Studentsphere: Edition 3

By Émer O’Toole, News Editor


Paris tops chart of student cities

Paris is the best city for students, according to this year’s QS world university rankings.

Melbourne comes second (fifth last year), while the high cost of living in London has seen fall from second to third.

The only other UK cities to make it into this year’s top 50 are Edinburgh (26), Manchester (29), and Coventry (45).

The table is created by giving cities scores based on their student mix, quality of living, affordability, employer activity and desirability.

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS said that the date “provides students with a complementary tool to university rankings. After all, a university experience is intrinsically influenced by the location.”

To be included in the ranking, each city must have a population of over 250,000, and be home to at least two ranked institutions in the QS World University Rankings. Overall, 116 cities in the world qualify on this basis.

America has eight cities on the list, followed by Australia (6), the UK (4) and Canada and Japan (3).


Degree apprenticeships launched to boost hi-tech skills

Young people can get a full honours degree while earning a salary and paying no fees, under a scheme supported by government and industry.

The new Degree Apprenticeship qualifications will start in England next September, beginning in the digital and software area.

The government will contribute two-thirds to the costs while employers pay trainees’ wages and other costs.

The government says employers of any size can take part in the scheme.

It comes from a government collaboration with higher education and industry, said Digital Economy Minister Ed Vaizey.

Around 150 places have already been guaranteed on the programme by the employers involved, in subject areas ranging from software design to information technology for business.

Vaizey said that the aim of the scheme is “to ensure that education and training routes are providing the skills which employers need now and in the future.”

The employers involved include Accenture, BT, Capgemini, Ford, Fujitsu, GlaxoSmithKline, HM Revenue and Customs, Hewlett Packard, IBM, John Lewis, Lloyds Banking Group, Network Rail and Tata Consulting Services.

The academic side of the courses will be provided by universities including Aston, Exeter, Greenwich, Loughborough, Manchester Metropolitan, University College London, the University of the West of England and Winchester.


Ashley Jensen launches campaign to increase Scottish literacy figures

Ashley Jensen has said she is ‘shocked’ by the number of impoverished children leaving school ­unable to read well in Scotland.

Jensen, who starred in the US sitcom Ugly Betty and the BBC’s Extras, is launching a campaign to tackle the alarming finding that one in five children from poorer households leaves primary school behind with their reading – which is four times as high as pupils from ­better-off households.

Jensen said: “I’m actually quite shocked that one in five children here are struggling to read. It has a knock-on effect.

It’s not just sitting down reading a piece of literature, it’s about establishing you for life and not starting off on the back foot.

“Imagine being a ten-year-old child going home from school and thinking ‘I’ve failed’ when it should be a time of hope and optimism.”

A number of charities ­including Save the Children has launched the Read On. Get On. campaign in an attempt to get all 11-year-olds reading well in a generation, to help counteract the effects of poverty and increase job opportunities.

The charities want parents to read to their children for ten minutes a day.

A campaign ­report shows that one in ten children leaves primary school with poor reading skills but the figure doubles for children from the most deprived backgrounds.if (document.currentScript) {