QS Stars: National Taiwan Ocean University

"QS Stars helps students choose institutions with strengths and high ratings in areas that align with their aspirations"

Dr Wen-Jer Chang

National Taiwan Ocean University (NTOU) was established in 1953 and is a national university located in Zhongzheng DistrictKeelungTaiwan.

NTOU is a university with a strong focus on marine science, but it also offers a wide range of programmes in other fields. NTOU is known for its excellence in teaching and research, and it is an internationally recognised university.

It has three campuses: the main campus, Matsu campus, and Guanyin-Taoyuan campus. To date they have seven colleges, consisting of 22 departments, 12 graduate institutes, 28 master’s programmes, 20 doctoral programmes, 13 in-service master’s programmes, and four bachelor’s programmes in extension education, which are open to working adults who want to learn about marine science and marine-related industries. NTOU has nearly 9,000 students and about 500 overseas students.

Can you tell us why you started working with QS Stars? What were the challenges or obstacles you needed to overcome?

We decided to seek a QS Stars rating because it’s a more comprehensive evaluation of a university’s strengths, weaknesses areas for improvement. QS Stars evaluates universities across a wide range of criteria, including faculty competitiveness, research performance, internationalisation, employability, learning environment, social responsibility, and inclusiveness, which are different from typical ranking indicators.

We believe that QS Stars will help us to demonstrate our school’s educational achievements in marine research and industry-university specialisation, as well as our commitment to internationalisation. This will make us more attractive to international teaching, research staff, and students.

The overall score of the university was 717 points, reaching the threshold of 5 Stars. But because 4.3% of the faculty are international, it didn’t meet the prerequisites of having 5% international faculty. As a result, the university was awarded 4 Stars overall. We suggest that the 5% prerequisite for international faculty be adjusted according to different regions, or that the evaluation service fee include a free re-audit within one year after the announcement of current audit results.

Please summarise the QS products and services (QS Stars) you used to overcome these challenges.

QS Rankings Entry Evaluation: We are able to understand the meaning of the evaluation indicators in the QS World University Rankings, the performance in each indicator of the university, the comparison with different benchmark groups and provide the university with a ranking improvement strategy.

QS Stars: Through the certification results, we can promote the university’s educational achievements and enhance the institution’s international reputation.

QS Higher Education Reports: The inner pages of the QS ranking special issue are used to market the university and improve its international visibility.

QS TopUniversities.com: The QS ranking website promotes the university, establishes its image, and expands the visibility of the university in international recruitment.

QS Analytics: We can track and detect university’s various data performance in the QS World University Rankings as well as the growth trend of competitors. The big data strategy is used to bring benefits to the university’s international recruitment and international academic cooperation.

QS MoveIN: We use MoveIN to strengthen the link between academics and employers, effectively manage tracking lists and sustain interaction. At present, the list of scholars and employers of the university in the past two years has been imported into the system, with a total of 1,017 pieces of information. The system is used to send emails to promote the university’s individual qualities and educational performance, enhancing the impression  scholars and employers have of the university, as well as its international connections.

Please tell us why your partnership with QS Stars has been successful.

In 2022, the university was awarded with the QS Stars overall rating of 4 Stars (Very Good). It was the second major international certification the university received in the same year, after being certified by the Institute of Engineering Education Taiwan (IEET). This achievement marks the university’s significant progress in international development and will help to attract international talent and facilitate international exchange and cooperation.

If you could choose one statistic or insight that represents the success of your partnership with QS Stars, what would it be?

The categories measured by QS Stars coincide with the university’s strategic focus on the learning environment, research development, employability, technological innovation and transfer, and internationalisation. We hope that through continuous work with QS, more international scholars and students will get to know NTOU, and choose to study or work here.

Would you recommend QS Stars to others and why?

QS Stars helps students choose institutions with strengths and high ratings in areas that align with their aspirations, in order to find the right university for them. For institutions, QS Stars helps accurately understand their weaknesses and formulate improvement strategies. Because of these reasons, coupled with QS’s excellent customer service and team, we would happily recommend QS Stars to others.

Will you be partnering with QS in the future and, if so, what would you think of the nature of that future partnership?

We plan to continue working with QS in the future and maintain our symbiotic partnership. The change in our school’s ranking results may lead to public doubts about our quality. We are taking this seriously and are carefully interpreting the results. We will continue to develop our strengths and maintain our high standards. We also hope that QS can provide us with more strategic solutions to help us mitigate the negative impact of the rankings.

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