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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.
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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