Our latest QS report,‘Is Brexit Turning International Students Away From the UK?’, derived from the analysis of interviews which took place in cities across Europe, saw the emergence of several key themes among perceptions of post-Brexit UK as a study destination. One theme that stood out as particularly contentious was the role of money in higher education. Concerns about finances wound their way through many of our participant’s views, and in many different contexts.
For students, one defining benefit of the UK being part of the EU has been the reciprocal fee agreements between EU member states, which enable EU citizens to study in countries throughout Europe for the same price as domestic students. In the likely event that the UK no longer benefits from these agreements post-Brexit, then students from the EU studying in the UK will start being charged the same amount as international (i.e. non-EU) students, which are normally considerably higher fees. Read more
On 1st July 2017, Carrie Lam, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong quoted 2 QS rankings in her inauguration speech in front of China President Xi Jinping and 2,000 VIP guests to highlight 20 years education achievements of HK since its handover to China.
In her inaugural speech, Lam vowed to repay the trust and support of the people and the central government’s support with “with diligence and achievements”.
She said, “On this important day marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, and as witnessed by all here present, I have been sworn in by the President of the People’s Republic of China as the fifth-term Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is with a humble heart that I accept this greatest honour of my life and prepare to take on the greatest challenge in my public service career. Over the next five years I will respond to the trust and support placed in me by the people of Hong Kong and the Central People’s Government with diligence and achievements of the governing team under my leadership”.
When reflecting on the achievements HK has achieved in the past 20 years returning to China, she said:
“Hope propels a society forward, and confidence is the foundation of hope. We have no reason to lose confidence if we look closely and rationally at what we have achieved over the past two decades since our return to the Motherland”. She started to list all the achievements HK has got on its economy, finance, an the rule of law and safety. She concluded this section by quoting 2 QS universities rankings to highlight the education achievements of HK since returning to China in 1997:
“Five of our universities rank among the world’s top 100, and the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong is the best dental school in the world”.
Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said, “It is a tremendous honour to hear that 2 QS university rankings was quoted by the new Chief Executive of HK in her inauguration speech, as the only benchmark, to prove 20 years education achievement of HK since handover to China. HK is one of the best place in the world for higher education. I look forward to the opportunity to working more closely with each of the HK university and the government in further strengthening their international competitiveness across all key subjects areas!”
On 8th June 2017, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said in an interview with Ta Kung Pao, the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China, that “Three out of five Hong Kong Universities which are ranked within the global top 100 were established less than 50 years ago. That is mainly due to HK’s unique advantage of geographic location and prosperity of its economy. HK have been able to cultivated some of the world’s best universities in a short time with its big research impact, strong innovation, truly international environment, and the ability to attract some of the top talents from around the world. Its influence is increasingly felt globally. The Dentistry of Hong Kong University has twice been ranked as the world’s No.1 has again demonstrated the unrivalled world-class excellence of Hong Kong higher education system. Hong Kong Universities are going to continue its leading position in more cutting-edge subjects soon“.
The full inauguration speech can be found here.
As part of our quest for more qualitative research about international students’ motivations, we visited one of the key student recruitment markets – India. Did we learn something new about the way Indian students select universities abroad? Certainly. Did we confirm some of the stereotypes that already existed? Somewhat.
Let’s start with a stereotype that we have found some evidence for…
1. Indian students’ parents are actively involved in their educational and career choices.
Although this is still the case, it would seem the attitude here is shifting. A number of students have told us that their parents will actively and sometimes inevitably give them advice on what to study and which countries/universities to target. What’s unclear is just how much influence this actually has on their decisions. When we probed students further on this topic, they would often say that they feel they have to consider their family’s views even if they don’t always agree or feel they have the most relevant experience to be providing advice on the matter but would then seek advice from elsewhere.
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.