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Six British Universities in World’s Top 20

The latest global university rankings have been released, with record numbers of UK universities appearing in the prestigious list. The annual QS world university rankings table places six British universities in the top 20 and 15 in the top 200, though Cambridge has slipped from second to third as the highest ranked UK institution.

The list was topped by two American colleges- MIT pipping Harvard to claim the top spot for the second year running. Four further US institutions are in the top 10 and this American domination continues throughout the list, with over 50 US colleges appearing in the top 200. However, UK universities are a clear second, with Cambridge, UCL, Imperial and Oxford all placed in the top 10 in the world.

The Cultural Importance of International Students in Scotland

A report from Universities Scotland has emphasised the "positive social, cultural and educational impact" that international students have at universities in Scotland. Titled ‘Richer for it', the report is a reaction to the way that overseas students have recently been portrayed simply as a way to make money.

Universities Scotland is the representative body for Scotland's universities and higher education colleges, and together with a number of prominent figures in higher education, they have created the report which will be presented to MPs at Westminster.

With threats to international student visas a constant problem, the standard argument against change has been the amount of money that these students bring to the UK. Indeed, it is estimated that the 28,500 international students in Scotland bring £337 million every year in fees and an estimated £441 million in off-campus expenditure.

However, Head of the University of Aberdeen, Professor Sir Ian Diamond, explains:

Two Student Residences Nominated for Worst New Building in UK

UCL and Oxford University student residences have been nominated as some of the worst new buildings in the UK. Both make a shortlist of just six nominees after facing huge opposition.

465 Caledonian Road

The UCL building is a 350-room block of flats (pictured above) on Caledonian Road near King's Cross in London and rooms cost up to £730 a month. Despite the cost, 23 of the rooms face directly onto the brick wall of the building next door, meaning they get less sunlight than the legal minimum.

Indeed, planning permission was originally denied by the local council in 2010, only for a successful appeal to give the green light. During the appeal process, it was argued that the "student lifestyle" meant that the rooms would only be used for sleeping in and therefore didn't need the legal quota of natural light.

The problem arose due to the fact that the adjacent building was listed and therefore could not be altered. The photo below is of the first scaffolding going up for the student flats, showing just how close the two buildings are.

Watch: Police Dance Off At Notting Hill Carnival

Europe's biggest street festival took place in west London over the weekend, as more than a million people joined the party at Notting Hill Carnival. 

Usually the revellers will try to keep their distance from the huge numbers of police, but this year, amongst all the normal stories of arrests, a more feel-good video has emerged of police officers having a dance off with members of the public.

Notting Hill Carnival is an annual street party in its 49th year celebrating Caribbean culture, food, music and dance. Due to the huge numbers of people, the party atmosphere and the large amounts of alcohol and drugs knocking around, there were 6,000 police at each day of the event.

Although there were 279 arrests over the two days, there was no real violence and a police statement read that the festival "went very well" and crime was down on previous years. Along side this, an officer called PC Armstrong posted a link on Twitter to the video below with the caption: 'good community relations in my opinion'.

Record Numbers of International Students Go Through ‘Clearing’

UK universities have seen a record number of non-EU students gaining places on courses through ‘clearing' this year. Meanwhile, EU student clearing numbers are up on last year, but yet to reach their peak in 2011.

‘Clearing' is a process in the UK for students who either didn't get any university offers or who do not get the exam results they need for their offer. Basically it is a system to get applicants without an offer to find a university course that still has spaces available. Students can find a uni clearing list to discover the courses that still have vacancies and then contact the universities directly to try and gain an offer.

Busiest Year Ever

Overall, this has been the busiest year ever for clearing, with over 430,000 students being placed on courses since UK A-level results were released just five days ago. Non-EU international students have mirrored this trend, with clearing numbers increasing by 7% compared to this time last year. Similarly, EU student clearing numbers are up 9% on 2012. You can see the numbers over the last five years in the table below released by university admissions organisation UCAS.

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