QS World University Rankings®

QS World University Rankings® explained


QS World University Rankings®, an annual league table of the top 600 universities in the world, is arguably the best-known and respected rankings of its kind. Compiled by QS in close consultation with an international advisory board of leading academics, the rankings are widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments around the world.


The purpose of the rankings has been to recognize universities as the multi-faceted organizations that they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class. They strive to meet the needs of a broad set of stakeholders including those of students, parents, academics, university staff and employers.

The rankings provide:

  • A comparative tool to help prospective international students shortlist potential universities on a global scale
  • A rudimentary map of the international higher education landscape, which can, and has been used as a component in both institutional and government strategic decision making


The rankings are based on four key pillars: research, teaching, employability, and internationalization.

Six distinctive indicators make up the methodology.

  • Academic Reputation
  • Employer Reputation
  • Faculty/student ratio
  • Citations per faculty
  • International faculty
  • International students


The QS World University Rankings® is released in the third or fourth quarter annually.