A winning international strategy

The University of Nottingham wins another award.
 

The Guardian awarded its first HE prizes at a ceremony in London on Thursday. And the University of Nottingham came out top for its international strategy against stiff competition from UCL and Salford.
 

University Awards 2013 buttons_Winner

 

It’s a terrific citation:

As the first university to open a fully operational branch campus in Malaysia in 2000, internationalisation has been in the University of Nottingham DNA for well over a decade. It has since opened a further campus in China, and says that global reach is “hardwired” into its strategic plan.

Ambition on such a scale means you can’t keep your recruitment exclusively based in the UK, so Nottingham has international stude
It’s an approach that’s getting results: over 9,500 students are enrolled in Malaysia and China, and as well as having one of the largest cohorts of international students in the UK, Nottingham is a top 10 recruiter (by volume) in most markets worldwide. With 25% of the university’s academic staff being international, the institution’s commitment to sourcing the best talent available means it also runs one of the largest scholarship programmes for the developing world, explains professor Hai-Sui Yu, pro-vice-chancellor for internationalisation.

 

The University of Nottingham

 

Staff and students also benefit from partnerships with commercial partners in 25 countries across the globe.nt recruiters employed in regional offices in Malaysia, China, Brazil and Mexico. The university’s West Africa office opened in Accra in April 2012 and an India office opened in June last year.

Very pleasing.

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International Students in the USA (and Nottingham)

Interesting data on international students in the USA (and at the University of Nottingham)

The Institute of International Education has just released its ‘Open Doors’ report on international education in the USA. The press release give the headlines:

The 2012 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, released today, finds that the number of international students at colleges and universities in the United States increased by six percent to a record high of 764,495 in the 2011/12 academic year, while U.S. students studying abroad increased by one percent. This year, international exchanges in all 50 states contributed $22.7 billion to the U.S. economy. International education creates a positive economic and social impact for communities in the United States and around the world.

Open Doors is intended to provide helpful information on international education in the US:

Open Doors, supported by a grant from the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State, is a comprehensive information resource on international students and scholars studying or teaching at higher education institutions in the United States, and U.S. students studying abroad for academic credit at their home colleges or universities.

The report lists the leading institutions in the USA in terms of international student numbers:

TOP INSTITUTIONS HOSTING INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS, 2011/12 
Rank Institution City State Int’l Total
1 University of Southern California Los Angeles CA 9,269
2 University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign Champaign IL 8,997
3 New York University New York NY 8,660
4 Purdue University – Main Campus West Lafayette IN 8,563
5 Columbia University New York NY 8,024
6 University of California – Los Angeles Los Angeles CA 6,703
7 Northeastern University Boston MA 6,486
8 University of Michigan – Ann Arbor Ann Arbor MI 6,382
9 Michigan State University East Lansing MI 6,209
10 Ohio State University – Main Campus Columbus OH 6,142

What is most interesting about this data for me is that if the University of Nottingham UK (ie not including our campuses in Malaysia and China) were to be included in this table it would be at the top with, by our reckoning, 9,662 non-UK students enrolled in 2011/12. My guess is that Manchester and UCL would have even more than this.

Similar data for the UK can be found on the UKCISA website (which reports official HESA data) but note that the latest figures are for 2010/11. The US seems to be able to publish a little faster than we can. And of course we may find the numbers of international students in the UK declining in future as the full consequences of the Government’s immigration policies come into play.

A new world ranking of universities

What we’ve all been waiting for…

Yes, it’s another new world ranking. This time from the previously  unheard of Center for World University Rankings (CWUR) from Saudi Arabia. The website offers little information about the organisation but we do know that the US has the lion’s share of the top 100 places:

The distribution of top 100 institutions among countries is as follows: USA (58), England (7), France (5), Japan (5), Israel (4), Switzerland (4), Canada (3), Germany (3), Australia (2), Netherlands (2), Denmark (1), Finland (1), Italy (1), Norway (1), Scotland (1), South Korea (1), and Sweden (1).

The detailed methodology is also available on the CWUR website. Anyway, the Top 10 is as follows:

Top 10

  1. Harvard
  2. MIT
  3. Stanford
  4. Cambridge
  5. Caltech
  6. Princeton
  7. Oxford
  8. Yale
  9. Columbia
  10. Berkeley

And the UK placings in the Top 100 are:

4 Cambridge

7 Oxford

28 Imperial

31 UCL

60 Edinburgh

76 Manchester

97 Nottingham

98 Bristol

So, overall not that dissimilar from the SJTU Academic Ranking of World Universities or the QS table. Will it gain a niche in the rankings market? Time will tell but at first sight it doesn’t seem to be sufficiently distinctive to attract a major profile.

Restricting international staff recruitment by universities

The problems with the Tier 2 cap

The THE recently carried a story about the problems being caused by the cap on immigration from non-EU countries which is particularly affecting universities:

The UK Border Agency has given each university a quota on recruitment from non-European Union countries under Tier 2 of the points-based immigration system, which covers “skilled workers”. The quotas cover new visas – and renewals for existing staff – between 19 July 2010 and 31 March 2011, when the permanent cap will be imposed.

The government’s interim immigration cap has left one of the UK’s major research universities able to recruit or keep only 78 “skilled” overseas academics this year – and the permanent cap could bring further reductions.

The institution in the THE report is UCL but Nottingham is in almost exactly the same position. We are a global university operating in a global market. We have to recruit the most talented academics and researchers, wherever they come from, in order to sustain our international competitiveness. It is only by sustaining and advancing our excellence in research, teaching and knowledge transfer that we can deliver what the country demands from a leading university. Measures which hamper our ability to recruit the best staff inevitably risk jeopardising the success of this enterprise and the efforts of other leading UK universities. At a time when the country desperately needs its universities, which are among the UK’s best export businesses, to perform to capacity, it seems perverse to put such constraints on us. The UK’s immigration policy needs to be robust and transparent but it will be counterproductive if it reduces the competitiveness of such an important export industry as higher education.

Universities UK has been working hard to persuade government to think again and the University of Nottingham has also been talking to our local MPs, resulting in my first (and, in all likelihood, last) appearance in Hansard.

Shanghai Jiao Tong World Ranking 2010

SJTU 2010 world university rankings have been published

Full table should be available at the SJTU site but it seems to be down at time of writing. Meantime, have the UK universities in top 100 courtesy of the Telegraph (where the story seems, slightly bizarrely, to argue that these results suggest UKHE doesn’t play well in China).

UK universities appear in the top 100 as follows (last year in brackets):

5 Cambridge (4)
10 Oxford (10)
21 UCL (21)
26 Imperial (26)
44 Manchester (41)
54 Edinburgh (53)
63 King’s London (65)
66 Bristol (61)
84 Nottingham (83)
88 Sheffield (81)
99 Birmingham (94)

So, roughly the same as last year. More to follow in due course.

Most Cited Institutions: 1999-2009

A league table of the most cited institutions 1999-2009 has been published by ScienceWatch.com

The list is dominated by US universities with 14 entries and only three UK entries and one each from Germany, Canada and Japan. Harvard is, inevitably, top:

These institutions all produce a high volume of papers resulting in extremely high citation counts—the top six institutions have over one million citations to their credit, and cite counts for the remaining 14 are all well over a half-million.

Perhaps not that startling a table but nevertheless interesting

1 HARVARD UNIV
2 MAX PLANCK SOCIETY
3 JOHNS HOPKINS UNIV
4 UNIV WASHINGTON
5 STANFORD UNIV
6 UNIV CALIF LOS ANGELES
7 UNIV MICHIGAN
8 UNIV CALIF BERKELEY
9 UNIV CALIF SAN FRANCISCO
10 UNIV PENN
11 UNIV TOKYO
12 UNIV CALIF SAN DIEGO
13 UNIV TORONTO
14 UCL
15 COLUMBIA UNIV
16 YALE UNIV
17 MIT
18 UNIV CAMBRIDGE
19 UNIV OXFORD
20 UNIV WISCONSIN

The listing of the top 20 institutions which attracted the highest total citations to their papers published in Thomson Reuters-indexed journals over all 22 fields in the database. These institutions are the top 20 out of a pool of 4,050 institutions comprising the top 1% ranked by total citation count over all fields.

More details are on the website.

Latest 2009 world university league table rankings from THE

Latest 2009 world rankings from THE and QS

QSlogo

The University world rankings have been published in THE. The top 25 is as follows:

2009
1 Harvard University (1 in 2008)
2 University of Cambridge (3)
3 Yale University (2)
4 University College London (7)
5= Imperial College London (6)
5= University of Oxford (4)
7 University of Chicago (8)
8 Princeton University (12)
9 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (9)
10 California Institute of Technology (5)
11 Columbia University (10)
12 University of Pennsylvania (11)
13 Johns Hopkins University (13=)
14 Duke University (13=)
15 Cornell University (15)
16 Stanford University (17)
17 Australian National University (16)
18 McGill University (20)
19 University of Michigan (18)
20= Eth Zurich (24)
20= University of Edinburgh (23)
22 University of Tokyo (19)
23 King’s College London (22)
24 University of Hong Kong (26)
25 Kyoto University (25)

The full tables, including subject rankings, should be available here.

The key points noted about the top 100:

* A dramatic fall in the number of North American universities in the top 100, from 42 in 2008 to 36 in 2009, reflects the growing presence and impact of Asian and European institutions on the world higher education stage. Of these, McGill was the highest ranked Canadian University, up two places at 18th.
* There are 39 European universities in the top 100, up from 36 in 2008. ETH Zurich is the top ranked continental European university at 20th place.
* The number of Asian universities in the top 100 also increased – from 14 to 16 institutions. The University of Tokyo, at 22nd, is the highest ranked Asian university, ahead of the University of Hong Kong at 24th

New additions to iTunes U

As reported by the BBC, UCL, the OU and Trinity have joined the iTunes U stable along with a group of other non-US universities. It remains to be seen whether they will reach the top 10 with any of their offerings but one of the UCL presentations is a bit different: the University’s annual report as a series of brief podcasts.

Given the well-known challenges of making university annual reports readable and then promoting them this seems like a worthy approach. But it is still difficult to make some of the issues sound exciting.