Thursday, July 26, 2018

UNSW tops Australian universities in world rankings

This may be of some small help if people want to evalute my past association with Uni NSW, both as a student and as a teacher.  People outside Australia find it hard to rank Australian universities.  Uni NSW started out as a university of technology so that could be misleading, though MIT is a counter-example to that.

UNSW Sydney has swept ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2018, scoring the most subjects ranked first in Australia and the highest number of subjects ranked in the top 100 in the country.

With 38 subjects ranking in the global top 100, 24 in the top 50 and three in the top 10, UNSW continues its climb up the rankings, having the most subjects of all Australian universities in the prestigious league table.

Nine UNSW subjects – Civil Engineering, Finance, Instruments Science & Technology, Library & Information Science, Management, Mathematics, Mechanical Engineering, Remote Sensing and Water Resources – rank first in Australia. This is almost double the number of UNSW subjects ranked first in 2017.

ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects has published the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) by academic subjects since 2009. The rankings assess more than 4000 universities across 54 subjects in natural sciences, engineering, life sciences, medical sciences, and social sciences.

UNSW Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Nicholas Fisk felt it was a clean sweep for UNSW Sydney.

“To be top in Australia for subjects ranked first, with the most subjects in the top 100, underscores the depth and breadth of UNSW research.

“These subject rankings are a more tangible reflection of a university’s research strengths than the global ranking, and UNSW is a comprehensive university that demonstrates academic and research excellence. ​I want to pay special tribute to all UNSW's hard working academics on this outstanding result.”

Water Resources is UNSW’s highest ranked subject at 5th in the world, with Mining & Mineral Engineering ranking 7th and Civil Engineering 10th.

Globally, UNSW’s best performing subjects are Water Resources (5th), Mining & Mineral Engineering (7th), Civil Engineering (10th), Finance, Marine/Ocean Engineering and Remote Sensing (all 16th), Atmospheric Science and Oceanography (23rd), Library & Information Science (26th), Law, Hospitality & Tourism Management and Transportation Science & Technology (all 34th), Telecommunication Engineering (38th), Energy Science & Engineering (39th), Earth Sciences (40th), Aerospace Engineering (41st), Instruments Science & Technology (42nd), Environmental Science & Engineering (44th), Mechanical Engineering (45th), Electrical & Electronic Engineering (46th) and Geography (49th).

United States universities continue to dominate the rankings, occupying first place in 35 disciplines, followed by China with nine and the Netherlands with three. The best performing institution in the world is Harvard, taking 17 crowns, ShanghaiRanking said in a release.

The methodology to determine the ranking includes the number of papers published, international collaboration and citation impact. The full methodology can be found here.

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Free College Classes

Are the high cost and questionable career relevance of much that’s offered in American colleges and universities now sparking a revolution? A few lights on the horizon offer hope. New initiatives are now underway such as the start-up, which offers free college courses. Also, Modern States Education Alliance is helping high-school students get college credit for AP classes. And Walmart is offering its employees classes in supply-chain management at the cost of a dollar a day, while Starbucks and McDonald’s also offer their workers an educational benefit.

In a recent piece at Forbes, Independent Institute Senior Fellow Richard K. Vedder makes sense of the trend. In the case of large employers, the developments are motivated by a tight labor market that has made it challenging for companies to hire enough—and retain—good workers. The government should also support the trend, he adds, given the current high levels of state and federal spending.

“In this fiscal environment, privatizing low tuition efforts is highly desirable,” Vedder writes. “State universities were supposed to be cheap, but as they become ever more inefficient and bureaucratic, and as governmental subsidies to them decline as they lose public support, the free college efforts of both private philanthropic groups and profit-making firms like Walmart are a means of assuring that even low-income persons can achieve a college education.”


British Government to fund pay rise for teachers

Teachers are in line for a pay rise of up to £1,366 a year as part of the government’s pay deal for around a million public sector workers.

Education Secretary Damian Hinds has confirmed an investment of £508 million to fully fund the deal which means the main pay range for classroom teachers will increase by 3.5 per cent.

Responding to recommendations from the independent School Teachers’ Review Body (STRB), Education Secretary Damian Hinds said: "There are no great schools without great teachers and I want us to recruit and retain brilliant teachers who are fairly rewarded for the vital work they do.

Today we are announcing a fully funded pay rise of up to 3.5% - or between £800 and £1,366 – for classroom teachers on the main pay range, 2% for those on the upper pay range and 1.5% for those in leadership positions.

This will mean that teaching continues to be a competitively rewarded career, and I will continue to work with the profession, Ofsted and the unions on issues like excessive workload, professional development and flexible working, to make sure teaching remains an attractive, fulfilling profession.

Schools will continue to determine how their staff are paid but the increases above will be funded by government with a new teachers’ pay grant – worth £187 million in 2018/19 and £321 million in 2019/20 from the existing Department for Education budget – paid to all schools on top of their core budgets from the National Funding Formula, which has also been confirmed today."

In cash terms, teachers could receive a boost of between £1,184 and £1,366 to their salary, while salaries for new teachers will increase by between £802 and £1003.

The announcement comes as the government announces the biggest pay rise in almost 10 years for around one million public sector workers across Britain – the result of the government’s balanced approach to the economy, reducing debt while investing in public services.

The average gross pay for a teacher in 2017 was £38,700 [$51,000 USD]. The starting salary for a teacher is £22,917 outside of London and £28,660 in inner London. In addition to an annual pay award, many teachers also receive increases from promotions and responsibility allowances.



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