QS published three regional rankings in a single day earlier this month, bringing additional recognition to almost 400 universities that do not yet appear in the company’s world rankings.
The new rankings for Asia, Latin America and the Arab world covered 650 universities in total, using slightly different methodologies to the QS World University Rankings to take account of differing regional priorities and to expand the number of universities that could be included.
The detailed results are considered elsewhere in this edition of Higher Education World. But the simultaneous publication made its own point about the spread of international rankings.
Ben Sowter, who is responsible for the rankings as head of the QS Intelligence Unit, said: “The three regional rankings allowed us to more reach universities than ever. International student mobility is an increasingly regional phenomenon, and students may want to consider universities that have not yet featured in the world rankings.”
There were separate launches for the three rankings, at the NAFSA conference in Boston for Latin America, at Peking University for Asia, and in Dubai for the Arab world. There had already been sessions on the methodology behind the Arab ranking, the latest addition to QS’s regional portfolio, at the QS Maple conference in Doha and at the MENA-Air conference, at the Lebanese American University, in Byblos.
The next QS ranking will appear in July, comparing universities in the BRICS nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The publication will coincide with the seventh BRICS summit, in Ufa.
After that will come the main event of the year, the release of the twelfth edition of the QS World University Rankings, in September. More than 60,000 academics and 30,000 employers have already taken part in the polling that will form a large part of the ranking. The deadline for responses falls on August 1.
A survey for the QS report, How do Students use Rankings?, by Dasha Karzunina and Laura Bridgestock, showed that 70 per cent of international students considered rankings ‘essential’ or ‘very important’ in choosing where to study. Fewer than 2 per cent said they would not consult rankings at all.
Three quarters of the 519 students responding to the survey, as well as those attending focus groups in London, Milan, Moscow, Paris and Rome, found global rankings more useful than national tables. The full report can be found at http://www.topuniversities.com/student-info/qs-guides/how-do-students-use-rankings .
Compiling rankings is no longer the only the way in which QS contributes to the global higher education quality agenda, however. December will see the second Reimagine Education take place at the Wharton Business School, at the University of Pennsylvania.
The conference focuses on teaching quality, a key element of every university’s mission and one that is yet to be addressed satisfactorily in international rankings. The awards that form the centrepiece of Reimagine Education represent a different way to recognise innovation in this vital field.
More than 100 draft submissions have already been received for this year’s awards, with the deadline for entries approaching at the end of the month. Judging panels will be announced this week. These and other details about the conference will appear at http://www.reimagine-education.com/