QS World University Rankings 2019: Highlights & Methodology

The 15th edition of the QS World University Rankings appeared on June 6. It looks more deeply than any previous version at the global distribution of top higher education institutions, and now ranks 1,000 universities. They are in 85 countries, and 60 of them appear in this ranking for the first time.

These rankings have been compiled using the same methodology as last year, and the upper echelons look much the same as they did in the previous edition. The top four – Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford, Harvard and the California Institute of Technology – are unchanged. Just below them, Oxford and Cambridge have changed places, putting Oxford fifth and Cambridge sixth, and giving Oxford the honour of being the UK’s leading university for the first time since 2004. The top ten is completed by ETH Zurich, up three places to seven; Imperial College and the University of Chicago, unchanged at eight and nine; and University College London, down three places to 10.

As in 2018, the top Asian entrants are both in Singapore. They are the National University of Singapore (11th) and Nanyang Technological University (12th). The top Chinese institution is Tsinghua University, up eight places to 17th. It is now 13 places ahead of its Beijing rival, Peking University. Almost 300 of the 1,000 universities ranked here are in Asia, including 44 in Japan, 40 in mainland China and 30 in Korea.

These rankings are compiled on the basis of six indicators. It is now justifiable to rank 1,000 universities because the QS surveys of academic and employer opinion that account for half of each institution’s possible score now encompass the views of 130,000 people.

To do well, the top universities we see here need to perform well across multiple indicators. Thus, Harvard is top in both our academic survey and our survey of employers. But Harvard is less well-placed on the least heavily-weighted of our measures, international faculty and students, which count for only five per cent each. It is 151th in the world for international faculty and 164th for international students.

Of our other two measures, Caltech is the leading institution from our 1,000 ranked universities when it comes to faculty/student ratio, our indicator of teaching commitment, followed by Yale, Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, and Oxford. And our key indicator of research impact, citations per faculty member, sees MIT and Harvard in seventh and eighth place, although the Indian Institute of Science Bangalore is top among our 1,000 ranked institutions. Ten of the top 20 on this measure are specialist science and technology institutions, a group that never fails to perform well in these rankings overall.

The dataset that constitutes these rankings also demonstrates the significant increase in global research output. The average institution in this year’s rankings was responsible for just under 5,000 papers across our 2012-2016 window: a year-on-year increase of 12.1%. This increase is yet dwarfed by the rise in the citations footprint of those papers: up 22.2% year-on-year. These observations are conducive to the reiteration of a crucial point about this exercise: as standards continue to rise, institutions across the world are required to improve performance simply to keep pace. This trend seems unlikely to change, and the continued ascendancy of the world’s leading universities is a testament to their unyielding drive for excellence – across all metrics.

 

 

 

 

 

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Brexit and Rising Student Fees: Will International Students Still Be Attracted to Britain?

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Our latest QS report,‘Is Brexit Turning International Students Away From the UK?’, derived from the analysis of interviews which took place in cities across Europe, saw the emergence of several key themes among perceptions of post-Brexit UK as a study destination.  One theme that stood out as particularly contentious was the role of money in higher education. Concerns about finances wound their way through many of our participant’s views, and in many different contexts.

For students, one defining benefit of the UK being part of the EU has been the reciprocal fee agreements between EU member states, which enable EU citizens to study in countries throughout Europe for the same price as domestic students. In the likely event that the UK no longer benefits from these agreements post-Brexit, then students from the EU studying in the UK will start being charged the same amount as international (i.e. non-EU) students, which are normally considerably higher fees. Read more

On 1st July 2017, Carrie Lam, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong quoted 2 QS rankings in her inauguration speech in front of  China President Xi Jinping and 2,000 VIP guests to highlight 20 years education achievements of HK since its handover to China.

HK leader quoted QS in inauguration to prove 20 years achivements

On 1st July 2017, Carrie Lam, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong quoted 2 QS rankings in her inauguration speech in front of  China President Xi Jinping and 2,000 VIP guests to highlight 20 years education achievements of HK since its handover to China._2017070109545345678

In her inaugural speech, Lam vowed to repay the trust and support of the people and the central government’s support with “with diligence and achievements”.

She said, “On this important day marking the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to the Motherland, and as witnessed by all here present, I have been sworn in by the President of the People’s Republic of China as the fifth-term Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It is with a humble heart that I accept this greatest honour of my life and prepare to take on the greatest challenge in my public service career. Over the next five years I will respond to the trust and support placed in me by the people of Hong Kong and the Central People’s Government with diligence and achievements of the governing team under my leadership”.
_2017070109254113229When reflecting on the achievements HK has achieved in the past 20 years returning to China, she said:

“Hope propels a society forward, and confidence is the foundation of hope. We have no reason to lose confidence if we look closely and rationally at what we have achieved over the past two decades since our return to the Motherland”. She started to list all the achievements HK has got on its economy, finance, an the rule of law and safety. She concluded this section by quoting 2 QS universities rankings to highlight the education achievements of HK since returning to China in 1997:

“Five of our universities rank among the world’s top 100, and the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong is the best dental school in the world”.

"Five of our universities rank among the world’s top 100, and the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong is the best dental school in the world". On 1st July 2017, Carrie Lam, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong quoted 2 QS rankings in her inauguration speech in front of China President Xi Jinping and 2,000 VIP guests to highlight 20 years education achievements of HK since its handover to China.

“Five of our universities rank among the world’s top 100, and the Faculty of Dentistry of the University of Hong Kong is the best dental school in the world”. On 1st July 2017, Carrie Lam, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong quoted 2 QS rankings in her inauguration speech in front of China President Xi Jinping and 2,000 VIP guests to highlight 20 years education achievements of HK since its handover to China.

 

 

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said, “It is a tremendous honour to hear that 2 QS university rankings was quoted by the new Chief Executive of HK in her inauguration speech, as the only benchmark, to prove 20 years education achievement of HK since handover to China. HK is one of the best place in the world for higher education. I look forward to the opportunity to working more closely with each of the HK university and the government in further strengthening their international competitiveness across all key subjects areas!”

On 8th June 2017,  Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said in an interview with Ta Kung Pao, the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China, that “Three out of five Hong Kong Universities which are ranked within the global top 100 were established less than 50 years ago.  That is mainly due to HK’s unique advantage of geographic location and prosperity of its economy. HK have been able to cultivated some of the world’s best universities in a short time with its big research impact,  strong innovation, truly international environment, and the ability to attract some of the top talents from around the world.  Its influence is increasingly felt globally. The Dentistry of Hong Kong University has twice been ranked as the world’s No.1 has again demonstrated the unrivalled world-class excellence of Hong Kong higher education system. Hong Kong Universities are going to continue its leading position in more cutting-edge subjects soon.

On 8th June 2017, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said in an interview with Ta Kung Pao, the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China, commented on major improvements of HK universities’ global impact and excellence. Dr. Christina Yan Zhang’s comments was quoted by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong on 1st July 2017, when sworn in by China President Xi Jinping, as city marks 20 years since handover

On 8th June 2017, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said in an interview with Ta Kung Pao, the oldest active Chinese language newspaper in China, commented on major improvements of HK universities’ global impact and excellence. Dr. Christina Yan Zhang’s comments was quoted by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong on 1st July 2017, when sworn in by China President Xi Jinping, as city marks 20 years since handover

 

Celebrating the Faculty’s 35th anniversary and its being ranked World’s No. 1 dental faculty by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 for a second consecutive year, the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) held a whole day symposium at the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, followed by a gala dinner on November 23, 2017. Over 350 guests, including government officials, international scholars from China, Asia and Europe, the Faculty’s alumni, dental professionals & researchers, bachelor and postgraduate students and prominent business representatives, participated in this most memorable event. Guests of Honour (from left to right) Professor Peter Mathieson, Professor the Hon Sophia Chan, the Hon Mrs Carrie Lam, Professor the Hon Arthur Li and Professor Thomas Flemmig celebrate HKU Faculty of Dentistry 35th Anniversary cum being the World’s No.1 Dental Faculty

Celebrating the Faculty’s 35th anniversary and its being ranked World’s No. 1 dental faculty by the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017 for a second consecutive year, the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU) held a whole day symposium at the Prince Philip Dental Hospital, followed by a gala dinner on November 23, 2017. Over 350 guests, including government officials, international scholars from China, Asia and Europe, the Faculty’s alumni, dental professionals & researchers, bachelor and postgraduate students and prominent business representatives, participated in this most memorable event. Guests of Honour (from left to right) Professor Peter Mathieson, Professor the Hon Sophia Chan, the Hon Mrs Carrie Lam, Professor the Hon Arthur Li and Professor Thomas Flemmig celebrate HKU Faculty of Dentistry 35th Anniversary cum being the World’s No.1 Dental Faculty.

 

The full inauguration speech can be found here.

On 1st July 2017, Carrie Lam, the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong quoted 2 QS rankings in her inauguration speech in front of China President Xi Jinping and 2,000 VIP guests to highlight 20 years education achievements of HK since its handover to China.In her inaugural speech.

Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor,  is the first female Chief Executive of Hong Kong. She joined the Administrative Service of the Hong Kong Government in 1980 and has served the public for more than 36 years in 20 public service positions including Director of Social Welfare, Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands (Planning and Lands), Director-General of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in London, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs, Secretary for Development and Chief Secretary for Administration.

Madam Liu Yan Dong, Vice Premier of China, is one of the most influential female political leader in China and in the world

China Vice Premier Endorsed QS work in Major speech Highlighting 5 Years Plan for Chinese Universities

 

On 8th January 2016, during an important speech in the State Council of China, highlighting China’s 13th Five-Year Plan on education(2016-2010) for nearly 3000 Chinese universities, Madam Liu Yandong quoted the latest QS World University Ranking results to demonstrated the international competitiveness of top Chinese universities have already been recognised globally. This makes QS the only world university ranking being endorsed by the top Chinese government leader.

A graduate of Tsinghua University, Liu’s career has long been associated with Hu JinTao, China’s President 2003-2013, who she has been working closely with in the Communist Youth League colleague. In 2013, she was appointed Vice Premier, second in rank, with responsibility to oversee the portfolios of health, education, and sports. Liu is the fifth-ever female Politburo member since the foundation of the PRC in 1949. Since the appointment, Madam Liu is not only the most powerful woman in the Chinese government, but also one of the most powerful in the world.

Based on the 13th Five-Year Plan of China on Education: China aims to build a group of top Chinese universities with world-class quality and reputation by 2020.

In order to achieve this ambitious goal, more than 110 “high-level” universities will be established across China in the next 5 years. Some 11 provincial regions have also come up with financial support measures, with the total amount raised close to 40 billion RMB. Shandong province said it would raise up to 5 billion RMB, while Hubei province pledged an annual investment of 1 to 2 billion RMB.

Key tasks requires to achieve those goals include focuses on student quality, innovation, international cooperation, teaching quality and so on.

The 13th Five-Year Plan of China also gives details on the students number they want to reach. For example, in 2015, the number of students receiving higher education, nine-year compulsory education, and preschool education reached 36.5 million, 140 million, and 42.7 million respectively. The Chinese government aim to increase those numbers to 38.5 million, 150 million, and 45 million by 2020. A special focus has been put on the recruitment of top international students outside China.

In the speech of Madam Liu, which is published by the official website of China’s State Council, she said: “The international reputation of China’s education has been growing from strength to strength. Some of the academic disciplines in China have already reached leading positions internationally. This has helped to gain invaluable experience for Chinese universities to developed themselves into top world-class universities with Chinese characteristics. The overall world university ranking of Chinese universities have been rising in recent years, with remarkable progress in academic papers published and international reputations. In 2015, there are 25 Chinese university in mainland China that has been included in the UK’s QS World University Ranking Top 500. ”

This major speech took place at a critical and important time for the Chinese education sector. Firstly, all the Chinese universities just finished its 12th Five Year Plan(2010-2015) and is about to start implement its next 5 year plan. Secondly, the Chinese government have not revealed details on how to allocate the next round of government funding to support all Chinese universities to implement their next 13th Five-Years Plan. Thirdly, the State Council of China aim to build more and more universities and majors which are rated as “world-class” by 2020. However, the Chinese government in the past has not made it clear which university rating systems they would adopt to evaluate the performance of Chinese Universities’ global standing. The Vice Premier’s speech quoting QS ranking to applaud the improvements of Chinese universities are strong recommendation for QS rankings to become one of the major benchmarks to guide China’s next around of education reform.

Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, said “I am completely overwhelmed by this fantastic news. China is one of the most difficult and complicated markets in the world. It is a tremendous privilege and surprise to get endorsement from China Vice Premier for our work 2 years after I joined QS. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in my amazing dream team in QSIU and QS, without your amazing support, unswerving trust, and invaluable advice since day one I joined, this would never have been possible. Next step, let us continue working closely together to help 3000 Chinese universities of 37 million students to reach their true potentially in the next 5 years!”

(Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, speaking at a University Presidents’ Forum in China recently on the future directions for universities presidents to collaborate efficiently across borders, with top universities presidents from the UK, USA, Mexico, Thailand, Belgium, Russia and Cambodia)

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Indian Students Are Increasingly Struggling To Stand Out

As part of our quest for more qualitative research about international students’ motivations, we visited one of the key student recruitment markets – India. Did we learn something new about the way Indian students select universities abroad? Certainly. Did we confirm some of the stereotypes that already existed? Somewhat.

Let’s start with a stereotype that we have found some evidence for…

1. Indian students’ parents are actively involved in their educational and career choices.

Although this is still the case, it would seem the attitude here is shifting. A number of students have told us that their parents will actively and sometimes inevitably give them advice on what to study and which countries/universities to target. What’s unclear is just how much influence this actually has on their decisions. When we probed students further on this topic, they would often say that they feel they have to consider their family’s views even if they don’t always agree or feel they have the most relevant experience to be providing advice on the matter but would then seek advice from elsewhere.

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QSGER

QS publishes the first QS Graduate Employability Rankings!

The pilot edition of the Rankings applies QS’s new innovative approach, intending to take the discussions on employability rankings to the next level. Stanford leads this first edition; more than 20 new institutions place in the top 50.

Employability has been a hot topic for the Higher Education industry for years. With far easier access to a far broader selection of universities, it became an even more relevant aspect of students’ decision making. QS has been measuring employability in all of its rankings, with our Employer Reputation Survey running for over 20 years. But given the public’s special interest in this topic, it was time to expand the analysis, step out of the comfort zone, and create a new, specific ranking.

The primary aim of the QS Graduate Employability Rankings is to help students make informed choices for their educational futures based specifically on the ability of their chosen university to help them succeed in the employment market. Thorough research conducted over the course of 13 months saw consultation with, and input from, academics, university representatives, companies, students and alumni. This year’s experimental methodology was extensively refined throughout the year, and we are delighted to have introduced – for the first time ever in our rankings – unique metrics such as graduate employment rate and university partnerships with employers.

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