The methodology for the QS World University Rankings: BRICS differs from the global ranking, introducing new indicators and changing the weighting of existing indicators. The research excellence element, that exists in all of our regional rankings, is based on data from Scopus, the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed academic literature.
The proposal is to use an approach that is comparable to some of our existing exercises, probably closest in nature to what we are doing in our QS World University Rankings: Latin America, including some additional data – particularly Ph.D.-qualified faculty.
These indicators and weightings are slightly different from those used in the QS World University Rankings or QS’s other regional rankings, and have been chosen to reflect current challenges and priorities in the BRICS countries.
For example, the weighting of international student and faculty ratios has been reduced to reflect the comparatively low rates of international recruitment in the BRICS nations, with the exception of South Africa. Institutions from these nations have generally prioritized other factors such as recruiting the most academically qualified staff, which is reflected in the ‘Staff with a PhD’ indicator. The importance of collaboration with local recruiters is also reflected in the weighting of 20% for Employer Reputation, up from 10% in QS World University Rankings.
QS has collaborated with the Russian news agency Interfax, to produce this university ranking. The project was developed over the course of detailed discussions with a range of key stakeholders since late 2012. The methodology and launch were announced in summer 2013, following the approval from the QS Global Academic Advisory Board.
More than 400 universities across the five BRICS countries have been assessed, of which the top ones are ranked. As well as “hard” data on research, staffing and student makeup, the rankings draw on data, take the academics and employers opinion in consideration, based on the QS’s Global Reputation Surveys, which comprise over 9,800 individual responses from the BRICS countries specifically.