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With calls for a post-qualification admissions system, greater transparency around unconditional university offers, and the need for a more ambitious contextual admissions strategy – is the current admissions process fit for purpose or is it ready for a refresh? June Hughes, University of Derby Secretary and Registrar, discusses the complexity of the university system.
As the latest Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) results are published, Sue Reece, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Student Experience) at Staffordshire University, says the efforts her institution made to move up from a Silver to a Gold award were worth it, despite flaws in the TEF methodology.
British universities have secured 14 per cent of all top 50 spots available across 36 disciplines in newly published world rankings.
The performance of the 79 UK institutions featured in this year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject secured them overall silver medal position, bettered only by universities in the United States.
Of the 927 placements achieved by UK institutions this year, 16.1 per cent are new entries, 18.3 per cent have improved on their 2014 performance, and 35.9 per cent have maintained the same position. Nevertheless, 29.7 per cent have lost ground – albeit in some instances only minimally.
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) take the lion’s share of top places, leading in 21 subjects between them. However, UK universities have improved their positions overall, with six separate institutions leading in at least one subject.
John O’Leary member of the QS Global Academic Advisory Board said: “ UK universities show up well in virtually all the subjects - Oxford boasts the best performance as the only university to lead in more than one subject, but specialist providers like the Royal College of Art and University College London's Institute of Education are also shown to be world-leaders.”
The University of Cambridge ranks among the top ten in 31 disciplines while the University of Oxford and Stanford University follow with 29. Harvard makes the top ten in 28 subjects, University of California, Berkeley in 26 and MIT in 19. They are followed by London School of Economics with 11, Princeton and UCLA with ten each, Yale (9) Imperial College (8), UCL (6) Caltech and Columbia University (5).
The expert opinion of 85,062 academics and 41,910 employers informed the results, alongside the analysis of 17.3 million research papers and over 100 million citations.
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