Changes ahead

Potential refinements in the QS World University Rankings 2015

Anyone who has seen me present will know that one of my most frequently used quotes is from the US statistician, George Box, said, “Essentially all models are wrong, but some are useful”. Rankings are controversial as much because they are imperfect, incomplete as anything else. Were there a perfect answer, and had someone found it, there would be no space for debate, discussion and disagreement.

The QS World University Rankings were one of the first, and remain one of the most popular, international rankings of universities. Part of this popularity has been in their simplicity and part in their consistency – six weighted indicators drawn together to present a simple table representing a global hierarchy of world universities.

Despite the basic framework remaining the same since 2005, QS has not been afraid to listen and make refinements. Switching to Elsevier’s Scopus database in 2007 was one such change. One of the well-known challenges in developing metrics from a bibliometric database like Scopus is taking into account the different patterns of publication and citation across discipline areas. Various efforts have been made to address this problem, perhaps with the Leiden Ranking being the leading protagonist. Read more

QS 20 years

QS Global Academic Advisory Board

The board exists to advise QS on any aspect of university rankings, including the methods used to produce them, possible new rankings, and the effect and impact of rankings around the world.

It is convened by Martin Ince , a British science and education journalist who has been involved in the QS Rankings since 2004. He was formerly deputy editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement and advises universities in Europe and Asia on rankings issues.
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