Weekly news roundup: Calls for greater climate change education

By Lily Martin• Published on: Feb 4, 2022
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This week’s news comes from the UK, US and Europe, with a new paper calling for greater climate change education and the release of the law subject rankings for 2022.

In Europe, concerns continue surrounding the cost of student rentals, with an ongoing shortage of accommodation.

Here’s your weekly higher education news roundup. 

More subject rankings announced by Times Higher Education

Further subject rankings have been released for 2022 by Times Higher Education, with law being a field of change within the sector in the last 12 months.

Both the UK and the United States of America have sacrificed their dominance in the field, with institutions in Australasia, Indonesia and Europe climbing the rankings.

Previously, the US had six universities in the top ten for law, and the UK four. This year’s rankings reduce this to four and three respectively.

The University of Melbourne now sits in fifth place, and the National University of Singapore has risen to eighth place. KU Leuven in Belgium sits at tenth place.

According to Times Higher Education, the law tables are now the most international top 10 of any of their subject rankings. It is also the only top ten in the 2022 subject rankings that features universities in Australia and Belgium.

The top two institutions are Stanford and Cambridge, retaining their positions on last year, with Oxford being displaced to fourth by New York University, which has climbed from seventh place. 

Yale University in the United States has also moved down, from fifth to ninth position, pushing both Chicago University and Duke out of the top ten entirely.

Belgian universities are becoming increasingly dominant in world rankings for law, in part due to their strength of research in the field. There are now five Belgian universities in the top 200, with KU Leuven rising from twenty-fifth place last year to tenth this year.

The university also now ranks first for law research in the world, a rise of twenty one places.

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Academics push for further climate change education

A newly published paper by the COP26 Universities Network has called for all degrees to carry some form of education on tackling climate change, in the run up to the COP26 summit at the end of this month.

The highly anticipated summit on Climate Change, hosted by the United Nations, will take place in Glasgow between October 31 and November 12, 2021.

The COP26 Universities Network, formed of in excess of 80 institutions who are working together prior to the summit, concluded that this introduction of additional education on climate change would help prepare graduates for the challenges of the coming decades.

It also called for senior leaders to fully support staff in achieving this goal. Research, it argued, has suggested that many have not felt “sufficiently equipped, confident or supported to integrate climate-related content into their teaching.”

One of the authors of the paper, Dave Reay, Professor of Carbon Management at the University of Edinburgh, told Times Higher Education that “it is much more effort to take the approach where you truly embed [climate change education],” but that this would carry more rewards.

Rental shortages in Europe continue

An increase in rental prices in Europe for all student accommodation types has continued, according to HousingAnywhere.

The international housing platform’s Q3 2021 International Rent Index has shown that shortages in rental accommodation have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Pie News reported this week that apartments showed the largest increase in price, with Berlin apartments increasing by over 22%. This is in part due to the removal of the rental cap in Germany.

Amsterdam has the most significant increase in the cost of a studio apartment, with a ruse of 19% year on year.

However, Paris remains the most expensive city to rent, with an increase in all types of property. 

CEO of HousingAnywhere, Djordy Seelmann, told PieNews that “undersupply of accessible rentals felt less severe in 2020 due to short-term rental properties becoming available for longer-term rental, on top of global mobility restrictions.”

“We now see a reversal of this trend… shortages will become even more pressing once all travel restrictions are lifted, and municipalities should look for counteracting measures as soon as possible.”

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