and the fact that a lot of the IELTS test centres are closed, we are accepting a number of online tests as well, so things like the IELTS indicator, TOEFL online, and we even have our own English language test which you can do as well and they're available online and are acceptable in place of IELTS.
For African students, as we know you're studying English throughout school and University, and in most countries that is the common business language as well, we will accept your high school English. As mentioned, the most common examples of this: Nigerian students we will accept the WAEC; from Ghanaians the WASSCE; Kenyans the KCSE; Zimbabweans the ZIMSEC O Level; and South African students the Matriculation. We'll accept those and you won't need to provide a separate English language test.
Okay, thank you very much. So this is the last question for today - 'Can I start my course in January 2021?'
Yes you can but we won't run all programmes in January, we run a smaller portfolio. A definitive list of January programmes will be available by September so you'll then know which programmes we are running in January. What we would also do, because we have a January cohort which is very useful and not a lot of institutions have that, if for any reason you feel you can't get your visa sorted in time for September then you'll have the opportunity to defer to January if that programme was running in January, which means you don't have to wait a whole year to start your studies which you would have to do in quite a number of other institutions.
OK great, thank you very much. Thank you everybody for watching. For more information, please go to our website derby.ac.uk/africa or you can send an email to email@example.com
Thank you very much for joining us this afternoon. Thank you, Chris.
And we look forward to welcoming lots of students from Africa to our University soon.
Thank you, goodbye.
A guide to applying as an international student from Africa video