Madam Liu Yan Dong, Vice Premier of China, is one of the most influential female political leader in China and in the world

China Vice Premier Endorsed QS work in Major speech Highlighting 5 Years Plan for Chinese Universities

 

On 8th January 2016, during an important speech in the State Council of China, highlighting China’s 13th Five-Year Plan on education(2016-2010) for nearly 3000 Chinese universities, Madam Liu Yandong quoted the latest QS World University Ranking results to demonstrated the international competitiveness of top Chinese universities have already been recognised globally. This makes QS the only world university ranking being endorsed by the top Chinese government leader.

A graduate of Tsinghua University, Liu’s career has long been associated with Hu JinTao, China’s President 2003-2013, who she has been working closely with in the Communist Youth League colleague. In 2013, she was appointed Vice Premier, second in rank, with responsibility to oversee the portfolios of health, education, and sports. Liu is the fifth-ever female Politburo member since the foundation of the PRC in 1949. Since the appointment, Madam Liu is not only the most powerful woman in the Chinese government, but also one of the most powerful in the world.

Based on the 13th Five-Year Plan of China on Education: China aims to build a group of top Chinese universities with world-class quality and reputation by 2020.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, more than 110 “high-level” universities will be established across China in the next 5 years. Some 11 provincial regions have also come up with financial support measures, with the total amount raised close to 40 billion RMB. Shandong province said it would raise up to 5 billion RMB, while Hubei province pledged an annual investment of 1 to 2 billion RMB.

Key tasks requires to achieve those goals include focuses on student quality, innovation, international cooperation, teaching quality and so on.

The 13th Five-Year Plan of China also gives details on the students number they want to reach. For example, in 2015, the number of students receiving higher education, nine-year compulsory education, and preschool education reached 36.5 million, 140 million, and 42.7 million respectively. The Chinese government aim to increase those numbers to 38.5 million, 150 million, and 45 million by 2020. A special focus has been put on the recruitment of top international students outside China.

In the speech of Madam Liu, which is published by the official website of China’s State Council, she said: “The international reputation of China’s education has been growing from strength to strength. Some of the academic disciplines in China have already reached leading positions internationally. This has helped to gain invaluable experience for Chinese universities to developed themselves into top world-class universities with Chinese characteristics. The overall world university ranking of Chinese universities have been rising in recent years, with remarkable progress in academic papers published and international reputations. In 2015, there are 25 Chinese university in mainland China that has been included in the UK’s QS World University Ranking Top 500. ”

This major speech took place at a critical and important time for the Chinese education sector. Firstly, all the Chinese universities just finished its 12th Five Year Plan(2010-2015) and is about to start implement its next 5 year plan. Secondly, the Chinese government have not revealed details on how to allocate the next round of government funding to support all Chinese universities to implement their next 13th Five-Years Plan. Thirdly, the State Council of China aim to build more and more universities and majors which are rated as “world-class” by 2020. However, the Chinese government in the past has not made it clear which university rating systems they would adopt to evaluate the performance of Chinese Universities’ global standing. The Vice Premier’s speech quoting QS ranking to applaud the improvements of Chinese universities are strong recommendation for QS rankings to become one of the major benchmarks to guide China’s next around of education reform.

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said “I am completely overwhelmed by this fantastic news. China is one of the most difficult and complicated markets in the world. It is a tremendous privilege and surprise to get endorsement from China Vice Premier for our work 2 years after I joined QS. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in my amazing dream team in QSIU and QS, without your amazing support, unswerving trust, and invaluable advice since day one I joined, this would never have been possible. Next step, let us continue working closely together to help 3000 Chinese universities of 37 million students to reach their true potentially in the next 5 years!”

(Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, speaking at a University Presidents’ Forum in China recently on the future directions for universities presidents to collaborate efficiently across borders, with top universities presidents from the UK, USA, Mexico, Thailand, Belgium, Russia and Cambodia)

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In with the new and out with old? Or lessons learnt from the past? Remembering and Re-imagining Education

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.

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Lingua Franca Nova I: English-Taught Programmes on the Rise in Mainland Europe

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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How to Keep Student Recruitment Agents on the Straight and Narrow

For universities both aspiring and elite, having international students on the books is an excellent way to build up their global reputation, draw in a wider pool of talent and, of course, bring in extra revenue. As you might expect, there is a lot of competition for recruiting international students, especially among universities with a smaller international profile. This has resulted in the widespread use of student recruitment agents, who bring interested students to universities and guide them through the application process in return for commission. Alongside this ‘soft’ help, the agent’s commission is sometimes taken out of a student’s tuition fees, providing a discount for students and more of a ‘hard’ incentive for them to use an agent.

Of course, where there’s money to be made and prestige to be gained, there’s always the risk of impropriety by one or more parties…

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Rankings – What Do The Students Think?

We were celebrating the 10-year anniversary of QS World University Rankings® last September, marking 10 editions of one of the most sought-after rankings in the world. Who’s interested? Academics, university leadership, media organisations, governments – and, of course, students.

Whilst it may be evident that rankings are growing in popularity and influence (QS is certainly not the only organisation to produce rankings either) and although we know millions of students consult the rankings every year, it is unclear how they use them and just what the impact is. Given the primary audience we compile our rankings for is prospective international students, we set off on a research project to answer these questions.

This new report initiated by the QS Intelligence Unit, unambiguously titled ‘How Do Students Use Rankings?’, explores student motivations when selecting a university, with a view to better understanding the role rankings play in the journey from being a perspective student to becoming a graduate.

How important is the rank of an institution compared with other factors such as course specification, location and student experience?
• Why study abroad and in an internationally recognised institution?
• How are you choosing what and where to study?

These are some of the questions we asked the students we met at QS international education fairs. The trends presented in the report are primarily based on a series of 11 focus groups held in London, Paris, Milan, Rome and Moscow, involving a total of 71 prospective students. We additionally ran a survey, collecting 519 responses, which allowed us to provide a balanced perspective based on a mix of qualitative and quantitative data.

Our findings were enlightening, yet completely in line with what one would expect to be on a prospective student’s mind. Whilst students shared a variety of ways in which they use the rankings and a wide range of priorities, when we pushed for the ‘absolute’ driving motivation, they overwhelmingly gave the same answer…

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What’s the impact of globalisation on student choices and universities?

Whether a prospective student is looking to study maths or Chinese with German, one factor they will need to consider is how well the degree they select will develop their international outlook.

Of course there will always be careers one can pursue upon graduating that are within organisations operating locally, rather than nationally or internationally. Equally, one could pursue a career in academia or performing arts for example, which doesn’t seem to demand international outlook as a primary skill. However, if an organisation is expanding due to its success, it will likely want to reach out internationally at some point. Equally, if it’s a well-regarded institution, it is likely to already be concerned with internationalisation and have a culturally-diverse staff and student body. And if one does become an actor, they will likely want to be globally-renowned one day?

Why is this happening? Globalisation. Here’s a definition from the Financial Times:

A process by which national and regional economies, societies and cultures have become integrated through the global network of trade, communication, immigration and transportation.

Where’s the evidence this is happening? It’s all around us. Just how far we have come in international trade, student mobility and even tourism in the past few decades is phenomenal. And yes, perhaps, we cannot predict with complete certainty that this trend will continue but, unless the World War III breaks out, I think we are pretty safe to assume.

Moreover, whilst global trade may be somewhat more sensitive to political circumstances, student mobility numbers are continuously going up. This naturally puts pressure on universities to become more creative in attracting international students. UNESCO provides some insight on this in their article ‘Trends in International Student Mobility’:

”Although student mobility is expected to grow, institutions have to compete hard for talented and self-funded students.”

As is documented in this paper, countries such as the US, UK, Australia and Canada have had a steady growth in numbers of international students and they are currently considered to be the higher education leaders of the world.

An article from the Guardian supports this by providing the top 10 places for international students:
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If we look at World Trade Organisation’s statistics as evidence for globalisation, we can easily note that the export and import in the world’s most economically-developed countries keeps growing too.

This is yet again affirmed in the ‘Education at a Glance 2011’ paper released by the OECD:
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We can see from the above graph that the number of international students is steadily growing and this is evidence of globalisation in itself.

There are figures from the World Tourism Organisation to say that the youth today travel more, spend more and reach much further destinations. This is also true for those that going away for work experience, study or volunteering.

It seems to me that the variety of different data available on this today allow us to reach one and the same conclusion – developing one’s international outlook is a necessity in the 21st century.

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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 Invited to attend lectures featuring 2 Top Chinese Universities Presidents

On 27th November, 2014, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, was invited to attend 2 lectures at Oxford University.

This lecture featuring speeches by the presidents of two leading universities in China, Prof. Peng Long, President of Beijing Foreign Studies University and Prof. Zhang Jie, President of Shanghai Jiaotong University.

(A photo of St Anne College, Oxford University)

 

The event took place at St Anne’s College, Oxford University. Being one of Oxford’s largest colleges, with some 420 undergraduates and 250 graduates, St Anne’s College aims to “prepare the students for the globally connected society of the future“. Maybe, there could not be a better place in Oxford to host those two distinguished Presidents of Chinese leading Universities.

There are about 100 Chinese students and staff who are studying/working at Oxford who attended the lectures. Besides leading Chinese media organisations based in the UK, QS is only external organisations invited to this interesting event.

Founded in 1941, the Beijing Foreign Studies University  is the first foreign language university and offering the most language programs in the China. It is a small and specialised university, with only 7,000 registered students(5,000 are full-time undergraduates, 1,000 graduate students, and 1,000  overseas students). However, being the top Chinese universities specialised in foreign language cultivation(teaching 58 languages). By 2020, BFSU plans to teach 70 languages, with the ultimate goal of 90. With 80,000 alumni, more than 400 graduates become ambassadors, 1000 graduates become counsellors and therefore BFSU is dubbed the “diplomat’s cradle” of China.

The event started with President Peng Long talking on “The Chinese Economic Transformation- Characteristics of the Third Waves of Chinese Economic Reform”. President Peng is a known expert in China on International Finance and Stock Investment. He is also the Vice Chairman of China Association of International Trade, which is the professional body for experts in China on international trade.

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(President Peng Long, Beijing Foreign Studies University spoke on  “The Chinese Economic Transformation- Characteristics of the Third Waves of Chinese Economic Reform” at Oxford University)

 

He was very charismatic, he started his speech with a joke, “although I was responsible for one of the most prestigious Chinese universities on foreign language studies, I myself is not good at speaking English. I was too nervous last night to fall asleep because I was so busy practising my speech in English. I was much more relieved that I was told earlier that I could speak Chinese”, everyone in the lecture broke into laughters. President Peng, gave a very brave and frank speech to the audience, on his understanding of all the major economic reforms since the foundation of the PRC, especially the opening-up of the 1978, as well as the latest proposal of the Central Chinese Government to upgrade its industrial structure to be more innovation and knowledge driven. The audience was very impressed by his speech, some of the current Oxford students even start to ask questions to the President about how to become a staff of the university when they finished their studies at Oxford!

 

The ranking of BFSU in QS World University Ranking 2012 Arts and Humanity was 177,BRICS 2014 rankings was 87

 

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director enjoyed an interesting conservation with Prof. Peng Long, BFSU President on the international strategy. President Peng was surprised to find that Dr. Christina Yan Zhang was from Nanjing-a city where he had been working for a long time during his academic career. He extended an invitation to Dr. Christina Yan Zhang and asked her to visit him and other senior leaders of Beijing Foreign Studies University when she was in Beijing again. Dr. Christina Yan Zhang accepted the invite and wish President Peng every success in his role leading the university to an unprecedented new height.

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(Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, enjoyed an interesting discussion with Prof. Peng Long, President, Beijing Foreign Studies University on the international strategy.)

The second speaker of the day is Prof. Zhang Jie, the President of Shanghai Jiaotong University, a top 5 Chinese university(based on QS World University Ranking )who gave a speech on “University Governance: the people-oriented incentives system ”.  Dr. Christina Yan Zhang also enjoyed a great conversation with Prof. Zhang Jie, who kindly agreed to meet her and Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit the following day in London despite packed timetable flying back home in China.

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(Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, as an invited VIP guest that night, was introduced to Prof. Zhang Jie, President, Shanghai Jiaotong University, one of the top Chinese mainland universities.)

All the VIPs guests invited took a group photo together with 2 universities presidents and promised to stay in touch for future collaborations.mmexport1418208673871