Asian Universities Dominate QS Top 50 Under 50



Asian universities dominated this year’s QS Top 50 Under 50 ranking, as some of the leading British and American universities founded in the 1960s ceased to be eligible for the exercise.

The top five in the ranking, which is restricted to universities established in the past 50 years, were all from Asia. For the second year in a row, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology was top and Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University second.

With Warwick University dropping out having celebrated its 50th anniversary, Kaist, the Korea Advanced Institute of Technology, moved up to third, ahead of City University of Hong Kong and the Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH), also from South Korea. Maastricht University, in the Netherlands, was the leading European representative in sixth place, followed by the top American foundation, the University of California, Irvine.

The ranking, which was published for the second time, underlined the scale of Asia’s investment in higher education over recent decades. Hong Kong UST was established only in 1991 and, despite the advantages enjoyed by older institutions, is already 34th in the overall QS World University Rankings. The leading 11 young universities all appeared among the top 200 of all ages in 2013.

In addition to Warwick, Lancaster, Macquarie and Essex universities dropped out of this year’s ranking on grounds of age. This year’s table included four universities founded in 1965, six from 1966, and one from 1967, so there will be at least 11 new entrants over the next three years.

Ben Sowter, head of research at QS said: “The dynamic nature of this ranking makes it an interesting comparison with our global and regional rankings. In an industry where a longer history is often seen as more desirable, universities which have been established for longer often hold reputational advantages over younger institutions. By focusing on the performance of these younger institutions alone, the list aims to spot the up-and-coming higher education powerhouses in the global arena.”

There were six new entrants in the 2013 ranking: two from Australia and one each from Israel, Portugal, Spain and the US. Ben Gurion University of the Negev was the highest new entrant, in 39th place.

Despite having only one university in the top 20 – the University of Technology, Sydney – Australia boasted the largest number of institutions in the ranking, with eight. Spain came next with five. Mr Sowter said: “Whilst Asian institutions may dominate the top of the list today, Australia’s many young institutions may close the gap shortly.”

The QS Top 50 under 50 is based on results from the QS World University Rankings 2013/14, using all six of the measures in the broader exercise. The full ranking is available at

QS and Interfax Group to launch first BRICS university ranking



QS has been appointed by Interfax Group, a leading information provider in Russia and emerging “Eurasian” nations, to produce the world’s first university ranking of the “BRICS” countries.

The “QS University Rankings: BRICS”, as the ranking will be named, has received support from ministries of education and higher education institutions around the world. As one of the most trusted independent university ranking organisations, experienced in both global and regional rankings, QS was Interfax Group’s natural choice of partner for the project.

The new ranking was fostered by Russia’s ministry of education; following Russian president Vladimir Putin’s announcement (May 2012) to have at least five of the country’s universities in the top 100 in global university rankings by 2020.

Interfax Group was chosen out of five bidders to launch two new pilot rankings. The first will include only universities from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS),the second ranking is a “BRICS” nation ranking, which will include the universities of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa; this will be a joint project between QS and Interfax Group.

Zoya Zaitseva, project director for QS University Rankings: BRICS says: “The BRICS nations are investing heavily in higher education, research and development as they recognize that creating knowledge and nurturing talents is essential to fuel the growth of their rapidly-expanding economies. The new ranking will increase their visibility and allow these universities to become more recognized on a global level.”

Dr. Mrs. Indu Shahani, Member  of the University Grants Commission, India and visiting faculty member at the UC Berkeley and NYU Stern says: “I’m delighted to be associated with the pilot of the QS University Rankings: BRICS. There is a strong belief among academics that this will create a new benchmark for young students as well as help raise the profile and global visibility of good Indian universities.”

She adds: “BRICS nations are accustomed to research studies on economic and political areas but this kind of educational research initiative based is a first and should be well received by Indian universities.”

Results of the first QS University Rankings: BRICS will be announced at the Interfax and QS BRICS University Forum in Moscow on 17th December 2013 and published on on the same day.

Full steam ahead for 2012 QS World University Rankings

Only a few days remain for academics to take part in the world’s biggest survey of expert opinion on the top global universities. With employers also casting their votes, the first stage of work on the 2012 QS World University Rankings is well under way.

More than 33,000 academics and almost 17,000 employers took part in last year’s surveys, and more are expected to express an opinion this year. The results will feed into separate rankings for almost 30 subjects, as well as contributing half of the scores in this autumn’s global rankings. few days remain for academics to take part in the world’s biggest survey of expert opinion on the top global universities. With employers also casting their votes, the first stage of work on the 2012 QS World University Rankings is well under way.

QS rankings are increasingly influential in policy-making, as well as helping to inform the decisions of countless international students. The World Bank cited them recently, for example, as a possible tool for assessing the value of investments in tertiary education in South-East Asia.
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2011 rankings season draws to a close

By John O’Leary, QS academic Advisory Board

This week sees the end of the international rankings season, with QS publishing the first-ever comparisons of Latin American universities and Times Higher Education (THE) issuing the second edition of its global rankings with Thomson Reuters.

The moment provides an opportunity to take stock of the main rankings before yet more organisations join the field. The European Commission, for example, may soon publish the first results from its U-Multirank project, while the OECD is still piloting its Assessment of Higher Education Learning Outcomes (AHELO) initiative, which tests students in different countries in a range of subjects from economics to engineering. Probably the most significant development of 2011 was the publication by QS of the first rankings by individual subject.

The 26 tables are the initial response to a demand from prospective students for more granular information on the university departments in which they will actually study. There will be considerable interest in the academic community this week in the changes in methodology made by THE. The magazine’s attempt to broaden the focus of international rankings was welcomed by many of its readers, but the flaws in its original methodology underlined the difficulties inherent in such an approach. Read more