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
An uncomfortable truth we uncovered in our latest QS report, ‘Is Brexit Turning International Students Away From the UK?’, was that for some students, the events on the 27th of June 2016 and the press coverage surrounding the EU referendum result all pointed towards a major red flag; Britain is no longer welcoming to immigrants. In turn, this view has fostered a sense amongst some international students that they too are unwelcome in the UK. Students have cited the spike in hate crimes in the UK following the Brexit result to back this up, and some even held the opinion that British people were caught up in a wave of xenophobia.
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.
Students believe the British higher education system will be ‘downgraded’ following Brexit, with uneven impacts across the sector. During interviews for our Brexit report, many students expressed the view that in a post-Brexit UK, the only universities worth applying to would be the elite, Russell Group institutions. Lower ranked universities, with a less diverse student body and faculty, are likely to lose their appeal. So, whilst universities like Oxbridge, UCL and LSE will maintain their relevance, others which toe the line of such prestige, could be hit hard and are at risk of a significant drop in international applicants. International students contribute greatly to the economy, not only in fees but also through their spending on campus and the local community. Such a prediction could therefore have a detrimental economic impact on universities which do not perform well in the global rankings. Read more
The QS World University Rankings by Subject, by far the richest global measure of higher education performance, have just been published for the seventh time. They contain details of university standing in 46 subjects, four of them new this year.
The subjects analysed in these rankings cover the vast majority of academic teaching and research. The rankings include a total of 13,930 positions, making them a uniquely valuable resource for students seeking the best place to fulfil their educational ambitions.
The four new subjects for 2017 are Anatomy, previously ranked within our overall Medicine ranking; Hospitality and Leisure Management; Sports-related subjects; and Theology, Divinity, and Religious Studies. The addition of Anatomy means that we now rank the Medical and Life Sciences in nine separate categories, ranging from Agriculture to Dentistry. Top for Anatomy are the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, followed by McGill in Canada.
Like our established ranking of the performing arts, our new ranking of Hospitality and Leisure management offers a fascinating glimpse of institutions which would not normally figure in a global university ranking. Number one here is the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, making its only appearance anywhere in these tables. The top 20 also contains six specialist hospitality institutions based in Switzerland.
Our new ranking of Sports-related Subjects assesses both the medical and physiological aspects of sport and its management. Its inclusion reflects the vast professionalisation of sport in recent years. Loughborough in the UK is top of this league. It is the alma mater of many leading UK athletes, and its present and former students collected 34 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics. Sydney and Queensland, both in Australia, take the next two places.
Most of the top universities for Theology, Divinity, & Religious Studies are ancient establishments, often with a history as religious foundations. Our leading institution for religion, Harvard, is even named after a priest, its founder John Harvard.
The methodology remains identical to that used in 2016, allowing a direct comparison with last year’s results. The first two elements we use to produce them are the opinions of academics and employers around the world, using the surveys that are also the core of our overall World University Rankings. The Academic Survey measures which universities are regarded as top for scholarship and research by informed colleagues around the world. Our Employer Survey simply asks where recruiters find the best graduates. We place a higher weight on the opinion of employers who hire graduates in specific disciplines than we do those who hire across the full range of subjects.
To these two measures we add a further two which reward the production of original knowledge. One asks how often papers in specific subjects in the scholarly literature are cited by other researchers around the world, a standard measure of research impact. The other is the H-Index, a measure of the breadth and depth of scholarly publishing. If the University of Xanadu has published 19 papers on chemistry with at least 19 citations each, its H-Index for chemistry is 19.
Our findings confirm the overall world dominance of big, old universities in Europe and North America, but it also contains some surprises. Singapore has two top-10 institutions for Materials Science, confirming the success of Singapore’s heavy investment in this technology. And as in previous years, we find that Cape Town is a world top-10 university for Development Studies. It is one of five South African universities in the top 100 for this subject, and they are joined by institutions in Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico and Uganda.
QS Advisory Board
It has been well established that researchers whose first language is not English are at a considerable disadvantage in promoting their work. The likelihood of acceptance by a top international journal is reduced when submissions are poorly written and papers published in other languages tend to be less well-read than those in English.
A new service to be offered by QS and Enago, the leading provider of authorship services for the global research community, will offer a solution. Improved success rates should benefit individual researchers and universities, who will feel the benefit of increased citation counts in rankings.
Since 2005, Enago has worked with more than 100,000 researchers in at least 125 countries, improving the communication of their research and helping them to achieve success in international publications. The company has offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Istanbul, and New York, and operates globally, with regional teams supporting researchers locally.
Under this collaboration, authors worldwide can access Enago’s range of pre-submission editing services. Three levels of collaboration are available, ranging from straightforward language checking to copy-editing and more substantive review.
Papers submitted for the copy-editing service will be returned free from language errors and suitable for publication in SCI indexed journals. The premium editing service is tailored to high-impact, peer-reviewed international journals, focusing on the logic, structure and presentation of manuscripts as well as all aspects of copy editing.
Jason Newman, Global Commercial Director of the QS Intelligence Unit, said: “QS has always advised higher education institutions to improve their international research output as part of overall internationalization and we are pleased to now offer comprehensive support by partnering with Enago. We encourage the importance of publishing cutting-edge research and opinions from across the globe, and are happy that we are now able to increase our support for our partner universities.”
Rajiv Shirke, Vice President for Global Operations at Enago, said: “Enago is delighted to be collaborating with a forward-thinking organization like QS to improve universities’ research output. Having easy access to the manuscript preparation services provided by Enago will not only accelerate the process of publishing high-impact research but also ensure that specific author needs are taken care of during the editorial process.”
Full details are available at https://www.enago.com/qs/
Two major events to be organized by QS in the next few months extend the company’s higher education activities beyond rankings.
The first is the new edition of the highly successful EduData Summit, which attracted speakers and delegates from world-leading universities to London last year to discuss the ways in which big data could benefit teaching and research.
This year’s theme is How is Data Transforming Education?” The two-day event will begin on June 12 at London’s Congress Centre, with a separate rankings masterclass taking place on June 14. Places can be reserved at http://www.edudatasummit.com/home, where full details of the programme can be found.
Dr Sam Nielsen, Director of the Strategic Intelligence Unit at Queensland University of Technology, said the summit should be a priority for anyone wishing to learn from data innovators and strategic planners at leading universities. “QUT was proud to be the gold sponsor of the inaugural EduData Summit and is excited to participate in 2017,” he added.
Among the speakers will be Professor Max Lu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, on the uses of strategic information for competitive advantage. Among the other sessions will be one in which representatives of Cornell, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and Yale discuss the uses of comparative data at leading US universities. There will also be speakers from the UK Higher Education International Unit, Australia’s Group of Eight, and the Russell Group.
Kevin Kelly, Associate Director, Global Strategy & Initiatives, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, said: “In only its first year, the EduData Summit was the perfect event to meet and network with like-minded university administrators who similarly care about using data as a catalyst for change and improvement at their universities.”
The second event, to be held at the Wharton Business School in December, celebrates advances in pedagogy and features a range of awards for innovative teaching around the world. The conference, now in its fourth year, was the first to introduce international awards for teaching in higher education, recognising the shortcomings of rankings in this area.
Last year’s Reimagine Education conference attracted more than 400 delegates from over 40 countries. About 240 were from universities, schools and other education providers, while the rest were from the growing educational technology industry.
QS is still accepting submissions for the Reimagine Education Awards, whether focused on specific subjects, originating from different regions across the world, or examining educational styles ranging from all-digital to face-to-face. Those keen to examine the fundamental educational transformations taking place across the world are invited to book their place at the conference itself, which will take place from December 3 to 5. Full information on the conference and the awards can be found at http://www.reimagine-education.com