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  • The world's Best University Costs Just $12,000 a Year

    OxfordUniversityby Alanna Petroff

    The best university education in the world need not cost the equivalent of a small mortgage.

    The University of Oxford, which has just been named the best in the world, offers undergraduate tuition for a fraction of the rate charged by rival institutions in the U.S.

    Tuition for Oxford undergrads is just 9,000 pounds this year, which works out to roughly $11,700. That's about a quarter of the cost of other top tier schools, such as Harvard, Stanford and the California Institute of Technology.

    But before you get too excited, that rate is only available to undergrads from the U.K. and European Union. 

    Students from the rest of the world pay anywhere between 15,295 pounds ($19,860) and 22,515 pounds ($29,230) a year -- though that's still much cheaper than top U.S. universities.

    Oxford became the first British university to top the 12th annual ranking compiled by Times Higher Education.

    Caltech, which has topped the list five times, was knocked into second place.

    Here are the tuition fees undergrads are paying this year at other world class universities:

    1. California Institute of Technology: $45,846
    2. Stanford: $47,331
    3. University of Cambridge, U.K.: 9,000 pounds ($11,684)
    4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: $48,140
    5. Harvard University: $43,280
    6. Princeton University: $45,320
    7. Imperial College London, U.K.: 9,000 pounds ($11,684)

    The U.K. may be a cheaper place to study than the U.S., but it's much more expensive than it used to be.
    Tuition for most students at British universities tripled in 2012 due to a change in government funding policies, which caused outrage across the country.

    Oxford and Cambridge, among others, are working hard to ensure the higher tuition fees don't deter students from less advantaged backgrounds.

    They've been campaigning for years to encourage higher levels of student enrollment from state-funded high schools, which are called public schools in the U.S. Top British universities have a reputation for accepting an outsized proportion of students educated at exclusive private schools.

    Some 40% of Oxford students still come from private schools, whereas just 7% of British children attend such schools.

  • ZHA’s American University of Beirut Faculty Wins Aga Khan Award

    FaresAUBBy Merlin Fulcher for The Architect's Journal

    Zaha Hadid Architects has won an Aga Khan Award for Architecture for its Issam Fares Institute in Beirut.

    The award recognises the practice’s building on the campus of the American University of Beirut. The ‘radical but respectful’ 3,000m² building, for the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, was won in an international competition 10 years ago, and completed in 2014.

    The scheme was selected for a prize along with five other projects from a 19-strong shortlist. The latest awards cover buildings completed between 2014 and 2016.

    The Aga Khan Award for Architecture was created by His Highness the Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully addressed the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence. Prizes have been given to projects across the world, fromthe Aga Khan in 1977 to identify and encourage building concepts that successfully addressed the needs and aspirations of communities in which Muslims have a significant presence.

    A statement from the Aga Khan Development Network said: ‘The building is defined by the routes and connections within the university; the building emerges from the geometries of intersecting routes as a series of interlocking platforms and spaces for research and discourse.

    ‘The massing and volume distribution fits very well with the topography, and the nearby Ficus and Cyprus trees are perfectly integrated with the project.’

    It added that the building’s construction was a continuation of the 20th-century Lebanese construction culture of working with fair-faced concrete.

    The footprint of the building was reduced by ‘floating’ a reading room, workshop conference room and research facilities above the entrance courtyard using a 21m-long cantilever.

    The winners of the latest awards were announced at a ceremony held at the Al Jahili fort in Abu Dhabi. The awards were overseen by a steering committee chaired by the Aga Khan and featuring David Adjaye and AKTII co-founder Hanif Kara.

    The full list of winners:

    • LEBANON: Issam Fares Institute, Beirut (Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects)
    • BANGLADESH: Bait Ur Rouf Mosque, Dhaka (Architect: Marina Tabassum)
 and Friendship Centre, Gaibandha (Architects: Kashef Mahboob Chowdhury/URBANA)

    • CHINA: Cha’er Hutong Children’s Library and Art Centre, Beijing (Architects: ZAO/standardarchitecture / Zhang Ke)
    • DENMARK: Superkilen, Copenhagen (Architects: BIG- Bjarke Ingels Group, Topotek 1 and Superflex)

    • IRAN: Tabiat Pedestrian Bridge, Tehran (Architects: Diba Tensile Architecture / Leila Araghian, Alireza Behzadi)

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