A few months after launching the Market Insight Service, the QS Intelligence Unit interviewed Dasha Karzunina, International Research Liaison, about its benefits for institutions around the world.
How would you describe this new service?
D.K.: The Market Insight Service is essentially a way for universities to access tailored information on a particular challenge, concern or a topic of interest to help them figure out how they should progress towards a resolution. Whilst the main element of this service is the focus groups which lead to qualitative research outcomes, we also offer surveys to provide quantitative elements and back up our findings.
What kind of topic can be covered by the focus groups?
D.K.: For example, if an institution wants to start a new programme and they want to know whether or not it will appeal to a particular group of students, we could run a focus group with students matching these criteria. This would not only allow us to see what type of program they would be interested but also to find out why they wouldn’t be interested in and what perceived barriers exist. For example, one of our clients, the University of Sydney wanted to recruit more students from India. They felt they needed to reconnect with the region and gain additional information about the motivations of Indian students. With policies and governments changing, students’ expectations get influenced and universities need to be on top of these things when trying to recruit international students. By running focus groups, we helped them understand how they and their country were positioned in the market and what current students were actually looking for. This data can help inform the marketing strategy and implement some key changes into the communication processes.
In light of the upcoming Re-imagine Education Awards, the innovative global competition launched last year by QS and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania to find the world’s top higher education pedagogical innovation. I started reminiscing about my own university experience, and one particular course came to mind when I looked closely at Hybrid Learning. At QSIU, we are proud to have a team with a diverse skill set, a range of over 12 languages, and have come from various different universities from around the world. Below is an account of a few QSIU team members who share their own memorable experience of past pedagogical methods that have been particularly effective.
Despite the improved methodology described elsewhere in this issue of Higher Education World, the 2015/16 QS World University Ranking agree with last year’s on one thing: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world’s top university. It has near-perfect scores on five of our six measures, and comes 62nd in the world on the other, its percentage of international students.
The stability of these rankings is also evident from the fact that the same institutions fill the top eight places in the Ranking as last year, although MIT is the only one in the same position. The most spectacular move affects Imperial College, London. It is down from second to eighth place, largely because of a 59-place fall in its citation per faculty member count. This is likely to be due mainly to the reduced emphasis that we now place upon excellence in biomedicine.
I gave a speech on 15th September 2015 to Graduate Recruiters Network to a group of employers on the latest global salary trends of masters graduates recruitments. They asked me to summarise key points I said at the meeting. Here it is.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my amazing QS colleagues especially Benjamin Clayton and Susan Gatuguta Gitau whose great support and fantastic work has enabled this major research piece possible.
After the major fall in salary levels between 2013 and 2014, 2015’s responses have shown signs of recovery. While salaries have not risen across the board – Eastern European salaries fell slightly, while Asia Pacific saw a major drop – the overall trend is one of growth, which should give students working on their postgraduate degrees a lot to be optimistic about.
Asia Pacific’s salary drop was especially dramatic considering it had been rising since 2012. It is currently at its lowest point since 2011. Eastern Europe’s salaries have declined for the second year in a row, and 2015 is its lowest salary level so far. Africa & Middle East has broken out of its own two-year decline and is growing again, while Latin America and Western Europe have recovered from their 2014 slump. Salaries in the US & Canada, on the other hand, are on a two-year streak of growth, and are at their highest point yet.
There has been much coverage in the media lately about the refugee crisis in Europe. We have seen many volunteers help those trying to cross borders by providing food, drink, clothes, medication and other forms of help, we’ve also seen Germany open its doors to welcome many refugees coming from war torn countries such as Syria and Iraq. Whilst some refugees have found safety, their future prospects and lifestyle still remains uncertain, many of them wish to begin or continue studying. However without the correct paperwork this can prove to be quite a challenge, as receiving the necessary documentation can take a while. Kiron University is an online German university that is crowdfunding a project to help refugees through the form of Education by offering them the opportunity to be able to study for a degree in the five following areas, tuition free.
- Computer Sciences
- Inter cultural Studies
In December 2014, QS published the first edition of the Emerging Europe and Central Asia (otherwise known as EECA) regional ranking. New? Definitely. Interesting? Certainly. Unexpected? Not at all.
I, myself, come from Eastern Europe and so have first-hand experience of education in that region. Whilst I haven’t studied at a university there, I received primary and best part of my secondary education there. I therefore know that there are very few parts of the world as thorough and as methodical in their teaching philosophy as the educators from Emerging Europe and Central Asia. If there’s one thing this says about them is that these nations take education very seriously and have a thing or two to share with the rest of the world. Read more
University students graduating from class 2015 are said to have the highest student debts in history according to the recent UK graduate career survey, by High Flyers Research. This is the first cohort of graduates that have had to pay the increased university fees of up to £9000 which has left many of them with average debt of more than £30,000. This is more than a £10,000 increase to the students who graduated in 2012. This figure will be even higher for medics who have to study five years, sometimes six depending on the university, which could potentially leave the students with debts that they can’t pay back or will be paying back for majority of their working life. This figure is lower than the predicted figure of £53,000 than that predicted in 2011 by The Push University Guide[i]. However the UK graduate career survey study also shows that more students are now likely to find jobs than in previous years. [ii]
After 1989, Romanian society moved from communism to building a democratic and market based economy, aiming to reintegrate in the European family through its political, economic, social and cultural system. In this transition process, the higher education was considered to have a specific role in creating a research and innovation system at the European level. At present, Romania is considered a modest innovator by the European Commission and at the same time an efficiency-driven country, as opposed to other EU countries that are either in the transition process or are already in the innovation-driven phase. Read more
According to a study published by the Academic Cooperation Association, written by Bernd Wächter and Friedhelm Maiworm, the number of English-Taught Programmes (ETPs) at universities in non-English-speaking European countries has more than tripled between 2007 and 2014. Perhaps just as remarkably, they have increased tenfold since 2001.
Data and correspondence show that the rise in ETPs and English as a Method of Instruction (EMI) is set to continue not just in Europe, but around the world – what does this mean for higher education, and academia as a whole?
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