Strategists in Human Capital!
Affinity International Consulting presents Futurepoint

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Graduate Programme Development Manager – Intern Vacancy

Affinity Student Skills
Job titleGraduate Programme Development Manager
Closing date25/09/2012
No of posts1
Job categories

Education Teaching and Lecturing
General management

Paid / unpaidPaid
Job descriptionAssist in the development of business growth throughout the south east of England.

Create strong liaison links and partnerships with client schools.

Manage and co ordinate the delivery of the student skills programme in client schools.

Initiate contract terms and conditions proposals to clients with responsibility to conduct negotiations to contract agreement.

Draw up operational commercial management reports and recommendations.

Role requires travel through out the south east of England and London.

This is a challenging role with strong management development opportunities for a graduate.

You will develop develop and display strong self direction, management autonomy, and operational responsibility in this role.

You will achieve clear tangible results that contribute to the ongoing success of the organisation.

Tasks Include

Establishing contact with potential client schools.

Organise and schedule meetings with school management.

Conduct programme proposal meetings with relevant school personnel.

Draw up contract proposal to each client school within agreed parameters.

Liaise closely with Affinity management team through various media.

Ensure highest levels of professional standards are maintained at all times.

Write management reports, establish metrics, and commercial data base within operating sector.

Identify areas for programme improvement and development.

Schedule and mange weekly timetable to ensure optimised and efficient utilisation of company resources.
Person requirementsAffinity Student Skills are a dedicated provider of learning skills for A - Level and International Baccalaureate students in the private education sector. We are an independent emerging presence in private education with a dynamic vision for growth within our field.

We are seeking a programme development manager to assist our growth in the south east of England. This is an ideal opportunity for a graduate to establish management ownership of commercial operations involving decision making, organisation, metrics, clients relations, and contributing in a significant way to development of the organisation.

You are a self starter with a keen attention to detail.

You have developed a good business acumen with a strong sense of business opportunity identification.

You are comfortable in a variety of meeting environments especially with school management.

You have excellent inter personal skills, comfortable in a team environment and acting on your own initiative.

You are self directed, possessing strong self confidence and decision making abilities.

You are personally ambitious, career focused and results orientated.

You have a solid understanding of the pursuit of excellence as an operational model, with a critical understanding of professionalism and client quality service.

You seek out challenge with the stamina and energy to bring a project to full closure .

You thrive in a learning environment and are committed to life long learning and continuous professional development

Experience and appreciation of the private education sector in the UK is desirable.

You are flexible, comfortable with very occasional weekend day reviews.
Degree requirementsDegree and/or post graduate degree awarded from a UK university is required.
Subject(s)Arts and Humanities
Business, Finance, Management and Accountancy
Creative Arts and Design
Performing Arts
Social Sciences and Economics
Location(s)London (inner or outer)
South East England
Additional location detailsLondon and the south east of England
Start dateNow
Additional timing information:30/09/2012

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Searchable A level results for Independent schools

The Telegraph's searchable independent school A-level results table shows the percentage of students obtaining A*/A or equivalent qualifications at independent schools across the country.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

New Guardian University Award

Guardian University Awards launch to celebrate UK higher education sector

click here to view article

School Relations Manager Vacancy

We are pleased to announce that as part of our development of services in the UK, we have retained the Reed employment agency to handle the promotion of the following position.We we are now receiving applications from interested candidates. 

 school relations manager

We are seeking an effective and energetic school relations manager to engage with
secondary schools in the south east of England. You will manage and coordinate
delivery of our student skills course.
You are achievement focused, flexible, self directed, decisive and very personable.
You are comfortable in a range of meeting environments, especially interfacing with
school management. You will be commercially aware with a good business acumen
to continuously deliver to client school expectations.
You will be educated to at least university honours degree level, most likely from an
education, training, or operations back ground. This is a challenging role with
ambitious objectives that will positively direct your career path and professional
Affinity is an emerging presence in student skills training in the UK. Our course offers
students the opportunity to achieve their objective potential in school and beyond
into their professional lives.
Join our journey!
We are offering competitive earnings with attractive benefits for the right candidate.
Please forward to us your application with supporting material.
We have a preference for electronic applications. Closing 07/09/2012.
Please visit us at
Postal application may be sent to
Terry Walsh, Director of Education, Affinity Student Skills, Narbeth Villa, 26 Silverdale Road,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 9JA

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Predicting the future of higher education

This is an interesting article from the Guardian discussing possible
changes to the education system.The underlying impression
is that the future is unpredictable, as future economic platforms
that drive the future economies are not yet known or emerging
with robust sustainability. There seems to be several strands emerging,
change everything or nothing!. There is a missing element from this debate,
and that is the calibre of the stakeholder student. It is the undergraduate body
that may become the instrument of real change through inverted leadership.
Is that possible?
The Future of University

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Do you think critically?

Do you want to speak your mind and be taken seriously? Analysing and debating issues is a great way to challenge your preconceptions and form opinions

How to have your say and make it count

'This sucks' 'This rules'

Repeat, until you and everyone else is thoroughly bored. It's all very well to say you love or loathe a particular movie, book, or piece of art, but it's much better to be able to analyse why you feel that way. Plus, it will win you higher marks in essays and exams.

Here are some helpful hints:
Just seen a movie? Write down five things you liked and five things you disliked about it. Now, put the piece of paper away. You'd be surprised how often your opinions change. You'd be even more surprised how often they stay the same.

It's good to share your opinions

It's good to share your opinions on your favourite movies and music. Your friends may have an interesting opinion on something and might be able to point you towards something you have missed.

Read the reviews in specialist magazines, books and websites. Journalists generally know their stuff and might suggest other material you will enjoy.

Take a chance
Try something new. Does classical music really suck? How do you know unless you actually hear some? Talk to someone who already knows about the subject (a teacher, friend or family) and get them to recommend a 'way in'. Don't be afraid to admit if you don't like something, but always remember that you made the effort.

Does it do what it says on the tin?
Always try and determine what the writer or performer wants to achieve. If a book is billed as a thriller, is it thrilling? How does the author create or maintain suspense? Is it by manipulating points-of-view so the reader knows the enemy agent is lying in wait for the hero? Or is it by using first-person narrative, like detective novelist Raymond Chandler, so we only know what the hero knows?

Does it grab you emotionally or impress you with its cleverness?
'The Fast and the Furious' has a banging soundtrack, fast cars, tough guys and doesn't pretend to answer profound questions on the mysteries of the universe. Stanley Kubrick's 'Paths of Glory', in its way, equally as action-packed, is a powerful drama on the futility of war.

Be yourself
Don't be ashamed to like the things you like, whatever people might say. It's a journey of discovery. With the strength to build on your knowledge and critical skills, it could take you anywhere, even creating your own material for others to enjoy.

Credit BBC

Friday, August 17, 2012

Pearson PLC enter Higher Education

Publishing Company Enters the For-Profit Higher-Education Sector in England

Starting in September, Pearson PLC, the British-based international publishing and education company, will join the small but growing for-profit higher-education sector in England. Pearson College will offer a flexible “business and enterprise” course leading to a bachelor’s degree, the company announced on Tuesday. Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, a merged institution that is part of the University of London, will validate Pearson’s degrees. Tuition will be £6,500 (about $10,200)—less than the £9,000 maximum universities in England are now allowed to charge.

The entry of a new player in the private higher-education sector drew criticism from the leader of the University and College Union, Britain’s main faculty union, the BBC News reported. “Opening the door to for-profit companies in higher education is very risky, especially given this government’s failure to regulate provision and monitor courses run by private providers,” said Sally Hunt, the union’s general secretary.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Effect of tuition increase

England’s Tuition Increase Has Led to a Drop in Applications
August 9, 2012, 10:28 am

The pending increase in tuition rates at universities in England has resulted in a sharp drop in the number of applicants, although there has not been a noticeable decline in the number of students from low-income backgrounds, according to a new report. The report is from the Independent Commission on Fees, which was established this year to assess the impact of the increase, which will result in a near tripling of tuition at most universities in England to £9,000, or more than $14,000.

According to the report, applicant numbers in England have declined by nearly 9 percent for the coming academic year compared with 2010, before the plans to raise tuition were announced. The decline is not reflected in other parts of Britain where university tuition is not rising. After taking account of demographic explanations, the report says there are  “approximately 15,000 ‘missing’ young applicants” who have apparently been deterred from applying to university because of the increased cost.

The government’s Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills released a statement emphasizing that students do not have to pay the new rates up front but are instead given student loans that they will not need to begin repaying until their annual income exceeds £21,000, or nearly $33,000, a year

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why " Student Skills"?

This is a very interesting summary from a paper "Doing away with ‘study skills’" by Ursula Wingate,  King’s College London, UK  and demonstrates for us, one reason as to why as to why we term ourselves"student skills" rather than "study skills" and develop our approach to reflection on motivation, mind set, and methods for a sustainable life long learning approach that is built on developing good habits.

In this paper, two extremes of skills development were examined: firstly, the bolt-on
approach that is remedial, not inclusive, and divorced from subject knowledge. It has
been argued that this approach is not capable of developing more than study
techniques. Secondly, the ‘long-term’ embedded approach was discussed that
develops the learning of all students in a progressive and holistic manner throughout
the degree course. Although this approach is regarded as highly effective in
developing student learning for university and beyond, its implementation is difficult.
An realistic and effective approach for universities would be to promote the
embedding of skills on a smaller scale, by encouraging academic staff to integrate
the development of learning into their teaching. Undoubtedly, the teaching quality in
higher education has improved through the learning and teaching enhancement
initiatives of the past decade. However, the fact that bolt-on study skills courses are
the predominant method of supporting students’ learning suggests that tutors’
understanding of the nature and complexity of learning at university needs to be
According to Lea and Street (1998), many tutors may not be aware that students’
difficulties with academic tasks often stem from epistemological assumptions rather
than from a lack of techniques. Raising this awareness would help tutors to recognize
their essential role in developing students’ deeper understanding of knowledge.
Further aspects of this role are providing student with opportunities for reflection,
and with feedback on their performance.

Therefore, the understanding of what learning at university involves is a key factor
in engaging academic staff in the development of their students’ learning.
For this understanding, it would be beneficial to do away with the term ‘study
skills’, which implies that quick fixes are possible, and focus resources on educational
development initiatives, which enable staff to effectively enhance student learning.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What kind of graduates achieve chosen career employment

There is a question that often arises in discussion with graduates about whether they should portray themselves as “nice people" to employers. It is important to certainly show your credentials as a nice person. Current research shows that everything being equal,employers hire the person that attracts them the most i.e. the candidate they like the most. This poses some interesting questions on this subject that I will briefly overview for you. It all boils down to three simple questions for any employer, and generally they may ask themselves these ........

Will this graduate do the job to a high level of competency?
Will this graduate like the job we are offering and will he/she be happy doing it?
Will the rest of the team and I enjoy working with this graduate?

So basically, any graduate really only has to answer 3 questions to get that job! Not so simple I am afraid.The hard part is that they are very tough questions that you are never really asked directly, so everything you do in the assessment process has to send a positive message to the employer.
Nearly all decisions on hiring may be described as emotional decisions, where the skills and competencies issues are decided. It is therefore critically important for a candidate to know themselves. There are many personality quizzes out there at the moment and any graduate should certainly undertake a study on these, to be equipped and prepared for testing. The top five personality issues that come under review have been well settled for the last few years and can be found explained here. I am not suggesting, that they are the all en composing traits of personality, for example, how do we determine intrinsic motivation by external questioning.
Never the less, the enigma faced by any graduate can be dealt with effectively with some good old fashioned preparation for the task. It seems some things never really go out of fashion and quality of work will always be appreciated.

Quiet in the class room!

Research participants were more creative when they were exposed to background noise of 70 decibels, comparable to the sound of a moving car 10 meters away, than when they were in a low-noise environment, say Ravi Mehta of the University of Illinois, Rui (Juliet) Zhu of the University of British Columbia, and Amar Cheema of the University of Virginia. The noise makes mental processing more difficult, which activates abstract cognition and thus enhances creative performance, the researchers say.
In Ireland and the UK, you are not allowed to work in a continuous noise above 85 decibels so 70 is a good rustle of leaves in the background. It is noteworthy that this encourages creative thinking and not critical thinking, so studying for exams. in front of the TV is still not recommended. It might be a good idea for the Art Class!!

Friday, March 16, 2012

We Are Able!

A student asked me last weekend  "So what are the lectures all about"?.
Without thinking, (this is not unusual for me) I said, " The Leaving Cert is not about intelligence, it is about your ability, and we are all able".
The great thing about ability is that we all have it and we can improve it through learning, training, practise, perseverance, motivation, hard work etc..
The Leaving Cert. is a hard challenge for students, let us not fool ourselves. I think it is the most difficult exam , you ever do. It is however, a fantastic experience to watch students, regardless of their ability, master it to their best potential and shape the destiny of their lives. Regardless of everything else, we need to focus on the fact that for the absolute majority of students, it is ultimately a positive experience with good outcomes.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Leaving Cert. Success For Students Seminar: Waterford IT Sat 10th March

Waterford Institute of Technology, Main Campus, Cork Road
Saturday 10th March 10.00 - 15.45
Registration from 09.25 AM

Rates & Booking
Group rates (4 students) - €64 Individual rates - €78
Limited Numbers Apply. Early Booking Essential!

Text 'Booking', names, contact number, school to: 087 096 1761
Email 'Booking', names, contact number, school to

A €20 Booking reserve is made on your account for each student, pending full payment. Payment in full at registration, or through school account. Terms & Conditions Apply.
  • A totally new senior cycle student based training seminar, that gives you the absolute insight on getting it all together for the Leaving Cert.
  • Prepare to succeed in this amazing jam packed day that puts you in the driving seat.
  • Get yourself ready for it in a day, at unbeatable value.
  • Find out why study plans do not actually work!
  • Discover simple things that the 500 plus point student actually does
  • What is the Marsh Mallow Moment and how to avoid it!
  • Why a ruler is your most important tool for studying!
  • Discover loads more of vital info., See you there!
For more information, see

Affinity Education, Kilmacthomas Business Centre, County Waterford

Sample list of colleges, our clients have attended.

Process Overview

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With our extensive national and world-wide network of training consultants, we are able to identify, source and fully arrange your training completely in line with your requirements.

Strategic Management

Strategic Management

We are very proud to deliver the only short course on strategic management available in Ireland. This course has been designed to be delivered in house and is specifically tailored for the Irish multi national IDA high value manufacturing and services sector. The programme is delivered over 20 hours as an integrated format over modules decided by the client. Strategy only works when everyone is on the same page and for this reason we offer this programme for each management forum to take advantage of this unique opportunity. It is fundamental knowledge that companies that have a strong foundation and understanding of strategy and how it shapes future sustainable success are the business units that achieve prolonged success within the greater company structure. Simply put, the business unit that talks the language of the CEO attracts the greatest interest and capital input. Success is always built on strategy. See a sample of our strategic training work.
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