US Education Department releases College Scorecard: Yay or Nay?

(Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/)

The US Department of Education recently released the College Score – an online portal aimed to help prospective students get the best bang for their education dollars by finding the college that fits them. Following President’ Obama’s recent State of the Union address, the College Scorecard is part of the US government’s efforts to hold higher learning institutions accountable for cost, value and quality, to help students choose schools that meet their needs – from affordability, to educational and career goals. Read more

Singapore Institution Remain Asia’s Top University According To The 2015 QS Asia University Rankings

(Source: qs.mediaroom.com)

(Source: qs.mediaroom.com)

National University of Singapore once again takes the number one spot, beating The University of Hong Kong and KAIST in the 2015 QS University Rankings: Asia published today. This is the second year in a row that NUS has ranked number one. The Nanyang Technological University added another feather to the lion city’s cap by rising three rungs to fourth this year.

 

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(Source: QS University Rankings: Asia 2015)

 

On the other hand, the Chinese has 25 institutions among the top 100 in Asia, far outstripping its big neighbour – India with 9. Peking University steps into the top seventh this year while Tsinghua University rises from 14th to 11th.

“The majority of the ranked Chinese institutions are increasing their research output, spurred by the impressive and sustained level of public and private investment, second only to the US. However, the country’s leading universities are still lagging behind in terms of research citation numbers, which reveal the impact of the research they produce,” said Ben Sowter, head of research at QS.

Addressing India’s mediocre ranking performances, Sowter explained that the indian universities had not received funding on the scale enjoyed by their Chinese counterparts.

In Malaysia, the University of Malaya (UM) has successfully broken into the top 30 list. The nation’s oldest university was 20 spots ahead of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), which took the 49th place, up from 57th place a year earlier. Sowter highlighted that Malaysia’s focus on education and innovation is reflected in the improvements in ranking among the country’s top universities.

The other Asian countries featured in the top 300 are: Thailand with 11 universities, Pakistan with 10 universities, both Hong Kong and Indonesia with 7 universities respectively, Philippines with 4 universities, Bangladesh with 2 universities, Sri Lanka, Brunei, Vietnam and Macau with 1 university each.

 

Note: The QS Asia University Rankings grades the top 300 tertiary education institutions in Asia on nine key performance indicators, including academic reputation (30%), employer reputation (10%), faculty/student ratio (20%), citations per paper (15%), papers per faculty (15%), proportion of international faculty (2.5%) and students (2.5%), and the proportion of inbound (2.5%) and outbound exchange students (2.5%).

International Students Reveal the Secrets of International Student Recruitment

Initially published on www.intead.com. In a world of fast-paced activity and seemengly never ending responsibilities, it isn’t always easy to find the time to listen. It’s important to take a break from charting progress, developing novel programs and tools, and talking through brochures, websites, social media and face-to-face. Listening is critical. With that in mind we recently conducted a focus group with international students, many of whom are college freshmen, to take the time to listen to what was important to them in the recruitment process. We learned four key takeaway messages which are outlined below.

Rankings are important.

While rankings continue to be viewed with more importance by some students than others, pretty much everyone in the focus group relied on rankings for guiding the search and decision making processes. US News and World Report holds real value to the students and parents, particularly in China, but there were other ranking systems that the students mentioned. A Canadian international student seemed least influenced by rankings and vocalized her skepticism of what she referred to as a contrived number to judge universities. Her voice was in the minority– students continue to be interested in statistics.

This doesn’t mean that if your institution doesn’t rank highly on the main US News and World Report ranking you will have no chance of recruiting international students. There are countless other rankings reported regularly that you can use to highlight your institution. Furthermore there are many ways to positively spin lesser known rankings in your favor.

Universities should develop a special page for international students.

All of the students mentioned that university websites are cumbersome and overwhelming. A dedicated page for international students with pertinent information would be most helpful for students as they move through the funnel from prospects to enrolling students. We need to make the information easily accessible to our prospective international students. They shouldn’t need to spend hours navigating through cumbersome websites, searching for information.

Universities need to better highlight unique facilities and features.

The students mentioned that many of the most impressive features of the universities they researched weren’t learned from the website or from the university directly. They were exposed to exciting aspects of campuses in a more roundabout way (i.e. College Confidential, other message boards, social media). The students want to learn about unique qualities of various universities, what distinguishes one institution from another, campus traditions, etc. International students want to learn about opportunities to get involved, the area surrounding campus, and special student perks (i.e. bus passes, free public transportation, free/discounted tickets to cultural venues). This content should be available on the university website, not strictly from third party sites.

Universities need to monitor their presence on College Confidential and similar sites.

“Listening” to the conversations among prospective and current students as they pertain to your institution are critical. Maintaining a positive presence on College Confidential is important. This means assigning someone on staff to periodically check what is being written about your institution and then, if necessary, turning the conversation into a positive one.