Rankings and League Tables

MIT-campus-wallpaper

Millions of students start university in high spirits every year in either the Spring or the Autumn semester, in a new place, making new friends, adapting to the environment in- and outside the university but all after a series of decisions and preparation centred round the university they chose all those months ago – one of the first decisions being the selection of the institute itself. So how do you decide? This is never an easy decision because of the numerous factors involved; however, it starts initially with the ranking and reputation of a university. You ask your family, friends, and those who may be presently attending or may have previously attended, or you may visit to a professional career guidance service to seek their help but, ultimately, you will have to decide and push the button yourself.

Here, we help you decode those league and ranking tables and tell why reputation is not the only thing that should factor into your decision.

Prestige and Reputation isn’t above all

Always the first aspect to be evaluated, a university’s prestige is what matters to most people nonetheless. True, for prospective employment opportunities, attending the right university is more important. For example, attending Cambridge, Harvard, MIT, or Oxford will be respected by most employers regardless of the course studied; or knowing that attending Wharton for a MBA will offer plenty of prospects. However, this does not imply that a certain course from, say, a small community college will curtail your future prospects. Eventually, it depends on your ambition, as well as the skills you acquired and how you use them.

The widely respected QS university ranking system considers academic reputation as its largest factor; thus, established universities with a strong brand score higher on their ranking system. Such systems are an unavoidable part of the reputation and brand image of universities, enabling them to attract staff, students, and research investment; university leaders, though cynical of them, always pay attention to their institute’s ranking.

Research Influence and Staff Ratios

Even within the lesser-ranked universities, certain subject departments and research institutes stand out; consider the University of Surrey, UK, which does not rank very highly internationally, despite being a established and respected university nationally. However, it is one of the best universities for Civil Engineering courses in the UK, with a world-leading Space Structures Research Centre. Similarly, large research funding attracts a proportionately large pool of talented lecturers, often those who have worked for a long time within the relevant industry. To gain funding, the research output must be strong and a great emphasis is placed on “citations per faculty” – or how often they are published in academic publications. Linked with this is the academic staff-to-student ratio since a lower staff-student ratio prevents you from being just another number and, just like in school, allows greater contact time with your lecturers.

This is important for both under- and post-graduate students, since you must evaluate whether your course’s parent department is any good: for undergraduates and taught postgraduates, the focus is on the teaching quality; for research postgraduates and doctoral students, it is on the research quality.

Physical and social environment

While the latter is more difficult to define qualitatively, the physical environment plays a huge role: you are spending anywhere between 1-5 years in a new location, depending on your course, so it is best to find out whether the place you will call your second home is actually liveable. Most universities located in the world’s major metropolises are very adaptable: New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, and so on are globalised cities, catering to almost all your needs. However, those smaller cities and towns that are not so familiar may seem ‘riskier’ but they have the ability to widen – or even change – your perspective. Linked to the liveability is the social aspect: are the denizens welcoming? Are there enjoyable cultural and recreational activities? Eventually, you must question: “Does the environment excite me?”

Affordability

Perhaps obvious but factoring in the monetary constraints is significant: can you or your family afford the tuition, the accommodation, and other living expenses you require? Consideration of other factors, besides prestige, also should factor into your spending an exorbitant sum on your education abroad, especially when taking a loan; think of it as an investment: will it pay off? You will not be hired by a company simply based on your graduation from, say, Yale so you must ensure that the learning and skills acquired are actually worth it.


The ‘official’ rankings and such measurements are the characteristics of universities rather than its students, resulting in a list dominated by an élite selection. Specialist and smaller arts-schools or polytechnics will not feature despite their quality, nor will those that emphasize teaching over research. Prioritizing reputation – such is the nature of the QS, and other, rankings – merely highlights those already renowned. Although useful, seeing through the limitations of these rankings facilitates better decision-making regarding your future.

UK Job Market

Which Sectors are the Most Successful in UK Job Market ?

Scoring a high grade, finishing assignments on time and writing a crazy-long dissertation are all good. The booming UK job market is another attraction for students these days. But what everyone really wants to know is which subject in graduation is going to get them the best job opportunity in the United Kingdom?

It’s no secret that UK is one of the most favourite places of Indians to study in or migrate to. And the news is that since 2008, the opportunities for graduates in the global market have dropped down significantly. However, a survey conducted late last year showed a positive swing in market requirements in UK job market.

While recruitment prospects vary from sector to sector; the retail sector, engineering industry, and consultancy groups advertise themselves more to get more fresh graduates. The telecom and IT industries too are increasing the number of their annual vacancies. But for those who aim to become a high profile lawyer or a successful banker, there aren’t enough opportunities in the market.

On the other hand, Teach First, a non-profit organization has single-handedly created a boom in the teaching industry. It fast-tracks graduates from top universities and varied educational backgrounds, into the public school system. The recruits have even gone on record saying that they wish to gather some work experience before they move onto a job in a field of their choice.

Those in creative sectors have good news coming their way. Gone are those days when deciding between fashion designing or becoming an artist was like Sophie’s Choice. Today’s the day when you can opt to study something creative without having to stick to a pre-defined job segment. There are tons of young professionals who use their artistic talents and skills in industries like engineering, entertainment and even healthcare! Web designing, animation, and copy writing are just some of the “creative” career choices popular in UK.

So which sectors are most successful in UK job market? The answer is “none”.

 

study Abroad

Top Five Places to study Abroad

Since childhood, education and vacation have always been on opposite ends of the spectrum. We go on a vacation to take a break from education, that’s how it has been always. But what if you could combine education with a vacation by studying at one of the top five places to study abroad, in a beautiful city that teeming with culture and visual delights? The following is a list of universities that you should consider if you want to study in a place that will have your peers green with envy. A bit of warning, you may decide to stay there forever.

Top 5 places to study Abroad

Bond University – Gold Coast, Australia

Bond University is located on the beautiful and luxurious Gold Coast of Australia that surrounded by beautiful beaches and the happening night life topped off with that famous Aussie hospitality. The campus itself is known for its landscape and the staff and faculty are extremely knowledgeable. The university is located near the beaches and has local wildlife (including kangaroos) inside the campus.

 

Keio Univerity – Tokyo, Japan

As the first private institution for higher learning in Japan, Keio University understand the importance hiring qualified staff and faculty. The university doesn’t just focus on academics, they also ensure that students build an honourable character and are inculcated with morals and intelligence that will shape the students into citizens worthy of any nation. Once there, do make sure to soak in the Niwa No Yu hot springs and relax after a stressful day of studying. Truly one of the top places to study abroad.

 

Universidad VERITAS – San José, Costa Rica

The VERITAS University is known for its regional focus in art, design as well as architecture. The programs and courses at Universidad VERITAS are quite demanding and makes use of a very unique approach when it comes to education. The University offers excellent opportunities in the field of audiovisual, design as well as architecture. The city itself is surrounded by 3 volcanoes as well as numerous farms and plantations that make for an excellent weekend getaway.

 

Fudan University – Shanghai, China

Located in one of the biggest cities in China, Fudan University offers students a very homely and comfortable campus that they can stay at night while they explore is magnificent city whenever they get time. The university, amongst the top places to study abroad, offers a variety of courses with plenty of options to intern within the city. The students are housed in a fully furnished apartment and there are English speaking students that will help ease you in the university till you pick up the language.

 

University of Cape Town – Cape Town, South Africa

The University of Cape Town is well known for its beautiful surroundings and overwhelming beauty thanks to its location at the base of Table Mountain. Each morning, you will be greeted with panoramic views of the entire city. The university’s staff is also quite diverse and hail from all corners of the globe. The university has partnered with leading African as well as International institutions that further enhance the university’s cultural diversity.