The pilot edition of the Rankings applies QS’s new innovative approach, intending to take the discussions on employability rankings to the next level. Stanford leads this first edition; more than 20 new institutions place in the top 50.
Employability has been a hot topic for the Higher Education industry for years. With far easier access to a far broader selection of universities, it became an even more relevant aspect of students’ decision making. QS has been measuring employability in all of its rankings, with our Employer Reputation Survey running for over 20 years. But given the public’s special interest in this topic, it was time to expand the analysis, step out of the comfort zone, and create a new, specific ranking.
The primary aim of the QS Graduate Employability Rankings is to help students make informed choices for their educational futures based specifically on the ability of their chosen university to help them succeed in the employment market. Thorough research conducted over the course of 13 months saw consultation with, and input from, academics, university representatives, companies, students and alumni. This year’s experimental methodology was extensively refined throughout the year, and we are delighted to have introduced – for the first time ever in our rankings – unique metrics such as graduate employment rate and university partnerships with employers.
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.
The QS Intelligence Unit is proud to announce the future release of a new ranking focusing on employability outcomes for the graduates.
Leonardo Silveira, in charge of the project in London, told Tamara Sredojevic about the QS Graduate Employability Rankings:
What is the QS Graduate Employability Rankings?
The QS Graduate Employability Rankings comes from an extensive research project which has been running since October 2014. This project has aimed to design a new approach and methodology on employability in university rankings.
Following the research project, we are going to launch a first edition this November at the 11th QS-APPLE in Melbourne. As a pilot initiative, this new rankings will not at first alter the other QS University Rankings results.
What initiated the QS Graduate Employability Rankings?
So far, employability has been approached in the most prominent rankings solely by using employer reputation data. But it has also always been one of the main differentiators of the QS University Rankings.
Thereby, after dealing with this subject for many years, we realized there was a huge demand both from students and universities to get in-depth information on employability outcomes after graduation. This is why we decided to create a whole new ranking dedicated to employability. Read more
Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit is invited to give a speech to a network of top recruiters in the UK on the latest trends of Masters Students Recruitment trends globally.
Here are more information. Please do feel free to contact Graduate Recruiters Network directly for more information.
Join us for a fascinating insight into recruiting Masters graduates in a global market. Learn what makes them different to Undergraduates. How you can position your firm to attract them and the channels to use for maximum impact for your budget.
Please reserve your FREE place to avoid disappointment. (One ticket per organisation).
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]
IBM Watson is an artificially intelligent computer system capable of answering questions posed in natural language, developed in IBM’s DeepQA project by a research team which was led by principal investigator David Ferrucci[i] IBM Watson first appeared the game show Jeopardy! competing and winning against the two of the most successful contestants on the show, Ken Jennings and Brad Rutter.
In 2011 IBM announced it was collaborating with eight leading technology universities to advance the question answering technology of Watson. These universities were[ii]:
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
- University of Southern California
- University of Texas at Austin
- Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
- University at Albany
- University of Trento (Italy)
- University of Massachusetts Amherst
IBM intended to market the DeepQA software to large corporations with a very high price[iii] in the millions of dollars, which was expected to decrease as the technology improved. However in 2013, it was reported that there were three companies who were working with IBM to create apps embedded with Watson technology[iv]. In November of that year, IBM announced it would make Watson’s API available to software application providers, enabling them to build apps and services that are embedded with Watson’s capabilities[v].
There are several ways universities can get involved with Watson – from full semester courses with unprecedented access to Watson, to weekend Hackathons and Case Competitions. All designed so that students can engage with cognitive services, access IBM resources, and broaden portfolios[vi].
On 15th January 2015 IBM announced the first winner of its Watson University Competition which is part of the company’s partnership with top universities through its cognitive computing academic initiative. The winning team of student entrepreneurs, which in this case were from the University of Texas at Austin, receive $100,000 in total in seed funding to help launch a business based on their Watson app, which offers the promise of improved citizen services.
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.
Key topics cover:
Education, Innovation & Entrepreneurship
The Chinese Consumer
Visiting Britain – The Experiential Economy
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.
(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)
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.
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”.
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.
(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)
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.