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The government's announcement of a major review of the National Student Survey signals a worrying shift in the HE regulatory landscape, warns Jon Scott, higher education consultant and former Pro Vice-Chancellor (student experience) at the University of Leicester.
Statements from ministers this week have made it clear that higher education in England is facing significant reforms, re-setting its focus towards helping to plug the UK's skills gaps and rebuilding the economy. Fariba Soetan, Policy Lead for Research and Innovation at the National Centre for Universities and Business, argues that the proposed changes bring a welcome focus on graduate outcomes and supporting the careers of young people.
Universities UK and GuildHE have commissioned the Quality Assurance Agency to develop a new approach to reviewing and enhancing the quality of UK TNE. QAA will consult on a new review method later this year and will launch a programme of in-country enhancement activity in 2021.
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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