UK rejected half of EU doctors for poor English

A shocking 45% of the doctors who applied to work in the UK were barred after failing to prove their English-language skills.

English language education for doctors

About a year after the EU’s freedom of movement rules were amended to require medical doctors to pass a language proficiency exam in order to practice medicine in an EU member state in the doctor’s non-native language, a shocking 45% of the doctors who applied to work in the UK were barred after failing to prove their English-language skills.

IELTS examsDoctors from non-Anglophone EU member states must achieve a sufficient score on the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) in order to receive a license to practice medicine in the UK. Out of all the applicants, 779 were rejected. According to the UK’s General Medical Council, only one-third of 245 Italian applicants passed the English requirement; 40% of the 174 Greek applicants passed; and less than a quarter of French applicants earned a license to practice medicine in the UK. Polish and German applicants proved to be the most competent in English, with 69 of 114 Polish doctors and 53 of 79 German doctors scoring at least a 7.5 out of 9 on the IELTS. The IELTS is widely considered to be more challenging than other popular English proficiency exams, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC).

The recent language requirement, which came about after a German doctor administered an overdose of painkillers killing a patient in the UK in 2008, aims to ensure that the language barrier never interferes with a patient’s right to appropriate medical care.

Education trends in 2015

For many in the international education industry, January isn’t the beginning of a new year but the continuation of the previous, especially for those working to academic cycles. It follows suit that some seeds for business and collaboration in 2015 were sown last year, although developments in the sector will also be dictated by the unpredictable global marketplace. Whether you’re picking up where you left off in 2014 or starting afresh, here are the emerging trends to look out for in the new year. READ MORE

Education abroad and studying in Germany (VIDEO)

studieren in Deutschland

Germany is the third most popular destination among international students in the world. More than twelve percent of students at German universities come from abroad – just like you. And studying in Germany makes more and more sense.

Teaching and research have a long tradition. German Universities have a very good reputation, especially when it comes to technical subjects. And with the introduction of bachelors and masters degrees, as well as more courses and lectures being held in English, Germany can finally compete to attract the world’s brightest.

Source: DAAD

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The latest Shanghai ranking shows continued dominance of the American universities

American universities maintain dominance in latest Shanghai rankings, 2014

US universities continue to dominate the upper echelons of world rankings, taking 16 of the top 20 spots in Shanghai ranking.

The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) – compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU) and colloquially known as the “Shanghai ranking” – was released earlier this month with Asian universities, particularly those from China, gaining ground in this year’s list of the world’s top 500 universities.

However, American universities continued their dominance in the Shanghai tables, taking 16 of the top 20 spots, 52 of the top 100, and accounting for 146 of the 500 institutions listed overall. Harvard was named the top university for the 12th year in a row, with Stanford University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California, Berkeley, and the UK’s University of Cambridge rounding out the top five.

British universities also fared well, placing three in the top 20 (in addition to Cambridge, Oxford was 9th and University College London 20th) and 38 in the top 500. Germany had 39 universities in the top 500. Switzerland showed strong improvement, with ETH Zurich slipping into 19th spot, joining four other Swiss universities in the top 100, the third highest total among nations.

The 2014 Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) – compiled by Shanghai Jiao Tong University
The top 10 institutions in the 2014 Shanghai rankings. Source: ARWU

The Shanghai rankings (see the full list here) also showcase strengths in particular subject disciplines, providing additional tables of the world’s top 200 universities in the fields of natural science and mathematics; engineering/technology and computer sciences; life and agricultural sciences; clinical medicine and pharmacy; and social science. In addition, subject rankings are produced for mathematics, physics, chemistry, computer science, and economics.

Harvard and other Ivy League universities dominate global rankingsAmerican universities fared particularly well in the subject rankings, with Princeton taking top spot in mathematics, Berkeley in physics and chemistry, Harvard in economics/business, and Stanford in computer science. The mathematics rankings showed perhaps the greatest diversity of universities in the top ten, with two French universities (Pierre and Marie Curie University and University of Paris Sud) joining Cambridge, Oxford, and King Abdulaziz University from Saudi Arabia (which had been 22nd in 2013) in the top ten. All universities placing in the top ten for economics, on the other hand, were American.

China continues slow, steady rise

A closer look at the tables demonstrates the growing strength of Asian universities, in particular universities in China. Chinese institutions vaulted up the rankings and now occupy 44 of the top 500 spots (with 32 based in Mainland China), although only nine managed to rank in the top 200, with Peking University, Tsinghua, and Shanghai Jiao Tong all placing in the 101-150 bracket.

The top-ranked universities from Asia were both Japanese, with the University of Tokyo at number 21 and Kyoto University at 26. Japan was the only nation from East and Southeast Asia to place in the top 100. Singapore’s two leading universities, National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University (NTU) also both showed strong gains.

In all, 16 nations had universities in the top 100 and 42 placed at least one institution in the top 500. Traditional research powerhouse Germany placed four universities in the top 100, with Heidelberg University the top-ranked German institution at 49th. The highest-ranking Australian university was Melbourne at 44th, and the top Canadian entry was the University of Toronto at 24th.

Brazil fared relatively well, with six universities in the top 500, although none reached the top 100. South Africa and Egypt were the only countries in Africa to break the top 500, with Cape Town, University of the Witwatersrand, KwaZulu-Natal, and Stellenbosch University from South Africa joining the University of Cairo in Egypt among this year’s top-500 institutions.

The Shanghai rankings are compiled on the basis of six measures:

  • the number of alumni winning Nobel prizes and Fields Medals;
  • the number of staff winning Nobel prizes and Fields Medals
  • the number of highly cited researchers;
  • the number of articles published in nature and science;
  • the number of articles indexed in the Science Citation Index Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI);
  • per capita performance (that is, “The weighted scores of the [other] five indicators divided by the number of full-time equivalent academic staff”).

In total, more than 1,200 universities are measured via the ARWU factors each year with the top 500 resulting scores published online in the annual Shanghai tables.

Verbalisti & ICEF Monitor

You Should Get Lost in Venice (VIDEO)

Verbalisti language students at Istituto Venezia

Most tourists never get beyond Venice’s touristy main drag. Students of the Verbalists Language Network and savvy travelers escape the center and its crowds to explore this city’s unique labyrinth of picturesque alleys and canals. Don’t worry about getting lost — you’re on an island! If you reach the edge of town, stop to enjoy a drink while studying your map. Or practice your Italian 🙂

Our most traveled verbalist Rick Steves explains why you should get lost in this magical city. READ MORE