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Tips, Advice & Info for Student

Tips, Advice & Info for Student (3)

NUS has been awarded £5 million by HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) for a Students’ Green Fund, the four key themes of which will be student participation, partnership, impact and legacy.


The funding will help students to engage with their universities and colleges on sustainable development, and to ensure that sustainability remains a priority with institutions.


NUS will run a single-round bidding competition in summer 2013, to allocate the funding. The funded projects will then receive the funding over two full academic years (2013-14 and 2014-15).


The Students’ Green Fund will encourage local collaborative sustainability initiatives through students’ unions, putting students in the driving seat for sustainability engagement initiatives, as well as supporting them in their role as agents for change.


NUS is determined to create a social norm of sustainability in institutions. The ground work laid by initiatives such as Student Switch Off in university dormitories, the sustainable food programme, Student Eats, and Green Impact, will be strengthened by the Students’ Green Fund. 


HEFCE recently signed up to NUS’ national environmental accreditation and awards scheme - Green Impact. Run by trained students, Green Impact uses a series of online workbooks to help staff achieve a range of green targets. These include increasing recycling of food and drink packaging, reducing energy use, sourcing sustainable products, and promoting the use of public transport.


Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive, HEFCE said:


“We are very pleased to be able to support this excellent student led initiative. It has the full support of the sector and will play an important role in helping meet challenging carbon targets and wider sustainable development goals.”


Engagement is a key theme of the Students’ Green Fund. It aims to engage everyone from students to governors to course representatives and the wider community. A key priority for the fund will be strategic community partnerships that encourage community learning and development in the area of sustainability.


Danielle Grufferty, NUS Vice President Society and Citizenship said:


“We are really excited to build on the sustainability work begun by NUS through Green Impact. HEFCE’s investment in students indicates a firm commitment to producing those who are both qualified and sustainably literate when they graduate.”


The personal digital footprints of this year’s new graduates could cost them a job, warns a public relations expert.

Victoria Tomlinson, author of a new ebook, From Student to Salary with Social Media, says: “Thousands of young people left university this summer without understanding what a quick Google search tells an employer about them. They might have good CVs, but if their Twitter and Facebook accounts are full of evidence of drunken debauchery or what employers see as bullying and unpleasant comments, then they won’t make the shortlist. And they may never know why.”

Victoria Tomlinson, chief executive of Northern Lights PR, urges students to clean up their social media profiles and tighten privacy settings because employers do make judgements if they see unpleasant language and behaviour online.

Claire Morley-Jones, managing director of HR180, recruits everyone from part-time staff to chief executives on behalf of her clients. She says: “We do use social media to find candidates. Unfortunately, more often than not we are concerned about what we see online. Some of the worst cases have involved searching for potential candidates and discovering online content that involves salacious, ‘peeping tom’ style photos of a recent night out, accompanied by comments of a derogatory, insensitive and callous nature towards the participants!”

Asad Ali is a partner in law firm Blacks Solicitors and an active user of Twitter. “We definitely disregard some candidates because of what we see online, but others come over as extremely professional and engaging in their social media and that counts as a plus."

Victoria Tomlinson agrees that social media also offers students and graduates a chance to stand out in the job market: “Students are surprised when we say they should have a professional LinkedIn profile. Already a third of employers are recruiting by putting jobs online and searching for people on LinkedIn with the right skills and experience.”

Sarah Larby, classics student at Newcastle University, read the ebook and said: “It’s helped me to see where I was going wrong with my online profiles – and how to change and improve them. I'd never seen Twitter as a way of targeting and interacting with businesses but this book explains it's an easy way to generate a relationship with a business you are interested in.”

Written for students, careers advisers and parents, the ebook is practical and packed with tips and advice from employers and headhunters as well as examples of students successfully using social media to win a job. It covers how to protect a student’s ‘personal digital footprint’; create a professional profile online; include keywords for Google; create LinkedIn and Twitter profiles; engage with employers online and write a blog to demonstrate passion for a career.

From Student to Salary with Social Media is available for £1.02 from Amazon

The Exam Results Helpline has handled thousands of calls since A-level results day and is bracing for another surge on GCSE results day this Thursday [August 23].

The 40 experts who make up The Exam Results Helpline on 0808 100 8000 are a lifeline for students whose grades are higher or lower than expected and need to rethink their futures.

The Exam Results Helpline, an independent and free service funded by the Department for Education, opened on August 16 and runs until August 25.

ERH advisors, who answered 11,000 calls last year, say most questions are about re-sits, re-marks, university or college courses, apprenticeships, NVQs, HNDs, diplomas, finding employment, setting up in business, moving away from home and gap years.

Each is fully trained with at least five year’s experience as a professional careers advisor. Calls are free from landlines but charges vary from mobile phones or other networks.

More information, including videos of students who did not get their grades, can be found on the Exam Results Helpline website,

Careers advisor Sarah Bull said: “The main message we are giving to students is that if you did not get the results you expected, don’t get stressed.

“Get plenty of information by talking to us, your teachers, or school careers adviser and don’t rush into anything. “Take your time before deciding what to do next.

“It is particularly important that students get good advice about the range of options available to them after GCSEs.”

Taking A-levels is not for everyone. It may be that an apprenticeship or a BTEC is a much more suitable option - giving the opportunity to gain employability skills, achieve a qualification and potentially earn a wage at the same time. The bottom line is that each student must decide what is right for them.

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