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British Council launches MOOC to help overseas students study in the UK

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A new online course - the first of its kind - has been developed by the British Council to help international students prepare to study at a university in the UK. 

The Study UK: Prepare to Study and Live in the UK massive open online course (MOOC) will familiarise students with the ways of teaching and learning in the UK, as well as student life. The course is entirely free and registration is now open.

Hosted on the FutureLearn platform, the MOOC will run for four weeks from 3 September with 12 hours of content available. The course includes video lessons from experts in the higher education sector, a Facebook live event on 6 September, and mentor support throughout the course.

The British Council said the MOOC will cover:

  • Characteristic features of UK higher education: including active engagement, critical thinking, evidence-based argumentation, and independent study.
  • Study modes: including lectures, seminars, tutorials, student presentations, group assignments, and assessment.
  • Language skills for academic success: including reading, listening, note-taking, speaking, and writing.
    Student support services: including library facilities, English language support, and counselling.
  • Student life in the UK: including practical advice about finding accommodation, making friends, what to bring, and what to do on arrival.

Fiona Samson, GREAT Britain Campaign Director at the British Council, said: "We’ve taken our knowledge and experience of working with international students for many years and applied this to a course that aims to make students feel at ease, more confident and well-prepared for study in the UK. This is for all international students who are about to embark on a life-changing experience and will allow them to join an online community of peers in the same position.

"With 437,000 international students coming to the UK to study, we recognise that preparing for success is beneficial not only for the students themselves, but also for UK higher education institutions and the reputation of the UK as a study destination."

The University of Reading worked with British Council and Study UK to create the MOOC. Vincenzo Raimo Pro Vice Chancellor Global Engagement, University of Reading, said: "I'm proud that the University of Reading has played a key role in developing this MOOC which will support international students studying in the UK, particularly those coming to the UK for the first time. It's an important tool which shows the UK as a welcoming destination for international students taking them through some of challenges they might face."

The course can be accessed through www.futurelearn.com/courses/prepare-to-study-uk/1 and has been co-funded by the British Council and the GREAT Britain campaign as part of their joint Study UK drive.