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Based on over 1.2 million papers, 70,000 academics and 40,000 employers’ responses

The QS World University Rankings®

QS Rankings

QS Rankings 2017-08-29T16:07:49+00:00

The QS rankings currently lead the higher education industry with consistent innovation and growth, progressively affecting the way students and institutions engage. Now in its 13th year, the QS rankings continue to produce authoritative, independent global rankings and evaluation of institutions worldwide.   

QS’s university rankings serve as an analysis of the world’s top ranked universities by subject, region and age of institution, while our MBA rankings explore the best business school qualifications worldwide.

The QS rankings also provide methodical evaluations of key areas of higher education institutions, ultimately offering potential students expert advice proven to align students with their chosen path.

Our Expertise

QS’s Intelligence Unit division is at the forefront of developing and successfully implementing methods of comparative data collection and analysis used to highlight institutions’ strengths.

Conducting its first industry-leading research in 1990 when it commissioned a global survey of MBA employers, the QS World University Rankings® quickly followed and is now the most established research project operated by the company.

Balancing the increasing public interest for comparative data on universities and organizations, and the growing demand for institutions to develop deeper insight into their competitive environment, saw the formation of the QS Intelligence Unit (QSIU) in 2008 as an autonomous department of QS.

Keenly committed to rigorous integrity, undeniable value, and accessible presentation, QSIU strives to be the most trusted independent source of global intelligence about the higher education sector.

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Rankings Methodology

The QS university and MBA rankings attract a great deal of interest and scrutiny each year. The London School of Economics bears little resemblance to Harvard University in terms of funding, scale, location, mission, output – so how is it valid to include them both in the same ranking?

They do both aim to teach students and produce research and it has always been the assertion of QS that this ought to provide a sufficient basis for comparison.

QS uses a number of academic indicators by which to measure institutions, depending on the specific ranking in question. These include:

  • Academic Reputation – A score based on the reputation of an institution.
  • H Index – An index that attempts to measure both the productivity and impact of the published work of a scientist or scholar.
  • Citations per Faculty – Citations, evaluated in some fashion to take into account the size of institution, are the best understood and most widely accepted measure of research strength.
  • Staff with PhDs – The indicator is based on a simple proportion of each institution that hold a PhD or equivalent terminal degree.
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Given that employability is one of the primary reasons for pursuing higher education, employment based indicators feature prominently in the QS rankings:

  • Employer Reputation – A score based on the reputation of an institution to employers.
  • Employers’ Presence on Campus – The number of employers who are actively present on a university’s campus.
  • Graduate Employment Rate – The percentage of a university’s graduates that are employed up to twelve months after graduation.
  • Alumni Outcomes – An evaluation of how successful alumni of institutions have been.
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There are also a number of student specific rankings:

  • Faculty/ Student Radio – The number of staff in relation to the number of students
  • Student exchange inbound – The internationalization of the student body
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Internationalization is a key part of modern higher education life, the QS rankings employ a number of factors to analyze how outward-looking an institution is:

  • International Faculty Index – The proportion of faculty members that are international.
  • International Student Index – The proportion of students that are international.
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We greatly value QS for the clarity and quality of the data you use and for the stability which enables us to see and understand trends over time. This, we think, gives your rankings a comparative advantage and considerable authority.

David Eastwood, Vice-Chancellor, University of Birmingham, UK