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QS Best Student Cities 2018: Highlights

London has been named as the top location in the world for students, after replacing Montreal at the top of the QS Best Student Cities ranking.

This edition of the ranking placed London top for the first time. It has more ranked institutions than any of the 100 cities in the exercise and performed well in QS’s survey of over 50,000 students.

Perhaps the most dramatic move in the 2018 ranking is Tokyo’s rise from sixth to second place, beating its previous high of 3rd place. It was the city that led our Employer Activity indicator, and, were it in possession of a more diverse student population, may have led the table.

There are six elements to the ranking: the performance of a city’s universities in QS rankings; the proportion of students and their international diversity; quality of life; employer activity; affordability; and the student view of the quality of their experience and willingness to remain in the city after graduating.

Melbourne has moved up to third place, from fifth in 2017, while Zurich has entered the top 10 in eighth place. No US city appears in the top 10, following declines in their scores for affordability, employer activity and student mix: the best American entrant is Boston (13th, down five places). Australia and Germany retain their status as particularly desirable nations, with two top-ten cities each.

Although dropping to fourth place – losing the global ascendancy it enjoyed last year – Montreal remains the students’ favourite, while Toronto is deemed the most desirable city from quality of life surveys and figures for crime and pollution. Budapest is ranked top for affordability, just ahead of Kuala Lumpur.

Other recent surveys have suggested that students’ perception of a university’s location is playing an increasingly important part in the process of choosing where to study. A favourable rating is also important to the cities concerned – a recent study from the Higher Education Policy Institute estimated that international students are worth £4.64 billion a year to London.

London has two universities in the top 10 of the QS World University Rankings and 18 in all. Ben Sowter, who heads the QS Intelligence Unit, which produces the ranking, said: “London benefits from outstanding employment prospects, more world-class universities than any other city, and enviable lifestyle opportunities. These factors mean that it remains a great place to study despite eye-watering costs, as our student survey made clear.”

To qualify for the ranking, cities must have a population of at least 250,000 and contain a minimum of two ranked universities. New entrants to the ranking this year include Stuttgart, Dubai, Cape Town, Graz, Nagoya, Brighton and Miami.

 

 

 

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Application Open for UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks

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QS, as the compiler of one of the world’s top 3 most influential World University Ranking, has a long tradition working closely with global intergovernmental organisations, such as UNESCO.

On 16 and 17th May, 2011, UNESCO together with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank organized the ‘Global Forum on Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses’ at its Paris Headquarters when Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit was invited to speak on the QS World University Ranking.

Inspired by the Forum, a book “Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses” brings together all key opinion leaders on universities rankings worldwide to reflect the wide range of views that exist in the higher education community was published. Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit is invited to contribute Chapter 3 in Part One: Methodological Consideration explaining how QS World University Rankings have been developed over 10 years. This book is launched on Friday 28 June 2013, at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, as the first of a series of studies to consider trends in education today and challenges for tomorrow.

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In addition, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director, QS Intelligence Unit, was previously invited to sit on the Education Committee of UNESCO UK National Commission 2010-2011, to discuss a wide range of global policies on education, including being recommended by UNESCO UK National Commission to represent the UK to contribute to the policy formation of World Bank Education Strategy 2020 Learning For All.

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QS would like to draw the attention of UK higher education leaders about this exciting opportunity to get involved in UNESCO UK National Commission. If you are a high education leader outside UK, please check the website of UNESCO on opportunities available in your own country. Hope you would find this information useful.

1. UNESCO:

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is a UN Specialized Agency which contributes to peace and security by promoting collaboration among nations through education, culture, sciences, and communication.

2. The UK National Commission for UNESCO:

The UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC) is the main organisation in UK to discuss and coordinate all UNESCO-related policies and activities on education, culture, the sciences and communication. It works in partnership with all relevant UK Government and civil society.

3. UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks:

In 1992, UNESCO established chairs and UNITWIN Networks to advance research, training and programme development in UNESCO’s fields of competence.

Currently, there are 819 UNESCO Chairs and 68 UNITWIN Networks established worldwide including over 854 institutions in 134 countries.

In the UK, there are 13 UNESCO Chairs and three UNITWIN Networks established in the UK.

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4. Applications:

The UK National Commission for UNESCO is calling for applications for the 2015 intake of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks.

5. Deadlines:
Outline proposals is 29 January 2015
Full proposals is 12 March 2015.

6. How to apply

All UK higher education institutions wishing to apply for the UNESCO Chairs or UNITWIN Networks Programmes must submit their application through the UK National Commission for UNESCO (UKNC). All proposals will be evaluated by the UKNC through a two-stage peer-review process.

7. Useful links

8. More information

For more information, please contact Andrea Blick at the UK National Commission for UNESCO at ablick@unesco.org.uk / 020 7766 3491

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QS University Rankings: Emerging Europe and Central Asia 2014 Launch, Budapest

The first ranking of its kind, it was launched in a stunning city of Budapest nearing Christmas, on the 17th of December. We evaluated 368 universities from the region and published the Top 100, where 18 countries were represented.

The event was a success with over 90 delegates representing over 40 different organisations from 15 different countries. It was a very busy day filled with presentations from a variety of stakeholders, revelation of the rankings results, a panel discussion, a masterclass on rankings and even some Hungarian folk dancing!

We were hosted by one of the oldest and largest institutions in Hungary, Eotvos Lorand University. They proved to be a fantastic host with a beautiful university:

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Our audience was well-prepared, inquisitive and engaged. We received a fantastic presentation from Bogazici University in Turkey sharing reasons behind their success in the rankings. There was a lot of interest and the questions asked were insightful and often challenging demonstrating that rankings are now much better understood and the demands from the audience are higher.

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QS Directors met President of Shanghai Jiaotong University

On 28th November, 2014, QSIU Directors met Prof. Zhang Jie, the President of Shanghai Jiaotong University in London, during the UK trip of Prof. Zhang.

Prof. Zhang is the youngest President ever appointed to lead Shanghai Jiaotong University, an internationally known university, one of the top 5 in China, based on the QS World University Ranking.

 

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(Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit, President Zhang Jie, President of Shanghai Jiaotong University, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang, China Director of QS Intelligence Unit met on 28th November, 2014 in London, UK)

 

The meeting took place in Imperial Colleges London, a university President Zhang who also visited on the day. Mr. Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit, Dr. Christina Yan Zhang,China Director, QSIU, met President Zhang, who was accompanied by a senior leader of the university.

It is the first time that any QSIU leaders meet President of Shanghai University. Therefore, President Zhang gave a brief introduction about the university’s history, its strategic focus and its dedication to internationalisation, innovation and cross-discipline research. President Zhang also discussed one of a recent article he was invited to contribute to Nature on 15th October 2014 on “Developing excellence: Chinese university reform in three steps“.

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(President Zhang Jie shared his views about Chinese universities reform, as part of the article he recently published on Nature.)

 

Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit congratulated President Zhang on his all the achievement Shanghai Jiaotong University have achieved under his leadership, and responded with a brief overview of the key areas of work QSIU covers to support international strategy of universities worldwide, especially The Wharton-QS Stars Awards 2014: Reimagine Education, which President Zhang was interested in submitting entries for next year’s intake.

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(Ben Sowter, Head of QS Intelligence Unit, talked about the Reimagine Higher Education Competitor to President Zhang Jie,of Shanghai Jiaotong University.)

The meeting lasted for about 1 hour, with President Zhang extended an invite for QS leaders to visit him again in Shanghai in the near future.

 

 

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Highlights from the QS World University Rankings® 14/15 Launch in Prague

Firstly, the event took place in a beautiful city of Prague. Secondly, it was the 10th anniversary of our university rankings! Finally, it was run alongside the EAIE conference – one of the biggest international education conferences in the world. Ben Sowter, the Head of the Intelligence Unit at QS, revealed the Top QS World Universities on the 16th of September during his annual presentation.

(full presentation can be found here: http://www.iu.qs.com/2014/09/global-release-presentation-qs-world-university-rankings-201415/ )

Sticking with the ethos of QS, we had a very diverse audience – over 200 delegates from 33 countries and over 130 different institutions and organisations. The audience was not only diverse but attentive and inquisitive too! This made for a fruitful Q&A session at the end and a lively interaction during the panel discussion.

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So here are the highlights:

  1. The panel discussion: this is something new we tried this year to bring different viewpoints and consider new challenges to rankings and QS in particular. We had a representative from the European Union of Students – Karolina Pietkiewicz, the deputy editor of the PIE – Sara Custer, a representative from Charles University Prague – Václav Hampl, the Executive Director of Deakin University Australia – John Molony and Ben Sowter on the panel. This lent itself to a detailed and necessary discussion about students and how useful rankings are to them! This is especially crucial to QS as the primary purpose of our rankings is to be of use to perspective international students and so it’s important to ensure we are still doing that. We’ve recently released a new app so that reliable information is readily accessible to students and others interested.

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QS University Rankings: Latin America™ launch event a big success

By Danny Byrne

The first ever ranking of Latin American universities was launched by QS on 4th October with an event at Canning House in London. Attended by an important number of embassies from Latin America in UK, journalists, universities in the UK, and other key stakeholders, the event was sponsored by IELTS and supported by the Foreign Commonwealth Office and the Canning House, and viewed live online by over 2,000 people among universities, students, employers, media and independent organisations from Latin America and other countries in the world.

Ben Sowter – Launch of the QS University Rankings: Latin America from QSIU Latin America on Vimeo.

The event was opened by Professor Maxine Molyneu, Director of the Institute for the Study of the Americas, who welcomed the new ranking as a positive development for universities in the region.

“This exercise draws attention to the significant achievements that Latin America has made in higher education, and serves as a reminder that a good number of universities have attained international standing for the quality of their research and teaching programs,” Molyneu stated. “The information will help to support international exchange and collaboration between scholars and institutions, and that in turn will help to advance knowledge”.

Maxine Molyneux – Launch of the QS University Rankings: Latin America from QSIU Latin America on Vimeo.

Introducing the new exercise, QS Managing Director Nunzio Quacquarelli situated QS University Rankings: Latin America™ within an evolution toward more nuanced and targeted QS research exercises, stretching from the first QS World University Rankings® in 2004 through to the QS Asian University Rankings™, QS World University Rankings® by Subject, QS Stars™, and the now QS University Rankings: Latin America™.

“QS serves the informational need of students and parents first and foremost, and we have set out to innovate in the information we provide since our launch in 1990,” he stated. “These rankings meet a real need for information for a major part of the world’s population”.

QS Head of Research Ben Sowter pointed to increased student mobility as one of the factors driving the need for greater comparative information on the region’s universities, citing as an example the 250% growth in international students in Chile between 2000 and 2008. “There has been a dramatic change in some of the migration patterns and some of the decisions being made by international students in the region,” Sowter stated. “While much of that mobility stems from within Latin America, increasingly European students are beginning to look to the region as a potential destination.”

Sowter outlined the detailed consultation with Latin American institutions that QS undertook while finalizing the methodology for the rankings. A survey of over 110 institutions in the region identified the importance of factors such as the proportion of academics with a PhD, web presence, and research papers per faculty, which were introduced for the first time alongside more staple QS rankings criteria such as academic and employer reputation, student/faculty ratio and research citations.

“University systems in Latin America are now among the fastest changing and fastest growing in the world,” said Sowter. “We have been able to gather an unprecedented level of information to put together a much richer comparative picture of Latin American higher education than has ever been compiled before”.

QS University Rankings: Latin America™ Project Manager Liliana Casallas emphasised the wider importance of the rankings for universities in the region, and outlined the extensive consultation that ensured that data was available from all universities in the region: “This has just been a very valuable exercise for universities in data collection, integration and communication within the different departments”, Casallas stated. “For some it has been easier than for others, but this is one of the indirect benefits of participation in this type of study”.

Casallas also stressed that the rankings will expand and develop as they mature, with universities becoming more familiar with data collection processes and continual work being carried out by QS to develop new assessment criteria. “The next edition of QS will have more challenges, such as developments in the methodology, expanding and improving channels with universities for data collection, strengthening data collection in Central America in particular, increasing our operational capacity, and including new partners and sponsors”.

Stephen Carey (IELTS) – Launch of the QS University Rankings: Latin America from QSIU Latin America on Vimeo.

To follow the video conferences and dowload the presentations please click here

Supplement QS University Rankings: Latin America 2011/2012

Supplement 2011/2012 for the first QS University Rankings: Latin America

  • Ben Sowter introduces this year’s research and the results tables.
  • Danny Byrne reflects on the results of the rankings and looks at some of the issues surrounding access to higher education for students from low-income backgrounds.
  • John O’Leary introduces QS Stars, a new university rating system that has been implemented during 2011.
  • Liliana Casallas looks at the status of collaboration agreements between Latin American universities and those elsewhere in the world.

2010 QS World University Rankings® Video – Asia Pacific focussed

Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, gives a brief description of the QS World University Rankings®.

Ben Sowter, Head of the QS Intelligence Unit, gives an overview of the performances of Australian and Malaysian Universities.  

Martin Ince, convenor of the QS Academic Board, gives his views on the great performance of Korean Universities.

2010 QS World University Rankings® Video – US and Canadian focussed

Want a deeper insight into the 2010 QS World University Ranking results?

Nunzio Quacquarelli, Managing Director of QS Quacquarelli Symonds, gives a brief description of the QS World University Rankings®.

Ben Sowter, Head of the QS Intelligence Unit, talks about the overall trends in this year’s Rankings and discusses the movements of Canadian Universities.

John O’Leary, executive member of the QS Academic Advisory Board, talks about the performance of US universities.