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educational institutions


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

216  Employing new methods 219 COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) 220 Aarhus University – School of Business and Social Sciences 222  Aga Khan University 224  Ahlia University 226  Aston University 228  Brigham Young University 230 British Columbia Institute of Technology 232 Canterbury Christ Church University Business School 234 Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences 236  Institute of Medical Biology 238 La Cité collégiale, collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie 240 Mount Royal University 242 National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) 244 NUI Galway – School of Chemistry 245 Trinity College Dublin – School of Mathematics 246  Prague College

248 Royal Irish Academy of Music, The 252 Södertörn University 254  The University of Oklahoma 256  Université de Sherbrooke 258 University of Alberta – Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry 260 University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH) 262 University of Basel – Faculty of Humanities and Social Studies 266 University of Hong Kong, The 268 University of Kashmir 270 University of Lahore 272 University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna 274 University of Rajasthan 275 University of Zagreb – Faculty of Economics and Business 276 University of Saskatchewan – College of Engineering 278 University of Sussex 280 University of Waterloo – Faculty of Mathematics 282 Warwick Business School 283 World Trade Institute – University of Bern

214 / 215


employing new methods With recruiters bemoaning a lack of skills in graduates, universities are increasingly striking a balance between academic application and workplace readiness

After 15 years or more in full-time education, it seems reasonable

so on. In good primary schools, children

to expect graduates to hit the job market with minds honed and

work collaboratively and do independent

skills sharpened, ready to start a successful career. Yet, a 2011 survey

research. Something happens when they

of more than 200 graduate recruiters found that one in three left

go to secondary school and a lot of that

graduate jobs unfilled. Applicants, they told the Association of

is lost.’

Graduate Recruiters (AGR) in the survey, lacked the fundamental

   As an example, Siôn points to the

skills businesses require.

Government’s current reforms of GCSEs and

   This is a challenge that educators are working hard to overcome.

A levels, both of which are moving towards

Focusing on schools, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI)

linear systems of learning where students

– which represents around 250,000 British public- and private-

focus on subject knowledge for final exams.

sector organisations – consulted with businesses, teachers, school

In contrast, a lot of universities – including

leaders and academics to scrutinise teaching and exams. ‘As well

many Russell Group institutions – organise

as academic rigour, we need schools to produce rounded and

their curriculum in a modular way. ‘There is

grounded young people who have the skills and behaviours that

a bit of a disconnect there,’ Siôn observes.

businesses want,’ Director-General John Cridland said of their

   ‘A lot of the pressure to produce

findings in November 2012. ‘In some cases, secondary schools have

work-ready graduates is placed at the

become an exam factory. Qualifications are important, but we also

universities’ door, but it needs to be fixed at

need people who have self-discipline and serve customers well.’

school level, too,’ agrees Stephen Isherwood,

Lack of soft skills

the AGR’s Chief Executive. Meanwhile, in higher education, things are already moving

Universities need to pick up the pace, too, nurturing graduates

in the right direction. ‘Study and working

that are both academically qualified and work-ready. But how can

environments at universities have changed,’

schools and universities deliver this balance? Having worked in

he says. ‘There are very few jobs nowadays

school leadership for 15 years, Siôn Humphreys is now a policy

where you sit on your own at a computer –

adviser for the National Association for Head Teachers (NAHT),

people work in groups and across levels.

and he says: ‘Some of the skills that are lacking are the so-called

Collaborative teaching and learning styles

“soft skills” – communication, problem-solving, collaboration and

help prepare young people for that.’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

216 / 217


‘A lot of the pressure to produce work-ready graduates is placed at the universities’ door, but it needs to be fixed at school level, too’

Deep engagement Careers support can also help – but, as Siôn notes, school-based careers services have been cut back in recent years. Universities, meanwhile, have upped their game.    ‘Many are doing a lot in the area of employability,’ Stephen says. ‘There are really outstanding collaborations and very deep engagement between universities and employers. Some are building degrees together, with employers setting some of the curriculum, getting involved in teaching and having professional bodies doing some of the accreditation. Students are gaining real skills as well as rigorous academics, which will help them do jobs.’    Industrial projects are also beneficial. ‘It’s important for students to understand how to bridge their academic studies with the world of work,’ says Stephen. To that end, universities increasingly ask employers to set ‘live’ projects, as well as giving students opportunities to gain relevant work experience. An example of this is the University of Exeter’s eXfactor programme, which develops enterprise and professional skills throughout the undergraduate curriculum and, as a result, won the AGR’s Graduate Development Award and its Blue Ribbon Award in 2012.    Through these types of initiatives, and by working closely with industry, educators can make great steps towards producing a work-ready young workforce.


The COMSATS Institute of Information Technology is Pakistan’s top-ranked higher education institution for computer sciences and IT

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

heading in the right direction

www.comsats.edu.pk

‘Knowledge of new technologies has been the name of the game in the developed world for years,’ says Dr Arshad Malik, Head of International Office at COMSATS Institute of Information Technology (CIIT) in Pakistan. ‘But developing countries have only started to look at the benefits more recently. They’ve encouraged people to invest in the delivery and creation of knowledge, which has also served as CIIT’s principal goal since it was set up in 1998.’

Bridging the digital divide By sharing and implementing new ideas, CIIT has had a positive impact on society over years. Its parent body, COMSATS (Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South), was founded in 1994 to ‘bridge the digital divide between the North and the South’, Dr Malik explains. And since its inception, it has done just that. In 1996, COMSATS launched the first internet service in Pakistan. Two years later, CIIT was conceived with a mandate to improve computer literacy in the country, and by 2000, it had been granted full degree-awarding institute status.    ‘From that point on we’ve not looked back,’ says Dr Malik. CIIT now has more than 22,500 students, including around 2,600

   Since CIIT opened its doors around the turn of the century,

postgraduates, and has grown from fewer than 15 teachers to more

the number of higher education institutions in Pakistan has almost tripled. It’s a success story that comes with its own challenges.

Islamabad, Lahore, Abbottabad, Wah, Attock, Sahiwal and Vehari

‘The demand for qualified faculty members has never been greater,’

and a virtual campus, the institution delivers 72 degrees equally

explains Dr Malik. ‘To meet this need, CIIT made a deliberate policy

divided between undergraduate and postgraduate programmes.

decision to invest in the development of young people.’

CIIT has already produced 22,500 graduates including 64 with

   As a result, around 820 of the institute’s young faculty

PhD degrees.

have been able to study overseas at such world-leading universities

   CIIT specialises in IT-, engineering- and science-related subjects.

as Cambridge, Lancaster and Imperial College London. Indeed, thanks

In fact, out of Pakistan’s 134 higher education institutions and

to the success of its academic and faculty development programmes,

universities, the country’s Higher Education Commission ranked it

CIIT is not only helping Pakistan reap the rewards of technology, but

number one in the Computer Sciences and Information Technology

also sowing the seeds of knowledge for many generations of experts

category in 2012.

and educators.

218 / 219

than 2,250 faculty members. Spread across seven campuses in


‘we are well positioned to keep investing in research and to attract international talent’


Denmark’s School of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University uses complementary disciplines to enhance its world-renowned business courses

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

connected thinking

www.bss.au.dk

In 2011, School of Business and Social Sciences at Aarhus University in

one of the world’s most influential social researchers and the leading

Denmark was named the Most Innovative Business School in Northern

authority on social capital, has recently become a visiting professor

Europe by the prestigious magazine European CEO. In competition

at the school. In addition, Nobel Laureate in Economic Sciences

against a number of renowned international business schools, School

Dale T. Mortensen has held a part-time position with the school’s

of Business and Social Sciences was awarded the accolade thanks to

Department of Economics and Business for the past five years,

its groundbreaking outlook and teaching methods.

and will continue to do so for the coming five years.

Interdisciplinary approach

   An increasing number of international students are also enrolling at the school. Currently, more than 30 per cent of researchers at

‘Most of the business schools today have realised that psychology,

the school’s economics department come from overseas. ‘We have

political science and law are becoming increasingly important to

connections with many universities around the world,’ says Svend.

the study of business,’ explains Svend Hylleberg, the school’s Dean.

‘Our PhD students are required to study abroad for at least six

‘The globalised world is an increasingly interdependent place, and the

months of their three- or four-year study programme. And a lot

challenges it faces are complex. Therefore leaders must have a broad

of our master’s courses in economics and business, along with

set of competences to operate in that environment. The advantage

several of our undergraduate courses, are taught in English.’

of having separate departments of psychology, political science and

MSc programmes

to the study of business.’

One of the four main academic faculties at Aarhus University, School

   For instance, research into the functions of the brain, conducted

of Business and Social Sciences ranks among the largest business

by the school’s Department of Psychology and Behavioural Sciences, is

schools in Europe and holds both AACSB and EQUIS accreditation.

now influencing studies into management and economics, as well as

It has around 14,000 full-time students, more than 250 PhD students,

political science. ‘That said, we don’t dilute the strength of the business

over 500 academic staff and delivers an array of study options,

discipline, but rather encourage students to cross over into several

including research-based MSc programmes in Economics, Business

areas during their studies,’ explains Svend. ‘Students will master at least

Administration and Political Science.

one discipline and collaborate with people in other fields. This gives

   In addition to its innovative methods and academic strengths,

them an open-minded approach to the world, undertaking research-

the university’s setting is another key attraction. Aarhus is Denmark’s

based teaching that imparts an ability to innovate and solve problems’.

second-largest city, is situated by the sea in the heart of Jutland and has

   One of the main strategic focuses for the school’s immediate

a largely youthful population. Aarhus is a lively place, whose vibrancy is

future is to increase its international impact. As a result of a recent 50

mirrored by the school’s own energetic ambitions. ‘Our aim is to put

per cent increase in funding, the school has been able to attract more

ourselves on the international map and deliver a competitive, research-

international faculty members than ever before. The distinguished

based education,’ says Svend. ‘We are well off and well positioned to

professor Robert D. Putnam from Harvard University, regarded as

keep investing in research and to attract international talent.’

220 / 221

law at our school is that we can take an interdisciplinary approach


Making a Difference With campuses in Pakistan, East Africa and the UK, the Aga Khan University is helping to improve the standard of medical research and education across the world www.aku.edu

From its inception, the Aga Khan University was envisaged as

countries in which they are based. ‘That’s the kind of impact that

a university with an international presence. ‘We see ourselves as

we seek from our students,’ says Firoz.

building human capacity, wherever we work in the developing world,’

   The Aga Khan University works with foreign countries to

says President Firoz Rasul. ‘We try to instil a sense of responsibility

provide the technical expertise needed to develop modern academic

in our students, so that they understand what is expected of them

institutions of their own. For instance, following the fall of the

when they graduate, beyond simply being a good professional.’

Taliban, the Afghan Government approached the Aga Khan University

   Part of the Aga Khan Development Network, the Aga Khan

to help rebuild its failing healthcare system. With the assistance of a

University is a co-educational research university with campuses in

USAID grant, the university was able to establish a national nursing

Pakistan, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and the UK. It offers courses in

school in Kabul in Afghanistan, develop a modern curriculum for it

medicine, nursing and education at its campuses in Pakistan and East

and recruit local educators to put this into action.

Africa, and a master’s in Muslim Cultures at its London-based Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations. More than 70 per cent of its 2,300

Promoting understanding

students are women, and the university employs around 11,000 staff.

Located in London, the university’s Institute for the Study of Muslim

   The university’s ‘needs-blind’ admissions policy means that

Civilizations was established to promote the study of historical and

students are accepted into academic programmes without having had

contemporary issues that affect the Muslim world, investigating

their ability to meet university fees assessed. ‘If students are admitted

the traditions, civilisations and languages of the Islamic peoples.

and are unable to afford all the fees, then we provide assistance up to

‘The institute’s purpose is understanding the pluralism of the Muslim

full scholarships,’ says Firoz. ‘More than 80 per cent of our students

world – the similarities and the differences between the people who

receive some form of financial assistance.’

follow the faith,’ says Firoz. ‘The decision to locate the institute in

Innovation with impact

the UK was made to ensure that researchers have the freedom to pursue questions that might be contentious for some religious or

Adopting a problem-based approach to learning on its medical

special-interest groups in other countries.’

courses, the Aga Khan University emphasises the real issues that

   Ambitious plans are in place in both Pakistan and East Africa,

graduates are likely to face when they go into practice. During their

where the university intends to become a comprehensive educational

studies, nursing and medical students spend around 20 per cent of

institution by establishing new faculties of arts and sciences, along

their time in their region’s most deprived areas – a process that is

with new graduate professional schools. These will offer degrees

crucial to recognising the realities of the developing world.

in media and communications, leisure and tourism, architecture,

   The Aga Khan University established Pakistan’s first nursing

law, management, and government and public policy. ‘Just because

school some 30 years ago. Since then, a further 18 public nursing

you’re poor and underdeveloped as a country, doesn’t mean that

schools have been established in the country, 12 of which have the

you cannot have the best quality education or the best quality

university’s graduates as their deans. Similarly, many graduates of

healthcare,’ says Firoz. ‘We demonstrate to other institutions –

the Aga Khan University’s education master’s programme have gone

including governments – that this is achievable. It doesn’t take

on to become chief education officers or education ministers in the

a whole lot of money, it just takes a different attitude.’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘just because you’re underdeveloped as a country, doesn’t mean that you cannot have the best quality education’

222 / 223


‘Studying abroad opens students’ eyes to opportunities that they might not have seen from just sitting at home’


At the heart of the Arabian Gulf, Ahlia University in Bahrain was the first private university to be licensed by the Government of Bahrain

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

A global reach

www.ahlia.edu.bh

Ahlia University is keenly aware that an international approach to

to study. ‘If you want to be ranked among the top universities in the

education is becoming ever more important. With this in mind, the

world, internationalisation is a very important aspect of it,’ he says,

Bahraini university has built close links with universities in the UK and

adding that while the majority of Ahlia’s students come from Bahrain,

the US, offering postgraduate students a unique opportunity to gain

30 per cent come from other countries. Academic staff are also drawn

a truly global education in the Middle East.

from more than 20 different countries.

   Established in 2001, Ahlia was the first private university to be

   Professor Al-Hawaj believes that studying overseas can be a

licensed by the Government of Bahrain. It is independently chartered,

highly valuable experience for postgraduates looking to continue their

funded and managed by the private sector and all its programmes

education. ‘Studying abroad opens students’ eyes to opportunities that

are recognised by Bahrain’s Higher Education Council, as well as

they might not have seen from just sitting at home,’ he says. ‘It widens

universities in the UK and US.

the scope and horizons of postgraduate students, and they learn

   The university currently incorporates six colleges, including Arts,

from being among other cultures.’ As such, Ahlia strongly encourages

Science and Technology, Engineering and a College of Postgraduate

its students to participate in the international student exchange

Studies and Research, whose programmes are recognised as being

programme with universities outside Bahrain.

among the best in the Gulf region. In all, 14 bachelor, five master’s and three PhD programmes are available to students, the vast majority

Modern methods

of which are taught in English.

Students at Ahlia benefit from a more progressive approach to

International partnerships

teaching, which is more interactive and practical than the traditional teacher-centred education. Less time is spent on lectures and more on encouraging students to learn how to process and deal with

proud of the programmes that the university runs in collaboration with

information – skills that will stay with them throughout life.

its partners overseas. These include master’s in Business Administration

   ‘It’s lifelong learning – how to criticise, how to apply things,’

and Engineering Management, run with George Washington University

explains Professor Al-Hawaj. He is proud of the university’s high

in the US.

ranking by Bahrain’s Quality Assurance Authority for Education –

   Ahlia University also has a strong relationship with Brunel

proof, he says, of how seriously it takes education. And this is just

University in the UK, and through a partnership with its Business

the beginning. Work is due to begin on a new campus in 2014,

School and Information Science School offers students the opportunity

which will expand the university’s intake from 2,000 students to

to gain a ‘PhD without residence’.

around 7,500, enabling Ahlia to extend its colleges and areas of

   ‘This is a Brunel PhD,’ Professor Al-Hawaj explains. ‘You graduate

study and provide improved facilities.

from Brunel but do all the work and research and attend lectures here.’

   It is this commitment to investment in education that has helped

   The relationship with Brunel has proved so successful that

Ahlia University establish a reputation as a flourishing, forward-thinking

the universities plan to extend the programme to other colleges.

university. And developments such as the new campus and more

And Professor Al-Hawaj is clear that the international approach Ahlia

extensive links with overseas universities are certain to further broaden

takes, and the exchange of students, staff and research with foreign

its appeal to postgraduates looking to continue their education with

universities, is what makes the university such a rewarding place

a global perspective.

224 / 225

Professor Abdulla Y. Al-Hawaj, the university’s president, is particularly


A path to employment An outstanding research record and a dedication to student employability make Aston University a top choice for ambitious undergraduates www1.aston.ac.uk

‘Everything that we’ve done since we were founded in 1895 has been

it’s the largest research group in the university’s School of Engineering

to develop graduates and postgraduates who can be of benefit to the

& Applied Science. Its key research areas include high-speed optical

community, to business and to the professions,’ says Aston University’s

transmission and processing, fibre-based optical devices and

Director of Communications, David Farrow. The Birmingham-based

components, nonlinear photonics and fibre-optic sensors. In 2009,

university’s four schools – Business & Management, Engineering &

Aston engineers created the world’s longest laser, channelled through

Applied Science, Languages & Social Sciences, and Life & Health

270 km of fibre-optic cable.

Sciences – are keenly attuned to the needs of business and the professions with a strong focus on high-quality, applicable research.

Helping businesses

   ‘We take great pride in the fact that, at 89 per cent, we have a

‘We’re very focused on our research being applicable and of benefit

better graduate employability record than Oxford and that’s because

to the communities that we serve, and we do a lot of work with

of the way our courses are structured,’ David says. ‘Most of our 9,500

small and medium businesses in the West Midlands to help them

students do a placement year in industry or the professions, so they

grow,’ David says. Aston Business School’s entrepreneurship and

benefit from a year in paid work with a company or a professional

enterprise programme 10,000 Small Businesses, delivered in

body, which gives them great strength in the job market.’

partnership with Goldman Sachs, provides structured and practically

Innovative investigation

focused support to leaders of small business who are seeking to grow them. Delivered over 12 sessions – approximately 100 hours

One example of Aston’s world-class research is in the area of

of learning – the programme is targeted at small and medium

bioenergy, where the university is engaged in a range of activities,

enterprises with clear ambitions to expand. It is designed to unlock

from fundamental research through to the development and

their economic and job-creation potential.

deployment of innovative technologies. ‘We do a lot of work around

   ‘We are also very proud of our amazing track record in social

bioenergy to help make sure that cities like Birmingham will be able

mobility,’ David says. ‘Many of our students may not have expected to

to use their own waste to power themselves in the future,’ David says.

go to university, but at Aston they transform themselves into people

   While the bioenergy industry is growing fast, the achievement of

who are very employable and ready to enter the professions, enter

cost parity with non-renewable energy sources has remained elusive.

business and succeed in their careers.’

To further research into creating bioenergy from waste, and with

   Underpinning Aston’s commitment to preparing students to

assistance from the European Regional Development Fund, Aston has

meet the needs of business and the professions is the university’s

created dedicated industrial research facilities and a unique industrial-

integrated placement year. David explains: ‘We see so many surveys

scale power-generation plant on campus. The £16.5 million project

from bodies that speak for employers, saying a degree is not enough,

will develop solutions for bioenergy from waste and will demonstrate

technical ability is not enough – we want emotional intelligence,

the practical nature of the technology by supplying power and heat

we want presentation skills, we want self-confidence and we want

for use on the campus.

people who show up on time. The fact that most of our graduates

   Aston’s Institute of Photonic Technologies is another world-

have already spent a year doing developing these skills is a huge

class research facility, and with more than 50 active researchers,

advantage to them.’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘Most of our students benefit from a year in paid work with a company or a professional body, which gives them great strength in the jobs market’

226 / 227


‘Our institution is committed to producing graduates that are academically accomplished and carry strong ethics, integrity and ambition’


Rooted in academic excellence and religious values, Brigham Young University is America’s biggest private religious university

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

Faith in education

www.byu.edu

Founded in 1875, Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah educates

   But BYU is not all business and law – it is also recognised for

more than 30,000 students, making it the largest private religious

its world-class arts programmes, from music to theatre and dance.

university in the USA. With students from some 110 countries, its

The university’s performing arts groups have performed in more than

energetic campus is a melting pot of international diversity under

100 countries, while some talents have earned top honours stateside.

the umbrella of a common faith. The majority of BYU students are

In 2013, BYU students won the Metropolis Opera National Council

members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which

Auditions and the United States International Duo Piano Competition

sponsors the university.

– the most prestigious opera and piano duo competitions in the USA.

   BYU has ten colleges that offer some 200 bachelor’s degrees,

   Other BYU highlights include the Capstone programme, which

more than 60 master’s degrees and 30 doctorate programmes.

offers hundreds of engineering students hands-on experience on

It operates a robust mentoring system for students, and the university’s

industry-sponsored projects, and the animation programme, which

undergraduates regularly present at national conferences alongside

provides a steady stream of talent to many of the major US animation

their graduate- and PhD-level peers.

studios. The university’s four major innovation competitions also

Lifelong learning The university has established itself as a prominent launch pad for postgraduate study. Over the past decade, BYU has been among

cultivate a keen entrepreneurial spirit and have spawned several major companies – just one of the reasons why BYU is ranked 11 in the USA by job recruiters, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Honour Code

to earn PhDs. ‘While our major focus is on providing an excellent

The university’s Honour Code encourages moral conduct, with

undergraduate education that is both spiritually strengthening and

students and faculty members alike committed to living a chaste

intellectually enlarging, BYU also offers highly recognised graduate

and virtuous life, obeying the law, using clean language and

programmes that encourage students to pursue lifelong learning,’

respecting others. Students at BYU enjoy a lively, all-inclusive culture,

says Academic Vice President Brent W. Webb.

whether watching a performance at the university’s fine arts college

   BYU’s Marriott School of Management and J. Reuben Clark Law

or cheering one of its top-tier sports teams. And with its breathtaking

School, for example, do just that. The Marriott School boasts a top-30

setting at the foot of the Wasatch Range of mountains and minutes

MBA degree, a firm emphasis on entrepreneurship and high-ranking

from Utah Lake, the university’s campus offers a wealth of outdoor

accounting programmes at both undergraduate and graduate level.

activities including hiking, skiing, sailing and waterskiing.

One of the school’s highly successful MBA programme courses is

   BYU strives constantly for excellence, seeking to help students

Cougar Capital, which enables students to partner with venture

realise their full potential by enlightening the mind as well as the

capital and private equity firms, conduct due diligence on potential

soul. As Brent explains: ‘Our institution is committed to producing

investments and even co-invest in deals. In addition, The National Jurist

graduates that are academically accomplished and carry the strong

– the magazine for US law students – ranks the university’s J. Reuben

ethics, integrity and ambition that make them excellent employees

Clark Law School as the second-best-value law school in the country.

and contributing community members.’

228 / 229

the top ten universities in the USA in terms of students who go on


‘At BCIT, students can practise a lot and are allowed to make mistakes, while in a job they wouldn’t be able to experiment in the same way’


Canada’s BCIT offers a combination of innovation, technology and internationalism that fully prepares its students for the workplace

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

working towards an education

www.bcit.ca

‘But it’s my first day!’ is a phrase that no graduate from one of

Online interactive learning allows for materials such as textbooks

British Columbia’s largest post-secondary institutes, British Columbia

to be transformed into online content. Previously, students would

Institute of Technology (BCIT), will ever utter upon starting a new

have been working in isolation with print material.

job. That’s because BCIT – which is based in Burnaby, just outside

   The Power Engineering department has also developed a

Vancouver, British Columbia – offers a hands-on education that

complex computer-based boiler simulation program through which

mirrors the workplace, with facilities such as a state-of-the-art

students can remotely operate a hydraulic bench that is situated

Aerospace Technology Campus, which houses a fleet of 20 aircraft,

at one of the institute’s labs. ‘Our facilities enhance learning by

and a world-class Marine Training Simulation Centre.

enabling students to perform tasks that simulate the operation of

   The institute’s Vice President of Education, Research and

a power plant, such as a boiler, steam trap or valves,’ explains Sanja

International, Paul Dangerfield, describes the BCIT approach as

Boskovic, Chief Instructor of the Power Engineering Department.

providing students with the skills to be ‘job ready on day one’. The combination of an ageing population and the need for more

Virtual learning

specialised jobs means that British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost

Virtual learning at BCIT has opened the door to international

province, will have an expected one million job openings by 2020.

collaboration that provides students with the opportunity to benefit

This makes the integration of a practical element into education

from overseas exchanges. ‘Students have to have a global perspective,

essential rather than simply desirable because, according to Paul,

and the international community is constantly learning how to deliver

simulation is the best way to learn. ‘At BCIT,’ he explains, ‘students

education more effectively,’ Paul says. ‘Brazil, Hong Kong, Ukraine,

can practise a lot and are allowed to make mistakes, while in a job

China and South Korea all have successful models, and we want

they wouldn’t be able to experiment in the same way.’

to work with like-minded institutions in those and other countries.’

Cutting-edge facilities

   A recent trip by students from the BCIT Bachelor of Business Administration programme exemplifies such international partnerships. Three students travelled to Curitiba in Brazil to research the market

institute’s students for the workplace is its Marine Simulation Centre,

potential for fuel products, and their findings resulted in marketing

which has the capacity to meet the training and research needs of

efforts that are specifically tailored to Brazil. For Paul, this initiative

British Columbia and beyond. Developed in conjunction with industry

epitomises where the future of post-secondary education should lie.

partners, it simulates a ship’s main bridge and is capable of mimicking

   ‘About 50–60 per cent of students in Canada take arts degrees,’

the waves and wind of the natural environment. In addition, it boasts

he says. ‘But we need to flip this model and base our education

an engine-room simulator that is capable of reproducing the conditions

more on the system of, say, Switzerland, where about 20 per cent

of an on-board emergency.

of students do research degrees and 80 per cent do apprenticeships,

   This innovative approach is evident throughout BCIT. In its

because their approach has resulted in low unemployment.’

Power Engineering Department, for example, instructors deliver real-

   With its focus on innovation, cutting-edge technology and

time classes and tutorials online. Students interact using virtual tools

internationalism, BCIT is indeed well positioned to have a similar

such as discussion boards, real-time chat and a document camera.

impact through the education it provides.

230 / 231

One of the many cutting-edge facilities that help to prepare the


the praCtice of theory With their strong practical element, postgraduate courses at Canterbury Christ Church University Business School provide excellent leadership and management skills www.canterbury.ac.uk/business-school


It is not just Canterbury's medieval cobbled streets and its World

Certificate in Shared Services, which brings together public service

Heritage-listed cathedral that make Canterbury Christ Church University

organisations such as local governments, the NHS and the police

Business School (CCCU Business School) one of the most appealing

to share core elements of their services involving HR, finance

study destinations in the UK. With its growing reputation for research,

and procurement.

it offers a wide range of business and management courses to

   However, the approach is not only characterised by such

around 1,900 students. Focusing on career development and

employability-boosting initiatives but also by the recruitment of industry

gaining an understanding of how to put management theory

professionals to CCCU's staff, such as ex-Rolls Royce International CEO

into practice in a global business environment, they provide an

Professor Tom Purves. ‘Plus, there are many guest speakers coming to

excellent foundation for a great career.

the university,‘ says former student Arron Moss. ‘That was one of the

Pioneering programmes Courses range from the pioneering MSc in International Business to management training and education programmes tailored to specific

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘we think it's vital to give students exposure to people who are out there in the business world’

many aspects of my course that I greatly enjoyed because the guest speakers gave us an insight into their experience, and their knowledge greatly helped both my work and my development.‘

Enterprising initiatives

business world of the future, the MSc in International Business takes

The Research and Enterprise Development Centre (RED) at CCCU

an innovative approach to study: there are no exams. Instead, students

organises and funds a range of events and workshops throughout

receive a personalised template ‘kit’ and are assessed on their thesis

the year. These include the Student Enterprise Week, which involves

ideas over six months through presentations in front of professors as

shadowing a business professional, and FLUX, an inter-university

well as their peers.

event that involves more than 100 universities, with over 30,000

   The result, according to Programme Director Colm Fearon, is

students having taken part over the last seven years. As part of this

that those on the programme get an insight into the work of other

initiative, teams of six spend 36 hours over two days solving real

students, but they also learn how to evaluate, give and receive advice,

business dilemmas with a team of experts from some of the UK’s

get involved in their peers’ work and, very importantly, bond as a group

most dynamic businesses.

a lot earlier than on conventional courses.

   These links to industry are the reason why more and more

   In general, experiential and situational teaching methodologies

postgraduates choose CCCU Business School for their studies.

form a large part of CCCU’s ethos, making learning as relevant and

On top of this practical experience, innovation in teaching

realistic as possible. ‘That‘s because we think it‘s vital to give students

and learning prepares students for the workplace by fostering

exposure to people who are out there in the business world,‘ explains

independence. Staff regularly publish research studies, while

Business School Director Heather McLaughlin. ‘It’s all about trying to

students receive help to publish their own work in collaboration

recreate the business experience in the classroom.‘

with supervisors. As student and business representative Tapiwa

   The business school uses what it calls ‘professional communities

Nzou sums up: ‘Everyone at the university works towards a common

of practice’. One example of that is the unique six-month Postgraduate

goal, and the staff are very supportive.‘

232 / 233

needs. Offering skills in leadership and entrepreneurship for the


industrious approach Its distinctive labour-market focus means that students at Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences in Germany enjoy a clear advantage in the job market www.hs-niederrhein.de

In 1960s Germany, a public debate raged about higher education:

   Over the past five decades, Germany’s universities of applied

specifically, how the country could plug the gap between traditional

sciences have changed dramatically. ‘But in the beginning we had

university education, with its focus on international research, and

a public task to provide management executives for local industry,

work experience-based professional education. The result was the

to train them for the job,’ says Professor von Grünberg. ‘In the 1990s,

birth of the Fachhochschulen – universities of applied sciences – in

this public task was reformulated to take on board the idea of applied

1971. The new centres of learning inherited the academic standards

research. By research, we do not mean writing big papers for

of the traditional universities, while incorporating a system of

international conferences, but rather solving questions posed to

education that aimed to provide its students with a job in industry.

us by local industry, such as the technical specifications of paint

   The Hochschule Niederrhein University of Applied Sciences takes

for the car industry, or solving public health issues relating to food.’

its name from its location in the Lower Rhine, close to Dusseldorf.

   The transfer of knowledge is also a key motivator at the university.

Some 12,600 students study work-related degree programmes at the

‘Transfer is becoming more and more important. Our professors pass

university, which prepare them for a position, often managerial, in

their theoretical knowledge on to the companies in our region, so

working life. Its ten faculties focus on subjects related to economics,

that they can apply it to their problems,’ adds Professor von Grünberg.

social sciences, health care, engineering and natural sciences.

‘A good example is the RFID [Radio Frequency Identification]

Work-centred focus

technology. One of our research institutes, which works in the field of business processes, is advising numerous companies about how

‘We provide a labour market-oriented system of education,’ says

to use this technology to improve their services and processes.

Professor Dr Hans-Hennig von Grünberg, President. ‘When you

Transfer is becoming the third pillar, next to teaching and research,

analyse the structure of the German economy, 65 per cent of

for universities of applied sciences. It is the principal feature that

GDP is made up of local firms. It is these local firms, which can

distinguishes us from traditional universities.’

be anything from small technical companies to larger software firms, that we focus on at the university, and we have a very close

Favourable prospects

working relationship with around 30 to 40 such enterprises.’

Germany’s population is shrinking at present. It’s a demographic

   Many of the university’s teaching staff have spent a large part

change that looks set to make universities of applied sciences such

of their career within these industries. This not only underpins the

as Hochschule Niederrhein become all the more important over

job-related content of their courses, but also means that their

the coming years.

students can gain access to these organisations through internships,

   ‘If the intake of students is too low measured against labour-

research partnerships and jointly supervised dissertations. ‘A large

market demand, the question of how effectively a programme leads

proportion of the graduates from our degree programmes do not

to a specific occupation gains a whole new meaning,’ says Professor

even need to send a written application to get a job,’ says Professor

von Grünberg. ‘I’m sure that in ten years’ time, 50 per cent of all

von Grünberg. ‘That’s because they are usually already coupled with

students will choose an applied science university, and I think that

their future employer during their studies.’

is a healthy mix.’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘A large proportion of our graduates do not even need to send a written application to get a job’

234 / 235


The appliance of science Singapore’s Institute of Medical Biology is only a few years old but has already gained an enviable global reputation for research www.imb.a-star.edu.sg

In this age of instant information and finely tuned technology, the

Working side by side in a lively environment with the most advanced

words ‘groundbreaking’ and ‘pioneering’ are used all too often to

technologies, the teams’ leaders range from top scientists from around

describe scientific discovery. However, at the Institute of Medical

the world to young group leaders at the beginning of their careers.

Biology (IMB) in Singapore, they truly define the everyday work that

   ‘With such an international team of leaders, we have imported

goes on inside the laboratories. An ultra-modern centre of excellence,

the best elements and strategies from top institutions worldwide to

the institute offers diverse opportunities for PhD and postdoctoral

rapidly grow IMB into a successful international research institute,’

students, and enjoys an international reputation for contemporary

explains Professor Lane. ‘So graduates who come here will find an

research with global applications.

exhilarating international community that is very connected and

Practical science

an entrepreneurial spirit that drives highly innovative research.’    Although graduates don’t join IMB until they reach PhD or

Singapore’s history in biomedicine doesn’t stretch back very far, but

postdoctoral level, predoctoral students can join the institute’s many

it has nevertheless already become an important player in the field.

internship and attachment programmes to introduce themselves to its

In 2000, the country’s government launched an ambitious initiative

laboratories and subject areas. IMB’s strong partnerships with numerous

to establish a domestic biotechnology industry based on excellence in

international universities also mean that overseas students on jointly

biomedical sciences research, with a view to delivering economic and

supervised projects can spend two years of their PhD programme

health benefits to Singapore.

working in Singapore at the Biopolis campus. Consequently, IMB’s

   Having opened in 2007, IMB is the youngest research institute of

community of early-career researchers is very international.

the Biomedical Research Council of Singapore, which is overseen by the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). IMB is situated

Scholarships

at the Biopolis campus, along with six other A*STAR institutions and

In addition, scholarships for Singaporean undergraduates and

numerous industry-run R & D labs. Around 40 PhD and 75 postdoctoral

postgraduates to study overseas often offer incentives that enable them

scientists work within IMB’s 20 teams, studying issues around the

to return to Singapore to work at IMB and A*STAR. ‘Close dialogue with

mechanisms of human disease. The institute’s research focuses on

our overseas partners means that shaping the PhD programmes is very

skin biology, stem cells and genetic diseases – three interlinked areas

much a collaborative effort,’ says Professor Lane. ‘Career development is

selected for their robust industrial connectivity, as well as their practical

key for us, and we have established many supportive network structures.

importance for health and well-being. ‘The mission of A*STAR is to

These include PhD and postdoctoral seminars, early career monitoring

foster scientific research that benefits Singapore as a nation, so our

committees and training courses within A*STAR, as well as conferences

institute’s research portfolio is very translational and we try to make

and lectures from members of industry.’

sure that everything we do has a practical application,’ explains

   With such a tight focus on applied sciences and excellent research,

Professor Birgit Lane, Executive Director.

IMB is the very essence of a ‘pioneer’ in a part of the world that has long

   IMB’s research teams study issues such as tissue stem-cell biology

attracted pioneers and entrepreneurs. The institute’s vibrant international

and reprogramming, rare and common genetic disorders, wound

community, coupled with the very best learning resources, make it an

repair and tissue regeneration, skin barrier function and ageing.

ideal environment for those with a sharp mind and an adventurous spirit.


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘Graduates who come here will find an entrepreneurial spirit that drives highly innovative research’

236 / 237


working towards an education La Cité collégiale, collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie, is one of Ontario’s top colleges and takes an applied-learning approach that ensures its students are ready for the workplace www.lacitecollegiale.com

Ontario’s largest French-speaking applied arts and technology

‘The facility’s highly specialised laboratories prepare students for

college – La Cité collégiale, collège d’arts appliqués et de technologie

the real world of emergency services, by exposing them to realistic

– is the first choice for 5,000 students every year. With a graduate

simulations and experiential learning,’ explains Bourgeois. ‘This way

employment rate consistently hovering around 90 per cent, it's easy

students are what I like to call “job ready”. We are preparing them to

to see why.

hit the ground running. And this is what employers are looking for.’

   Since 2006, La Cité collégiale has been ranked as one of the

   Nestling in 24 hectares of green space, the main college campus

province’s top five colleges in an independent survey commissioned

is an oasis of calm and tranquillity in Ottawa’s bustling east end.

by the Ontario Government. Scoring top marks in areas related

Since its foundation in 1989, it has made a concerted effort to expand

to student satisfaction, the usefulness of its programmes and the

rapidly. To that end it now includes two satellite campuses located

quality of learning experience, the college consistently proves itself

in Hawkesbury and Orléans, and offers services and select training

as one of the highest-performing training institutions in Canada.

programmes in Toronto. The diversity of its student body is growing

Focus on training and skills

and the college is becoming increasingly active on the international stage. Drawing on the worldwide francophone community, the college

Lise Bourgeois, President of La Cité collégiale, puts its success

attracts students from all over Canada, France, Belgium, North and

down to the focus it places on the relationship between training

West Africa and the rest of the Americas. This melting pot of diverse

and employment. ‘We are not only catering for students,’ explains

cultures creates the rich campus life that exists at the college.

Lise, ‘we are catering for employers too. It is essential that we turn out the most highly trained and skilled graduates to meet the needs

Evolving with the times

of an ever-changing and evolving society.’

With an ever-shifting jobs market, La Cité collégiale recognises it must

   The college offers more than 90 post-secondary courses.

also evolve and do ever more to widen its reach to ensure students are

Students can train in a range of vocations including Art, Media and

getting the best start in their professional lives. As a result, it is taking

Communications, Health, Computer Science, Hospitality and Culinary

centre stage on the digital platform by rolling out e-learning courses

Arts, Skilled Trades, and Travel and Tourism. It also boasts a bachelor’s

to benefit students globally. Courses include Autism and Behavioural

degree in biotechnology – one of the fields in which the college

Science, Webmaster and even Palliative Care, all at the touch of a

conducts various applied-research projects.

button and from anywhere in the world.

   Its applied-learning approach means that students study their

   ‘Student success has always been our priority and it always will be,’

chosen subject in a hands-on and practical way. Depending on their

explains Lise. ‘I want the next 23 years to be as successful as the last, so

programme of study, students can train through apprenticeships,

I am committed to La Cité collégiale’s continued development as one of

on work placements or in the college’s highly equipped on-campus

Ontario’s best colleges. I want La Cité collégiale to be a harbour of hope

facilities. In 2011 for example, La Cité collégiale opened its 911

– a place where students can achieve their dreams.’ Based on the firm

Institute, a 100,000 sq ft emergency services training centre.

foundations already laid, the future looks bright for the college.


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘It’s essential that we turn out the most highly trained and skilled graduates to meet the needs of an ever-changing and evolving society’

238 / 239


strong foundation To give its students true value for money, Mount Royal University in Calgary is focusing solely on undergraduate education www.mtroyal.ca

At a time when the cost of a university education is devolving

Employment success

more and more from governments to students, an increasingly

Alongside the debate about the appropriate balance between

important question to ask of higher education institutions is:

teaching and research there’s the ongoing discussion about

‘Are students getting their money’s worth?’ Reflecting on the

whether undergraduate education adequately prepares students

current challenges, Dr Robin Fisher, Provost and Academic Vice

for the workplace. Mount Royal excels in this respect, since its

President of Mount Royal University in Calgary, says: ‘We want

emphasis on experiential and workplace-based learning has

to be a university with a difference – there needs to be greater

led to high levels of employment success upon graduation.

differentiation among the universities in Canada, and we want

Most programmes include a variety of experiential learning

Mount Royal to offer the best quality undergraduate education

opportunities, such as clinical placement, directed field studies,

in the country.’

internship and work experience. This enables students to gain

   It is, he believes, an achievable objective, but one that calls

vital professional experience, ranging from one to three semesters

for a firm focus. In line with this view, Mount Royal University

over the course of a four-year degree.

has made undergraduate education its sole purpose.

   Nearly all of Mount Royal’s study programmes also have

Different class

business- and community-based advisory committees that work with programme directors and offer advice both on the nature

Home to more than 13,000 students, the institution attained

of the course and to students who take it. ‘In addition, we’ve just

university status in 2009, a year before its centenary as a

developed a new alumni mentoring programme that connects

college. With the express aim of becoming Canada’s number

students with university alumni in the workplace to help them

one undergraduate university in terms of student success and

progress after graduation,’ Robin says. ‘And we’ve also created

satisfaction, Mount Royal is now positioning itself as a centre

opportunities for students to work with faculty in preparation

of learning that is distinct from the opposition.

for graduate and professional programmes.’

   ‘In contrast to large universities that have distant relationships

   It’s an approach that has reaped great rewards: in The Globe

between faculty and students, we have very small classes and

and Mail’s Canadian University Report 2013, Mount Royal came

a very personalised approach to undergraduate teaching,’ Robin

equal top among medium institutions with regard to instructors'

explains. Emphasising face-to-face learning, the university works

teaching style, student-faculty interaction, and quality of teaching

extensively with faculty on teaching and learning techniques that

and learning.

help them to become better teachers. Overall, the balance of

   ‘By Canadian standards, we’re a relatively old institution,’

faculty roles and responsibilities is weighted towards teaching

Robin sums up. ‘And by building on its foundations as a college,

rather than research, and the university’s rewards structure

its full commitment to undergraduate teaching and learning, and

reflects that emphasis. ‘Rewarding faculty for being good

the belief that students’ interests should come first, Mount Royal

teachers is what has enabled us to be successful,’ Robin adds.

is evolving into a different kind of university.’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘In contrast to large universities that have distant relationships between faculty and students, we have very small classes and a very personalised approach’

240 / 241


Pakistan’s rising star The National University of Sciences & Technology in Islamabad is a thriving institution that is tackling the challenges of society and industry head on www.nust.edu.pk

The National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) in Islamabad,

consolidate links between academia and industry. ‘We’re interested

Pakistan has achieved phenomenal growth during its first two decades.

in how much value we can add at a national level,’ says Tooba.

The university has ridden the wave of two upsurges in learning that

‘We want to be solving our national problems for ourselves, and

have taken place in the country since the turn of the millennium.

by developing links with industry, we can have a direct impact

   The first of these was a higher education revolution, led by

on the economy.’

the creation of the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan in

   As part of this work the university has identified 13 key sectors

2002, which has doubled the number of universities in the country

of the Pakistani economy that face pressing needs or challenges.

since it was set up. The other was the ICT revolution, which

NUST has formed a committee for each of those sectors, combining

has greatly enhanced access to information through the use of

top executives from that particular industry with expert academics

technology in education. As a result, NUST has expanded from

from the university. These committees meet regularly to discuss

six colleges to today’s 18 constituent institutions situated in

what challenges their industry has to tackle and how the university

purpose-built campuses. The university has also experienced

can provide solutions through research.

a 184 per cent rise in its student population.    ‘No other university in Pakistan offers the breadth and diversity

Delivering success

of disciplines that we do,’ says Tooba Raza, Head of Marketing and

‘To date, the university has successfully delivered cost savings,

Communications. ‘Almost all areas of engineering, IT, management,

solved manufacturing problems and garnered industry feedback

social sciences, art, design and architecture are covered, in research

on the skill sets required of graduates, which all feed into the

terms as well as academic study.’

university curricula,’ says Tooba. In order to continue this work,

Research focus

the university is in the early stages of plans to build a science and technology park, which will host world-class labs and business

For the past six years, NUST has maintained top-500 status in the QS

incubation centres.

World University Rankings, and it was the first university from Pakistan

   With its growth in successful programmes and research, the

to be ranked among the top 150 in Asia. ‘Research is a huge focus

university’s popularity has soared. In 2012, NUST received around

for us,’ says Tooba. ‘The quantity of publications we’ve produced, the

52,000 student applications for some 2,000 places. The current

number of patents we’ve filed and the technologies we’ve developed

student population stands at more than 12,000, and the university’s

give a clear indication of our standing, and research plays an integral

academic offerings include 33 undergraduate and 63 postgraduate

part in this. Over the past ten years our researchers have completed

programmes, almost all of which can be studied at PhD level.

243 projects worth more than 640 million Pakistani rupees, while

   ‘NUST is part of a new generation of Pakistani universities

156 sponsored projects, amounting to around 1,090 million Pakistani

dedicated to fostering a research-led and innovative culture to meet

rupees, are currently in hand.’

the challenges faced by industry and society,’ says Tooba. ‘We also

   NUST has created a network, called the Research, Innovation

have active links with 81 universities and organisations in 27 countries

& Commercialization (RIC) Ecosystem, which seeks to establish and

around the world, which goes to show just how far we’ve come.’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘No other university in Pakistan offers the breadth and diversity of disciplines that we do’

242 / 243


Good chemistry connections Outstanding educational facilities and strong industry ties make the School of Chemistry at NUI Galway a key driver of Irish success www.nuigalway.ie/chemistry

The National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway’s strong links with industry reap great rewards for both parties. And nowhere is this more the case than at its School of Chemistry, which provides businesses with a steady stream of expertise and enjoys plenty of support in return.

One of a kind Founded in 1849, the school teaches around 1,000 undergraduates and has more than 70 postgraduate research students and postdoctoral researchers. NUI Galway offers a bachelor of science that enables students to choose a broad combination of subjects before specialising in their fourth year in one discipline, such as chemistry. Alternatively, undergraduates can do a

which typically takes four years to complete.

of Marine Biodiscovery, who has a national

degree in biopharmaceutical chemistry –

The programme takes students from around

responsibility for the discovery of natural

the only programme of its kind in Ireland.

the world, who are attracted by the school’s

products in Irish marine waters,’ says the

   The world of work features on both the

reputation for high-quality research and its

school’s Professor Paul Murphy. ‘By recruiting

Chemistry course and the Biopharmaceutical

state-of-the-art facilities, including excellent

someone in that role, we’ve brought that

Chemistry course, which offer a select

high field NMR, X-ray crystallography, mass

capability to Ireland.’

number of summer placements in a relevant

spectrometry and microscopy equipment.

   The appointment reflects the School of

company or academic laboratory. In recent

   In the last few years, the school’s output

Chemistry’s progressive approach – one that

years, students have been placed at Roche

of peer-reviewed publications has grown

has made it such a success story and so vital

Pharmaceuticals, GlaxoSmithKline and Eli

significantly. In addition to more conventional

to Ireland’s chemical, pharmaceutical and

Lilly, which, along with the likes of Boston

research fields, it specialises in areas such

biomedical industries. And, as Paul points out,

Scientific, Merck and Pfizer, all make

as green chemistry and energy, biomedical

it aims to serve this function for years to come.

increasingly important contributions towards

chemistry and natural product chemistry.

‘The School of Chemistry is flexible enough

the Irish economy. The School of Chemistry

‘With financial support from the Irish Marine

to adapt,’ he says, ‘so if the industry changes,

also delivers a Structured PhD in Chemistry,

Institute, we recently recruited a Professor

we can make sure we’re ahead of the game.’


With its long-standing pedigree and flexible degree programmes, the School of Mathematics at Trinity College Dublin has a winning formula

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

Calculated success

www.maths.tcd.ie

The School of Mathematics at Trinity College Dublin enjoys a long

years, students can then select from the modules offered by either

history of educational excellence that stretches over more than 400

programme. ‘Students like the fact that they can combine pure

years and includes such academic luminaries as the physicist and

mathematics and physics in one degree,’ says Sinead. ‘And we follow

mathematician William Rowan Hamilton. The school is not content

that through in the way we teach our degrees. Because our faculty

with just its past achievements. Trinity College Dublin is described

can talk to both groups we can also offer students a significant

by QS World University Rankings as ‘Ireland’s premier university’,

combined research project in their final year.’

and in 2011 the rating body placed the School of Mathematics

   The school is part of a college-wide initiative called ‘Mathematics

at a highly respectable number 15.

of Complexity’, which looks at how the subject can play a role

   The centre of learning’s undergraduate options stand

across the entire university. ‘We’ve started conversations with

out as well. Unlike most schools of mathematics, it offers

our colleagues in genetics and economics, for example, about

Theoretical Physics degrees alongside the more commonplace

the common fundamental issues that we share,’ says Sinead.

BA in Mathematics and joint degrees. ‘This gives us a very

‘We’ve just started out, but my vision is that it will feed down

distinctive profile,’ explains Professor Sinead Ryan, Head of

into new teaching initiatives, addressing up-to-date problems.

School. ‘Mathematics would normally be taught solely by pure

   ‘We’re quite a small school and we really value our interaction

mathematicians, but at Trinity there is a real interplay between

with students,’ she adds. ‘We talk to them informally all the time

mathematics and theoretical physics in our research-led teaching.’

and feed their opinions into our courses.’ Many stay on to follow

Flexible degree programmes

the school’s master’s and PhD programmes, or use their degree as a launch pad to a career from a broad range of areas where their analytic skills are in real demand. ‘We have lots of international

Physics degree courses each year, both of which provide a strong

companies here in the heart of Dublin,’ says Sinead, ‘they know about

foundation in core topics in the first two years. Over the final two

the School of Mathematics and its reputation, both past and present.’

244 / 245

Around 40 students join the school’s Mathematics and Theoretical


Gateway to opportunity Boasting excellent academic and industry connections, Prague College is a compact educational institution that broadens the future prospects of its students www.praguecollege.cz


Located in the heart of Europe, Prague College offers a highly focused

a visionary science-fiction writer – and Tomáš Sedláček – recently

education to students who are not afraid to stand out from the crowd.

identified as one of the five most influential economists emerging in

Dubbed the ‘British University in Prague’, its degrees are accredited

the world today.’ As Douglas explains, Prague College is particularly

by Teesside University, including master’s degrees in international

attractive to students who want to stand out: ‘Most international

management and computing. Preparations are under way for the

managers will have done their postgraduate work in a major

introduction of a master’s in art and design in the next year or two.

economic centre in China, the UK or the USA. Prague appeals to

   ‘Prague has an international, cosmopolitan workforce and

someone who is adventurous in spirit, who has the self-confidence

a vibrant business and cultural community,’ says Douglas Hajek,

to know that they can take the path less followed and turn that

Director of Prague College. ‘It has emerged as a regional and

into an incredible advantage.

international centre for a lot of companies who have set up their

   ‘Students who take full advantage of the opportunities we offer

research and development here. It is therefore perfectly situated

can walk away with an unusual experience that can only enhance

to give students the opportunity to work with large international

anything else they’ve done,’ he adds. ‘By coming to Prague, students

companies, such as Microsoft and DHL.’

are not stepping away from the key drivers of the world economy

   Prague College is a small institution with just over 600 students

but approaching them from a slightly different direction.’

attending its schools of art and design, business, and IT and computing. The college is next to a large park and is only a short

International mix

walk from the centre of Prague, while the city itself is a gateway

Roughly one third of the students at Prague College are Czech

to Eastern Europe, within easy reach of the likes of Vienna, Munich

nationals, a little over a third are expats and a little under a third are

and Budapest.

overseas students. As such, it’s a truly international college in the heart

Master’s programmes

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘The interaction students get with professors here is highly individual and is something the college wants to maintain’

of Europe. ‘Even our direct neighbours – the Germans and Poles – are coming here,’ explains Douglas. ‘At the same time, we have lots of Russians, Ukrainians and Brits coming through our doors.’

offers two master’s degrees. The master’s in international

   The fact that Prague College isn’t vast is part of its appeal, though

management gives students the opportunity to develop networks and

Douglas expects it to double in size over the next five years. ‘There is

skills, and to apply their academic ability to a working environment.

great potential for growth in certain areas, but we’re interested in

The master’s in computing, on the other hand, is particularly suited

building excellent academic endeavour in a small environment,’ he says.

to professionals seeking to update or broaden their skills in areas

‘Prague College is not a mass-education destination. The interaction

such as systems design, hardware, networks, web programming,

students get with professors here is highly individual and is something

databases and IT management. Both can be completed in 12 months

the college wants to maintain.’

of intensive study or over 24 months on a part-time basis for the

   Graduates who choose the ‘British University in Prague’ can

MSc International Management.

receive an outstanding education, develop excellent contacts

   ‘The college’s Master Speaker Series backs up the master’s

and enhance their careers. They can also enjoy an affordable and

programmes and enables our students to meet some outstanding

vibrant experience in one of Europe’s most beautiful, historic

people,’ says Douglas. ‘We host people such as Bruce Sterling –

and distinctive cities.

246 / 247

In addition to its five bachelor’s programmes, the college currently


A virtuoso performance The Royal Irish Academy of Music has been central to Ireland's musical life for more than 160 years and boasts a unique and wide-ranging structure www.riam.ie

The creation of The Royal Irish Academy of Music (RIAM) in Dublin

   ‘The majority of our students are school age, with a small

in 1848 brought with it the country’s first formal music performance

proportion of full-time students following our professional degrees,’

education. Since then, the RIAM has grown to become a central

explains Deborah Kelleher, Director. ‘It’s the reverse model of

contributor to Ireland’s musical life thanks to its unique reach,

music conservatoires in the UK and other international equivalents.

structure and strengths.

By introducing children to music performance early, the RIAM helps

   Today, the RIAM enjoys an international reputation as an elite

develop the pool of young talent in Ireland to feed into its higher

music institution; some of its 1,200 students – from Ireland and

education courses. ‘We have a rich and diverse community of learning,

beyond – have garnered prizes from the world’s most prestigious

which comes from our pyramid structure. Some of our juniors have

competitions. These range from the Clara Haskil International Piano

become international prizewinners at the age of 11 and moved on

Competition and the Maria Callas Grand Prix singing competition to

to significant professional careers, while others are diligent students

the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition and the BBC Cardiff

who may go on to work in areas unrelated to music.’

Singer of the World. Its alumni include members of such leading orchestras as the London Symphony, the Philharmonia and the Hong

Nationwide learning community

Kong Philharmonic, as well as opera houses from the Royal Opera

The RIAM is firmly committed to supporting and leading music

House to La Scala, Milan. Meanwhile, the RIAM’s staff is no less

education at every level far beyond the walls of its Westland Row

impressive, including many national and international prizewinners,

campus. To this end, it founded the Local Centre Examination System

and members of the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland and

in 1894. This is the only indigenous examining body in Ireland for

the RTE Concert Orchestra.

music. ‘We have 42,000 students entered by 7,000 teachers taking

Inclusive approach

our exams every year in 1,700 locations across Ireland,’ says Deborah.    The academy intends to strengthen this nationwide learning

The RIAM’s reach is far broader than prizes and big names alone

community further by using 21st-century technology, with the

would suggest, however. It is truly inclusive and caters for students

introduction of Ireland’s first virtual learning environment for vocal

of classical music of all abilities and ages, from preschool to

and instrumental teachers. Called the RIAM Teaching Network, this

retirement. Across its five faculties – Keyboard; String; Woodwind,

launches in November 2013 and is to provide teachers with an array

Brass and Percussion; Vocal; and Musicianship – it offers a wide

of resources including videos, podcasts, forums and printed material.

range of options. There’s everything from short courses right

‘What excites me about this new initiative,’ says Deborah, ‘is that it

through to graduate diplomas, BA, MA and doctorate qualifications,

builds on the RIAM’s existing education by drawing on the expertise

and a summer school for selected classical music disciplines.

of our world-class teaching faculty and sharing it for the benefit of

The reason the RIAM can be so inclusive is thanks to an exceptional

the larger teaching community in Ireland.’

pyramid structure: most students are part-time, with only 10 per

   Deborah acknowledges that while this inclusive attitude benefits

cent at the top of the pyramid following full-time courses.

a broader range of learners, when it comes to the RIAM’s full-time


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

248 / 249


students, the institution takes the opposite

Ireland to develop major partnerships within the sector.

approach. ‘We only take 120 of the very

We chose TCD because not only is it Ireland’s leading

best students on our full-time programmes,’

university and right across the road from us but also

she explains. ‘Because of that exclusivity,

it has a significant creative arts strategy. In many ways,

we have an employment rate of almost

it was a marriage made in heaven.’

100 per cent among graduates.’ Such a select intake also makes for small classes, a

Further collaboration

close-knit community and ample one-to-one

The partnership has already led to exciting work.

attention. ‘This means we can give roughly

‘We’ve combined with The Lir National Academy of

twice the amount of teaching that other

Dramatic Art at TCD to present seven single-act operas,

conservatoires offer,’ confirms Deborah.

all fully staged with costumes, sets and lighting,’ says

‘For instance, a violin student would have

Deborah. ‘These “opera briefs” have involved the RIAM’s

two hours with a teacher and an hour with

singers, musicians and The Lir’s technical theatre students,

an accompanist each week. In addition,

all overseen by leaders in the professions of conducting,

we afford our students exceptional

directing and lighting. Members of our student-led

performance opportunities, nationally

contemporary ensemble, Kirkos, have also collaborated

and internationally.’

with their peers from TCD’s music department and Music

New partnership

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘Such a select intake makes for small classes, a close-knit community and ample one-toone attention’

Composition Centre to perform works by the RIAM and TCD students, and emerging professional composers in Ireland.’ Deborah envisages more collaboration: ‘In the

provided the background for the RIAM’s

future, we might look to combine seminars using TCD

current major development – its new

scholars, supported by related performances to create

partnership with Trinity College Dublin

a multi-dimensional cultural experience drawing on the

(TCD), announced in early 2013. This has

expertise across all of the TCD constituency. We are also

made the RIAM an Associated College of

in the planning stages for the development of master’s

TCD, and provides both institutions with

and doctorate programmes in music education in

the benefits of collaborative work and

partnership with the TCD School of Education.

links that will boost performing arts

   Just as it pioneered music education in Ireland

education and creative arts in Ireland.

more than 160 years ago, the RIAM is committed to

Deborah explains how the partnership

all aspects of its unique education, finding new and

came about: ‘In 2011, the government

creative ways to reach more people and continue its

encouraged all educational institutions in

tradition of excellence and dynamism.

250 / 251

Ireland’s changing educational landscape


fresh perspectives SÜdertÜrn University’s inclusive approach to learning attracts students from Sweden and beyond, and prepares them for the challenges of the working world www.sh.se


Södertörn University offers its students a multidisciplinary approach

ever more accessible to foreign students. Indeed, the university

to education. It’s an attitude that encourages learners to apply a

itself has a dedicated service centre that offers advice and assistance

broad perspective to their chosen subject and to ask questions from

to students from overseas.

a range of viewpoints. While this can prove challenging, it’s also one of the key attractions for those graduates who choose to continue

Tackling the big questions

their studies at the esteemed Swedish university; one that enables

Sweden is one of the world’s most forward-thinking countries, and

students to think for themselves and puts them in a strong position

Södertörn University plays a vital role in nurturing the country’s fertile,

in the highly competitive job market.

progressive climate by incorporating contemporary issues into its

Doctoral programmes

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘our approach is attractive to international students who may have been used to a more traditional, single-subject style of education’

research. ‘We grasp the questions of our time,’ says Professor von Wright. ‘We’re not afraid of big challenges, and we give our students a scientific framework in which to explore and examine them.’

with the majority at bachelor’s and master’s levels. The university

   This fresh approach to research breeds an open atmosphere at

also offers several doctoral programmes, including Baltic and East

the university, where independent, creative thinking is prized. In turn,

European Studies; Environmental Sciences; Critical and Cultural Theory;

this helps students to gain a depth and breadth of understanding that

Historical Studies and Politics; and Economy and the Organisation of

they might not encounter elsewhere. ‘You get something beyond the

Society. All of them have varying multidisciplinary elements.

boundaries of the main traditional subject,’ says Professor von Wright.

   ‘This is a place where different subjects meet up,’ says Professor

‘You get to understand an area of problems, and you get trained in

Moira von Wright, the university’s Vice-Chancellor. Students working

asking questions in different ways, which is very important for research

in different fields come together in seminars and research discussions,

but also for anyone who wants to work in society.’

enriching both areas of study. Around 13,000 students attend the

   Professor von Wright says that, having learned how to use their

university, and Professor von Wright says its relatively small size further

knowledge constructively, students from Södertörn University are in

encourages the flow of knowledge between departments. ‘We have

high demand and go on to find work around the world. ‘Many of

a closeness between our different subject areas, whereas in a bigger

our former students find themselves in posts and positions where

university, you don’t know what your neighbour is doing,’ she says.

they make decisions,’ she says, ‘such as in state administration or

‘Our structure and approach is attractive to international students

international corporations.’

who may have been used to a more traditional, single-subject style

   While Professor von Wright extols its benefits, she is also clear that

of education as undergraduates in their own country.’

the university’s open and innovative approach can be taxing. ‘We place

   Much of the teaching at Södertörn University is done in English,

high demands on our students’ intellectual capacity,’ she explains.

and English is widely spoken in Sweden, making it an appealing place

‘They have to be able to discuss and debate.’

for British graduates to live and study. The university’s campus is

   For those who thrive in this kind of climate, however, the potential

located just 18 minutes by train from central Stockholm, a city that

returns are high, enabling Södertörn University’s students to move

is increasingly international in outlook and has taken strides to become

into challenging and rewarding areas of work with confidence.

252 / 253

Södertörn University offers around 60 programmes and 350 courses,


community spirit One of the USA’s most esteemed academic institutions, The University of Oklahoma values collaboration on a local, national and international level www.ou.edu

Founded in 1890, The University of Oklahoma (OU) in the USA is a public

empty field into a 271-acre research campus that houses programmes

research university that serves the educational, cultural, economic and

in radar technology, meteorology, genetics, energy and the life sciences.

healthcare needs of its state and nation. Renowned for its academic excellence and sense of community, OU currently educates more than

Community spirit

30,000 students from 120 countries.

‘Students must be equipped to function in a global environment,’

   Through its 21 colleges, the university offers 163 majors at

says the university’s president. Enabling this to happen, the university

baccalaureate level and 157 at master’s level, as well as majors at

attracts students from 120 countries, and the percentage of OU

doctoral and doctoral professional level, and graduate certificates.

students studying abroad has risen from 2 per cent to 26 per cent in

Its impressive 3,500-acre campus, just 20 miles south of Oklahoma

10 years, while its new College of International Studies fosters the

City, is home to all the university’s academic programmes, except for

study of other cultures. However, OU also encourages a sense of

its health-related courses, which are taught in Oklahoma City itself.

community in its students, enabling them to engage with, and help

   The Princeton Review ranks OU among the best in the country in

in the development of, local society.

terms of academic excellence and cost for students. Nationally, it ranks

  The university’s outdoor spaces feature gardens, fountains

number one among public universities in quantity of National Merit

and seated areas, which invite students to visit, study and relax.

Scholars enrolled. And, in 2012, OU was the only university in the USA

OU’s Institute for Quality Communities enables researchers, students

to produce a Rhodes Scholar, a Marshall Scholar, a Mitchell Scholar,

and regional leaders alike to collaborate in their efforts to enhance

a Goldwater Scholar, a Truman Scholar and a Fulbright Scholar.

local communities by improving planning, design and governance.

Strong leadership

  OU provides a major university experience with a private college atmosphere. Boasting more than 400 active student

At the helm of this exceptional institution is President David L. Boren,

organisations, there is an abundance of ways for students to

a former US senator and Oklahoma governor, who assumed the role

get involved in life on campus. The university is also home to

20 years ago. During this time, OU has become a leader in US public

one of the most well-known inter-college athletics programmes

higher education, thanks largely to his emphasis on four priorities –

in the country. The ‘Sooners’ (the nickname given to all of OU’s

teaching quality, research expansion, globalisation and community.

varsity teams) can lay claim to 26 national championships in sports

   There is an emphasis on putting students first at OU. ‘While the

for both men and women. In addition, the OU debate team has

university plays an important role in the realm of research, the teaching

won the National Debate Championships for four of the past six

of students is its central purpose,’ says the university’s President. ‘It is

years and students have also won top awards in the National

through great teaching that intellectual curiosity is awakened and human

Petroleum Engineering Competition and the National Kennedy

potential is nurtured. I’ve lectured for every semester but one that I’ve

Center Competition in Drama.

been here – it keeps me focused on the importance of teaching.’

   With academic excellence, exceptional facilities and an

  Guided by its president’s belief that ‘research and teaching are not

inspirational leader, it seems the University of Oklahoma has

competitive, but complementary’, OU has transformed a previously

much to offer students from across the globe.


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘the university of oklahoma provides a major university experience with a private college atmosphere’

254 / 255


Learn beyond boundaries The Université de Sherbrooke is Canada’s most sustainable university and champions collaborations that benefit its students and the wider community alike www.usherbrooke.ca

The Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) has succeeded in carving

   ‘It's common at UdeS for lecturers from different disciplines

out an enviable place for itself among Canada’s major universities.

to jointly plan their courses in order to expose students to

By dismantling the barriers between disciplines, theory and practice,

overlapping perspectives,’ says Luce. ‘This is the case, for

and university and community, it has become a model for ingenuity

instance, on the Applied International Law and International

in advancing knowledge and practices in a sustainable way.

Policy graduate programmes.’

   Located around 150 km east of Montreal and surrounded by mountains, forests and lakes, Sherbrooke is an important centre

Innovation through collaboration

for university education, boasting the highest number of students

UdeS’s efforts to work with the community are epitomised by

per capita in the province of Quebec. More than 37,000 of the

the MiQro Innovation Collaborative Center (C2MI). Created by

city’s student population attend UdeS, which was founded in

the university in cooperation with IBM and Teledyne DALSA, it

1954 and provides a North American education in French. It offers

serves as a fundamental link between applied research and the

47 undergraduate, 54 master’s and 32 doctoral programmes that

rapid commercialisation of microelectronic products. Canada’s

integrate teaching, research and a commitment to society.

most important facility of its kind, C2MI provides a forum for

Integrated approach

students, researchers and industry representatives to collaborate. It is anticipated that the centre will be the site of major

‘At the Université de Sherbrooke, we try to innovate by collaborating

technological discoveries in fields as varied as healthcare,

with businesses, governments and the wider community,’ explains

telecommunications and new media. And C2MI’s mix of

Luce Samoisette, the institution’s Rector. ‘Education allows us to fight

university and industry research ensures that it will be able

poverty, promote citizenship, safeguard the environment, understand

to provide responses to society’s ongoing challenges, along

each other’s cultures and foster tolerance. It gives us the freedom

with high-quality training for UdeS students.

to choose how to lead our lives, decide on our own particular paths

   In addition to tackling societal issues, the university is

and feel that we are giving back to our society.’ To this end, the

engaging with environmental ones. In January 2013, Universitas

university’s ‘Learning Through Action’ approach encourages students

Indonesia (UI) named UdeS the sixth-most sustainable university in

to take an active role in their education by working alongside others

the world, according to its 2012 UI Greenmetric World University

and getting out of the classroom, enabling them to be involved in

Ranking. The annual survey compares universities’ efforts towards

the advancement of their local community and beyond.

achieving campus sustainability, and UdeS was the top-ranked

   One example of this is UdeS’s doctorate in medicine. Working in

Canadian university in the latest issue thanks to such measures as

small groups enables students to progress independently and develop

responsible waste management and the creation of green spaces.

a comprehensive understanding of health problems. The success of

   An environmentally friendly attitude and flexible approach

this approach is illustrated by the fact that the university’s Faculty

to study and research benefit the student body as well as the

of Medicine and Health Sciences is the only one of its kind in the

wider community. They also confirm UdeS’s status as one of

French-speaking world with World Health Organization affiliation.

Canada’s most outstanding universities.


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘It’s common At UdeS for lecturers from different disciplines to jointly plan their courses in order to expose students to overlapping perspectives’

256 / 257


‘There is a really strong relationship between the faculty and the students, and an incredible amount of student engagement’


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

A healthy attitude to education The Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta in Canada takes a creative, and memorable, approach to learning www.med.ualberta.ca

Students at the University of Alberta in Canada can expect the

to attend medical school, but at times, I did find it a little bit

unexpected. From professors performing pop songs to theatre and film

boring,’ she admits. ‘I asked myself why the teaching couldn’t

being used as teaching tools by the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, it’s

be as exciting as the practice, so I developed my own lecture

an institution renowned for the quality of its at times unconventional

style, which I call “medutainment”.’

teaching and research.

   Sarah’s teaching repertoire includes a beatnik poem set to

   Irfan Kherani, former President of the University of Alberta Medical

jazz that describes abdominal infection, and an adapted pop song

Students’ Association, describes the teaching as ‘phenomenal’. ‘There is

with accompanying ukulele that describes the treatment of a throat

a really strong relationship between the faculty and students,’ he says,

infection. ‘The students love it,’ she enthuses. ‘After I performed the

‘and an incredible amount of student engagement.’ It’s a dynamic that

poem, 99 per cent of them got the facts correct in their exams.’

translates into results, with the students of Alberta’s first medical school achieving the top national marks in their medical licensing exams.

Acting Like Doctors

Engaging with students While Sarah’s teaching methods may sound unusual, they have proved highly effective, and she now advises her colleagues on new ways to engage with students. ‘Ultimately, I want to help patients, but it’s

his teaching licence in acting – a move that is fully supported by the

also about how fun medicine can be,’ she says. ‘There is so much

faculty. Indeed, there are strong links between the arts, the humanities

information to retain that I try to provide a memory hook in each

and medicine at the University of Alberta, as Irfan exemplifies. It’s a

lesson to help the students remember everything.’

connection that isn’t limited to simply appreciating music, theatre and

   However, it remains the students’ responsibility to illustrate that

film, but that extends to such optional modules as Acting Like Doctors.

they have digested the lesson at the end of each session. To this end,

Developed by one of the university’s medical students, it uses

they are asked to ‘retell’ what they have learnt in their own fashion.

performance theatre to help students better understand the patient

Sarah recounts an example when a student used a classic detective

experience and establish better methods of care.

movie narrative to describe the death of a specific bacterium. As she

   Narrative Reflective Practice is another element of the course that

explains: ‘I just want to inspire people.’

makes good use of unusual media, screening films to help students

   The University of Alberta is considered one of the world’s leading

consider the impact of treatment on patients. ‘It’s very well received

public research and teaching universities with more than 39,000

by students and gives us a different lens to look at our training and

students from across Canada and more than 5,000 from 144 other

remind us why we are here,’ says Irfan. Students at the Faculty of

countries. Around 400 graduate and undergraduate programmes are

Medicine & Dentistry also have the option to add a highly respected

taught across the university’s 18 faculties. And such is the quality of

research component to their learning, known as STIR or Special

its teaching that the university has been awarded the highest number

Training In Research. It’s a programme that recognises and confirms the

of 3M National Teaching Fellowships (Canada’s top honour for teaching

university’s influential standing and reputation as a research institution.

excellence) in the country. It’s a place where, as Irfan observes,

   Sarah Forgie, Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the university,

‘students take ownership of their education’, and where the traditional

isn’t afraid to shake things up in the lecture hall. ‘I felt so privileged

boundaries between the arts and science are refreshingly blurred.

258 / 259

Irfan is not only studying medicine, but also working towards gaining


More than a helping hand The University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education in Switzerland is the only university to offer an undergraduate degree in sign-language interpreting www.hfh.ch


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

Based in Zurich, the University of Applied Sciences of Special Needs Education (HfH), is the largest institution of its kind in Switzerland,

‘any institution can come to us to check they are up to date with what they do in practice’

providing for more than half of the country’s population in special needs education. Most of the university’s students are local, but

adults with school-to-working-life transition difficulties; adults and

exchanges are available with universities in other European countries,

elderly people with disabilities; systems and institutional issues in

including the UK, France and Germany.

special needs education; and professionalism in the curative and

   Through its teaching, research work, services and outreach

special needs education sectors.

services, the university aims to improve the lives of anyone with learning difficulties, intellectual disabilities, physical challenges, multiple

Sole provider

disabilities or anyone who is speech- or hearing-impaired, deaf, visually

The Swiss-German courses in sign-language interpreting and sign-

impaired or blind. More than 1,000 students are enrolled at HfH.

language teacher training are the only ones of their kind offered,

Around 270 of those are undergraduates studying bachelor’s courses

respectively, at bachelor level and as a continuous education certificate

in speech therapy, psychomotor therapy or sign-language interpreting.

course. HfH’s sign language research projects are conducted

There are also around 720 master’s students specialising in special

in collaboration with the Sign Language Research Centre in Basel,

needs education either in schools or early childhood. ‘A further 2,500

the University of Zurich and other research projects throughout Europe.

attend HfH for its courses in further education and another 750 take

   As well as research and education, the university offers services

part in its congresses,’ adds Professor Karin Bernath, the university’s

to the cantons (the Swiss regional states), foreign ministries, school

Vice Rector. All programmes combine a scientific and practice-oriented

communities and any other institutions involved with special needs

approach to training professionals for a career in teaching or therapy.

education. The university can also assist with any issues concerning

Improving lives

human-resources development, undertake evaluations and audits, give lectures, facilitate workshops and provide counselling and concept development.

education in schools tend to help integrate pupils with special needs

   ‘Cantons consult us if they want to make any policy changes

into regular schools,’ says Karin. ‘They either coach the institutions,

regarding children and adults with disabilities or if they want to

coach the teachers or they themselves teach. Sometimes they do all

introduce new diagnostic instruments,’ says Karin. ‘If a school has

three. Those who specialise in early childhood tend to help those

problems integrating someone with special needs, they can contact

children with learning difficulties in the home environment.’

us. If an individual has problems working somewhere, they can ask

   The students’ master’s theses often form part of a much wider

us to approach their employer. Indeed, any institution can come to

body of research work undertaken by HfH. There are usually around

us to check they are up to date with what they do in practice.‘

25 research projects in progress at any one time, some of which

   Through all its strands of work, the University of Applied Sciences of

are carried out in cooperation with other universities in Europe.

Special Needs Education influences scientific debate and political opinion

The research is split into five different areas: infants, children and

making. Most importantly, the university’s work continues to contribute

adolescents with special educational needs; adolescents and young

to a better quality of life for those in Switzerland with special needs.

260 / 261

‘Those who undertake a master’s specialising in special needs


Window on the world The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, part of the renowned University of Basel, is perfectly positioned to offer a global perspective www.philhist.unibas.ch


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

The Swiss city of Basel’s unusual position – at

classics and cultural studies to literature

schedule. And at Stadtkino Basel – the city’s

the heart of Europe but outside the European

and various languages.

main repertory cinema – students introduce

Union – provides its residents with a unique

   And while the university excels in a

screenings of movies and present entire

perspective on the continent. Located at the

variety of academic subjects, the long-term

film festivals. Other partners include

intersection between Switzerland, Germany

nature of its strategy programme allows it

the famous Basel music academy Schola

and France, Basel is a natural platform

to focus its broader energies on a specific

Cantorum Basiliensis and the city’s

for cultural exchange and international

theme. ‘The University of Basel is one of the

temple to the written word, the House

experience. It seems only right, then, that

strongest research universities in Switzerland

of Literature.

plans for 2014–19 at the University of Basel’s

and was one of the first in the country to

   Further enhancing its collaborative

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

develop an institutional strategy that informs

credentials, the university is home to the

should focus on European and global studies.

its future development,’ explains Professor

Center for European and International

Dr Antonio Loprieno, Rector.

Studies, which combines European

   ‘The cornerstones of this strategy are,

integration research and teaching.

‘The university’s strategy is defined every

on the one hand, a commitment to learning

The centre places a strong emphasis on

five years and sets out the main areas for

in a range of disciplines and, on the other,

a multidisciplinary approach – evident in

research,’ explains Ilja Karenovics, Managing

a quest for research excellence in a more

the joint research done by the faculties

Director of the Department of Linguistics

select number of areas, such as European

of law, economics and humanities, for

and Literature. ‘The fact that Switzerland

and global studies,’ he continues. ‘It is in

instance. It’s an attitude that, combined

is situated in the centre of Europe but

these latter fields that the university invests

with the international composition of its

is not a member of the EU affords us a

most of its new resources and collaborates

faculty and student body, has established

somewhat neutral scholastic viewpoint.

with Basel’s leading economic and cultural

the centre as a world-renowned destination

Rather than focusing on the political or

organisations, from pharmaceutical giants

for academic conferences and gatherings.

economic process, the global and European

to the city’s famous art museums, music

   Indeed, the centre has built up an

studies we deliver are part of our broader

academies and private foundations.’

enviable network of resources and contacts,

Five-year strategy

interdisciplinary cultural studies.’

thanks in no small part to the help it provides

   The University of Basel places a strong

Cultural partners

emphasis on the study of culture, a significant

Notable cultural partners include the

supplying visiting academics with research

proportion of which takes place in the Faculty

CulturEscapes festival, which is hosted in a

facilities, as well as sharing the university’s

of Humanities and Social Sciences. The largest

different European region or city every year.

own research results, both at events and

of the university’s faculties, it offers a wide

The university gives public lectures from its

online. It also serves as a contact point for

range of degree programmes, ranging from

teaching programme as part of the festival’s

enquiries about relations between Switzerland

to various research projects. This includes

262 / 263


‘BAsel is one of the strongest research universities in Switzerland and one of the first in the country to develop an institutional strategy’

and the EU, disseminates information about

oriented academic learning,’ says Erich Thaler, Director

European integration and publishes its own

of International Affairs. ‘At the same time, it means

series of papers on the subject.

paying low fees and enjoying the professional guidance

Master’s programmes

of world-class teachers and researchers. Admission to the University of Basel requires a real commitment from any

The centre’s teaching provision ranges from

student or young researcher by investing time, energy

further education courses – for the likes of

and enthusiasm to comply with standards of studies and

legal practitioners, diplomatic staff and media

research that are among the highest worldwide.’

professionals – to its three postgraduate programmes. These include a master’s in

Career opportunities

Advanced Studies in European Integration, a

Situated in Switzerland’s second-most important

master’s in European Studies and a Certificate

economic region, the university has close relationships

of Advanced Studies in European Integration.

with a diverse range of local industries and a host

   Recognised as one of Switzerland’s

of international organisations, such as the Bank for

leading centres of education, the University

International Settlements. This opens up excellent

of Basel is also the country’s oldest university,

opportunities for the university’s graduates, who are

dating back to 1460. Today, around 6,500

helped further by the university’s excellent Career Service

undergraduate and 5,500 postgraduate and

Centre, which guides them through the hectic job market.

doctoral students study at the university, which

   As a geographical, cultural and educational

is ranked among the top ten German-speaking

crossroads between Switzerland and Europe, the

institutions by QS World University Rankings.

University of Basel attracts talented individuals from

   It’s a reputation that the university

around the world. And with its new focus on European

is eager to sustain and foster. ‘Studying

and global studies, it’s all set to take full advantage of

in Switzerland means intense and output-

its expertise and unique international perspective.


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

264 / 265


‘the English-speaking University of Hong Kong (HKU) is sometimes referred to as the “Oxbridge of East Asia”’


Already one of the world’s most respected research-led universities, The University of Hong Kong is significantly expanding its presence in mainland China

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

The Mainland Attraction

www.hku.hk

Ranked by many leading publications as one of Asia’s top educational

scientists at HKU were ranked among the top one per cent in

institutions, the English-speaking University of Hong Kong (HKU) is

their fields by the Institute for Scientific Information. By 2012,

sometimes referred to as the ‘Oxbridge of East Asia’.

an impressive 111 scientists had achieved this ranking.

   ‘Our strength is that we are part of the rising economy of China,’

   HKU attracts more than 2,600 research postgraduate students

says Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, HKU’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

across the fields of architecture, arts, business and economics,

‘We consider ourselves to be a gateway to mainland China, a bridge

dentistry, education, engineering, law, medicine, science and social

between East and West, and a link between Asia and the world.’

sciences. But less than half of these are from Hong Kong, with the

Increasing engagement

remainder coming from China and across the world. King’s College and Imperial College in London and the University of Toronto have

To create more opportunities for its students, researchers and

all partnered with HKU to offer joint PhD programmes. Students will

professors, HKU has made increasing its academic engagement

get joint supervision from professors at both locations and be

with the mainland one of its main aims over the past few years.

examined to the standards of both.

‘Hong Kong is strong in finance, but we have very little industry,

Common core

will be addressed by the opening of the HKU Shenzhen Institute

HKU famously introduced a new ‘common core’ four-year

of Research and Innovation in 2011. Already, it has strengthened

undergraduate curriculum in September 2012. By increasing

the links between Hong Kong and Shenzhen, a major centre of

the length and breadth of study, the university aims to broaden

Chinese industry. With support from the Guandong and Shenzhen

the horizons of all HKU students beyond their chosen discipline.

governments, the HKU Shenzhen Hospital was also established

‘We’ve also adopted “experiential learning”,’ says Tsui. ‘This is

in 2011. ‘This enables us to contribute to healthcare reform,

where we expose students to real-life situations so they can gain

so it’s mutually beneficial to the university and to the mainland

an understanding that problems cannot always be resolved by

government,’ says Tsui. The university has also opened study

perfect academic solutions.’

centres across the mainland, including one in Shanghai.

   To translate these learning goals into physical form, the university

   HKU has a strong research culture. In 2003, during the outbreak

has opened a new ‘Centennial Campus’ with extra classrooms, new

of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), the university’s medical

restaurants, updated ICT and more lecture theatres. ‘We are very

researchers were the first in the world to identify the coronavirus

crowded here in Hong Kong,‘ says Tsui. ‘The new campus gives us

that caused it. As a testament to its excellent research reputation,

a 40 per cent increase in learning space, providing students with

HKU attracts the largest share of competitive research grants in Hong

more room for their studies.’

Kong, amounting to HK$151 million (around £12.5 million) in 2012.

   With its new campus and increasing connections with the

   For leading research, HKU needs leading academics and many

mainland, this English-speaking university is the ideal place for

of the university’s staff are world-renowned scholars. ‘We recruit

any graduate to pursue their passion while taking advantage of

globally and get the best professors here,’ says Tsui. In 2003, 18

all that the modern Chinese economy has to offer.

266 / 267

especially in manufacturing,’ explains Tsui. It’s hoped that this


academic Excellence With 13 faculties and more than 150 academic programmes, the University of Kashmir has raised the standard of higher education in the region www.kashmiruniversity.net


Founded in 1948, the University of Kashmir has come a long way

   ‘The emphasis on the quality of teaching at the university

from its humble beginnings as an English-language faculty to the

has resulted in a sharp increase in the number of students passing

academically excellent university it is today. It now provides teaching

the national NET and JRF examinations, which determine their

and research in its various faculties: arts, languages, natural sciences,

eligibility for lectureships and junior research fellowships,’ says

social sciences, education, commerce, law, medicine, dental surgery,

Professor Ahmad.

engineering, music and fine arts. All are staffed by academics with considerable experience.

Cultural connections

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘The university’s vision is to be a world-class university committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge for human welfare’

Infrastructure expansion The University of Kashmir offers 151 academic programmes in 13 different faculties, which include 38 teaching departments and 18 research centres. It also operates the Allama Iqbal Library,

the local region by establishing a number of educational hubs.

which houses a collection of around 650,000 books and some

These include the Centre for Central Asian Studies, which focuses

14,000 online journals.

on the cultures and peoples of the Central Asian region, and the

   To further improve its student services, the University of Kashmir

UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies, which

established a separate Directorate of Information Technology &

seeks to preserve the cultural heritage of Kashmir. Local flora and

Support System in December 2007. The facility has overseen the

fauna are put under the microscope at the Centre for Biodiversity

development of software solutions for admissions, student registration

and Taxonomy, an important facility in the Department of Botany,

and examinations, as well as a feedback forum. The university is

while the Centre of Research for Development is involved in

also at the forefront of promoting the use of IT within its teaching–

environmental and societal research. The contributions of several

learning process. So far, around 900 e-TV programmes, 275 e-contents

of these centres have been recognised at a national level.

resources and 350 Learning Object Repository articles have been

   ‘The university’s vision is to be a world-class university

prepared at the university’s Educational Multimedia Research Centre

committed to the creation and dissemination of knowledge for

for the benefit of students.

human development and welfare,’ says Professor Talat Ahmad,

   Spread over 263 acres of lush green land in Hazratbal, the

the university’s Vice Chancellor.

University of Kashmir offers staff and students a range of services,

   The government’s University Grants Commission (UGC) identifies

including accommodation, a health centre and a gymnasium. As well

and supports departments that have the potential to undertake

as the already operational satellite campuses in Anantnag (southern

quality teaching and research in various educational disciplines.

Kashmir) and Baramulla (northern Kashmir), plans for an additional

Nine of the university’s departments have been selected for special

three campuses in Leh, Kargil and Kupwara have now been approved,

financial support under the prestigious Special Assistance Programme

which will make higher education more accessible to people living in

of the UGC. In addition, eight departments at the university have

the region’s remote areas. As Professor Ahmad explains: ‘The unique

received support under the government’s FIST programme, a funding

combination of lake and mountain scenery, and the university’s serene

scheme that seeks to support and improve science and technology

ambience provide a highly congenial atmosphere for academic

infrastructure in higher education institutions.

contemplation and scientific research.’

268 / 269

The university has sought to promote the study of, and links with,


South Asia’s global player Recognised as one of the world’s top centres of education, the University of Lahore in Pakistan offers a winning mix of academic excellence and up-to-date facilities www.uol.edu.pk

Every year, thousands of students from across the globe flock to the

manipulation of plants of agricultural importance,’ says Dr Qazi,

University of Lahore (UOL) in Pakistan to study a huge range of courses,

the university’s Vice Chancellor. ‘We have also developed expertise

from molecular science to film and television. Set up in 1998 by IBADAT

for selling technology to the local horticulture industry.’

Educational Trust, the university’s mission has always been to provide quality education to people of any creed, colour or religion, and prepare

Practical experience

them for employment. Spread across five campuses in Lahore (including

Students from every field are encouraged to complete internships at

the vast 100-acre Defence Road campus), Islamabad and Sargodha,

relevant organisations and institutes. Students of management science,

the university serves more than 18,500 students.

for example, gain hands-on experience at leading local banks, such as

Advanced research

Standard Chartered. Those studying nanotechnology can undertake cancer drug research at the National Center for Research at Quaid-i-

One of UOL’s stand-out features is the Center For Research in Molecular

Azam University in Islamabad. And health science students benefit from

Medicine (CRiMM), where MPhil and PhD students of biomedical

the use of UOL’s own dental hospital to practice and conduct research.

sciences, physiology, biochemistry and microbiology undertake

   Although UOL is expansive, getting from one campus to another

advanced research on the treatment of cancer and other metabolic

is easy, thanks to the university’s transport system. There is also a

disorders. To support them in their rewarding work, the students have

dedicated team of students on hand to help new international arrivals

access to the latest and best equipment, including spectrophotometers,

with everything from airport transfers to finding somewhere to stay.

RT-PCR apparatus, phase-contrast and immunofluorescence microscopes

   As well as academic excellence, the university places great emphasis

and genetic analysers. The results of their work have been documented

on extracurricular activities. Indeed, its rugby team was crowned winner

in hundreds of research papers published in national and international

of the All-Pakistan Universities’ Rugby Championship in 2012. In addition,

scientific journals, such as PLOS ONE.

the university’s Action Club organises treks across Pakistan, and the

   Another notable site is the aptly named Creative Village, where

debating team has won numerous awards.

students of digital media are primed for employment in one of the

   All of this goes to explain why Pakistan’s Higher Education

100 or so TV channels currently broadcasting in Pakistan. The students

Commission has placed UOL in the highest category in terms of courses,

receive hands-on training from experts in the design and production

research, facilities and teaching methods. It also accounts for why QS

centres within the village. They are actively involved in producing

World University Rankings and Times Higher Education have included

the content for the university’s own TV channel, as well as creating

UOL among the top 500 worldwide since 2005.

advertising programmes for local businesses and educative cartoons.

   Not wanting to rest on its laurels, however, the IBADAT Trust – led by

   The university also boasts an impressive agricultural biotechnology

its Chairman M. A. Raoof – plans to add new university buildings devoted

park, where students can assess plant tissues in greenhouses and

to electrical engineering and information technology, a research centre in

undertake field studies in partnership with industry and global

engineering sciences and more student accommodation. In fact, the flow

educational institutes. ‘Some of our professors and students are

of students looks well set to continue, with the launch of new academic

currently collaborating with Nottingham University on the genetic

programmes, particularly in the social sciences, in the winter of 2014.


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

‘A dedicated team of students is on hand to help new international arrivals with everything from airport transfers to finding somewhere to stay’

270 / 271


‘I teach my students that they have to grow on their own, so that I, as their teacher, will not be needed any more’


With alumni including the likes of Mahler and Sibelius, the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna is a modern institution with an illustrious history

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

A UNIVERSITY OF NOTE

www.mdw.ac.at

The city of Vienna regularly tops international quality-of-life surveys,

water the plantlets, to give them enough sun. But in the end

thanks in no small measure to its vibrant cultural scene. Over the

I teach my students that they have to grow on their own, so

centuries, the Austrian capital, popularly known as the City of Music,

that I, as their teacher, will not be needed any more.’

has been home to some of the very best performers, composers,

   The university’s numerous elegant, historic buildings house

writers and thinkers of their day.

innovative interiors in which to work. Careful attention has been

   Housed in a number of splendid buildings around the city

paid to optimising light and acoustics, and to providing facilities

is the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, known as

that are well-equipped and regularly updated. In addition, an

MDW. With a student population of around 3,100, it is one of the

openness of mind prevails at MDW. Staff and instructors engage

world’s oldest and largest arts establishments, offering courses for

in critical reflection of their own work, and the university maintains

undergraduates and postgraduates in all areas of the performing

contact with its graduates, who are welcome to return and take

arts, including music, drama and film-making.

advantage of its broad range of opportunities for further education.

   ‘We have students from some 70 countries, almost 60 per cent of them are from abroad,’ says Andrea Kleibel, Vice Rector.

The business of art

‘That makes for a very special place.’

Alongside its emphasis on vocational training, MDW aims to help

   Established in 1817 as the Vienna Conservatory, the university

its students and graduates acquire an understanding of the business

has always embraced the pursuit of individuality. Among its long list of

that surrounds the arts, and to maintain an awareness of cultural

illustrious alumni, names such as those of the composer Jean Sibelius,

developments. It also recognises the importance of providing a

the conductor Claudio Abbado and the violinist Fritz Kreisler stand out.

grounding in all professional occupations in the industry.

Its teachers have also included such eminent figures as the composer

   Although German is the principal language of instruction at

Anton Bruckner and the great stage and film director Max Reinhardt.

the university, fluency is not a requirement for entry. ‘You’re given

   Contemporary music and drama are nurtured alongside classical

the opportunity to have access to the language, and we find that

works at MDW, and while respect for what has gone before is

people learn it surprisingly quickly,’ says Andrea. ‘In the individual

paramount, the university encourages its students to explore the

classes that people take, if someone isn’t perfect in German, we’ll

arts for themselves. As the composer Gustav Mahler, another MDW

figure it out in English. Our international attitude is essential to

alumnus, is credited with saying about the institution’s approach:

how we do things, and we try to pave the way for anybody who

‘Tradition means passing on the fire, not worshipping the ashes’.

comes here to make it a successful experience for them.

Encouraging ideas

   ‘We have annual festivals and concerts that our students perform in, and we try to involve them from early on,’ she adds. ‘When you’re here, you’re free to develop yourself – you can find space to do so.’

students are actively encouraged to introduce and develop their own

   It’s fair to say that, in addition to its home city’s outstanding

ideas. ‘For my students, I like to be like a gardener, so to speak,’ says

quality of life, MDW delivers an exceptional quality of education to

virtuoso pianist and MDW Professor Jan Jiracek von Arnim. ‘I try to

its talented international student body.

272 / 273

The university’s instructors cultivate a cosmopolitan outlook, and


an educated choice Offering a wide variety of disciplines and no fewer than 18 research centres, the University of Rajasthan boasts extensive academic and industry links www.uniraj.ac.in

Spread over a vast and beautiful main

Nuclear Research on a reactor in Dubna,

interdisciplinary research and have the

campus, the University of Rajasthan in Jaipur

Russia, and nanoparticle-based drug delivery

opportunity to train within the research

boasts more than 1,000 constituent and

research in the Roswell Park Cancer Institute

and development units of companies

affiliated colleges. Indeed, with 18 different

in New York.

such as Reliance Life Science.

research centres and ties to leading firms,

   ‘Some of our science students and faculty

   In recognition of its achievements, the

including Vodafone and Ford, the range of

members have also been conducting research

university was deemed to have the ‘potential

learning on offer to students is staggering.

on transmission systems in the automotive

for excellence’ by the UGC (University Grants

   ‘We have 25 different study sectors

industry, working closely with the likes of

Commission) in 2011. This led to an increase

in the humanities alone, including the

Ford and Mercedes. They have even received

in government funding that has been used to

Indira Gandhi Centre for Human Ecology,

patents for their work, including one professor

upgrade the university’s facilities, including its

Environmental and Population Studies,’

– Y. K. Vijay – and his students for their

sports provision. The university now boasts an

says the Vice Chancellor.

development of catalytic fuel kits for cars,’

Olympic-sized athletics track, new basketball

   The variety of research undertaken at

says the Vice Chancellor. ‘In addition, all

and tennis courts, and a swimming pool that

the university is similarly impressive, from the

of our students do eight-week internships

is used for national meets.

study of the novels of Thomas Hardy to the

at companies such as Vodafone and IT firm

   However, the Vice Chancellor isn’t

exploration of Middle Jurassic macrofauna.

Infosys, which often result in full-time work

stopping there: ‘We want to provide more

after their studies.’

conference facilities, create a women’s

   The university has also set up a Centre

artefacts museum and develop our e-content.

Students also benefit from carrying

for Converging Technologies, which offers

We also aim to establish new departments

out research in partnership with leading

master’s and PhD programmes that combine

of human rights, banking and finance, and

universities and companies across the

nanotechnology, biotechnology and

green chemistry.’ The options at the University

globe. The science faculty, for example,

neurotechnology. The centre is a hotbed

of Rajasthan look set to become greater

has worked with the Joint Institute for

of innovation, where students conduct

than ever.

Collaborative study


The Faculty of Economics and Business at Croatia’s University of Zagreb is a world-class education centre that is driving both personal and national progress

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

the economics of growth

www.efzg.unizg.hr

The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) at the University of

to help students gain business knowledge, strengthen their

Zagreb, the oldest and most prestigious educational institution in the

competences and skills, and prepare them for the international

Republic of Croatia, is a regional leader in its field. The renowned

business environment. Students taking the BDiB are also involved

faculty has more than 250 teaching staff producing regular research,

in joint research with programme partners, including international

and offers courses leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral

strategy consultants Roland Berger and McKinsey & Co, the

degrees in a wide range of economic and business disciplines.

financial firm Ernst & Young, and other banks and information

   ‘The FEB has long been recognised as an important partner

technology companies. Furthermore, the school has been EPAS

of the largest Croatian industrial companies, which are leading

accredited by the European Foundation for Management

the country’s economic development,’ says the faculty’s Vice Dean.

Development (EFMD) since February 2011.

Many of the FEB’s alumni hold key positions, which means that

   Zagreb, the capital of Croatia and the country’s main business,

the faculty is involved in numerous research and professional

political, academic and cultural hub is only two hours away from

projects, the content of which is primarily linked to solving Croatia’s

the beaches of the Adriatic Coast to the south, and the ski slopes

contemporary economic problems. The FEB is also actively involved

of the north. The FEB is home to around 14,000 students, and,

as grant holder or partner in many EU projects, such as FP7, Tempus,

since becoming fully eligible for the Erasmus exchange programme,

the Leonardo Programme and Erasmus Mundus.

the number of exchange students has been steadily increasing.

International preparation

Students cite the reputation of the faculty as a key reason for coming here. ‘The mission of the FEB is to further develop as an internationally recognised institution,’ explains the Vice Dean.

in business (BDiB), taught in English. ‘It is the only economics

Already a leader in the region, boasting high-quality scientific

and business study programme taught fully in English in Croatia,’

research and teaching, the faculty is looking to move forward

explains the Vice Dean. This unique programme has been designed

by harmonising with world and European standards.

274 / 275

The FEB has recently begun offering a four-year bachelor’s degree


Engineering global solutions The University of Saskatchewan's College of Engineering integrates international influences and academic disciplines to tackle the challenges of today and tomorrow www.engr.usask.ca


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

When the world is faced with new challenges, from food security to the environment, it calls for a global response

‘We have one of the most culturally diverse faculties

on campus, attracting students from all over the world’

that draws upon the experiences and ideas of different countries and cultures to find a solution. At the University

damage. It’s led by the mechanical and electrical engineers, but it also involves

of Saskatchewan in Canada, the College of Engineering

students from medical and other disciplines.’ One of the university's signature

prides itself on the fact that its graduate students are

areas, One Health, brings together a wide variety of disciplines from veterinary

helping to do just that through research.

medicine to kinesiology and dental, allowing postgraduates working in biomedical

   The college has around 2,000 students, some 420

engineering to draw on a breadth of experience.

of whom are postgraduates. More than half of these

   In addition to its impressive academic credentials, the University of

are international students, including large numbers

Saskatchewan is an appealing destination for graduates looking to work in

from China and India, as well as Europe, the USA and,

industry. The province is home to oil, gas and uranium and potash mining, as

increasingly, Africa.

well as manufacturing and agriculture, and the area’s booming economy helps

   ‘We have one of the most culturally diverse faculties

attract graduates from around the world.

on campus, attracting students from all over Canada and

   ‘Every year we collaborate with around 45 industry partners,’ says Dr Barber.

all over the world, which makes for a wonderful mix,’ says

‘A lot of the projects that form the basis of our research are funded by industry,

the college’s Dean, Dr Ernie Barber. ‘With its emphasis on

and in some cases these lead directly to jobs.’

research, the education we provide prepares our students to become engineering professionals, leaders of society

Space Elevator Challenge

and technical entrepreneurs.’

There are also plenty of extracurricular opportunities for students to help develop

Interdisciplinary opportunities

their skills. When NASA sponsored the Space Elevator Challenge, throwing down the gauntlet of moving a vehicle up a 1 km tether using only energy beamed to the vehicle from the ground, the University of Saskatchewan Space Team came

Chemical, Civil, Computer, Biological, Biomedical,

the closest of all the world’s entrants to meeting the challenge.

Electrical, Environmental, Geological and Mechanical

   In addition, the College of Engineering is home to an active Engineers

Engineering as well as Engineering Physics. But it’s the

Without Borders group, which sends students across the world to help solve

links between these different disciplines that really help

problems. And another team, Huskie Motorsports, sets themselves the adrenalin-

the College of Engineering to stand out. ‘There are a

fuelled target of building a race car every year.

lot of interdisciplinary opportunities here that provide

   Whether in the lab or in their spare time, graduates can pursue innovation

students with access to many different faculties,’ explains

as an integral part of the student experience, working with others to apply their

Dr Barber. ‘It’s unusual to have the broad range of areas

different perspectives to their projects and research. ‘Our world is constantly

of expertise that we do.

changing, and humanity relies on each new generation to engineer new processes

   ‘For example,’ he continues, ‘there is a tissue

and procedures that will improve life for us all,’ says Dr Barber. ‘When we bring

engineering research group that is currently working

students together from different parts in the world, they bring different experiences

on ways to help repair spinal cord, nerve and cartilage

that can be of benefit to us all.’

276 / 277

The college caters for ten engineering disciplines:


a fresh school of thought Located just outside Brighton, the University of Sussex’s School of Business, Management and Economics gives its students the tools to tackle key economic policy issues www.sussex.ac.uk


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

The School of Business, Management and Economics is one of 12 schools that form the University of Sussex, a leading research

‘We have an expanding range of master’s degrees, led by internationally renowned academics’

university that was founded in the 1960s. Educating around 2,500 students, including some 600 postgraduates, it is divided

as well as in responsible private sector organisations. ‘We have

into three main departments: business and management,

an exciting and expanding range of master’s degrees on offer

economics, and science and technology policy research (SPRU).

across the school, led by some internationally renowned academics,’

   The Department of Business and Management was launched

says Ian.

in 2009 and has gone on to become the school’s largest. It runs a number of undergraduate programmes and a range of one-year

Interdisciplinary approach

full-time master’s programmes in the core business disciplines.

Ian strives to ensure that the school is always forward thinking.

‘We have recently developed programmes in finance and banking

‘Sussex University has a tradition of interdisciplinarity and we aim to

as well as in management, entrepreneurship, marketing and

bring this perspective to all our programmes,’ he explains. ‘We have an

accounting,’ explains Professor Ian Davidson, Head of School.

expanding range of master’s degrees, led by internationally renowned

‘Each has a strong international flavour, with the subject groups

academics.’ The strategic direction is clear – interesting programmes,

being headed up by professors who are acknowledged experts

and alternative slants. This is achieved by hiring exceptional staff to

in their field.’

develop and deliver these programmes, by inviting guest speakers

Wide-ranging expertise

(such as economist Evan Davis, pictured above) and by nurturing a strong research culture. The results of this research are disseminated in various ways, including via government, the media and high-

but the departments of economics and SPRU have been serving

level research journals, and are also integrated back into the

the university for almost 50 years. The Department of Economics

school’s courses.

is particularly renowned for its work in development economics,

   The quality of education at the school is matched by its location

international trade and labour economics, with these strengths

and facilities. In 2012, it moved into a new, state-of-the-art building,

reflected in its master’s programmes. More recently, expertise has

situated at the heart of the Sussex campus. A £29-million development,

been developed in the field of climate change economics and in

the Jubilee Building boasts a 500-seat lecture theatre, teaching spaces,

international finance, and the department boasts strong links with

academic and support space, and social and cafe facilities.

the World Bank and the Department for International Development.

   The cosmopolitan city of Brighton, with its abundance of

   The presence of SPRU ensures that the School of Business,

culture, is a mere eight-minute train journey from the campus, while

Management and Economics is more than just a business school.

London can be reached by train in under an hour. As an outstanding

Addressing sustainability, energy and other big 21st-century issues,

educational institution in a highly desirable location, the School of

SPRU has excellent government connections. As a result, its graduates

Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex

are found in governmental and policy positions across the world,

has much to offer.

278 / 279

Business and management may be a recent arrival at the school,


A winning formula Canada's University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics produces world-class research and offers educational tools to more than 200,000 students worldwide www.uwaterloo.ca/math


CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

The University of Waterloo’s Faculty of Mathematics has some 7,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 200 full-time professors and around 500 courses, but there’s more to Canada’s impressive

‘The tools we develop are aimed at increasing

people’s enjoyment and understanding of maths,

to encourage the maths students of the future’

centre of learning than statistics. One of the country’s leading higher education organisations, the Ontario-based university boasts a vast

  

mathematics faculty that also teaches pure and applied mathematics,

and the faculty is proud of the contribution it has made towards

computing and actuarial sciences. And with its community outreach

numerous pioneering projects. ‘Dr Ming Li – Computer Science

programmes and online educational tools, the faculty’s education

Professor – is combining computer research and web technology

provision extends far beyond the university’s campus walls to all

to create RSVP, a mobile question-answering system designed to

corners of the globe.

open up the web to millions,’ explains Dr Goulden. ‘Elsewhere,

   Since the Faculty of Mathematics opened in 1967, much has

biostatistician Dr Richard Cook is developing statistical methodology

changed – not least the subjects that it teaches. ‘The application

with applications in health research, and Dr Jim Geelen – winner of

of mathematical sciences has altered over the past five decades,’

the Fulkerson Prize in 2003 – continues his groundbreaking research

explains Dean of Mathematics Dr Ian Goulden. ‘The subjects are

in matroids.’

used more broadly these days, for example, in the financial sector

Part of the faculty’s mission is to carry out world-class research

and the medical world. And computing makes it more possible to

Educational tools

theorise and simulate. The faculty includes departments of Applied

Outreach and community are also priorities for the university. To these

Mathematics; Combinatorics and Optimization; Pure Mathematics;

ends the Faculty of Mathematics runs the CEMC (Centre for Education in

and Statistics and Actuarial Science, as well as the David R. Cheriton

Mathematics and Computing), which provides educational enrichment

School of Computer Science. All offer undergraduate courses as well

tools online. More than 200,000 students from across the world use

as master’s and PhD programmes, and professional courses such as

these materials, which include such resources as competitions for

the Master of Mathematics for Teachers.‘

11–18-year-olds and teaching aids. ‘We want to attract people who

Sandwich courses

think that maths is cool,’ says Dr Goulden. ‘The tools we develop are aimed at increasing people’s enjoyment and understanding of maths, to encourage the maths students of the future.’

sandwich courses, aimed directly at preparing undergraduates for the

   With its nurturing approach and global scope, the Waterloo

workplace. These courses usually consist of four months of study at the

Faculty of Mathematics is a beacon of higher education. ‘Some 25

university followed by four months of work experience. ‘The university

years ago we were only in Ontario,’ says Dr Goulden. ‘Now we reach

also operates an intellectual property policy, in which everything the

students across the world, competing with the likes of Cambridge

creator comes up with is theirs,’ says Dr Goulden. ‘Any software or

and MIT for the top 5 per cent of students.’ With statistics like that,

products developed are assigned directly to them.’

it’s hard not to be impressed.

280 / 281

Around two thirds of the university’s students are on ‘co-op’ or


Ready for business Warwick Business School brings in experts from outside disciplines, including the dramatic arts, to offer a fresh perspective and a world-class education www.wbs.ac.uk/go/Cambridge

Part of the University of Warwick, Warwick

and decision-making affects stock markets.’

Business School (WBS) has a mission: to

On the creative side, WBS is looking to

become the leading university-based business

produce business leaders who will change

school in Europe. It now educates up to

the world in very different ways.

7,000 students and offers a wide range of

   ‘We want people to challenge

undergraduate and postgraduate courses,

conventional wisdom,’ says Mark. ‘Our belief

from a BSc in Accounting and Finance to an

is that business needs creative thinking to

MSc in Marketing and Strategy. It has also

provide the innovations and insights to

begun a £30 million extension and has hired

rebuild the economy.’ This is why Jonothan

more than 60 new academic staff in the past

Neelands, Professor of Creative Education,

two years.

is also an executive director of Drama UK.

Clear vision

Furthermore, MBA students can take an intensive Shakespeare workshop at the

With a clear vision of the future of business,

Royal Shakespeare Company, learning

WBS is focusing on two areas: creativity and

about the art of leadership and decision-

behavioural science, which are being woven

making, and ending by pitching business

into the master’s and MBA programmes.

ideas to the RSC. In time, more acting-

‘I was working at a premier asset management

based methods will be added to modules,

firm, when the financial crisis struck,’ says

giving students a new understanding of

Mark Taylor, Dean of WBS. ‘I saw how many

business problems.

economic theories and models broke down.

   Other innovative programmes include

Using a combination of psychology, maths,

the Global Energy MBA, aimed at energy

sociology and economics the Behavioural

professionals, and the launch of exciting

Science Group will look to answer the

research groups, such as the Enterprise

questions raised by the financial crisis.’

Research Centre, the Behavioural Design Lab

   Professor Nick Chater heads up the

and the Global Economic Forecasting Unit.

Behavioural Science Group and believes

All students have careers support and make

business is not simply about numbers and

valuable contacts with companies such as

models; understanding human behaviour

Avis, IBM and Barclays.

is crucial as well. Professor Chater says:

   It's clear that Mark’s ambitious goal,

‘Using rigorous experiments we have found

to produce tomorrow’s business leaders and

insights that help businesses understand

provide a clear return on students’ investments,

human behaviour, or how irrational thinking

is well on the way to being realised.


The World Trade Institute at the University of Bern enables individuals and organisations from around the globe to become informed players in trade governance

CHAPTER 3  | educational institutions

Bridging the trade gap

www.wti.org

The World Trade Institute (WTI) at the University of Bern in

now be found working in universities, multinationals and NGOs

Switzerland is one of the world’s leading academic institutions

around the world. Government representatives, scholars and

dedicated to international trade regulation. Established in the late

practitioners receive training in World Trade Organization law and

1990s as a centre of excellence, the WTI transcends boundaries

policy at the WTI’s Summer Academy in Bern and enhance their

in the field by fusing economics, law and international relations

knowledge of international intellectual property protection at the

in its educational, research and advisory service offerings.

WTI/CUHK (Chinese University of Hong Kong) Summer Programme

   The institute’s global reach is profound, as an example

in Hong Kong.

provided by Director of External Programmes and Academic

   In 2005, the WTI became the host institution of the Swiss

Partnerships Pierre Sauvé illustrates: ‘Recently, a former Chair

National Centre for Competence in Research (NCCR), a multidisciplinary

of the Board of the WTI was negotiating a bilateral agreement

network of researchers financed by the Swiss National Science

with Peru and was amazed at the competence of the people

Foundation. NCCR Trade Regulation was set up to provide a better

on the other side of the table,’ he says. ‘When she asked them

understanding of how the world trading system functions and to

where they had learned their craft, they said at the WTI.’

explore the sources and drivers of fragmentation and coherence

WTI Graduate School

in global trade governance.    Due to a growing demand for external consulting services on trade and investment issues, the WTI added tailor-made courses to its

and Economics (MILE) programme dissects the international trade

overall offering. This can mean revamping and certifying a master’s

agenda using the disciplines of law, economics and politics. It’s an

programme for the Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development, or

intensive one-year programme that takes on around 40 students

sending experts out to Mongolia to train government personnel in the

annually, with the 2012 class coming from 21 different countries.

finer points of mining industry legislation. Even in a changing world,

Having fostered around 40 PhD graduates over the past eight

the WTI’s expertise, experience and multidisciplinary approach enable

years, the WTI’s doctoral programme produces experts who can

its people and partners to connect the dots, wherever they may lead.

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The WTI Graduate School’s flagship Master of International Law

Oxb6 chapter 3  
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