higher education

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World University Rankings Announced

The latest world university league tables have been announced, with a British university topping the rankings for the second year running.                                                                                                                                                       __________________________________

Cambridge University has beaten off Harvard for the second year in succession to claim the coveted top spot in one of the major international university league tables. There were also three other UK universities in the top ten, with US institutions making up the other six spots.

The annual rankings are released by international Higher Education research company QS and are based on a number of different factors. Institutions are ranked on academic reputation, graduate employability, research, staff-student ratio and how international the faculty and student body is.

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Foreign Student Accommodation Growing

As another college in England opens an accommodation block specifically for international students, we look at the growing trend for large housing developments designed with non-UK students in mind.                                                                                                                  _____________________________________________

Gloucestershire College unveiled a brand new accommodation block over the weekend to cope with the increasing numbers of international students coming to study in the area. The £1.5million development has 35 rooms and over half of them have already been snapped up for the academic year. This is, however, far from a one-off case, but actually part of a much larger trend in the UK.

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Higher Education Still Highly Recommended

A survey has shown that the British public are still five times more likely to recommend higher education than not, even though the gap in graduate vs non-graduate earnings has dropped in recent years.

Despite plans for higher tuition fees and the fact that graduates now earn comparatively less than twenty years ago, the majority of the British public would still recommend higher education to young people.

A recent survey carried out by YouGov Cambridge asked the public how likely they were to recommend higher education to young people, on a scale of 0 (not at all likely) to 10 (extremely likely). The respondents were clearly on the side of university.

Higher Education Recommendations

Overall, 69% answered at least six out of ten, whilst just 16% said four or below. Out of those asked over the age of 55, the figures were even more emphatic, with 50% answering eight or above, compared to only 42% of 18-34 year olds.

The survey was carried out with the fact that fees are increasing in 2012 in mind, and seem to suggest that the general public are not as worried about the increases as has been suggested. A spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills backed the survey results and defended the increased fees, saying: 

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Record University Applications and Reduced Fees

On the same day that record numbers of students won places at UK universities, new research suggests that the institutions may have to reduce their £9,000 fees to maintain such high attendance figures.

Yesterday was A-Level results day for hundreds of thousands of British teenagers, many of whom were waiting anxiously to find out if they had been accepted on to their first choice university course. Despite record pass levels, and more university places than ever, thousands were left disappointed due to the unprecedented number of Higher Education applications. However, education experts are already warning that universities will begin to struggle to fill their courses if they start charging £9,000 per year from 2012.

A Day of Record Results

A-Levels are the last exams pupils take in the UK whilst still at school, and are used as the main academic measure for university entry. For the 29th year in a row, A-Level passes rose (to 97.8%), though for the first time in 14 years, the proportion of A and A* grades did not improve on the previous year's (27%). However, the record grades alone have not assured students of a place at university, as they have been matched by record university applications.

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Student Satisfaction Higher than Ever

A new survey has revealed that more students at English universities and colleges are happy with their courses than ever before. Released by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), the results show that 83% of final year students were ‘satisfied' with their education experience, whilst just 9% were dissatisfied.

Top Marks

The annual National Student Survey has been running for seven years and aims to not only show the general satisfaction of students in the UK, but also highlight where universities can improve the experience they offer. The questions are put to students finishing the final year of their course and are based on their entire higher education experience. Seven different categories are covered by the survey, including quality of teaching (which satisfied 84% of students) and academic support (77% satisfied).

Overall, every single category had either a higher or equal satisfaction rate compared to 2010; a point that the Minister for Universities David Willetts was quick to praise:

"This survey shows that student satisfaction is high on average. This is welcome news. No wonder record numbers of young people at home and abroad wish to study at our world-class universities".

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