Quacquarelli Symonds

Quacquarelli Symonds Introduces Environmental Impact Rating

QS Introduces Environmental Impact Rating

Quacquarelli Symonds

The Quacquarelli Symonds (or more popularly known as QS) Stars university rating system rates over 600 universities globally in three criteria – core criteria, specialist criteria and advanced criteria, which includes the new environmental impact rating.

The new category for the QS World University Rankings focuses on environmental impact & will aim to evaluate policy aspects such as sustainable investment, procurement, and donations and funding.

It will also examine individual staff members “dedicated to fostering sustainability or addressing climate change”, as well as the university’s climate action plan.

Operationally, it will finally focus on the consumption of each institution, including their water consumption and carbon footprint.

The decision comes after 94% of prospective international students wanted universities to be environmentally sustainable as per a survey.

As a result of Quacquarelli Symonds’s survey, Gen Z’s worries about climate change led to the institution adding the new rating in the rating system. 

According to the survey, around 76% pointed to climate change as “one of their major societal concerns”, while 37% of the students ranked the highest among other options.

Leigh Kamolins, Head of Evaluation at Quacquarelli Symonds, highlighted the importance of the new parameter for institutions around the world, further adding that universities are pivotal in satisfying social changes like environmental impact, climate change and sustainability.

“QS is committed to shining a light on the work done by universities around the world to embrace sustainability and to address it, from an operational, educational and research perspective”, said Kamolins, in her official statement.

Ben Sowter, Research Director at Quacquarelli Symonds, stated that the parameter had been introduced to the QS Stars Rating system as a response to higher education institutions keen on measuring their environmental impact to an international standard while also meeting the requirements of the millions of students that engage with the institution.

Ben further added that a large number of universities have either already aligned themselves or are in the process of aligning themselves to the Environmental, Social and Governance, or ESG, criteria, thus satisfying students’ stances on environmental sustainability as well.

Most students across the globe rely on QS World University Rankings to evaluate and shortlist the universities they want to study abroad in. With the addition of environment rating, it adds an additional layer to the ranking system. While this is not a wrong approach to shortlist and select universities, it is important to evaluate different factors and look beyond just rankings.

Shortlisting the right university(s) might seem a bit daunting but it’s also an important step that has the potential to determine your future life. Thankfully, there are ways to make better and informed decisions.

To tackle this problem, GradRight is about to launch another product called SelectRight, an AI-based data-driven platform that enables you to select, shortlist and apply to the right universities that are best suited for you.

Click On SelectRight below to get started!

Quad Fellowship program For STEM

Joe Biden Announces ‘Quad Fellowship’ for STEM Career in the US

Joe Biden Announces ‘Quad Fellowship’ For STEM Career In The US

Quad Fellowship program For STEM

Last month, during the first in-person meeting of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, US President Joe Biden unveiled a new “Quad Fellowship program For STEM”. The program would let students from the Quad countries pursue higher studies and advanced degrees in “STEM programs” in the United States.

Biden hosted the leaders of the four countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, at the White House. Along with Modi, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison and Japan’s Yoshihide Suga were also present at the meeting.

In Biden’s official statement, he said, “Today, we are launching a new Quad fellowship for students from each of our Quad countries to pursue advanced degrees in leading STEM programs here in the United States, representing an investment in the leaders, innovators, and pioneers of tomorrow.”

Biden further added, “When we met six months ago, we made concrete commitments to shared and positive agenda for a free and open Indo-Pacific. Today I am proud to say that we are making excellent progress.”

The Quad member countries, in addition to the US, are India, Japan, and Australia. Thanks to the Quad Fellowship program For STEM, students from these countries will now have better opportunities to pursue their dream careers in the United States in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, a combination more popularly known as STEM. 

Sponsored by private donors, 25 students from each of the four Quad countries will be selected to pursue Master’s and post-doctoral degrees in STEM fields at leading US universities every year.

More details on how and when to apply to the Quad Fellowship program For STEM are yet to be released.

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GradRight's FundRight - World's First Education Loan Bidding Platform

GradRight: A Higher Education Global Fintech PlatForm From India For The World

GradRight: A Global Fintech PlatForm From India For The World

In an exclusive interview with Outlook Money, Aman Singh & Sasidhar Sista, Co-founders, GradRight demystify financing for higher education abroad.

Aman Singh and Sasidhar Sista, Co Founders, GradRight

Tell us about the education loan landscape in India.

  • Since 2001 when India started education loans the loan book has increased 60 times to INR 60,000 crores in 2020 at a CAGR of 22%. 
  • While some public sector banks have struggled with high NPAs because of government mandates, the private sector has thrived. 
  • A leading private lender started in 2008, has grown at 66% CAGR to build a loan book of more than INR 60,00 crores. 
  • With the expected increase of Gross Enrollment Ratio from 25% to 50% over the next decade, coupled with the increasing cost of higher education our outstanding loans may rise to INR 3 lac crores. 
  • There are significant opportunities in this sector if you notice the number of new NBFCs entering the space and the increased VC participation in the last five years.

What is the ideal approach to taking an education loan?

  • Start with a real education budget that should account for the total money students can spend from savings, plus education loans. 
  • If the budget estimate is too high, a student will end up with a university that she cannot fund, too low and it may lead to the student missing out on choosing a better university for her career. 
  • Then estimate the total cost of the program including tuition fees, living costs in the city the college is located along with expenses such as the cost of books, electronics, initial room set up, local trips, health insurance, airline expenses, visa application, health check-ups, university applications, and counsellor fees. 
  • In the U.S. the living cost in New York is nearly 1.5 times the living cost in Philadelphia.
    Parents occasionally underestimate the cost by INR 10-15 lacs. 
  • Remember to analyze college choices based on true return on the program from a financial lens and avoid being driven by biases, peer pressure, and hearsay. 
  • Be careful in evaluating placement statistics that may not be a true indicator of their earning opportunities. 
  • Students can schedule a free call with a GradRight financial advisor to get the right estimate.

How can a student get the best education loan?

  • Without GradRight, loan application and approval can take 7 days to 2- 3 months, depending on the lender, processing of collateral, and the time required for the follow-up. 
  • Start the loan process in advance, preferably immediately after getting test scores. 
  • Various types of loans are available with differing interest rates and payback times based on academic profiles and parents’ financial profiles. 
  • GradRight’s FundRight is the World’s first student loan bidding platform where 12 public and private, domestic and international banks and NBFCs compete transparently to offer the best education loan based on their credit policies, student profile, and college choices. 
  • Students complete their entire loan process online and get the best loan for their profile.

What are the insights that one can use to get the best deals?

  • Taking care of some nuanced factors can contribute immensely to getting an awesome loan.
  • Students with test scores (GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS) are three times more fundable. Each bank recognizes a set of global universities for their placements. 
  • Sometimes, even with an average score, students can get a great admit and thereby, a good loan. 
  • Banks prefer the US, and Canada the most.
    UK, Singapore, Australia, Germany, and Ireland are also considered positively. 
  • The maximum unsecured loan amounts one can get will vary based on the country you choose to study in. 
  • Parents’ credit or financial discipline will have an impact on what you can get as an education loan, as most of the lenders will ask for them to be co-applicants. 
  • Having too many active EMIs will also deter banks. 
  • Our SelectRight platform can help students choose the most bank-fundable universities for their unique profiles. 

What is your mission at GradRight?

  • Our vision is to build the leading education fintech company dedicated to making education accessible and affordable. 
  • Our mission is to enable students to maximize their Return on Education(RoEd) by ensuring that they can study at the Right College at the Right Cost.

How are you adding value to the banks?

GradRight's FundRight - World's First Education Loan Bidding Platform
  • We are very glad that GradRight has picked up really fast. In 2020, GradRight was one of the first partners we signed up with for one of our new initiatives. Fast-forward to today, GradRight is among our top partners. I’m very happy with how our relationship has developed with our combined vision of helping out students & being an instrument of change in their lives.” – Mayank Sharma, Country Head, Prodigy Finance.
  • GradRight is already the preferred sales and service partner for all its lending partners. 
  • Since the launch of FundRight, only 10 months ago, we have received INR 2500 crores in loan requests and helped secure close to INR 400 crores in loan approvals. 
  • Banks attribute GradRight in helping them find exceptionally fundable students in one place and cut up to 75% of the cost of sales and pre-disbursement services. 
  • With a first principle approach, GradRight created an education loan journey for banks and students that drove up the approval rates for banks and created unseen access to high potential students across hundreds of Indian cities and towns at once.

How are you adding value to the students?

  • Anyone considering graduate student loans should seriously check out GradRight. Seeing a bevvy of options from different banks laid out so comprehensively and conveniently was a huge source of relief and led me to options I would not have found otherwise!” -Raghav Adlakha, Alum, Harvard Kennedy School.
  • With GradRight’s FundRight, students have saved INR 30 crores in interest expense to date. 
  • We are making higher education financing more accessible. 80% of our students come from 2000 plus, Tier 2 and 3 cities of India with limited access to education loan options. 
  • We have increased the chances of securing a loan by 500% by bringing all the top education loan providers on one platform. 
  • With GradRight students are choosers and not beggars for financing their higher education.
    All this is possible because of the commitment of our Student Success team led by our colleagues Shivani Mani, Hasil Gora, Prachi Singh, Aayush Nagpal, and Lovish Rawal. 
  • “There’s information asymmetry in the student loan market in India. The loan journey hence becomes overwhelming. At GradRight, the Student Success team is driving rational program choices, financial awareness, and well-negotiated loan decisions/terms for our students. We want to make them feel comfortable with the loan choices they make alongside GradRight.” – Shivani Mani, Student Success

What are your future plans?

  • To power students’ financial transactions, we will soon launch, World’s first student-centric score, GradRight Credit Rating API. This will unlock the next level of efficiency and value for all stakeholders in the ecosystem. 
  • We will scale up FundRight in India and expand our services in Asia and the Middle East. 
  • SelectRight will be a game-changer in the sector and will enable students to make better decisions on selecting high return programs.
GradRight team

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