'They do not always lie - they just glaze over the truth'

December 1, 2006

Kenyan student Evita Situma was sad to discover that Sheffield was not the beautiful, friendly city laden with fantastic employment opportunities that agents had led her to believe.

When she arrived at Sheffield Hallam University to begin her law and business degree, reality soon set in. She could not get the well-paid part-time job she had hoped for, and she claimed that the university was not sympathetic when it discovered that this meant she was struggling to pay her fees.

She said: "Agents paint a picture that Sheffield is such a beautiful place and everyone is very friendly. Agents may say it is easy to get a job, but when you get here you discover that is not the case. They also say everyone is very helpful, but then you find that staff are not prepared to make any special effort for you. These agents do not always lie - they just glaze over the truth."

Viv Thom, international student education adviser said that she did not have details of the case, but was surprised as the university was top-rated for its international students' learning experience.

Manishta Sunnia from Mauritius was equally disappointed with the gap between what she was led to expect and what she found when she got to Oxford Brookes University to start her English studies and environmental science course.

She said: "I understood that the university would organise lots of shopping trips and tours of Oxford. When I arrived, I found there was no welcome, no tours and no guidance. I was expecting better value for money for the Pounds 9,000 a year I pay in fees."

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