Monthly Archives

October 2013

Working to boost your prospects

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Working to boost your prospects

Full-time students are being encouraged to find part time jobs to boost their future career prospects, according to a report which has come across the desk of Salford student accommodation provider Portergate.

The report, by student jobsite, reveals that the number of students aged 16 to 24 who take on part-time work while studying has dropped by eight per cent since 2008.

And three quarters of current students, who don’t hold down some form of part-time job, are missing out on the chance, not only to earn cash but to boost their CVs.

Compare that to the figures for the Netherlands, where six out of ten students work while at college or university.

In its report e4s quotes Spencer Thompson, an economic analyst for the think-tank the Institute of Public Policy Research, who explains why the situation is a cause for concern.

Hey says: “This matters because experience of paid work during study has been shown to help young people adjust to the demands and expectations of the workplace, boosting their employment chances after leaving education.”

NUS President Toni Pearce has blamed a culture of success expectation, putting pressure on students to concentrate on studies rather than work experience.

However, it is clear that many students, for whatever reason, are missing out on valuable experience that will give them a potential head start when it comes to putting that first foot on the career ladder.

And from a wider, economic view, UK businesses are missing out on seeing what students might bring to them later down the line, while also helping young people learn some of those “soft skills” so valuable in the workplace.

Concert Networks Bring Business Grade WIFI to Salford Students

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Concert Networks Bring Business Grade WIFI to Salford Students

Knutsford communications business Concert Networks have struck a deal to provide business-grade internet for students in Salford’s latest hotel-class accommodation.

The firm have teamed-up with Cheshire-based Portergate Property Management, to provide 100meg Leased Line connectivity at its new £18 million luxury hall of residence, Riverside House in Blackfriars Road.

Students will have wifi access to the asynchronous circuit, which comes with a business-level SLA and a guaranteed six hour fix.

Concert MD Neil Hollands, said: “Portergate want the very best for their tenants in Riverside House and in these times that includes high speed connectivity.

“Just like in business the internet is such an integral part of student life that downtime can lead to a huge loss of productivity and broadband just isn’t reliable enough.

“By bringing a business level SLA, we can ensure that should there be any issues with the Leased Line they can be resolved quickly and efficiently within a specified timeframe.

“We think it is the first time student accommodation has employed such high spec connectivity.”

The wifi will be installed at the Riverside complex, a purpose built luxury accommodation for students which features leading edge green technology.

Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate Property Management, said: “High speed internet access for individual residents and staff throughout Riverside House is vital and the minimum requirement for 21st century students.

“We have been happy to work with Concert on this provision.”

A Gateway to academic excellence

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A Gateway to academic excellence

Work has started on a £55million state-of-the-art building that is set to transform student life at the University of Salford.

The “Gateway Project” is scheduled to open in early 2016 and will create a stylish entrance to the campus from Salford Crescent rail station.

It will also be home to the university’s School of Arts and Media, although there will be space for other subjects.

University bosses say the development shows their commitment to creating an environment that will “encourage academic excellence”.

The fantastic facilities planned include a theatre, recording and photography studios, café areas, performance and rehearsal spaces, computer suites and lecture theatres.

The green space and paved areas in Chapman Square will also provide a perfect venue for students and staff to relax and socialise.

The Gateway Project is part of a wider vision to create a world-class campus that has already seen some major investment and work.

Last year the university refurbished and extended the Sixties Chapman Building in a £9m development.

And during the summer it spent an additional £1m upgrading and improving library services.

Two years ago Salford’s MediaCityUK campus was opened to give students the opportunity to study in the centre of the North’s media industry. The investment of £30m has resulted in a surge of popularity for media and digital courses offered by university.

Commenting on the university website, Director of Estates Stephen Talboys said: “This is an exciting time for the university as we begin this major investment in our future campus that will continue to attract students locally, nationally and internationally.”


Salford strengthens Chinese links

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Salford strengthens Chinese links

The University of Salford has announced it has joined forces with Manchester’s Centre for Chinese Contemporary Art as it works to strengthen its links with China.

The new partnership involves the co-commissioning of pieces of Chinese contemporary art which will be exhibited at the centre before forming a new permanent collection at the university.

The university says the collection will also be available for loan to regional museums and art galleries, underlining the growing importance of, and interest in, Chinese contemporary art.

The partnership will also establish a national Curating China Network to support curators and artists across the country in developing links with Chinese artists and arts organisations.

It’s a major development for the university and its School of Arts and Media. The move also highlights the growing importance the higher education sector is placing on growing links with China.

Commenting on the university’s website Colin McCallum, Executive Director, University Advancement, said: “We already have strong academic ties with partners across China and an office in Beijing and the partnership will involve the university and the centre working together on commissions leading to important new work for the university collection and for display on campus.

“The university’s School of Arts and Media is keen to build on this new partnership with potential for exchange of staff and students with art schools in China. This year 10 of our students will work with local businesses in Salford and travel to China next summer for one month internships in Chinese businesses.”

The importance of Chinese students to the higher education sector in the UK has recently been recognised by the UK government.

Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate Property Management, is also among those who see the potential China brings in terms of its students and also as a strong source of investment.

He has just returned from a visit to Shanghai where he talked with potential investors interested in Portergate’s growing portfolio of luxury student accommodation, led by the new £18million Riverside House development close to the University of Salford.

He says: “Our business model that has received a terrific response from overseas investors. They see the UK as a solid and strong place in which to invest their money and are excited by our plans and growing portfolio of developments.”

Riverside House has also attracted the attention of overseas students looking for quality accommodation during their time at Salford.

Anthony Jackson adds: “Our new luxury Riverside House hotel-class luxury student residence is within walking distance of the University of Salford, which each year attracts more than 3,000 international students from over 100 nations around the globe.”

Overseas students benefit Britain

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Overseas students benefit Britain

The cultural and diplomatic benefits of educating overseas students have been highlighted in a new government-commissioned study.

The report, entitled The Wider Benefits of International Higher Education, follows a survey of students who have returned to their home countries after graduating here in the UK.

According to the findings they left with “very positive” memories of their time in this country.

And that, the authors say is good for the support of the UK and its products, culture and language overseas.

One of the former students, who studied economics at Cambridge in the 1990s before working at the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, is now at director level in one of China’s national banks. He is reported to have said that because of his education, the UK has “a friend down in China”.

The Coalition has finally, it seems, switched on to the importance of overseas students to the UK economy.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has already announced plans to increase the number of overseas students in UK universities by 20 per cent over the next five years – that’s an extra 90,000 students.

The government’s new International Education Strategy revealed this summer that the UK’s education export industry is worth a staggering £17.5billion to the economy.

It’s all good, positive stuff for the UK’s higher education sector. And it comes as Portergate Property Management chairman Anthony Jackson returns this week from his investment drive in China, selling its luxury student accommodation philosophy to Asia.

However, it’s not only overseas investors that are excited about the company’s new stylish £18 million Riverside House student accommodation development in Salford.


Riverside House, which sits on the banks of the River Irwell in Blackfriars Road, is a hotel-class purpose-built building containing 242 luxury en suite student rooms and it is attracting a strong proportion of overseas students, impressed by its location and its facilities.

Parents of overseas students also get piece of mind from knowing their offspring are enjoying secure, quality accommodation so close to Manchester’s many attractions.

Mr Jackson says: “We went with a strong message to China. Our new luxury Riverside House hotel-class luxury student residence is within walking distance of the University of Salford, which each year attracts more than 3,000 international students from over 100 nations around the globe.

“We’re building on the continuing success of Britain’s higher education sector and the growing demand today’s students – and their parents – have for purpose-built, quality accommodation. They are investing in their children’s future and so are we.”

Portergate seeks interest from Chinese investors

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Portergate seeks interest from Chinese investors

A developer of student accommodation projects in the North West will this week seek interest from Chinese investors.  Anthony Jackson, chairman of Portergate Property Management, is leading a delegation to the Overseas Property Investment Show in Shanghai.  Among Portergate’s projects in the North West is the £18m Riverside House in Salford, a hotel-class purpose-built halls of residence containing 242 luxury en suite student rooms.

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