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Application Open for UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks

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QS, as the compiler of one of the world’s top 3 most influential World University Ranking, has a long tradition working closely with global intergovernmental organisations, such as UNESCO.

On 16 and 17th May, 2011, UNESCO together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank organized the ‘Global Forum on Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses’ at its Paris Headquarters when Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit was invited to speak on the QS World University Ranking.

Inspired by the Forum, a book “Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses” brings together all key opinion leaders on universities rankings worldwide to reflect the wide range of views that exist in the higher education community was published. Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit is invited to contribute Chapter 3 in Part One: Methodological Consideration explaining how QS World University Rankings have been developed over 10 years. This book is launched on Friday 28 June 2013, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, as the first of a series of studies to consider trends in education today and challenges for tomorrow.

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In addition, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, was previously invited to sit on the Education Committee of UNESCO UK National Commission 2010-2011, to discuss a wide range of global policies on education, including being recommended by UNESCO UK National Commission to represent the UK to contribute to the policy formation of World Bank Education Strategy 2020 Learning For All.

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QS would like to draw the attention of UK higher education leaders about this exciting opportunity to get involved in UNESCO UK National Commission. If you are a high education leader outside UK, please check the website of UNESCO on opportunities available in your own country. Hope you would find this information useful.

1. UNESCO:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a UN Specialized Agency which contributes to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, culture, sciences, and communication.

2. The UK National Commission for UNESCO:

The UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) is the main organisation in UK to discuss and coordinate all UNESCO-related policies and activities on education, culture, the sciences and communication. It works in partnership with all relevant UK Government and civil society.

3. UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks:

In 1992, UNESCO established chairs and UNITWIN Networks to advance research, training and programme development in UNESCO’s fields of competence.

Currently, there are 819 UNESCO Chairs and 68 UNITWIN Networks established worldwide including over 854 institutions in 134 countries.

In the UK, there are 13 UNESCO Chairs and three UNITWIN Networks established in the UK.

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4. Applications:

The UK National Commission for UNESCO is calling for applications for the 2015 intake of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks.

5. Deadlines:
Outline proposals is 29 January 2015
Full proposals is 12 March 2015.

6. How to apply

All UK higher education institutions wishing to apply for the UNESCO Chairs or UNITWIN Networks Programmes must submit their application through the UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC). All proposals will be evaluated by the UKNC through a two-stage peer-review process.

7. Useful links

8. More information

For more information, please contact Andrea Blick at the UK National Commission for UNESCO at ablick@unesco.org.uk / 020 7766 3491

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MOOCs: The Global Employer Perception

Graduate Recruiter October 2014 cover

The Association of Graduate Recruiters(AGR) is an employer-led membership organisation, whose goal is to ensure that all member organisations can recruit and develop the best student talent for their needs and the needs of the UK economy.

With a diverse network of over 700 members, they work closely with employers, the education sector, and supplier partners to represent big employers in the UK.

They invited me to contribute to a special piece on their magazine on the latest IT used in the world of graduate recruitment: Graduate Recruiter. This magazine is published every two months, and is considered as “an essential guide to the latest developments and innovations in graduate recruitment”.The article is published in the October issue of 2014. Here is the original article submit.

You can read the online version of the magazine here. It is on page 22-23. There is a scanned version of the page.

employer page 29-30 MOOCS

According to the latest research from QS, out of 4897 employers 71% said they were not familiar with MOOCS That the QS Global Employer Survey covers nearly 28, 000 employers from 24 major industries within 134 countries the world over, the findings point to a challenging scenario and signal that the growth curve of MOOCS within the mind of industry is yet to occur. More detailed on the survey responses can be obtained by emailing Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit at Christina@qs.com.

The findings further revealed that:

1. On average, currently only 29% (less than 1/3) of employers surveyed are aware of or familiar with MOOCs.

Figure 1: Of all the employers who responded to the question “Are you aware of/ familiar with MOOCs”, more than 2/3 responded negatively.
MOOC figure 1

2. Employers consider MOOCS as a valid form for professional development.

Indeed, here the figures yield more promise in that 82% of the 884 employers surveyed globally view MOOCs to be a valid platform of professional development(Figure 2).

Figure 2: detailed breakdown of different regions of the world where employers consider

MOOCs to be a valid form for professional development.
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3. Most employers would encourage their staff to take MOOCs.

84% of 722 employers surveyed would encourage their staff to take MMOCs. (Figure 3).

Figure 3: Employers who support or encourage staff to take MOOCs

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4. MOOCs completion on a CV is widely considered by employers as a positive factor in recruiting.

As shown in Figure 4, 71% of 875 surveyed employers consider MOOCs completion on a CV as a positive factor in recruiting

Figure 4: Employers who consider MOOCs completion on a CV as a positive factor when recruiting.

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5. Of 887 respondents who answered the question “What are the main areas you would like to see MOOCs developed?” the breakdown was as follows (figure 5):

Figure 5: employers who consider the main areas where they would like to see MOOCs
Developed in line with the needs of respective corporate scenarios:

MOOCs figure 5

Of those selecting ‘other’ – a significant proportion cited areas related to human resources.

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Employers Global Salary Trends

Graduate Recruiter October 2014 cover

The Association of Graduate Recruiters(AGR) is an employer-led membership organisation, whose goal is to ensure that all member organisations can recruit and develop the best student talent for their needs and the needs of the UK economy.

With a diverse network of over 700 members, they work closely with employers, the education sector, and supplier partners to represent big employers in the UK.

They invited me to contribute to a special piece on their magazine on the latest IT used in the world of graduate recruitment: Graduate Recruiter. This magazine is published every two months, and is considered as “an essential guide to the latest developments and innovations in graduate recruitment”.The article is published in the October issue of 2014. Here is the original article submit.

You can read the online version of the magazine here.

It is on page 28-29. Here is a scanned view of the two pages here.
employer 7 page 22-23

Employers Global Salary Trends

By Ms. Susan Gatuguta Gitau, Analyst & Project Manager;

& Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director QS Intelligence Unit

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The QS Global Employer Survey has been running for the past ten years. In 2014, nearly 29,000 employers from 24 main industries in 134 countries completed the survey, providing invaluable data for the Employer Reputation component of the QS World University Rankings® as well as strategic insight into current recruiter trends.

The value of basic compensation offered by employers in Eastern Europe and Latin America falls below $20,000 per annum. This outcome is mirrored by the findings from the Global Cost of Talent Index from Universum. Students from some countries within these respective regions displayed low salary expectations. The Asia Pacific, Western Europe and US & Canada compensation is valued above the global average while Africa & Middle East falls 5% below the global average.

Chart 1 – Average graduate compensation offered by national, regional and global recruiters

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The global average salary has steadily increased since 2011 signalling a steady recovery from the deep global recession. The fastest rate of growth was experienced in 2012, this, symptomatic in the uptake of confidence in the global economy.

Chart 2 – Global average salary in US dollars (USD)

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Northern European employers are seen to offer the highest compensation on the whole, with Denmark and Norway offering the highest salaries. Southern Europe, by contrast, draws the lowest salaries. Countries classified within this sub region i.e. Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta, Spain and Turkey have fared poorly in the global recession and are laden with heavy government debt that has had a domino effect on business viability, at the local and national level. Switzerland ($92,550) offers the highest salaries in Western Europe with Swiss respondents displaying a greater preference for Masters Candidates. Swiss employers, furthermore, display steady year on year compensation.

Chart 3 – Average salary in Western Europe

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Australasian employers (Australia and New Zealand) offer the highest salaries in the Asia Pacific region, approximately$19,000 above the regional average. According to the Australian Graduate Survey, the median starting salary for new bachelor degree graduates aged less than 25 and in their first full-time employment in Australia is AUD $52,450 . At $11,230, Central Asia (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan) falls far below the regional average salary.

Chart 4 – Average salary in Asia Pacific

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Comparing local and international employer compensation

The gap between domestic and multinational recruiters is most significant in the Asia Pacific at 27%, equating to a shortfall of $10,000. Comparatively, Western Europe boasts the narrowest gap with local pay at 6% less than their intentional counterparts. Eastern European domestic recruiters exhibit the second highest pay gap at 20% below international recruiters.

Globally, a 35% gap exists between domestic and international employers – however this gap is seen to shrink over time. Multinational companies coordinate recruitment on a global level, and do not want to drive top candidates away from key geographies because of a salary differential. As international companies set up operations in emerging markets, they are increasingly willing to pay more for candidates who they see as critical to establishing a foothold in each region. Over time, it is likely that differentials with local companies will diminish, as they respond by trying to attract talent for equivalent positions globally with more competitive salaries and bonuses.

Chart 5 – Salary differentials between local and multinational employers by region

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Salaries by industry

The Pharmaceutical sector is the highest paying sector with an average salary of $34,880 and offers the highest average Postgraduate salary at $40,590 (offered by national, regional and global employers). It is the financial industry, who follows a close second in terms of postgraduate salaries, whilst leading with the highest Undergraduate salaries at $31,690. The average starting salary for the Pharmaceutical sector, at $31,570, a mere $120 behind.

In comparison to postgraduate candidates, the highest compensation gap exists in Pharmaceuticals at 29%. A postgraduate degree is equally a favourable option in Consulting, Finance and Other industries, all of whom post an average compensation gap over 20%. Undergraduate and postgraduate salaries are drawn closer in Technology with a 15% compensation gap.

Table 6 – Average salary by industry sector

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Employers

Interested employers could contact us at Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit at Christina@qs.com for other detailed information about various reports QS produced to support employers to identify the best graduates globally.

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QS University Rankings: Emerging Europe and Central Asia 2014 Launch, Budapest

The first ranking of its kind, it was launched in a stunning city of Budapest nearing Christmas, on the 17th of December. We evaluated 368 universities from the region and published the Top 100, where 18 countries were represented.

The event was a success with over 90 delegates representing over 40 different organisations from 15 different countries. It was a very busy day filled with presentations from a variety of stakeholders, revelation of the rankings results, a panel discussion, a masterclass on rankings and even some Hungarian folk dancing!

We were hosted by one of the oldest and largest institutions in Hungary, Eotvos Lorand University. They proved to be a fantastic host with a beautiful university:

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Our audience was well-prepared, inquisitive and engaged. We received a fantastic presentation from Bogazici University in Turkey sharing reasons behind their success in the rankings. There was a lot of interest and the questions asked were insightful and often challenging demonstrating that rankings are now much better understood and the demands from the audience are higher.

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QS Directors met President of Shanghai Jiaotong University

On 28th November, 2014, QSIU Directors met Prof. Zhang Jie, the President of Shanghai Jiaotong University in London, during the UK trip of Prof. Zhang.

Prof. Zhang is the youngest President ever appointed to lead Shanghai Jiaotong University, an internationally known university, one of the top 5 in China, based on the QS World University Ranking.

 

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(Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit, President Zhang Jie, President of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director of QS Intelligence Unit met on 28th November, 2014 in London, UK)

 

The meeting took place in Imperial Colleges London, a university President Zhang who also visited on the day. Mr. Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang,China Director, QSIU, met President Zhang, who was accompanied by a senior leader of the university.

It is the first time that any QSIU leaders meet President of Shanghai University. Therefore, President Zhang gave a brief introduction about the university’s history, its strategic focus and its dedication to internationalisation, innovation and cross-discipline research. President Zhang also discussed one of a recent article he was invited to contribute to Nature on 15th October 2014 on “Developing excellence: Chinese university reform in three steps“.

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(President Zhang Jie shared his views about Chinese universities reform, as part of the article he recently published on Nature.)

 

Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit congratulated President Zhang on his all the achievement Shanghai Jiaotong University have achieved under his leadership, and responded with a brief overview of the key areas of work QSIU covers to support international strategy of universities worldwide, especially The Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education, which President Zhang was interested in submitting entries for next year’s intake.

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(Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit, talked about the Reimagine Higher Education Competitor to President Zhang Jie,of Shanghai Jiaotong University.)

The meeting lasted for about 1 hour, with President Zhang extended an invite for QS leaders to visit him again in Shanghai in the near future.

 

 

QS University Rankings:Asia 2013

Best Student Cities 2015

The QS Best Student Cities 2015 index was released today. Paris remains in top place, with a number of ranked universities and as a hub of employer activity. It also performed well on the Student Mix and Desirability indicators.

The Australian city of Melbourne, climbed up the ranking from fifth place to take second place, outperforming London who held this position last year. Melbourne has a number of ranked universities and scored the highest of any city for its diverse student mix. Being rated by the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Ranking as on of the most liveable cities in the world, Melbourne scored well on the Desirability indicator. It also scored strongly on Employer Activity. Like the other Australian cities in the index, Melbourne scored less well on the Affordability indicator.

London slipped to third place, scoring lower than many other cities on Desirability and struggling on the Affordability indicator. London however holds its place in the top three due to the high concentration of top ranked universities, as the top city in the world on the Employer activity indicator and with a strong student mix.

Having studied in both Melbourne and London, I have found them both great cities to study and live in. There are things that I have loved about being a student in both of these cities that aren’t perhaps so easily captured by the indicators of the index. I loved Melbourne’s thriving arts scene, fantastic café-culture, and multi-ethnic character. London on the other hand is a bustling global hub of business and culture – home to some of the world’s greatest cultural institutions, with a fascinating history, eclectic nightlife, and a wonderful melange of diversity. This mix of experiences wonderfully enhanced the formal education I was receiving.

There are numerous factors that students consider when choosing where to study, and the QS Best Student Cities is one of the tools that students may use to help them find what’s most important to them. Check out the full results.

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Ground breaking research through collaboration

The benefits of multi-university research are evident now more than ever. The collaborative efforts of University College London’s institute of neurology and Wroclaw Medical University have birthed a pioneering treatment for spinal injuries. Darek Fidyka, a Bulgarian made paralysed from the waist down following a knife attack, was the first person to receive this treatment. Professor Geoffrey Raisman, whose team at UCL institute of neurology discovered the technique, said: “We believe that this procedure is the breakthrough which, as it is further developed, will result in a historic change in the currently hopeless outlook for people disabled by spinal cord injury.”[1]

The surgery was performed by a Polish team led by one of the world’s top spinal repair experts, Dr Pawel Tabakow, from Wroclaw Medical University. This collaborative effort has resulted in a world-first medical breakthrough in paralysis treatment. While both medical experts drew upon their respective strengths and skill, the economics at play present a sound argument for this type of collaboration. This British-funded research would have been cheaper to carry out in Poland in comparison to the UK. Higher operation costs could have potentially slowed down the pace of the treatment as additional funding would have had to be sourced and medical red-tape might have hampered the surgery altogether. This form of collaboration could set a future precedent for UK – Eastern European research.

Details of the research are published in the journal Cell Transplantation.


[1] The Guardian (2014) Paralysed man Darek Fidyka walks again after pioneering surgery, http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/21/paralysed-darek-fidyka-pioneering-surgery#start-of-comments

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2014 International Trends and Enrolment Patterns in UK

The latest report of the ‘Universities UK’s Higher education in focus’ published by Universities UK (UUK), revealed the most recent international student trends and enrolment patterns in UK Higher Education Institutions. Attracting prospective international students is of vital importance principally because international students are a strong income feed for UK universities in a time of post-crisis fiscal constraints and increasingly competitive funding frameworks: over 2012-2013, almost 12.1% of total UK university income was derived from non-EU student tuition fees. International students, furthermore, also bring economic benefits to local economies in UK cities, namely, 18% of all jobs generated by the higher education sector. Nonetheless, overall levels of non-EU student immigration to the UK has been falling since 2011. Although the trend in higher education enrolments have shown only a marginal decline, it is significant because the number of students seeking to study overseas is growing and the patterns and motives of student choices is gradually changing.

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Responses to UKK survey: Change in Number of new entrants in 2013-2014 compared to 2012-2013

Main trends highlighted in the UUK report:

  • By 2013 the number of overseas students arriving in the UK fell. Other main English-speaking destination countries, United States, Canada and Australia, have all witnessed an increase in the number of overseas applicants.
  • UK universities have reported a growth in overseas entrants for 2013-14, but Scotland showed an overall decline in all levels of study.
  • There is a clear split between a growth in students applying from the East Asia and Pacific region compared to the Indian subcontinent and parts of the Middle East like Saudi Arabia.
  • South-east Asian markets (China, Malaysia and Hong Kong) are growing but they follow different trends: the most demanded studies for Chinese students are in postgraduate studies in business and administration whereas Hong Kong students apply for undergraduate programs.

The report also stresses an important element that UK universities need to be specially attentive to. According to the 2014 NUS survey of international students already in the UK, the majority feel unwelcome, and a significant number would not recommend the UK as a study destination to their friends or relatives [1]. This negative word-of-mouth effect derived from the lived experiences of students might contribute further to the decline of the UK as a preferable study destination. More bad news in the report are the results from IDP international Student Buyer Behaviour Research 2013. In this study, the UK was rated as the worst destination among the Top 5 English-speaking destinations (US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand) in terms of perceived graduate employment opportunities, and fourth in terms of student visa requirements/policies [2]. Finally QSIU Whitepaper on Globalization, Mobility and Rankings, adds that working on international cooperation can make border more accessible and it can impact upon immigration frameworks [3]. The reports paint a tense scenarios in a globalizing world where fluid movement is necessary, as with trade: the UK has seemingly less to offer to international students, and the postgraduate employment opportunities for non-EU graduates is likewise a key factor affecting the overall brand engagement and attractiveness of UK universities. Therefore, in order to secure a return to growth, the study recommends launching an international student growth strategy which would communicate a consistent message, namely, that the UK is a welcoming destination to international students and that post-study work opportunities exist independent of any net migration target.

[1] National Union of Students (NUS) http://www.nus.org.uk/en/news/press-releases/international-students-feel-unwelcome-in-uk-as-immigration-bill-set-to-create-new-barriers-to-study/

[2] IDP International Student Buyer Behaviour Research 2013 http://www.uk.idp.com/PDF/101372_IDP_MEL_Buyer_210x595mm_Infographics_V04.pdf

[3] QS Intelligence Unit: Globalisation, Mobility & Rankings. September 2014.

Park Guell views of Barcelona

The Spanish Resurrection

For the past few years Universities in Southern Europe had deeply suffered the consequences of the world financial crisis. As most Spanish universities rely mainly on public funding, the Higher Education industry has been particularly affected by the consequences of the budget cuts.

However, the latest edition of the QS World University Ranking shows that Spanish universities are doing its best to overcome the adversities. In general terms, they are performing better for a second year in a row. In the top we find the Catalan flagship universities; the historical University of Barcelona (UB), which this year has progressed from 178 to 166, followed by the Autonomous University of Barcelona; which went up from the 177 position to 173.

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Photo by Kevin Dooley; licensed via Creative Commons.

UK: student failing degree trying to blame university

A story published a few days ago on the Times Higher Education caught my attention. This was explaining how a international student at the University of Warwick who failed her Master’s degree is claiming she should not have been accepted in the first place because the result of her English language test taken in Pakistan – the Warwick English Language Test – did not meet the minimum threshold required by the institution. In fact, it was slightly under (BCC) the required level (BBC) so the student now feels the university offered her a place in the programme because of the high tuition fees she was paying – particularly in the UK because of the university reforms and the consequent tuition fee hike allowing universities to increase the tuition fees to £9,000 for undergraduate studies. As for postgraduate studies, tuition fees can easily achieve more than £10,000 per year. The university later confirmed a typo in the test results led to this error of offering a place in the programme.

On the one hand the student may have not achieved the required English level during the admission test, but did not seem to query the institution why she was offered a place and did accept it so it is not entirely fair to claim something if this fact was ignored from the beginning. On the other hand, institutions could maybe make sure the admission standards have been taken into consideration. Mistakes happen, and that’s how we learn from them.

Speaking about the issue of English not being up to the required standard to enrol a university, as an international student myself from a country where English is not an official language, if I knew I didn’t meet the required level and I was still given the chance to study to a top university, I would definitely study harder to make sure to pass.