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Memphis educators recognised for excellence at award ceremony

THE New Memphis Institute has kicked off a special program to award distinguished teachers and school leaders in the city’s highest needs schools.

Recipients of the New Memphis Institute Educators of Excellence Award were recently honoured at a luncheon with a panel of Memphis’ top education leaders, including Shelby County Schools Superintendent Dorsey Hopson and Achievement School District Superintendent Sharon Griffin. This effort is part of New Memphis’ leadership program that works to attract, develop, activate and retain talent in Memphis.

“Educators are a vital strata of talent in our city that often goes under acknowledged. At New Memphis, we believe it is essential to recognise the contribution of our best educators, to learn from their experiences, and to support them in their growth,” said Nancy Coffee, New Memphis President and CEO.

Five graduates of the New Memphis program made the inaugural list of 2018 honourees and each received a $1,500 check. The recipients are:

Rebecca Bowers – Category: Teacher – Rebecca currently teaches 3rd grade at Kingsbury Elementary. She is the grade level chair, serves on her school’s instructional leadership team and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Auburn University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Rebecca has seven years of service and is a Memphis Teacher Residency mentor.

James Johnson – Category: Teacher – James currently teaches Science at Chickasaw Middle School. He serves as the science department chair, student council advisor and track coach. He has also worked a diversity, equity and inclusion coach at Teach for America’s regional institute for several years. James has seven years of service, is a Teach for America – Memphis alumnus and a former Student Government Association President at the University of Memphis.

Kevin Kimberly – Category: Instructional Staff – Kevin currently works as a development coach at Perea Elementary and a Chief Educational Consultant at ForwardEd Consulting. A former middle and high school principal at Memphis Catholic, Kevin has seven years of experience and completed his Master’s in Education at the University of Notre Dame.

Tamera Malone – Category: Instructional Staff – Tamera currently works as an instructional coach at Gestalt Public Schools and previously worked as a middle school teacher and special education teacher. Tamera completed her Masters in Teacher Education, Special Education at the University of Memphis and is currently completing her Doctorate at U of M in Instruction & Curriculum. Tamera has nine years of experience, is a graduate of UT – Knoxville and served on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s National Teacher Advisory Council.

Jeffrey Veale, Jr. – Category: School Administrator – Jeffrey currently works as the School Director at Leadership Preparatory Charter School but previously taught 3rd grade mathematics at Ford Road Elementary in the Innovation Zone. He has been recognised with the 2012-13 Most Effective First Year Teacher award and the 2012-13 Featured Teacher for Elementary Effective Practice conference. He also worked for four years in operations leadership at Teach for America-Memphis regional institute.

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Oxford and Cambridge top the list of best universities in the world

The UK is still home to the top two universities in the world, according to the 2018 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

Oxford University is on top for the third consecutive year, while Cambridge keeps its second best position for the second year in a row.

However, UK is no longer the second most-represented nation in the rankings. Despite the UK having 98 institutions in the full list of 1,258, it loses its spot to Japan which claims 103 positions. The UK does however retain its status as second most-represented in the top 200.

The US’s Stanford University completes the top three, maintaining it position from last year. The US still leads the way as most-represented with 172 institutions in the list.

This year’s ranking see the University of Dundee and Royal Holloway slipping out of the global 200.

China’s new top university, Tsinghua, claims 25th spot, and overtakes the UK’s LSE for, which falls one spot to 26, and the University of Edinburgh which drops from joint 27 to 29.

There are a number of climbers in the UK, with University College London rising two spots to number 14, and the University of Warwick scaling 12 places to joint 79th.

The University of Birmingham jumps 25 positions to joint 116, while the University of Aberdeen leaps 27 positions to 158th.

Phil Baty, editorial director of the global rankings, said: ‘We see some individual stars in the UK this year, but the broader national data story is really one of stagnation and modest decline, with the UK taking a minor hit to its research reputation.

‘We can only speculate at this stage as to any connection with Brexit, the risk, however, to the UK’s reputation and research capabilities from its separation with Europe is very real.

‘The ground-breaking work of UK universities mustn’t be undermined by complacency and politicking.

‘To ensure they continue to thrive on the global stage, positive immigration and investment policies are crucial.

They must be free to attract and retain the very best international talent and international students post-Brexit, and they must be protected from cuts, the flow of research funding and academic talent mustn’t be impacted.

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Why an MBA still trumps a master’s in finance in banking

A decade ago, an MBA was clearly the top qualification to have if you wanted to start down the path toward a high-level job in banking. Then quietly, more top business schools began offering an alternative: the cheaper, more technical master’s in finance degree. By 2015, hiring totals suggested that a master’s in finance may actually have trumped the MBA as the top qualification. However, new data shows that MBA programs may be having a renaissance of sorts, at least when it comes to compensation.

Comparing salary expectations for MBA holders versus those with a master’s in finance is a difficult task. While MBA programs usually require some previous professional experience, you can often enter a master’s in finance program directly from undergraduate studies. This means an MBA should demand a higher starting salary than a master’s degree, and in fact it does. But MBA holders are also now seeing greater increases in salary post-graduation than they did previously. The picture is more muddled for recent master’s of finance graduates.

The average degree holder at eight of the top 15 master’s in finance programs recently ranked by the FT reported lower annual salaries after three years of experience than those who graduated one year earlier. This only occurred with two of the top 15 global MBA programs – IESE Business School in Spain and the University of Cambridge, both of which ranked outside the top 10.

Meanwhile, graduates of every top 15 MBA program but one reported at least a 100% increase in salary from the time they entered the program to three years after earning their degree. Even graduates from IESE and Cambridge Judge saw their salaries more than double over that period. That’s a stark difference from just a few years earlier, when graduates of every top MBA program reported three-year salary increases that were lower percentage-wise than the previous year. The value of an MBA appears to be on the rise.

When it came to the Masters in Finance courses where students didn’t have prior professional experience, the FT compared the starting salaries directly following graduation to what degree holders were making after three years. Among top schools, graduates from first-ranked HEC Paris saw the biggest three-year salary bump of 82%. The master’s program at the U.K.’s Imperial College Business School fared the worst, with graduates only earning a 43% increase in pay over three years. Imperial College alumni from 2015 now earn an average of $92k, meaning their starting salary was around $65k after graduation. At HEC, it was around $75k.

For MBAs, sticking around pays

There are several possible explanations for the new narrative that top MBAs are still a good deal. A masters qualification is well-aligned with lucrative sales and trading jobs, fewer of which exist now than in years previous. And of course, not as many MBAs enter banking as often as in previous years; many now take jobs in tech and consulting, so pay could be rising due to scarcity value. But the data seems to reject the premise that other industries are out-paying finance professionals, particularly in the early years for those who went to top schools.

Business schools that are the chief feeders into finance – Stanford, Wharton, Booth, Harvard and Stern – all saw their graduates who remained in the industry take home bigger salaries than those who left or never entered finance in the first place. Graduates of all five with the exception of Stern earned salaries north of $200k if they stuck around for three years.

Banks are thirsty for masters candidates

Perhaps the best news for master’s of finance grads is that they are clearly in high demand. Over 95% of students from nine of the top 10 programs had a job within three months of graduation, with four schools sporting 100% employment rates. For top MBA programs, the highest employment rate was 95% (Booth), while several languished in the 80%-90% range.

If you have little or no experience, a master’s in finance appears a near-lock to find a decent job in the industry. But it still pays to have an MBA. You just need to land a job first and handle the culture of banking for more than a couple years.