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Universities across the UK have rapidly moved their learning, teaching and assessment online in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The unprecedented overhaul of traditional teaching practices has presented a major challenge to institutions, staff and students. In this Good Practice Briefing, HEi-know shows how some universities have responded to the situation.
Sutton Trust associate director of media and communications Hilary Cornwell and research and policy assistant Maariyah Dawood comment on equality and widening access issues that have emerged in a week of higher education news.
Reviewing a week of higher education news, Action on Access Director Andrew Rawson celebrates positive action on equality and social inclusivity taken in the HE sector and calls for matching support from the government and employers.
The most internationally engaged "open border" universities perform best in the quality of their education, research impact, and knowledge transfer, according to U-Multirank, which has published its latest set of global rankings.
Such institutions have more satisfied students, are more successful in engaging and transferring knowledge to industry, in establishing spinoff companies and in patenting their ideas, and their research shows higher outreach, the results suggest.
"Open border" universities are charactarised by strong international ties, such as higher rates of foreign students, more international academic staff, higher rates of international doctorate degrees, and more international co-publications.
"It is international collaboration that grants access to a diversity of students and researchers leading to top university performance. U-Multirank's data proves that universities are stronger when they collaborate internationally, while nationalism only endangers them," said Professors Dr Frans van Vught and Dr Frank Ziegele, U-Multirank joint project leaders.
U-Multirank, which now covers 1,711 universities across the world, has published an interactive map to show which institutions have performed best in teaching and learning, research, knowledge transfer, international orientation and regional engagement.
European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, Tibor Navracsics, said: "I am pleased to see the latest U-Multirank results which show that EU universities perform very well when education, research and student satisfaction are looked at together. As we work towards creating a European Education Area where everyone gets the best education and can study freely across borders, as well as developing our flagship European Universities initiative, I am sure that U-Multirank will continue to provide valuable information for applicants."
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