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QS World University Rankings by Subject Released Today

This year’s QS World University Rankings by Subject underline the status of Cambridge, Massachusetts as the nerve center of global academic research. Yet they also point to world-leading departments at a surprisingly diverse range of institutions, extending far beyond the big names that tend to dominate overall university rankings.

Home to Harvard and MIT, Cambridge was originally named in honor of the UK’s University of Cambridge, but this year’s results suggest that it has long-since overtaken its namesake when it comes to hosting world-class academic departments. Between them, Harvard and MIT account for 20 of the 30 number one spots. Harvard maintains a slender lead over its neighbor, with 11 top spots to MIT’s nine.

Harvard’s dominance is particularly pronounced in the life sciences, in which it tops four of the five subjects: medicine, psychology, pharmacy, and biological sciences. Harvard is also the pre-eminent institution in the field of social sciences and management, ranking first in five of the eight subjects: sociology, politics, law, economics and accounting.

In the natural sciences, Harvard tops the rankings for mathematics and earth and marine sciences. Perhaps surprisingly, the only discipline area in which it fails to take a single number one ranking is the arts and humanities, though it does make the top five in all but one of the six disciplines.

While Harvard rules the life and social sciences, local rival MIT is the undisputed global powerhouse in engineering and technology, recording a clean sweep of the top spots in four areas of engineering (civil, mechanical, chemical and electrical) plus computer sciences.

Other subjects in which MIT emerges as the world leader include statistics, three of the core science disciplines (physics, materials science and chemistry), plus linguistics – a discipline in which MIT has led the way, most famously through the work of Noam Chomsky, one of the most frequently cited humanities scholars of all time.

The dominance of the Cambridge, Massachusetts institutions is almost total in the STEM disciplines, in which between them they take a remarkable 14 of the 16 top spots. Yet elsewhere the field is surprisingly diverse. Indeed, the University of Oxford is the only other institution to top the table in more than one discipline, ranking number one globally in English, geography and modern languages, all areas of traditional strength.

Big names under threat?

Since their introduction in 2011, QS World University Rankings by Subject have been honed to discriminate more accurately between strength in a particular discipline area and the inflating effect of overall institutional prestige. This is reflected in the disciplines that fall outside of the sphere of Harvard-MIT dominance, in which eight institutions feature at the top of ten different tables.

Of these eight institutions, three are placed in the top ten in the overall QS World University Rankings. Oxford takes three top spots, Cambridge is number one in history, and Stanford University tops the table for statistics. Institutions from outside of the global top 20 take the number one spots in all five of the remaining tables.

Berkeley maintains its top spot for environmental sciences, while its fellow University of California branch UC Davis ranks number one in agriculture. Another of the big US public institutions, University of Wisconsin-Madison leads the way on communications and media studies.

New York University’s reputation as a world leader in philosophy is well established within the field, and it tops this year’s table ahead of Oxford, the University of Pittsburgh and Rutgers. And the UK’s Institute of Education takes its place at the top of the ranking for education, ahead of Australia’s University of Melbourne.

The rankings also point to numerous world-class faculties in Asia-Pacific and Continental Europe, regions that have traditionally been eclipsed by the US and UK in overall rankings.

The most successful universities outside of the US and UK in terms of number top-ten rankings are:

–          National University of Singapore (8)

–          ETH Zurich (4)

–          University of Melbourne (4)

–          University of Tokyo (4)

–          Nanyang Technological University (3)

–          Kyoto University (2)

–          Wageningen University (2)

Other universities to make the global top ten in a single discipline include China’s Tsinghua University (materials science), Hong Kong University (civil engineering) and Sweden’s Karolinska Institute (pharamacy).

A further five Australian institutions make the top ten in one subject (ANU, Monash, University of Sydney, University of Queensland and University of New South Wales), as do two from the Netherlands (University of Amsterdam and Delft University of Technology).

Latin America’s top-ranking institution is Mexico’s UNAM (25th in history), while Africa’s top institution, the University of Cape Town, makes the top 50 in education, geography, law and English language and literature.

This geographical diversity shows that world-leading work is taking place at an individual discipline level at a far greater range of institutions than overall rankings would have us believe.

 

Asian Universities Dominate QS Top 50 Under 50

 

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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 www.TopUniversities.com/50under50

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World’s first dedicated BRICS university ranking

The concept of the BRICS arouses strong emotions, and has been doing so since Jim O’Neill, then of Goldman Sachs, launched the term in 2001. You may well ask what sense it makes to group Brazil, India, China and Russia together as a single unit.  They vary widely in population, culture and history, and nobody would mistake Siberia for Rio at this time of year.

Things have now become even more complex, with the addition of South Africa to the generally accepted definition. Its extraordinary history, underlined by the recent death of Nelson Mandela, adds yet again to the diversity of the BRICS.What is more, it has less than 5 per cent the population of China. In addition, further nations such as Nigeria, Indonesia and Turkey are often proposed as possible extra members of the group.

The thing that marks out the BRICS is the way in which they are trying to develop economically without copying the path taken by Europe, the US and Japan. Because an advanced higher education system is an essential part of this process, the relative strength of their universities is of vital importance. At QS, we have now produced a ranking that allows their academic prowess to be compared directly.

Working in partnership with RAI Novosti in Russia, we ranked the top 100 BRICS universities on eight criteria. Five will be familiar to anyone who knows the QS World University Rankings. They are academic and employer opinion; faculty/student ratio; and the percentage of international faculty and students. However, we weight international faculty and students less heavily here than in the World Rankings, because none of the BRICS nations is yet a significant attractor for globally mobile talent.

The other three criteria we applied, developed in consultation with experts in the BRICS nations, are faculty members with a PhD; the number of papers published per faculty member; and the frequency with which their papers are cited. As with the World University Rankings, the publishing and citations data comes from the Elsevier Scopus database.

This ranking shows that China lead the BRICS as a world higher education power, with seven of the top 10 institutions and 40 of the top 100. This result is achieved without including the highly-rated universities of Hong Kong, which we regard as being too connected to the UK and the US to include in a BRICS analysis.

However, we also find that academic excellence is widespread in the five BRICS nations. Russia’s leading university, Moscow State, is third, and Brazil has two top ten entrants, Sao Paulo and Unicamp. The top South African university is Cape Town in 11th place, while five of the Indian Institutes of Technology occupy positions between 13 and 18.

The full table  shows some areas in which we might expect the BRICS universities to improve in future years, such as scholarly publishing in the case of Russian universities. We also find low faculty/student ratios in China and India. The pressure of applicant numbers on the higher education systems in both of these countries suggests that this will be a problem issue for the foreseeable future.

This is the first time we have published a BRICS ranking. We welcome response and opinion via the web site, especially from readers in the BRICS countries.

Russia

QS University Rankings: BRICS to play important role for Russia’s universities

The new BRICS ranking compiled by QS will play an important role in making Russia’s universities more internationally competitive, the country’s Education Minister said at the launch of the exercise in Moscow.

Russia’s education ministry commissioned the ranking, which was the first bespoke comparison of universities in Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Three ministers spoke at the two-day launch event, which was organised by the Interfax news agency, the publishers of the ranking.

Dmitry Livanov, the Minister of Education and Science, said he had supported the initiative to produce a BRICS ranking and believed it would be an important step towards greater international collaboration. “Any ranking is a marketing instrument,” he said. “But at the same time I believe it is important to use the results to compare performance and encourage innovation and mobility.”

Russia was ninth in the world for the number of students educated abroad and more than 100,000 foreign students were now being educated in the country. “Our target is to increase the attractiveness of our universities,” Mr Livanov said. “We want to be a more active player in the global market in higher education.”

Alexander Povalko, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, said the ranking would provide valuable information at a time when 15 universities had been chosen to receive extra funding to enhance their international competitiveness. “Selection was not a once-and-for-all decision,” he said. “We cannot deprive others of the chance to move forward. There will be a rotation mechanism.”

Dr Yaroslav Kuzminov, Rector of the NRU Higher School of Economics, said the BRICS ranking was valuable because the countries concerned included three – Brazil, China and Russia – that had national languages used outside their borders. As such, they were global players but also leaders of sub-systems.

However, Victor Sadovnichy, Rector of Lomonosov Moscow State University, said rankings tended to judge universities in terms of science and technology when many Russian universities excelled in the humanities. “A picture with five or six pixels is hard to understand,” he said.

Moscow State, which was third in the BRICS ranking, also led a separate ranking of CIS and former Soviet universities produced by Interfax without QS involvement. Belarus State University sprung a surprise by taking second place, ahead of St Petersburg State University.

Mr Livinov said the Russian government did not regard rankings as the most important factor in judging international competitiveness among the country’s universities. But it would continue to encourage universities to submit data to add to the available information.

 

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QS World University Rankings 2013/14: Emerging Nations

What do the QS World University Rankings 2013/14 suggest has been the biggest change to global higher education since the crash of 2008?

First, one thing has not changed: growth continues despite the international economic damage seen since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. In 2009 there were just over 3.7 million students studying outside their home country, according to the OECD publication Education at a Glance. In 2011, the latest year for which we have the numbers, the total was 4.3 million. 53 per cent were from Asia, mainly India, China and Korea.

Something else that has changed little in the recession years is been the pecking order of the top destinations. Of our top 20 universities in 2008, 15 are in the top 21 for 2013. Perhaps the most notable change is not MIT’s move from ninth to top place, but the appearance of ETH and EPFL from Switzerland in the top 20.

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QS University Rankings:Asia 2013

The QS University Rankings: Asia 2013

The fifth edition of the QS University Rankings: Asia appeared last week.

It shows that for the third year in a row, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is the region’s top institution. But there are also some surprises in the rankings, both among the top dogs and a little lower down.

A casual look at these rankings confirms the advantages that the English language, and historic links to the English-speaking world more generally, bring to some Asian universities. The top three institutions are in Hong Kong and Singapore, repeating last year’s findings. These three, HKUST, the National University of Singapore and the University of Hong Kong, are all well-liked in our academic and employer surveys, the backbone of the ranking.
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Regional Rankings

Coming Soon: QS’s Annual University Rankings by Region

The second important innovation in world rankings of universities in recent years has been the introduction of regional comparisons. QS published the first Asian ranking in 2009 and followed it in 2011 with the inaugural Latin American ranking.

Both supplemented the measures used in the QS World University Rankings with new criteria designed to reflect the priorities of the region. The results focused attention on universities of regional or national importance that do not feature prominently in the world rankings.

This year’s Latin American rankings will be published later this month, with the Asian equivalent following in June. As in 2012, a world ranking of universities that are less than 50 years old will accompany the Asian exercise, underlining the growing status of the continent’s youngest institutions.

QS is the only organisation to publish bespoke regional rankings. A recent listing of Asian universities by Times Higher Education merely extracted the scores achieved by Asian institutions from the magazine’s 2012 world ranking.

The QS Latin American ranking will rate the region’s top 250 universities on seven key indicators, including the proportion of academic staff holding a PhD and the web impact achieved by each university. The longer-established Asian ranking will have two more measures and will include the numbers of research papers published and the volume of student exchanges at each university.

The use of different indicators to the world rankings and the exclusion of survey data from outside the region results in a different order to the global exercise. In Asia, for example, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology topped the 2012 regional ranking even though Singapore, Hong Kong and Tokyo universities were more highly rated globally.

Students and universities themselves will be waiting to see whether the huge investment in research by China is beginning to pay off in statistical terms and whether India will make a long-awaited breakthrough. In Latin America, the focus will be on whether Brazil can realise its international ambitions, beginning with whether the University of São Paulo can hold onto its slim lead over Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica.

 

 

 

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2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject- The Headlines

Perhaps the most important development of recent years in international comparisons of universities has been the publication of subject rankings by QS.

The new edition published today is the most extensive yet, covering 30 different subjects. The rankings provide the only means available to prospective students of placing universities in order for their particular area of interest, rather than as whole institutions or broad faculty combinations.

A recent report on the impact of rankings by the European Universities Association said: “Comparisons between universities on a subject basis can be much more useful for them than global university league tables that try to encapsulate entire institutions in a single score.”

More than 2,500 universities were evaluated for the latest rankings, which for the first time include academics’ H Index in the calculations. A total of 678 universities feature in the top 200 for at least one subject.

The scoring system varies between subjects to allow for the different roles played by citations and the availability of other indicators. However, the main components are reputational surveys among academics and employers, and the research record of the university in the subject being ranked.

The leading institutions in the QS World University Rankings naturally dominate in many subjects – Harvard tops 10 of the 30 rankings – but the exercise also shines a light on centres of excellence in universities that do not reach the same heights in all disciplines. It also allows specialist institutions, such as Sweden’s Karolinska Institute in medicine, to demonstrate their quality.

After Harvard, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)is the most successful university, finishing top in seven subjects. The University of California, Berkeley, and Oxford each topped the ranking in four subjects, Cambridge managed three and Imperial College London and the University of California Davis one.

Cambridge reached the top 10 in 27 of the 30 tables, the largest haul by any university. Oxford and UC Berkeley were next with 32, followed by Stanford with 22.

One more subject area has been added this year – agriculture and forestry, the discipline in which Davis (ranked 100 overall in the institutional table) triumphs. The specialist Wageningen University, from the Netherlands, is second for agriculture and Brazil’s Unicamp, the State University of Campinas, makes the top 20.

Ben Sowter, who is responsible for the rankings as head of the QS Information Unit, said: “Everyone talks about rankings, but QS started all this to help international students make smarter choices, and students tend to pick their subject before their university. Improving and extending these rankings by subject is central to our mission – expect to see more subjects and more universities evaluated in years to come.”

The full rankings for all 30 subjects are available at www.topuniversities.com/subject-rankings

2013 QS World University Rankings by Subject

QS World University Rankings by Subject offer new level of detail for students

This year’s revamped QS World University Rankings by Subject have been expanded to cover a record 30 disciplines, offering students the most detailed comparison of the world’s top universities at individual discipline level.

Taking in responses from some 70,000 academic experts and graduate recruiters worldwide, they draw on the largest surveys of their kind. Academics identified the leading universities within their field and area of expertise, while employers named the universities that they regard as producing outstanding graduates in a given discipline.

This year our research citations indicator has been supplemented with a new ‘H-Index’, measuring research productivity and impact. The two measures in tandem help us to more accurately account for both the quality and quantity of a university’s research output in a given field.

Competition at the top

Across the 30 disciplines the number one spots are distributed among large US and UK institutions that operate primarily in English: Harvard (10), MIT (7), UC Berkeley (4), Oxford (4), Cambridge (3), Imperial College London (1) and UC Davis (1).

The 30 individual tables are not intended to combine to form an overall ranking, and indeed there is more than one way to interpret which university comes out on top if we attempt to do so.

While Harvard claims more top spots than any other institution, the university that appears in the top ten in most disciplines is University of Cambridge, with 27, ahead of Oxford and Berkeley on 23, with Stanford (22) and Harvard (21).

Cambridge’s near-blanket presence in the top ten indicates that, perhaps more than any other institution, it can claim to be world-class in nearly every major area of academic research. Yet Harvard and MIT have more departments that are truly world leading.

The view from employers

While US institutions remain preeminent for research, the rankings suggest that graduates from the UK’s two most famous institutions are more highly regarded than their Ivy League rivals by the world’s employers.

Employers regard Cambridge graduates as the world’s best in 13 of the 30 subjects, while Oxford ties with Harvard on seven, ahead of London School of Economics, University of Tokyo and UC Davis, top in one subject each.

The US/UK monopoly extends to nearly two-thirds of the elite positions – 397 of the 600 top-20 spots across the 30 disciplines. Yet there is plenty of evidence in these rankings of world-class departments outside of this traditional power cluster.

Asia excels in engineering

The rankings feature several notable performances from Asian universities, particularly in the hotly contested areas of science, engineering and technology.

Nine of the top 20 institutions in civil engineering are Asian, led by Japan’s University of Tokyo (3rd) and Kyoto University (7th), Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (8=) and National University of Singapore (11), alongside three universities from Hong Kong and two from mainland China. The US and UK account for just five of the top 20.

“The shift in global economic power is transforming the international higher education landscape, with the likes of Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore emerging as genuine challengers to the traditional elite,” says QS head of research Ben Sowter. “Many institutions in Europe are struggling to keep pace in technical disciplines, in which financial resources are particularly crucial.”

The pace of change can is demonstrated by the rapid development of young Asian tech-focused institutions. Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and Nanyang Technological University have been in existence for just over 20 years, yet are now established in the global top 20 in several engineering and technical disciplines.

France and Germany feel the squeeze

France and Germany have both introduced ‘excellence initiatives’ to improve the performance of their top universities, and both can point to positive performances in some areas. Germany has five top-50 institutions for mechanical engineering, led by Rheinisch-WestfälischeTechnischeHochschule Aachen [17], and an impressive five institutions in the top 35 for physics – only the US can claim more.

France can also point to top-20 performances from three of its universities: Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) ranks 14th for modern languages, Sciences Po Paris is 16th for politics and international studies, and Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne ranks 18th for law and 19th for history.

Yet the rankings also reveal areas in which both France and Germany are trailing in the wake of intensified global competition. Germany has no top-50 institutions in important areas such as mathematics and economics, while there are no French institutions in the top 50 in computer science or any of the four areas of engineering: chemical, civil, electrical and mechanical.

The increased competition that is squeezing some European institutions out of the global elite is coming not only from Asia, but also increasingly Australia. University of Melbourne makes the global top ten in six subjects, ahead of Australia National University on four, University of Queensland on two, and Monash University on one. Australian universities make the global top 20 in 25 of the 30 disciplines.

Mixed results for the BRIC nations

While Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan emerge as global players in several disciplines, the world’s major emerging economies see more mixed fortunes.

The rankings are positive for China, whose ambitious schemes to improve higher education standards in the last 20 years have yet to see its universities break the top 20 in the overall QS World university Rankings. Here however, there are Chinese universities in the top 20 in ten disciplines, with Tsinghua University ranking tenth in materials sciences and eleventh in statistics.

Brazil’s efforts to improve its research output have been less high profile, yet its universities have been steadily improving their international standing in recent years.Universidade de Sao Paulo in particular performs well here, ranking among the top 50 universities in the world in four disciplines. Brazil’s total of 19 top-200 universities in at least one of the 30 subjects compares to eight from Chile, five from Argentina, four from Mexico and two from Colombia.

Yet there are less encouraging signs from the remaining two BRIC nations, India and Russia. The Indian Institutes of Technology perform reasonably well in their specialist areas, with the IIT Bombay, IIT Delhi and IIT Madras all making the top 50 in at least one of the engineering disciplines. Yet there are 11 subjects in which not a single Indian institution makes the top 200.

The situation is worse in Russia, whose institutions feature in just eight of the 30 disciplines. The best performance comes from Lomonosov Moscow State University, which makes the top 50 in mathematics, a subject in which Russia has historically produced numerous world leaders.

QS Stars

QS Stars explained

When QS World University Rankings first emerged in 2004 they responded to an urgent need: giving a rapidly growing contingent of internationally mobile students a way to form concrete comparisons of university standards across borders.

Yet rankings have their limitations. For one thing, the leading universities that make it into the QS World University Rankings comprise some 5% of higher education institutions worldwide. Rankings naturally focus on elite, research-intensive institutions that have a global reach. But what about the thousands of universities whose strengths lie in other areas; whether that be teaching, on-campus facilities, industry collaboration and innovation, engagement with the local community, or any of the other diverse aspects of university life that lie beyond the scope of international rankings?

QS Stars exists to give students a way of forming impartial, evidence-based comparisons of universities in a greater number of areas than can be covered by rankings. The system is opt-in, meaning an unlimited number of universities can participate – both those high-profile institutions that already feature prominently in rankings, and less well-known universities that nonetheless offer excellent services in other areas.

What is QS Stars?

QS Stars is an evaluation system that assesses universities worldwide using a rating method. Universities are awarded a rating of one to five stars + (the highest rating), depending on their performance within the evaluation.

Universities are evaluated against eight criteria among;

– Research

– Teaching

– Employability

– Facilities

– Internationalization

– Innovation

– Engagement

– Culture

– Access

– Specialist Subject.

Each criterion has its own indicators and weightings.

How do QS Stars help students find an institution?

The simplest way of understanding QS Stars is as a hotel-style rating for universities, giving students a trustworthy third-party assessment of the quality of institutions that they may not have the opportunity to visit and judge for themselves.

However, unlike hotels, universities serve a range of functions that is far too complicated to reduce to a single rating out of five. What makes one university the right choice for a given individual depends on a complex range of factors and circumstances.

For this reason, as well as an overall Star rating out of five, QS Stars rates universities in 8 key areas. Each of these ratings provides students with an insight into a university’s performance in an area that will directly affect their experience.

This allows students to select which aspects of university life are most relevant to them, and gain an objective insight into how a Star-rated university measures up against international standards.

What can you expect from different QS Star ratings?

One Star Universities

A typical One Star university has established all the key components required to provide a quality service to its students and, in many cases, the foundations upon which to build a stronger domestic reputation. A One Star institution will often have been established within the last twenty years and will be putting in place the leadership and ambition to develop quickly.

(Example of a One Star university: Ahmad Dahlan University, Indonesia)

Two Star Universities

A typical Two Stars university is active in research and has an established domestic reputation. The institution is a key part of its local community and will often have begun to consider international opportunities.

(Example of a Two Star university: Bath Spa University, UK)

 

Three Star Universities

A typical Three Stars university is nationally well recognised, and may have also begun to attract international recognition. This institution maintains a reputable level of research and its graduates are attractive to employers.

(Example of a Three Star university: Murdoch University, Australia)

 

Four Star Universities

A typical Four Stars university is highly international, demonstrating excellence in both research and teaching. The institution provides an excellent environment for students and faculty.

(Example of a Four Star university: Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico)

 

Five Star Universities

A typical Five Stars university is generally world class in a broad range of areas, enjoys a high reputation and has cutting edge facilities and internationally renowned research and teaching faculty.

(Example of a Five Star university: Université de Montréal, Canada)

 

Five Star + Universities

A typical five-star + institution is not just world-class, but an elite destination to which the very best students and faculty worldwide will aspire. Its brand name will transform the résumé of anyone connected with it. Five Stars + can apply equally to the world’s foremost comprehensive and specialist institutions.

(Example of a Five Star + university: Australia National University, Australia)

Which universities use QS Stars?

QS Stars is an opt-in system, meaning participating universities choose to undergo a comprehensive audit, conducted by QS Intelligence Unit. Since the system was launched in 2011, over 150 universities have been or are currently being audited.

Institutions range from world-leading universities such as MIT and Australia National University, to newer, less internationally established universities in countries further off the beaten path.

With new universities opting into the system on a weekly basis, the list of QS Star-rated institutions is continually growing. For example in Australia leading institutions such as Australia National University, University of Queensland, University of New South Wales and Newcastle University are among the many universities to have adopted the system.

A partial list of universities with QS Stars includes:

Stanford University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
University of Chicago
Yale University
Columbia University
Cambridge University
The University of New South Wales
Nanyang Technological University
King’s College London
Universita Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
Ohio State University
King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals
Technologico de Monterrey
Swinburne University of Technology
RMIT University
University of Technology Sydney
University of Limerick
University College Cork
University of Canterbury
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
University of Tasmania
Bond University
Amity University
Universitas Bina Nusantara

Students can see how all of the QS Star-rated universities compare at http://www.topuniversities.com/qsstars