Shining a light on excellence
The QS Stars system evaluates universities against a range of important performance indicators based on a ratings method. It awards Stars to an institution, based on a range of criteria and can include universities not traditionally well-placed in rankings. It is an opportunity for these universities to highlight their strengths via awarded recognition.
Although traditional rankings can be an effective tool in measuring an institution's excellence in the global higher education sphere, there is a need for a rating system which offers students, parents and universities a more detailed comparative tool focusing on an individual institution's excellence irrespective of the performance of other universities.
Ratings are not dependent on the performance of other institutions, but evaluate an individual institution's performance and measure it against pre-set thresholds.
QS Stars provide:
- Students and parents a detailed analysis of an individual institution's performance broken down by a broad set of criteria
- Universities a comprehensive and detailed view of their institution's performance, aiding in the strategic planning and development
A star rating is reached through the distribution of 1000 points by three main criteria, which are broken down further into eight sub-categories.
Thresholds and pre-requisites:
1 Star (100 / 1000)
A One-Star institution will often have been established within the last twenty years and has established the key components required to provide a quality service to its students. The institution must have the authority to grant valid degree level programs in it is own name.
2 Star (250 / 1000)
A Two-Star institution will often be active in research and has an established domestic reputation. The institution is a key part of its local community and will often have begun to consider international opportunities.
3 Star (400 / 1000)
A Three-Star institution is often nationally well-recognised and may have begun to attract international recognition. The institution must have a minimum of five active student exchange agreements with Top 500 universities*.
4 Star (550 / 1000)
A Four-Star institution will often be highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching. It must meet the minimum academic referee threshold of 75 or citations per faculty of 2, employer referee of 20, international student percentage of 1%, and have a minimum of 10 student exchange agreements with Top 500 universities*.
5 Star (700 / 1000)
A Five-Star institution will often be world-class in a board range of areas, has cutting-edge facilities, and is internationally renowned of its research and teaching faculty. It must meet the minimum academic referee threshold of 150 or citations per faculty of 3, employer referee of 40, international faculty and student percentage of 5%, and score a minimum of 80 points in the “Infrastructure” category within the methodology.
5 Star Plus (900 / 1000) - must be 5 stars in all categories
A five-star plus institution will often be located in an elite destination to which the very best students and faculty worldwide will aspire. It is not just world class but its brand name will transform the résumé of anyone connected with it. Five Stars + can apply equally to the world's foremost comprehensive and specialist institutions.
*In the QS World University Rankings® of any of the preceding three years.
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Contact; Jason Newman