QS develops and successfully implements 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® launched in 2004 and is now the most established research project operated by the company.
What is the QS World University Rankings?
The QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings which comprises the global overall and subject rankings (which name the world’s top universities for the study of 48 different subjects and five composite faculty areas), alongside our independent regional tables (such as Asia, Latin America, Emerging Europe and Central Asia and the Arab Region). The QS World University Rankings is the most-widely read university rankings in the world.
Under the same grouping, QS also produces the following: Graduate Employability Rankings, Best Student Cities, Higher Education System Strength Rankings, Rankings by Location and the suite of Business School Rankings including Global MBA, EMBA, Distance Online MBA and Business Masters.
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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 15th year, the QS rankings continue to produce authoritative, independent global rankings and evaluation of institutions worldwide.
All our data is based on high-quality research and innovative analytic approaches. Our solid relationships with tens of thousands of higher education institutions and employers enable us to build our rankings using data from over 13 million academic papers, as well as 70,000 academics and 40,000 employers’ responses.
The QS rankings provide methodical evaluations of key areas of higher education institutions, ultimately offering potential students expert advice proven to align students with their chosen path.
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.
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.
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
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.