University rankings lose influence?
Official university ranking systems are growing less important as prospective students look to other factors when deciding which overseas institution to attend, a new report has found.
While current students still value a university’s ranking and reputation, Education.com discovered that younger internationals are now more concerned with teaching quality and the cost of living.
Young people still deciding which international university to attend are 33% more likely to be influenced by student reviews. Prospective students from Western Europe were, as a group, more concerned with having a cultural experience than with the university’s ranking.
For North American students, the cost of tuition was the main factor behind their decision, while for south-east Asian students it was teaching quality, with just 14% caring about rankings.
Josh Hopton-Stewart, site manager of Educations.com, said, “Students are more and more empowered digitally to assess quality independent of ranking bodies and take a more tailored focus to what education will be best for them.
Higher minimum wage for young workers
One of the major British political parties has promised to pay young people a minimum wage of at least £10 per hour if elected. Jeremy Corbyn – leader of the Labour party – said that the wage would also apply to workers aged under 18.
The UK implemented a minimum wage in 1999 but staggered it so older workers were paid more than their younger colleagues, even if they performed the same role. Currently workers aged 25 and over are paid a minimum of £8.21, but 18-20 year-olds are paid £6.15 and those aged under 18 paid just £4.35.
Many young workers have argued that the are being discriminated against. There are an estimated 1.35m 16 and 17 year-olds working in the UK and paying tax in their earnings. There are also calls to reduce the voting age from 18 to 16.
Opponents to the plan argue that younger workers are gaining value through experience and have less financial responsibilities. They also claim that increasing the minimum wage could lead to less jobs as employers seek to reduce their expenditure.
Gambling crisis hits African youth
A gambling epidemic has driven up suicide rates among young Kenyans, according to BBC report. Fast internet access, cheap mobile phones and an obsession with European football has encouraged a surge of sports betting in the country.
A poll of youth aged 17-35 across sub-Saharan Africa has found that Kenyans in that age range are the most frequent gamblers. Kenya has the third-largest gambling market on the continent, after Nigeria and South Africa.
In Nigeria there are 60m people aged 18-40 who spend a combined $6.2m each day on sports betting. Gambling is also spreading across Uganda, where a new national lottery is in effect and satellite television is in millions of homes, providing easy access to global football matches.
The Kenyan government is trying to get to grips with the problem by increasing taxes on bets. It is also providing tax incentives to betting companies who pay winning customers with shares and bonds, rather than cash.