A closer look at the QS Subject Rankings for Chemical Engineering

By Danny Byrne

MIT tops the inaugural QS World University Rankings® for Chemical Engineering, with Cambridge, UC Berkeley, Oxford and Stanford joining it in the top five. California’s status as a research hub was underlined with four of the state’s universities in the top ten (Berkeley, Stanford, UCLA and Caltech), while Imperial College London joined Oxbridge to make three UK universities in the top ten.

While the universities of the sunshine state flex their collective muscle, it is MIT that underlines its reputation as the undisputed heavyweight champion in engineering, completing a clean sweep of all four engineering fields assessed in the QS World University Rankings® by Subject. The university’s chemical engineering faculty is legendary – more than 10% of chemical engineering teachers in the US earned their degree from MIT, and the faculty accounts for over 20% of the elected members of the US National Academy of Engineering.

UC Berkeley puts in an impressive third-place performance, with particular strength in academic reputation, for which it ranks second. The university’s chemical engineering faculty – recently renamed the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering – has been involved in important research in fields such as molecular thermodynamics, polymer processing, and catalysis and reaction engineering. North of the border, Toronto (14) and McGill (15) make the top 20, with a total of ten of Canada’s universities featuring in the top 200.

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HE News Brief 12.4.11

by Abby Chau


  • AUSTRALIA: Leadership at top institutions are targeting indigenous students’ leadership and participation rates
  • SOUTH KOREA: Series of suicides on the KAIST campus has forced a change in student scholarship policies
  • POLAND: Private and public institutions jostle for students and supremacy
  • KENYA: Brain drain affecting professors and students
  • GLOBAL: New QS Subject Rankings – Engineering & Technology has recently been released

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QS Subject Rankings 2011 – Engineering & Technology

QS Subject Rankings are out, check out more results here.

Chemical Engineering Rankings 2011

QS Rankings Results: Engineering – Chemical
Rank Institution Country Academic Employer Citations Score
1   Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) United States 100 84.9 82.2 90.1
2   University of Cambridge United Kingdom 85.4 93.8 56.8 79.3
3   University of California, Berkeley (UCB) United States 87.9 64.4 77.5 77.7
4   University of Oxford United Kingdom 71.5 94.1 60.3 74.9
5   Stanford University United States 73.3 73.9 75.1 74
6   University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) United States 55.1 63.7 83.1 66.1
7   California Institute of Technology (Caltech) United States 72.6 43.8 67.8 62.5
8   Imperial College London United Kingdom 69.9 65.7 47.8 62
9   Yale University United States 48.9 62 77.3 61.4
10   National University of Singapore (NUS) Singapore 51.5 57.4 68.2 58.3

QS World University Rankings by Subject: a new comparative tool for students

Following the success of the 2010 World University Rankings, viewed by an estimated 50 million people since its release last September, QS Quacquarelli Symonds is launching a new series of rankings in April. The QS World University Rankings® by Subject will provide new insights on the strengths of the world’s leading institutions in specific subject areas.

Students around the world are interested not only in identifying the universities that match their aspirations but also in a comparative tool at disciplinary level.

Ben Sowter, head of research explains “There is a clear demand for ways to compare the effectiveness of higher education institutions in narrower subject disciplines. After all, the majority of prospective international students know first what they want to study before asking themselves where they want to study”.

The first series of the four-part release of the rankings, will be Engineering and IT disciplines, revealing the world’s best universities for computer science, mechanical, chemical, electrical and civil engineering. Rankings by biomedicine and Life Sciences, Natural Sciences, Arts and Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines will be released as separate groups throughout 2011.

In compiling these new rankings, QS is taking into account the view of academics, the opinion of the employers and citations per paper – as a measure of a key aspect of the research activity, using Scopus/Elsevier bibliometric data.

QS World University Rankings® by Subject and details of the methodology, approved by the QS Academic Advisory Board will available on the 2nd of April on www.topuniversities.com.

Stay Tuned…

In May, we are hosting a symposium in Paris which seeks to bring together high-profile thought leaders in the field of higher education rankings and evaluations who will present the latest developments and trends in the field and lead the debate on Identifying Excellence and Diversity in International Education: Rankings and Beyond.

High profile speakers including Jan Sadlak from IREG Observatory, Richard Yelland from OECD, Monique Canto-Sperber from ENS, and Yasushi Adachi, Elsevier BV are confirmed for the event and will  share valuable insight and debate issues crucial to universities in their quest for globalisation and international recognition.

Watch this space for more information regarding this event as well as the release of our long-awaited Subject Rankings beginning in April.

HE News Briefs 11.1.10

by Abby Chau

  • With tuition fees set to rise to up to £9,000 in 2012, applications for places in 2011 will see record levels. According to Ucas, there has already been a 2.5% increase in applicants. The figures also show that applications from under-18s have fallen while applications from older students have increased. Although ministers approved an extra 10,000 places last year, there is still a dramatic gap with one in three candidates not finding a place. Other trends show that the number of females applying have also increased, 199,000 compared to only 145,000 male students.
    Full Story: BBC News
    More: Guardian

  • Qatar is positioning itself as a new foreign higher educational hub with six US universities including the Carnegie Mellon University, Texas A&M University, and Northwestern University, already establishing branches there and interest from a French graduate school. The Education City is a 14 million square metre site boasting research facilities and  is a project of the Qatar Foundation, which is a private non-profit organisation overseen by Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser, the Emir’s wife. According to the Foundation, opening foreign branches has successfully combatted the emirate’s brain drain, with more domestic students deciding to stay in Qatar.
    Full Story:  University World News
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HE News Brief 16.11.10

by Abby Chau

  • Ranking-related news this past week includes musings across the pond regarding university rankings and their foothold in higher education. The French government has just published a new rankings based on 43,000 graduate students surveyed from 63 of the country’s 83 institutions. Paris-XI, Lyon I, and Rennes I ranked the highest, respectively. The findings come at a time when President Sarkozy is ramping up his government’s pledge to grant the country’s universities more autonomy. Some praise the findings, saying that the rankings show that universities must develop career services to help graduates find jobs. Critics of the rankings are dismayed by what they see as yet another exercise to try to homogenise a disparate and unique higher education university system. Some universities like Jussieu, based in Paris, and Dauphine refused to participate in the rankings.
    Full Story: New York Times
    More: New York Times

  • Indian Human resource development minister Kapil Sibal and UK’s universities minister David Willets have recently announced that higher education expenditure will grow annually by 13% in the next decade. Since the 1950s, the number of institutions in India have dramatically augmented, from 28 to 504. Still despite this enormous boom, the country is still 800 universities short to accommodate the growing middle class who are now eyeing higher education as a means to a fruitful future. In 1981, the average Indian household was spending 1.46% on education, now that number has risen to 7.5%.
    Full Story: University World News
    More: Livemint
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2010 QS World University Subject Rankings

Our 2010 Subject Rankings are hot off the press – go to www.topuniversities.com for more results including for subject areas like Engineering and the Sciences.

Arts & Humanities
2010 2009 Instititution Name Country/Territory
1 2 University of Oxford GB
2 3 University of Cambridge GB
3 1 Harvard University US
4 4 University of California, Berkeley (UCB) US
5 5 Yale University US
6 6 Princeton University US
7 9 University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) US
8 7 Stanford University US
9 8 University of Chicago US
10 10 Columbia University US
11 11 University of Toronto CA
12 25 UCL (University College London) GB
13 21 Université Paris Sorbonne, Paris 4 FR
14 24 University of Edinburgh GB
15 18 New York University (NYU) US
16 14= Cornell University US
17 12 Australian National University (ANU) AU
18 26 University of Michigan US
19 19 University of Sydney AU
20 13 University of Tokyo, The JP