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QS Meet MR. BRIC Jim O’Neill

On 11th March 2015, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit met Jim O’Neill, ex Chairman Goldman Sachs Asset Management, father of the term “BRIC”. They enjoyed an interesting discussion on the QS BRICS University Ranking.

About the Conference
This is the 3rd year of the annual China Business Conference, oragnised by the China-Britain Business Council. This year, it attracts 500 participants, most of leading business leaders who are working on the Chinese market. More than 40 topical speakers have been invited from McKinsey, Alibaba, Arup, UK and PRC Government, Oxford University, just to name a few. The event was supported by CBI, London & Partners, British Chambers of Commerce, Commercial Section of the Chinese Embassy, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, The UK Chinese Business Association.
CBBC conference

Key topics cover:
Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Liveable Cities
The Chinese Consumer
China Outbound
Visiting Britain – The Experiential Economy
Advanced Manufacturing

goldman sachs
Jim O’Neill on the Chinese Economy
Jim O’Neill is previously the chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. He is one of the world’s most famous economists, who is best known for coining the term BRIC, which stands for Brazil, Russia, India, and China—the four rapidly developing countries that have come to symbolise the shift in global economic power away from the developed G7 economies.

Jim gave a keynote speech titled “Growth & China: Quality vs Quantity”. He seems to be very optimistic about the Chinese economy.

He argued that the slightly slowed Chinese economy is not a bad thing that might have concerned some. Instead, he argue that the Chinese economy currently stands at 7% GDP growth annually is mainly because “the Chinese government want its economy to slow down”. “The Chinese government is pursuing quality as opposed to quantity of growth”.

The Chinese economy has already slowed down in the past decade. However,”China’s economic growth hasn’t slowed as much as I predicted for the whole decade – yet.” And “China is the only BRIC not to disappoint”.

“Economically, at 7% growth, China creates another India every 2 years, another UK every 1 year, and another South Africa every 3 months”.

Talking about the role of the Chinese economy in the world, he pointed out that “the world economy in past 20 years has not slowed down that much than expected was directly a result of the strength of the Chinese economy”.

In conclusion, he proposes that he is very looking forward to 2016 when China would be hosting the G20 and he is keen to talk to policies makers in China to assist the sustainable development of its economy and hence the global economy.

Jim O’Neill and QS BRICS University Ranking
It was not the first time Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director of QS Intelligence Unit met Jim O’Neill. They met quite a few times before at various events. For example, 30th September 2014 Lecture with Gerard Lyons and Jim O’Neill, The New Economic and Political World Order: Challenges and Opportunities on 30th September 2014 at the 48 Group Club event.

Before his keynote speech at China-Britain Business Council China Business Conference, Jim O’Neill and Dr. Christina Yan Zhang had a discussion about the QS BRICS University Ranking.

Jim O’Neill was surprised that it was the Russian, rather than the Chinese government who sponsored the BRICS Universities Ranking! Obviously, Mr. BRICs believed that China was the one that performed best among the BRICS countries and ideally, they would be the one to sponsor a regional rankings like this.

Jim O’Neill was very pleased to read the QS BRICS University Rankings and happily took a photo holding the ranking supplyment with Dr. Christina Yan Zhang.
Jim 1
(On 30th September 2014, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit met Jim O’Neill at a 48 Group Club event with Gerard Lyons spoke on The New Economic and Political World Order: Challenges and Opportunities)


QS met OECD Secretary General

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On 23th Febuary, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, was invited to an event where Angel Gurría Secretary-General of OECD was giving a City Lecture hosted by Official Monetary and Financial Official Monetary and Financial Institutions Forum(OMFIF) The Livery Hall of London, UK.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was founded after WWII, in 1948 to run the US-financed Marshall Plan for reconstruction of Europe. Since 1961 when the new OECD Convention was implemented, OECD has grown to become an influential international economic organisation of 34 countries, supporting economic progress and world trade. Through close working partnership with Brazil, China, India, Indonesia and South Africa, OECD actively engage 40 countries that account for 80% of world trade and investment.

Angel spent about half an hour talking about his view on efficient measures to attract global investments to bring about stronger, fairer and greener economic growth around the world. He had quoted a lot of figures in his speech to highlight the importance of productivity in boosting long term economic growth around the world.

Productivity Freeway Exit Sign

He stressed many times in his speech the reasons that many countries in the world now start to experience slow growth economy- It is mainly because of productivity issue in the labour force-not since the financial crisis in 2008 , but long before that.

To order to enhance productivity, education is positioned at the centre, to support innovation, entrepreneurship, skills of labour markets, research, knowledge transfer. He used the example of Greece to highlight the issue of how low productivity has impacted on its economy.

The OECD Secretary General believed that now it would be the right time to encourage countries to develop a knowledge-driven economy, with more investments to strengthened infrastructure and better finance to support SMEs are all important to enhance productivity of countries, and hence boost long term economic growth.

On infrastructure, he said that measures should be developed to encourage more private sector to actively participate in infrastructure investment through the Public Private Partnerships (PPP).


Questions to the OECD Secretary General
As always, I was the first to raise the hand to ask the VIP speaker a question. I did think about asking him a question on education related question. But since he had spent so much time talking about the importance of productivity and the role of education in supporting. It might sound a bit repetitive in doing that. Therefore, I said: “Mr. Secretary General, you know it is now Chinese New Year now. While people around the world are celebrating Chinese New Year, many policies makers around the world are also discussing the Chinese Economy, which has grown into a ‘New Normal’stage, with slightly slower but healthy economic growth as proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping. What is your view on the Chinese Economy with the ‘New Normal’growth, and how would that impact on our discussion today-global investments to support a stronger, fairer and greener growth”.

Clearly, the OECD Secretary General is very optimistic about the Chinese economy. He said that “The Chinese Economy with an annual growth rate of 7% is sustainable”. He thought the Chinese government is obviously very modest about their own economic forecast-“When President Xi Jinping said that the Chinese Economy would maintain about 7%, that is probably means the Chinese economy would remained at about 7.5% growth a year”. “They always tend to low-down the economic growth. That is very smart.If you end up 7.2%a year, you could say you over-shot the proper target”. China’s GDP grew at 7.4% last year”. “At such a growth rate, It does not let you lose any credibility. This is especially useful if you moderate the speed of growth. I think 7% growth is sustained and is good, which is normal, which is proper.I think anyone who thought they would be able to sustain 11% growth every year is not sustainble”. In conclusion, he said, “The current Chinese economy is stronger, fairer and greener growth”.

QS Discussion
After the lecture, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang had enjoyed a interesting discussion with Angel Gurría Secretary-General of OECD on potential opportunities for OECD to work with QS on education related projects. Mr Secretary-General of OECD was very interested in what QS have been doing on the World University Ranking. He was very happy to be given the QS World University Ranking 10 Years Anniversary Book and a supplement of the QS World University Honoured. The Secretary General said he would like to ask Andreas Schleicher – Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at OECD to get in touch and explore opportunities working together.

20150223_144203_ OECD
(Angel Gurría Secretary-General of OECD took a photo with Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, holding both QS World University Ranking 2014 Supplement and QS World University Ranking 10 Years Anniversary Book, as a special recognition of the great work QS has been doing in the world of higher education)

(c) Apple

UK: Watches banned from university exams

Remember when the Google Glass was developed? This was in 2011 and the main idea was to enable users to be connected to the Internet and use a camera with their glasses (although it is currently not developed enough to be available on the market). Last year you probably heard from another IT giant the future launch of the Apple Watch, a new device that will be connected to the Internet and capable of file storage. It is planned to be available on the market from April 2015 with a price starting at $349 (£223 and AU$40).

Last year, the University of London was already discussing about the smart watches potentially becoming a problem in the examination hall from 2015 and beyond, as academics were worried about cheating.

As a precautionary measure, several UK universities have now issued a ban for students during exams to wear a wrist watch, not only smart watches by any watches. It can now be read in City University London’s website: “Due to the introduction of smart watches, candidates are no longer permitted to wear any kind of wrist watch in an examination venue. Please ensure that your wrist watch is placed in your bag before the start of the examination. Anyone found wearing a wrist watch in the examination venue will be asked to remove it and to place it on the floor under their desk.” Are they right to do so? Of course, mobile phones and tablets are already forbidden during exams so why not watches too. An old wall clock will always be reliable.

This precautionary measure has generated some interest in the higher education news in the last few days as students will be ask to remove all wristwatches before taking an exam in selected universities. UK is not the only country taking measures to avoid cheating during examinations, for instance it can be read on Nanyang Technological University’s website that smart watches should not be brought in the examination hall.


President of The Rockefeller Foundation Spoke at London


The Rockefeller Foundation is a famous philanthropic organization and private foundation, established by John D. Rockefeller (“Senior”), the American business magnate, who co-founded the Standard Oil Company which has a major impact of the oil industry.

In addition to the big petroleum industry business Rochefeller started, he is also considered to have defined the structure of modern philanthropy through setting up the The Rockefeller Foundation in New York State May 14, 1913.

In the first year of its foundation, $35 million was made as a gift to the foundation, followed by another $65 million donation by John D. Rockefeller (“Senior”) . After 100 years develoment, The Rockefeller Foundation now has an endowment fund of $3.696 bn USD


For more than 100 years, “to promote the well-being of humanity throughout the world” has been advocated as the mission of the Rockefeller Foundation.

Nowadays, one of the key areas the Rockefeller Foundation focus is on “building resilience by helping people, communities and institutions prepare for, withstand, and emerge stronger from acute shocks and chronic stresses”. This is discussed in greater details of the book “The Resilience Dividend: Being Strong in a World Where Things Go Wrong”Resilience dividend

Dr. Judith Robin, is the author of this book, and also the first female President of the Rockefeller Foundation since 2005 . She was previously the first permanent female president of an Ivy League University in the USA-being the 7th President of the University of Pennsylvania(1994-2004), which is being ranked the world’s Top 13th by QS World University Ranking 2014/15.

Today, on the 19th January 2015, Juditch Robin, was interviewed by Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta on her book. NESTA. NESTA is formerly NESTA, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts. There are about 200 delegates including senior leaders from the Cabinat Office, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Department for International Development, World Bank, leading UK think tanks and corporates such as Arup, Barclays, Burberry, as well as universities leaders. Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit was also invited to this high profile event.


NESTA is set up in 1998 through £250 million endowment fund established through an Act of the UK Parliament, with the mission to promote innovation capacity of the UK. Nesta was previously an executive non-departmental public body till 2012 when it was made into an independent charity.

There are indeed a lot of interesting points Judith Rodin put forward in her speech about efficient overall strategy to help individual, community, business, government of cities around the world to have more “Resilience”, as defined by a blog Judith wrote in 2014, as “the ability of people, communities and institutions to prepare for, withstand, and bounce back more rapidly from acute shocks and chronic stresses”.

For example, she put forward “Awareness, Redundancy / diversity, Integration, Self regulation, Adaptability as the 5 key characteristics of resilience. Some may argue that the whole idea is about “rebranding the art of city planning” in a new way, as suggested by Katherine Mathieson, Programmes Director for British Science Association.

Also, $100 million has been allocated by the Rockefeller Foundation since 2013 to create the project 100 Resilient Cities-selecting 100 cities around the world to provide support to build urban resilience around the world. Maybe for QS, there could be an consideration to include how resilient a city is as part of the QS Best Students Cities Rankings next year?
QS best city

Judith also mentioned about the role education systems around the world could play in contributing to more resilient cities around the world. Her view on that is to educate students, to raise the awareness of such issue. Another part of role universities could play is on the research and innovation on the design and planning of infrastructure of cities, which would certainly have a major impact on how resilient cities could become when face unexpected catastrophy and disasters.

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit asked a question to Judith Robin at the event, on her view about efficient ways to have more bottom up approaches to get the general public to play a more active role on the grassrout level, so that such issue is no more just on top of the agenda of government and business leaders, but everyone. Judith replied highlighting the role NGO, local cities, communinity could play in organising more de-centralised approached in reaching out to the public.

After the forum, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, enjoyed an interesting chat with Dr. Judith Robin, President of the Rockefeller Foundation on the successful Wharton-QS Stars Awards: Reimagine Education which was launched in University of Pennsylvania in 2014. Interestingly, Judith Robin also knew Nunzio Quacquarelli, who founded QS when he was a MBA student at Wharton Business School and asked Dr. Christina Yan Zhang to send best regards to Nunzio Quacquarelli, the Wharton Alumni. Christina also had a brief discussion with Geoff Mulgan, Chief Executive of Nesta, on future opportunties to collaborate on education related areas between QS and Nesta.


Image courtesy of bigjom at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

France: monthly minimum wage for student interns to increase to 554€

A new law has been implemented in France to regulate student internships that will last at least two months and up to six months. However, for any student internship lasting less than a couple of months, the recruiter has a choice to pay the intern or not. This law has been more than welcome by students considering student internships are compulsory for most Bachelors and Master’s degrees students to graduate from higher education institutions and students usually need to spend more than usual to attend the internship.

Not only the minimum monthly pay is increasing but students will also benefit from the tickets restaurants when the company is providing them to its employees, coupons that can be used at many supermarkets, restaurants or cafés in France that were originally provided only to staff and excluding interns, usually costing the employer 50%-60% of its value and the staff the remaining 40%-50%.
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UK Graduates poised to attract higher salaries


A recent report published by High fliers Research Limited “The Graduate Market 2015” reveals an increase in graduate recruitment levels; it’s highest for a decade. The annual report, which surveys the country’s top 100 graduate employers, found that that the median starting salary for graduates will reach £30,000 for the first time this year, up from £29,000 for the past few years.

The study suggests that students leaving university this summer will find a buoyant graduate job market. Employers increased their graduate recruitment by 7.9 per cent in 2014, and will expand the available vacancies for university leavers by 8.1 per cent this year. The highest salaries in 2015 will be those on offer from investment banking (a median of £45,000), law (median of £40,000), banking & finance (median of £36,500) and oil and energy companies (median of £32,500). However, Aldi is said to be among the biggest payers outside the traditional firms, with starting wages of up to £42,000 on offer for trainee managers. Students preparing to enter the jobs market in 2015 are the first generation to pay £9,000-a-year tuition fees. While some argue that the high salaries are in place to enable students to pay back their student loans, the report said it was unlikely that starting salaries were raised as a response to the hike in fees but rather to compete with rival companies.

So how do graduates secure a place in these lucrative roles? The key to securing a top role is undertaking work placements at the firm in question, the study suggests. The survey evidences that a third of jobs are expected to be offered to graduates who have managed to do this. A greater proportion of the UK’s leading graduate recruiters are now offering paid work-experience programmes for students and recent graduates, with an unprecedented 13,049 available this year. Two-thirds have paid internships during the holidays for final-year students and half make industrial placements available as part of degree courses. There are also an increasing number of firms now offering placements for first-year undergraduates. Those with no work experience are unlikely to be successful applicants and have little or no chance of receiving a job offer through graduate programmes, half of the recruiters said.


Application Open for UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks


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.


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.


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.


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



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.
MOOCs figure 2

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

MOOCs figure 3

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.

MOOCs figure 4

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.


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


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

employer 1

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)

employer 2

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

employer 3

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

employer 4

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

employer 5

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

employer 6


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.


Shantou University-A Rising Star with Great Potential

Between 24-26th December, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director of QS Intelligence Unit was invited to visit Shantou University, the only university funded by Sir Li Ka-shing, the richest  person in Asia( based on 2014 Bloomberg Billionaires Index), with a net worth of $31.9 billion.

(Sir Li Ka-Shing spoke at the annual graduation ceremony of Shantou University)


Here is an update of her visit.

I have envisaged many times in dreams to visit Shantou University. When I actually visited it, I would certainly say it is far beyond any expectation, although in a different way.

I have been a big fan of Sir Li Ka-shing since the first time I read about his story, but not by how successful he is as a business leader, but by all the great virtues he has demonstrated throughout his career as a kind and humble man. I got to know Shantou University when I was watching a documentary of Li, when 1/4 of the documentary was talking about the tremendous efforts made by all stakeholders to create Shantou University in 1981 and develop it into one of the most enterprising and emerging university in Shantou, a less-well developed coastal area of Southeast China.

Shantou was one of the original Special Economic Zones of the People’s Republic of China established in 1981, but did not blossom in the same manner that cities such as ShenzhenXiamen and Zhuhai did.  I guess when Shantou University was first created, Li Ka-Shing would expect Shantou University to seize the great opportunity of the newly established Special Economic Zone and develop quickly. However, the overall economic development in Shantou has not been that quick as expected. This also impact on the development of the university.

(A picture of Shantou Special Economic Zone)

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