Funding for EU students soars by £50m in two years
It was also revealed students from outside Britain took out some £88.5m worth of Government-backed loans to cover tuition fees in 2010/11 – a doubling of the total over three years. It comes despite the fact that some European students currently fail to make repayments after graduating – leaving a multi-million pound black-hole in the public finances.
The findings prompted fresh concerns that Europeans were accounting for an increasingly large share of the universities’ budget at a time of cutbacks across the higher education sector. It was also claimed a rise in the number of students from outside Britain was creating extra competition for places at the most sought-after universities. More...
University rankings: which world university rankings should we trust?
Things looked rosy for Cambridge last month. Yes, the university may have lost pole position in the world university rankings to nerd’s paradise MIT. But in taking second place, three slots clear of its great rival Oxford and two ahead of UCL, it reaffirmed its status as the UK’s leading light in higher education.
Or did it? Today’s world rankings paint a different picture. Cambridge only manages seventh place, while Oxford clambers up to joint-second. UCL is a mere 17th. And what of MIT? Much lauded for its apparently peerless technological research last month, it now gazes up longingly at first-placed California Institute of Technology.
The obvious reason for these discrepancies is the use of different ranking systems. Today’s Times Higher Education tables are a different beast to last month’s QS World University Rankings. Although nominally answering the same question, they don’t share a methodology, a data set or indeed a winner.
Rather than argue over which is right, UK universities should perhaps just be glad that the widely respected Shanghai Ranking is less well-known on these shores – none of our universities come close to ending Harvard’s 10 years at the top of that list.
So, where can prospective students turn for answers? The simple truth is that there is no such thing as a definitive table. But in fact the wildly differing outcomes of these tables make them more, not less, useful. The key is in knowing how to interpret them. More...
World University Rankings 2012-13: Asia's high-flyers challenge Western supremacy
Outside the elite Golden Triangle of Oxbridge and London, the relative performance of the UK's research-intensive universities is slipping, analysis of the 2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings shows.
Despite UK institutions on average improving scores across most criteria, a surge in performance elsewhere has seen UK universities in the top 200 slip by an average of 6.7 places.
Meanwhile, the US continues to dominate the rankings. Its universities claimed 76 places in the top 200, although 51 lost ground.
Wendy Piatt, director general of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities, said the rankings show that its institutions continue to punch above their weight but that the UK cannot afford to take the path of the US, where cuts in state investment have seriously weakened some public universities.
"The UK cannot afford to be outmanoeuvred by other countries that clearly recognise that investment in their leading universities is the key to growth," she said.
Asian universities, especially in the Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and China, performed particularly well in the rankings, published on 3 October, rising by an average of almost 12 places.
In the UK, although the University of Oxford rose two places to joint second and Imperial College London and University College London held on to their places at eighth and 17th respectively, several other research-intensive institutions slipped.
Notable among those dropping down the table are the University of Bristol, falling eight places to 74th, and the University of St Andrews, sliding 23 places to 108th. The University of Leeds fell nine places to joint 142nd, and the University of Sheffield slipped nine places to joint 110th. More...
Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Disruption?
By Jonathan Marks. As a politics professor, I feel I should know something about health policy, but it is mostly dread that made me sign up for Ezekiel Emanuel’s class, Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act, through Coursera. Word is that higher education is about to be disrupted by online providers, like Coursera and Udacity, and their MOOCs (massive open online courses). If students can take political philosophy with Harvard’s Michael Sandel for free, why will they pay to take it with me?
Have you seen Professor Sandel’s course? I bet I am not alone in wanting to take his more than I want to take mine. Sebastian Thrun, co-founder of Udacity, predicts that in 50 years there will be no more than 10 higher education institutions. Thrun isn’t quietly waiting for his prediction to pan out, either. Pearson VUE recently contracted to administer proctored final exams for some of Udacity’s courses, an important step toward offering credit that most colleges will find hard to reject. More...
The Globalization of Higher Education
Education has become a global industry, unimpeded by the constraints of geographical borders, time zones, or currencies. However, with all the new opportunities that globalization has offered, there have also been increased challenges and risks. Listen to this 45-minute webinar by Western Union® Business Solutions to learn how your institution can capitalize on these opportunities, while also helping improve business processes and potentially protecting itself against unnecessary risk.
International students represent an increasingly important source of revenue for educational institutions, but traditional payment methods can make handling incoming international fees complicated and expensive. During this webinar, we intend to demonstrate how our online payment solution streamlines the incoming payments process, and potentially helps improve an institution’s cash flow, while reducing administrative costs.
Another challenge for educational institutions is sending payments to overseas vendors, professors on sabbaticals, or students going on exchange. This process can be complicated and expensive, and fluctuations in foreign currencies, particularly exotics, can result in unpredictable losses. We intend to demonstrate the best practices for institutions looking to make payments in exotic currencies, as well as to highly regulated countries like China and India.
In order to illustrate the above points, Eric Gillespie, Finance Operations Manager from St. Andrews University, and Nancy Majerek, Treasury Manager from Notre Dame will provide case study examples of how their institutions were able to leverage the dedicated team of sales and product specialists at Western Union Business Solutions to improve their incoming payment solutions in order to enhance the experience for both their students and back office staff. They will also address how working with Western Union for their outgoing payments helped their Accounting Department budget more effectively and improve vendor relationships. As your university globalizes, learn about how our exciting products and services can help take the hassle out of international payments.
Emplois des seniors - des dispositions transitoires avant l’entrée en vigueur du contrat de génération
Cette circulaire précise que les entreprises couvertes à la date du 4 septembre 2012 par un accord de branche ou d’entreprise, ou par un plan d’action, sont considérées avoir rempli leurs obligations jusqu’à la date limite de négociation des accords « contrats de génération » qui sera fixée par les dispositions de la future loi.
En conséquence, ces entreprises et branches n’auront pas de pénalité à déclarer et à verser dans cette période et n’auront pas à renégocier d’accords pour une période limitée. Elles pourront dès lors se consacrer pleinement à la préparation de leurs futurs accords « contrats de génération ».
Afin d’inciter les entreprises à mettre en place des accords en faveur de l’emploi des salariés âgés, la loi de financement de la sécurité sociale pour 2009 avait fixé, pour les entreprises employant au moins 50 salariés, une pénalité de % des rémunérations ou gains versés aux travailleurs salariés ou assimilés lorsqu’elles n’étaient pas couvertes par un accord ou un plan d’action.
Le document d’orientation adressé le 4 septembre 2012 aux partenaires sociaux pour les inviter à négocier sur le contrat de génération, indique que ce dernier a vocation à se substituer aux « accords seniors. »
Voir aussi Emploi des seniors - dispositions transitoires avant l'entrée en vigueur du contrat de génération.
MOOC’s and the McDonaldization of Global Higher Education
This is of particular interest for global education and multinational universities, as the expense and difficulty of establishing foreign educational outposts may make virtual options seem even more attractive. At this point, though, it’s hard to see how massive open online courses, or MOOC’s, can be the silver bullet to developing globally engaged students or institutions.
To be clear and to set aside a straw-man argument, we don’t believe that MOOC’s were established with global engagement in mind. These entities are mostly about access.
However, they have become popular in overseas markets (for example, 61.5 percent of Coursera’s enrollments come from outside the United States). This development has led some to view MOOC’s as a possible alternative to other forms of global expansion, and to question the relevance of colleges’ establishing physical presences overseas. More...
Global University Rankings: the New Olympic Sport?
It seems clear that it’s not just university “insiders,” as my colleague Michael Bastedo suggests, who are interested in the rankings. National competitiveness and a country’s ability to attract investment and talent are now bound up in the prestige associated with global rankings.
The pervasive focus on the top 100 can obscure the changing geography of academic activity. While major structural inequalities exist between developed economies and the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the inequity depends on what is being measured. Many countries in the developed world are experiencing a severe crisis of public and private debt, but Brazil’s development bank has a balance sheet four times that of the World Bank, and China and India are both investing heavily. More...
Australian Higher Education Grapples With the Rise of Asia
Speakers challenged universities, vocational institutions, and the nation to move beyond the aggressive recruitment strategies that have seen Australia achieve the world's highest international-student concentration, or risk losing their edge. Australia's reputation has suffered in recent years as those tactics have increasingly been seen as predatory. Instead, experts said, the nation must treat Asian countries as potential partners.
"The quality of the policy decisions we make now will determine whether we succeed or fail in capturing the tremendous opportunity that the emerging middle class in Asia is offering us," Jason Yat-sen Li, a business-development leader who works in China and Australia, said at the opening plenary session. More...
Open Courses From America Find Eager Audiences in China
But while working on a doctorate in developmental biology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, in Beijing, Mr. Li and his girlfriend had watched free online lectures of Mr. Kagan's philosophy course "Death" in the summer of 2010. They liked the course—and the professor—so much that when the two decided to marry, Mr. Li asked Mr. Kagan to surprise his future wife with "a sentence or two of congratulations on our marriage." Mr. Kagan did, and Mr. Li and his wife were delighted to hear from the professor whose open courses have made him a star in a country he has never visited.
As more and more courses are offered free to anyone with an Internet connection, some American professors have developed a huge following abroad, particularly in China. Another such scholar is Michael J. Sandel, a Harvard University professor whose highly popular political-philosophy course "Justice" was the first Harvard course to be offered free online. More...