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
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.
Despite the improved methodology described elsewhere in this issue of Higher Education World, the 2015/16 QS World University Ranking agree with last year’s on one thing: the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the world’s top university. It has near-perfect scores on five of our six measures, and comes 62nd in the world on the other, its percentage of international students.
The stability of these rankings is also evident from the fact that the same institutions fill the top eight places in the Ranking as last year, although MIT is the only one in the same position. The most spectacular move affects Imperial College, London. It is down from second to eighth place, largely because of a 59-place fall in its citation per faculty member count. This is likely to be due mainly to the reduced emphasis that we now place upon excellence in biomedicine.
After 1989, Romanian society moved from communism to building a democratic and market based economy, aiming to reintegrate in the European family through its political, economic, social and cultural system. In this transition process, the higher education was considered to have a specific role in creating a research and innovation system at the European level. At present, Romania is considered a modest innovator by the European Commission and at the same time an efficiency-driven country, as opposed to other EU countries that are either in the transition process or are already in the innovation-driven phase. Read more
The first ranking of its kind, it was launched in a stunning city of Budapest nearing Christmas, on the 17th of December. We evaluated 368 universities from the region and published the Top 100, where 18 countries were represented.
The event was a success with over 90 delegates representing over 40 different organisations from 15 different countries. It was a very busy day filled with presentations from a variety of stakeholders, revelation of the rankings results, a panel discussion, a masterclass on rankings and even some Hungarian folk dancing!
We were hosted by one of the oldest and largest institutions in Hungary, Eotvos Lorand University. They proved to be a fantastic host with a beautiful university:
Our audience was well-prepared, inquisitive and engaged. We received a fantastic presentation from Bogazici University in Turkey sharing reasons behind their success in the rankings. There was a lot of interest and the questions asked were insightful and often challenging demonstrating that rankings are now much better understood and the demands from the audience are higher.
According to a recent BBC news story, the Internet giant Google has published its Top 20 most searched universities by Google users worldwide for 2014. The two main trends revealed by this latest list are not only interesting but also thought provoking.
First and foremost, we are witnessing a clear and significant increase in MOOCs popularity. The leading MOOCs providers such as Coursera or edX have been registering online visitors to their websites well above and beyond many traditional and leading institutions such as the University of Cambridge. These platforms, present users with the opportunity to learn and acquire skills and knowledge by reputable institutions while at the same time offer a great deal of flexibility and personal input for each of the users – students. It is certainly not surprising that modern advances in education have made MOOCs popular, reliable and in many cases a preferred alternative to further study overall, especially in times where disposable income for many may be an issue. It also appears that MOOCs and their potential will soon ripen as a field of academic competition and it will be very exciting to see how the top universities in the world will adapt and follow this specific trend.
The second major trend revealed is that Universities no longer rely on the Internet merely for filling in their news feed and sharing important updates, but as the context of educational services becomes even more internationalised and diverse, they begin to adjust their websites for recruiting and attracting international talent. Many of the websites now feature virtual tours, informative videos, advanced graphics and layouts, while more and more departments and schools within the universities are moving to modernise their respective web pages. This is not only due to technological advancements that allow this changes to take place, but it stems primarily by the way we are experiencing and accessing information in the current age, where one institution’s website is in effect its public face.
For more information you can access the full article here.
By Martin Ince
The IREG-7 conference in London, organised by QS and its partner organisations, is now only a few weeks away. It will be held at University College London, the fourth-ranked institution in the World University Rankings.
The theme for this conference is Employability and Academic Rankings, although there will be sessions on a full range of rankings topics.
To help us think about the link between university rankings and graduate employability in the global market, we have a distinguished panel of speakers from employers including Airbus, Siemens and others. Contributors from universities, and external observers from bodies such as the World Bank, will look at employability and skills as a new measure of higher education performance. This issue has emerged in recent year as a major concern for universities around the world.
There are also to be strong sessions on current and future rankings systems, globally and increasingly regionally, for example in the Middle East and the BRICS nations. An especially strong set of presentations will look at developments in Russia and Eastern Europe. In addition, the QS Asian University Rankings for 2014 will be released on May 13, immediately before the opening of the conference.
By Martin Ince
What does the world’s most innovative higher education teaching look like in 2013? And how can it be brought to a wider student audience?
QS is aiming to answer this question, in collaboration with the Wharton School of Pennsylvania University, one of the world’s best-reputed business schools.
The two organisations are launching a unique competition, Reimagine Education, to find new approaches to teaching that meet the needs of today’s hyper-connected and demanding students.
Jerry Wind, director of the SEI Centre for Advanced Studies in Management at Wharton, is a member of the Academic Advisory Board for the QS World University Rankings, and Reimagining Education was his idea. He says that despite innovations such as MOOCs or the Khan Academy’s bite-sized learning modules, even the most prestigious of universities tend to rely on top-down and traditional approaches to teaching, with too little regard for the learning that might result.
He adds that new approaches to learning are also needed because of the growing diversity of the student body. They can be of almost any age, and their motivations for study might be anywhere on the spectrum from professional advancement to the pure love of knowledge.
Reimagining Education is intended to recognise educators who have thought of new approaches to pedagogy in higher education. We are looking for novel teaching with demonstrable results in terms of improved learning.
The distinguished judging panel for Reimagine Education will award prizes for distance, presence and mixed forms of learning. One of these three will also be the overall winner. There may also be awards, if entries of sufficient merit come in, for the best innovative pedagogy in each of the five faculty areas of the QS rankings: the natural sciences, the social sciences including business, biomedicine, technology and engineering, and the arts and humanities. There may be further prizes too, maybe on a regional basis.
The first Reimagine Education prizes will be awarded at a major conference on innovative pedagogies which we are holding at the Wharton School on December 8-10. Professor Wind intends it to be the first activity of many for spreading new practice in higher education learning.
Full details of the competition, the judges, the judging criteria and the thinking that lies behind the idea are at http://reimagine-education.com. Entries have to be submitted by the end of August. Please do think of entering, and encourage others to do so.