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QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017: An Overview

The QS World University Rankings by Subject, by far the richest global measure of higher education performance, have just been published for the seventh time. They contain details of university standing in 46 subjects, four of them new this year.

The subjects analysed in these rankings cover the vast majority of academic teaching and research. The rankings include a total of 13,930 positions, making them a uniquely valuable resource for students seeking the best place to fulfil their educational ambitions.

The four new subjects for 2017 are Anatomy, previously ranked within our overall Medicine ranking; Hospitality and Leisure Management; Sports-related subjects; and Theology, Divinity, and Religious Studies. The addition of Anatomy means that we now rank the Medical and Life Sciences in nine separate categories, ranging from Agriculture to Dentistry. Top for Anatomy are the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, followed by McGill in Canada.

Like our established ranking of the performing arts, our new ranking of Hospitality and Leisure management offers a fascinating glimpse of institutions which would not normally figure in a global university ranking. Number one here is the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, making its only appearance anywhere in these tables. The top 20 also contains six specialist hospitality institutions based in Switzerland.

Our new ranking of Sports-related Subjects assesses both the medical and physiological aspects of sport and its management. Its inclusion reflects the vast professionalisation of sport in recent years. Loughborough in the UK is top of this league. It is the alma mater of many leading UK athletes, and its present and former students collected 34 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics. Sydney and Queensland, both in Australia, take the next two places.

Most of the top universities for Theology, Divinity, & Religious Studies are ancient establishments, often with a history as religious foundations. Our leading institution for religion, Harvard, is even named after a priest, its founder John Harvard.

The methodology remains identical to that used in 2016, allowing a direct comparison with last year’s results. The first two elements we use to produce them are the opinions of academics and employers around the world, using the surveys that are also the core of our overall World University Rankings. The Academic Survey measures which universities are regarded as top for scholarship and research by informed colleagues around the world. Our Employer Survey simply asks where recruiters find the best graduates. We place a higher weight on the opinion of employers who hire graduates in specific disciplines than we do those who hire across the full range of subjects.

To these two measures we add a further two which reward the production of original knowledge. One asks how often papers in specific subjects in the scholarly literature are cited by other researchers around the world, a standard measure of research impact. The other is the H-Index, a measure of the breadth and depth of scholarly publishing.  If the University of Xanadu has published 19 papers on chemistry with at least 19 citations each, its H-Index for chemistry is 19.

Our findings confirm the overall world dominance of big, old universities in Europe and North America, but it also contains some surprises. Singapore has two top-10 institutions for Materials Science, confirming the success of Singapore’s heavy investment in this technology. And as in previous years, we find that Cape Town is a world top-10 university for Development Studies. It is one of five South African universities in the top 100 for this subject, and they are joined by institutions in Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico and Uganda.

Martin Ince
QS Advisory Board

Enago

QS announce new partnership with Enago

It has been well established that researchers whose first language is not English are at a considerable disadvantage in promoting their work. The likelihood of acceptance by a top international journal is reduced when submissions are poorly written and papers published in other languages tend to be less well-read than those in English.

A new service to be offered by QS and Enago, the leading provider of authorship services for the global research community, will offer a solution. Improved success rates should benefit individual researchers and universities, who will feel the benefit of increased citation counts in rankings.

Since 2005, Enago has worked with more than 100,000 researchers in at least 125 countries, improving the communication of their research and helping them to achieve success in international publications. The company has offices in Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Shanghai, Istanbul, and New York, and operates globally, with regional teams supporting researchers locally.

Under this collaboration, authors worldwide can access Enago’s range of pre-submission editing services. Three levels of collaboration are available, ranging from straightforward language checking to copy-editing and more substantive review.

Papers submitted for the copy-editing service will be returned free from language errors and suitable for publication in SCI indexed journals. The premium editing service is tailored to high-impact, peer-reviewed international journals, focusing on the logic, structure and presentation of manuscripts as well as all aspects of copy editing.

Jason Newman, Global Commercial Director of the QS Intelligence Unit, said: “QS has always advised higher education institutions to improve their international research output as part of overall internationalization and we are pleased to now offer comprehensive support by partnering with Enago. We encourage the importance of publishing cutting-edge research and opinions from across the globe, and are happy that we are now able to increase our support for our partner universities.”

Rajiv Shirke, Vice President for Global Operations at Enago, said: “Enago is delighted to be collaborating with a forward-thinking organization like QS to improve universities’ research output. Having easy access to the manuscript preparation services provided by Enago will not only accelerate the process of publishing high-impact research but also ensure that specific author needs are taken care of during the editorial process.”

Full details are available at https://www.enago.com/qs/

 

 

 

How is data transforming higher education?

Two major events to be organized by QS in the next few months extend the company’s higher education activities beyond rankings.

The first is the new edition of the highly successful EduData Summit, which attracted speakers and delegates from world-leading universities to London last year to discuss the ways in which big data could benefit teaching and research.

This year’s theme is How is Data Transforming Education?” The two-day event will begin on June 12 at London’s Congress Centre, with a separate rankings masterclass taking place on June 14. Places can be reserved at http://www.edudatasummit.com/home, where full details of the programme can be found.

Dr Sam Nielsen, Director of the Strategic Intelligence Unit at Queensland University of Technology, said the summit should be a priority for anyone wishing to learn from data innovators and strategic planners at leading universities. “QUT was proud to be the gold sponsor of the inaugural EduData Summit and is excited to participate in 2017,” he added.

Among the speakers will be Professor Max Lu, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, on the uses of strategic information for competitive advantage. Among the other sessions will be one in which representatives of Cornell, MIT, the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) and Yale discuss the uses of comparative data at leading US universities. There will also be speakers from the UK Higher Education International Unit, Australia’s Group of Eight, and the Russell Group.

Kevin Kelly, ‎Associate Director, Global Strategy & Initiatives, Emory University, in Atlanta, Georgia, said: “In only its first year, the EduData Summit was the perfect event to meet and network with like-minded university administrators who similarly care about using data as a catalyst for change and improvement at their universities.”

The second event, to be held at the Wharton Business School in December, celebrates advances in pedagogy and features a range of awards for innovative teaching around the world. The conference, now in its fourth year, was the first to introduce international awards for teaching in higher education, recognising the shortcomings of rankings in this area.

 Last year’s Reimagine Education conference attracted more than 400 delegates from over 40 countries.  About 240 were from universities, schools and other education providers, while the rest were from the growing educational technology industry.

QS is still accepting submissions for the Reimagine Education Awards, whether focused on specific subjects, originating from different regions across the world, or examining educational styles ranging from all-digital to face-to-face. Those keen to examine the fundamental educational transformations taking place across the world are invited to book their place at the conference itself, which will take place from December 3 to 5. Full information on the conference and the awards can be found at http://www.reimagine-education.com

 

QS World University Rankings: New Date!

 

The 14th edition of the QS World University Rankings will be published later this year. While the overall shape of the publication will be familiar to almost anyone reading these words, there is one big change.

We have decided to publish this year’s Rankings in the first full week of June, thus breaking with our long-established practice of releasing the Ranking in September.

There are a number of reasons for the change, which has been discussed and approved by the Global Academic Advisory Board for the rankings. One important consideration is that September is a crowded time for academics and students as they return from the summer, at least in the Northern hemisphere. We want potential students to have enough time to make use of our work.

Despite this new timetable, there is still time for academics reading this to influence this essential resource for millions of students. Our annual survey of academic opinion is open and you are welcome to apply to take part. Get started here:

http://qsnetwork.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_b7yHYnd9WYbsGPP&source=IBISRoW&source=%%HEWorld%%.

Complete, accepted responses will be used for the World University Rankings and for other QS publications such as our rankings by subject.

The 2017 rankings will use the same six criteria used for earlier rankings: academic and employer opinion, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty member, and international faculty and students. But there is one change, intended to augment the quality of our citations measure. In past years, we have used a five-year data window for both our publishing and citations metric. From now on, we will be using publications data for five years with a one-year time lag, in this case from 2011 to 2015, and citations for six years, 2011-2016 in the present year.

We are making this change because few papers are cited when they are very new. Thus, the five years of citations we have hitherto used were in fact little better than four. This change will enhance the validity of the findings, allowing new and transformative research the time necessary to see itself disseminated throughout the academic community. In particular, it will increase our awareness of citations in subjects outside the sciences and medicine. The arts, humanities and social sciences often have a much slower citations cycle than these fast-moving, publish-or-perish fields.

Martin Ince
Advisory Board
QS

 

Higher Education World May 2017: Foreword

Dear reader,

QS may be best-known for its rankings, but its activity in the higher education sphere goes far beyond this. This edition of Higher Education World features some of them, as well as reporting on a dramatic change of publication schedule for the company’s main rankings.

That change will make the QS World University Rankings available three months earlier than normal. Martin Ince reports on the new date and the reasons for the switch.

Rankings are only one manifestation of the growing role that data plays in global higher education. QS held the first EduData Summit in London last year to provide a forum for discussion on data-driven innovation. We preview the programme for this year’s event, which will take place in June, with places still available, and look ahead to the Reimagine Education conference in December, with its prestigious awards for advances in pedagogy around the world.

Finally, we report on a new agreement between QS and Enago, the leading provider of authorship services for the global research community. The new service will provide assistance to researchers for whom English is a second language.

John O’Leary
Executive Member of the QS IU Board

 

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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Meet David Reggio, the new face of QS Consulting

Dr. David Reggio has returned to the QS Intelligence Unit, as the new Global Head of Consulting. With a real focus on innovation and relevance to the market, he explains how this service can help your institution: 

D.R.: In a nutshell, QS Consulting offers concrete solutions and insight for HE institutions and related organisations. Each project has a range of stakeholders and we go beyond providing intelligence reports: we conduct a tailored and thorough diagnosis.  Higher education institutions seeking to enhance their strategy and/or improve implementation can benefit from our personalised, bespoke services.

  • Who are the consultants?

D.R.:. There are three leads in the team, including myself. Dr. Shadi Hijazi is the man for marketing and change management, while Jacques de Champchesnel has worked in HE institutions on recruitment strategy and campus development. Between us, we have effected change and gained experience in Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.  We also have a network of specialists and experts, so, for example, if there is an assignment for which an area of nano-medicine or irradiation is a strategic driver, then we have necessary recourse to the professional in that field for their participation and input. What’s more, consulting is housed in the QS Intelligence Unit, so we have access to tremendous insight, skills-sets, and, of course, data.  We are defined by strong dexterity and fluency not just with higher education per se, but with the horizon of science, technology and society. Read more

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Higher Education World June 2016: Evaluating the World’s Best Higher Education Systems

Which nation has the world’s best universities? The question is of growing interest, and we have answered it with a novel analysis published in late May.

The Higher Education System Strength (HESS) rank is designed to show how good each nation’s university system is by world standards, and how appropriate it is to its host nation’s needs.

HESS is drawn up on the basis of four equally-weighted measures. Of these the first, which we call “System,” is a direct count of how many universities each nation has in the top 700 positions in the current QS World University Rankings, weighted by their average position so that a top-ten university counts for more than one just above 700th place.

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Higher Education World 2016: Edu Data Summit

QS is on a permanent mission to ensure informed choices are made about higher education. This month, it took this commitment to a new level by holding the first Edu Data Summit, intended to look at all the ways in which big data is informing universities and improving the student experience.

Held in London on June 8-10, the Summit brought in almost 200 people from across the globe to talk about how the big data is impacting upon education. They included a host of fascinating speakers, led by initial keynote speaker Rafael Reif, President of MIT, who opened the event by video link.

Far from being a gleam on some futurologist’s horizon scan, the data wave has already hit academic life. Part of the reason is the growth in student use of connected devices. When people wrote essays on paper, it was hard to tell how they did it. Now a wealth of data is available on how they work, how long it takes them to do things, and where they work and spend time. Allied to the non-stop collection of data on topics such as seminar absence, this has allowed universities to create new tools that predict student failure, and allow potentially failing students to get timely help.

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Higher Education World June 2016: QS University Rankings (EECA)

Improved data collection has enabled QS to expand its unique ranking of universities in Eastern Europe and Central Asia (EECA) from 150 to 200 institutions. But there is still remarkable stability at the top.

A total of 24 countries are represented in the 2016 edition of the ranking. Once again, Russia has by far the largest representation, its universities taking almost a third of the places. Among the 63 Russian universities in the ranking, five reached the top 20 and 11 the top 50.

For the first time, the top three EECA universities are all Russian. Lomonosov Moscow State University retains the lead it has held in all three editions of the ranking, with Novosibirsk State University still in second place. Saint-Petersburg State University, which has moved up four places in two years, has overtaken the Charles University, in Prague, to complete the clean sweep.

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