What an admissions officer is looking for w/ Anglia Ruskin University
We speak to Mark Coates, Senior International Admissions Officer at Anglia Ruskin University. He has been working in the higher education sector for around 5 years, with the last 2 years at Anglia Ruskin. In our Q and A, Mark gives us an insight into what admission departments are looking for in prospective international students...
'Our goal to respond to the majority of standard applications in 48 hours, by standard, for courses that do not need faculty input or that are for advanced entry. However, courses that require faculty input take longer (up to 5 working days). The process of reviewing an application is undertaken by experienced admissions officers, who understand what the academic faculty is looking for, with regards to academic qualifications and the students’ overall suitability for the course.
Our admission officers will always try to offer the applicant the course, or a similar course (if they are not suitable for the original course they applied to) or constructive feedback upon how the student can reach their desired goal or course.'
'We look for the students’ overall ability to succeed and contribute to the course. We would expect to see details of the students’ academic achievements’, as well as details of any hardships the student may have faced during their studies.
In particular, the information on specific qualifications that an applicant is studying should be easy to identify and ideally self-contained, with a paragraph on each. The content of each subject-specific paragraph should be provided by the subject specialist in the school/college/University, and the most relevant subjects for the chosen course should appear first.
If there are issues over the available space, more detail should be given to the most important and useful subjects for the applicant’s course. The reference should be an endorsement of what the student has written in their personal statement, but it should not repeat information. It is common for referees to acknowledge and support what is in the personal statement, such as pointing out a student’s self-motivation in organising their own work experience, but this is only necessary if the referee feel it would benefit the student to do so.
It is important that when the referee is collating the reference, they are aware of what courses the student is applying for, so they can refer to these in the reference. This is also true of students who have a particular career in mind: if, as the referee, they can show that you are aware of the applicant’s career plans, it strengthens the student’s commitment to that career.'
'These are highly useful if the student has been out of education for a period of time. For example, if the student has been in work, then a personal reference should ideally come from their employer / line manager and should follow a similar line to what is outlined above. The personal reference should address the student’s suitability to the course and what they have in specific and transferable skills that they can use in contributing to the course.'
'We use a mixture of UK Naric, Noosr (National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition) and our own country specific specialist’s to keep up to date on the most recent developments within qualifications’ from overseas and map them on to what we believe to be equivalent to the length and breadth of the UK qualifications’ needed for entrance to the applicants level of chosen course.'
'Our recruitment partners, enquires and recruitment team are able to guide applicants thought the application process. In addition there is general information on our web site for the role of the admissions office. Our offer letters and offer holder packs give invaluable information to students on the admissions and visa processes. Furthermore, if the student is applying through the online UCAS or GTTR systems’ these both have very good guides on the overall application process.'
'In general, the best piece of advice is to complete all sections of the application form in full and make sure that they provide as much information and detail as possible. In addition, to make sure that any gaps in their education and work history are explained, for example a gap year would be mentioned in the personal statement. To note, if the student is applying through the online UCAS or GTTR systems’ these both have very good guides on how to complete the application form.'
'Yes, interviews are carried out for a number of courses due to the practical aspect of the course or the nature of the research that is carried out. We would expect a prospective student to prepare any materials’ requested beforehand, and be able to express their interest and how their knowledge, experience and qualifications’ make them suitable for the course.'
'There is no set number of questions for prospective students’, however in general, we would expect students to able to give responses as to why they wish to study this course, why in the UK and at our university and what they hope to achieve during and after completing the course.'
'A good student application would look to promote their own skills as much as possible and show their desire and aptitude to study their chose course. Within a personal statement a prospective student should include:
'One of the most common mistakes that occur in personal statements are that prospective students do not personalise their personal statement to the course that they are applying to and sometimes refer to other courses.'
Paul Ellett is the editor for Hotcourses Abroad. His role is to plan, produce and share editorial, videos, infographics, eBooks and any other content to inform prospective and current international students about their study abroad experience. When he's not thinking about student visas in Sweden and application deadlines, Paul is an avid fan of comedy podcasts and Nicolas Cage films.
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