QS Star rated institutions in 2014

2014 has been an exciting year for QSIU and particularly for QS Stars. There are now 230 universities located in 45 countries who participated in QS Stars. More than 60 full audits have been completed in 2014, including two Business School audits. A dozen universities have been through a re-audit process as their previous QS Star rating has expired.

The QS Stars methodology for universities has further developed to include an alternative indicator in the Employability category (campus employer presence) and several categories have been renamed further to a consultation with students and universities. Arts is changed to Arts & Culture, Access is now renamed Inclusiveness and Engagement becomes Social Responsibility.

Published results in 2014 as of today include the following institutions:

Five Stars Plus:
The Ohio State University, The University of Auckland, University of Waterloo and University of Western Australia.

Five Stars:
Bond University, Curtin University, King Abdulaziz University, King Saud University, Korea University, Loughborough University, Massey University, University College, Cork, University of Canterbury, University of Guelph, University of Limerick, University of Malaya, University of Technology, Sydney and University of Twente.
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More than 200 universities participating in QS Stars

Almost four years after the first QS Stars report was delivered to King’s College London, the QS Stars rating system has taken off since then, and there are now more than 200 universities from 43 countries currently participating. From Canada to New Zealand, the QS Stars has been undertaken in six continents, reflecting its global recognition. Among these 200 universities, almost 160 have completed the audit and have been awarded badges in various categories highlighting their strengths such as Employability, Facilities, and Internationalization among others.

In the news, Malaysia’s Prime Minister has recently congratulated Universiti Malaysia Perlis (Three Stars) for results achieved in the audit, the country’s Deputy Prime Minister also said “Congratulations to UniMAP for allowing external parties to evaluate (rate) its position. Other universities must learn from UniMAP on how to lead the operations in achieving excellence.”

Other recently QS Star rated universities include:

  • Innovative University of Eurasia in Kazakhstan (Two Stars)
  • Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan (Four Stars)
  • King Saud University in Saudi Arabia (Five Stars)
  • Novosibirsk State Technical University in Russia (Three Stars)
  • University of Guelph in Canada (Five Stars)
  • University of Huddersfield in the United Kingdom (Four Stars)
  • University of Malaya in Malaysia (Five Stars)

To see which universities have been evaluated in your country, please visit the QS Stars section on TopUniversities.

If you would like to know how to participate in QS Stars, please contact Jason Newman jason@qs.com.


QS Stars Snapshot 2013

We are reaching the very end of 2013, a great time to look at the QS Stars highlights of 2013.
QS Stars has captured a global audience, over 60 institutions signed up to QS Stars from 10 new countries in 2013, of which 33 completed their audits in 2013. There are now over 40 different countries represented and over 180 participating institutions.

In 2013:

  • One university has been rated a 5 stars plus university; The University of New South Wales renewed their QS Stars audit and was once again awarded a Five Stars Plus Rating.
  • Seven universities from Canada, UK, Mexico, Australia and Denmark received Five Stars awards. These are Aalborg University; Griffith University, Macquarie University, Technologico de Monterrey, The University of Western Ontario, University of Calgary and University of Leicester.
  • Six of the universities that have been rated 4 stars are from South Korea, Mexico, Belgium, United States, Portugal, Spain.
  • Ten Universities were awarded 3 stars these come from South Africa, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia, Australia, Jordan, Malaysia and Pakistan.
  • There were six institutions rated 2 stars from Iraq, Russia, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia.
  • At least four QS Stars award ceremonies took place around the world.
  • University of Coimbra achieved 4 stars overall and awarded 5 stars in Research.
  • University of Jordan achieved3 stars overall and can enjoy a 5 star rating in Employability due to their outstanding reputation amongst employers, high graduate employment rate and support provided at the university in terms of Careers Services.
  • Universidade de Alacala with an overall of 4 stars was awarded 5 stars in internationalization.
  • Tecnologico de Monterrey and University of New South Wales rated Five Stars in Social Sciences and Management.
  • University of Calgary are rated Five Stars in Life Sciences and Medicine.
  • Griffith University are rated Five Stars in Law.
  • Macquarie University are rated Five Stars in Linguistics.

Look forward to a promising year ahead and to announcing the results of the participating universities that will be rated in 2014.

Happy New Year from the QS Intelligence Unit!



Iraqi Higher Education – Small steps big leaps

Following on from a short blog entry I posted in early 2010 on Iraqi higher education following the events that have taken place in the last 20 years. A few articles had emerged between 2009 and 2010 and one of the particular articles referred to in the post was the Guardian article on the damage that the events of Iraq did to Science.

It is very clear that Iraqi universities have had to face many challenges in the previous years, with the biggest challenge being security. However, the Iraqi universities are making clear efforts to improve their reputation and performance. An initiative called the Iraqi University Linkage Programs (ULP) promotes higher education reform in Iraq by working with Iraqi faculty and administrators to strengthen university curricula, enhance and update teaching methods and technology, and improve career services for students. Such a program can be a big leap for Iraqi universities, the  University of Baghdad (UB) and Georgia State University (GSU) have already begun a partnership that could lead to many benefits including international recognition, research partnerships, culture exchange amongst a few. An encouraging quote follows from the faculty of the University of Baghdad: “On personal level you feel your whole life has changed. I’m actually able to teach students in a different way, now. Even the way we arrange our classes, for example. We used to just seat students in rows, and we now use a U-shape so that its more interactive.”[1]

Some of the Iraqi universities are beginning to encompass that in order to be a world class university, there’s needs to be a strong focus on several aspects of a university’s performance and Employability is one of the key areas that requires attention. Another positive step is the University of Duhok (UoD)’s first ever public university career fair, which was held in Iraq. Over 550 students and alumni attended the fair, which included booths and presentations by 16 employers active in Iraq. If such an inititive could get the ball rolling for other universities, we may see a direct improvement in graduate employment rates in Iraq.

In 2013, two Iraqi universities participated in the global QS Stars Rating, an audit that evaluated the universities on their performance across a range in eight different categories with an overall star rating.  University of Kufa was one of the two universities that took part in the audit and was the first Iraqi university to receive its 2 Star overall rating, the university achieved an outstanding 5 stars in the following four categories: Teaching; Facilities; Engagement and Access. These results indicate that the university has an excellent teaching standard with a high student satisfaction rate. The University of Babylon is the other university that has also taken the part in QS Stars Rating, with an overall 2 Star rating; University of Babylon achieved a stellar five stars in Teaching and Access with an excellent 4 Star rating for in the Facilities category. The QS Stars rating system can be used a tool for the participating universities, allowing them to assess their weaknesses and strengths and improve in areas of shortfall that have been identified. The two participating universities have already begun to make plans based on their performances to take necessary measures on improving. An area that both universities are likely to begin to planning towards is the Internationalisation area. More information can be found on www.topuniversities.com/qsstars

Improving the Iraqi Higher Education System will take time and more universities in the county need to participate to strengthen the system as a whole. However the small steps already taken, some of which have been mentioned above are steps in the right direction towards a global standard and regaining the strong reputation that Iraqi Universities lost due to the events that have taken place over the last few decades.


Highlights from the QS World University Rankings® 2013-14 Release in Istanbul

The QS World University Rankings® 2013-14 Release was revealed Tuesday 10th September 2013. For this occasion, the QS Intelligence Unit hosted a seminar in Istanbul, Turkey, explaining the rankings background, the methodology, the compilation process and the most expected, the results of this year’s rankings. 200 delegates attended the seminar, held in parallel to the EAIE Conference.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – Rated Five Stars +

MIT, ranked 1st in the QS World University Rankings in 2012, has been rated Five Stars +. Its stellar performance across all areas of the QS Stars methodology has allowed MIT to achieve Five Stars in the following areas:

Specialisation – Five Stars in the field of Engineering and Technology

MIT is the first institution in the US to be rated Five Stars Plus


University of New South Wales – Rated Five Stars +

The University of New South Wales is the first Australian institution to achieve a Five Stars + rating. Its strong performance across all areas of the QS Stars methodology has allowed UNSW to achieve Five Stars in the following areas:

Specialisation – Five Stars in Social Sciences and Management