Date of Publication: 29 September 2017
Providing your essential education and university news. This week; Cambridge beat out Oxford, the future of UK tuition fees and which countries are preparing students for success.
Cambridge pips Oxford for #1 Spot in 2018 Good University Guide
With the release of The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide, Cambridge has been named the #1 institute for higher education for the 5th year running – narrowly beating out historic rivals Oxford at #2.
Boasting a completion rate of 98.9%, Cambridge has the highest of any UK university according to the guide while 92.1% of graduates go on to achieve a first or 2:1 – a figure only Oxford has been able to trump. Of the 67 individual subjects assessed by the guide, Cambridge tops the most with an impressive 30.
Not to be left out, London also secures 2 in the top 10 with Imperial College and University College at #4 and #7 respectively. Northern universities also made a strong showing, with St Andrews, Durham, Lancaster and Leeds all making the list.
UK Chancellor outlines £5,000 Tuition Fee Cut
In the run up to November’s Budget announcement, Chancellor Phillip Hammond has proposed cutting the maximum tuition fee charged to £7,500; saving students a minimum of £5,000 over their degree. This is set to be accompanied by a government grant of £1,500 for STEM students; the first step in offsetting the higher costs incurred for these subjects and empowering universities to focus on those subjects that they excel in.
The treasury is also looking at further means to scale tuition fees, potentially forcing some universities below £7,500 based on graduate earning potential. However this has been met with criticism and natural concerns that this could neglect subject areas where skills essential to us as a society are not valued by the labour market, such as nursing.
Following Jeremy Corbyn’s mass mobilisation of the student vote in May’s general election, the cost of higher education is a key topic for the Conservative government as they look to curry favour with this jaded demographic – making encouraging news for prospective UK students.
Preparing Students for the Future; New Zealand #1 with UK at #6
The “Worldwide Educating for the Future Index” has been announced, a joint venture by The Economist and Yidan Prize Foundation charting those countries which best prepare students for the future. The 35 countries documented are ranked based on 16 indicators including teaching, socio-economic and education policies and focusing on the “inputs” determining environments in which students can flourish.
The five-highest ranked are; New Zealand, Canada, Finland, Switzerland and Singapore. The UK narrowly misses the top 5, earning sixth but with particular note for the “comprehensive national strategy helping students gain skills for the future”. New Zealand’s success is attributed to the acknowledgement that education and future skills is a strategic imperative in order for the small country to be globally competitive, combined with systematic government-led approaches to building fit-for-purpose education systems.
This index claims that more than half the 35 listed countries are failing to make adequate investment or properly assess the skills needed for the future. India and China, the two countries supplying the world’s largest worker pools, rank 29th and 31st respectively while Taiwan comes 19th amidst concerns over its decreasing student population.