As the name suggests, university rankings rank universities. However, each rating organization measures institutions in different ways. They use different criteria and different weightings of similar criteria. The rankings can take into account the quality of research and income as well as surveys of academics and employers. In the same way, they consider staff-to-student ratios and demographic statistics, such as the number of international students.
World Rankings of Universities
QS world university ranking
The QS World University Ranking (Quacquarelli Symonds) evaluates performance in research, teaching, employability and internationality. Four of the indicators are based on “hard” data, while the remaining two (Academic Reputation and Employer Reputation) are based on global surveys. One corresponds to academics (more than 94,000) and another to employers (almost 45,000). each of the most important The six performance indicators include:
Academic reputation (40%): a global survey of more than 94,000 academics
Citation by Faculty (20%): A “Citation” means an investigation that is referenced (cited) within another investigation.
Student-Faculty Ratio (20%): the number of academic staff employed relative to the number of students enrolled
Employer reputation (10%): a global survey of nearly 45,000 graduate employers
Proportion of international teachers (5%)
Proportion of international students (5%)
The final two indicators measure “the success of a university in attracting international students and scholars” based on the proportion of international students and faculty.
Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU)
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), formerly known as the Shanghai Jiao Tong Index, assesses university performance. It considers in a more weighted way the traditional measures of prestige in research and the most recognized researchers in the world, mainly in the fields of science and engineering.
Thirty percent of your score is based on the number of Nobel Prize and Fields Medal winners employed as staff or alumni, some of which are awarded decades after the research was conducted. Another 20 percent is based on having highly cited researchers on staff. They generally consider themselves consistently cited researchers in the top one percent of their field. ARWU uses six indicators to rank the world’s universities, including:
Students who have won Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (10%)
Employees who have won Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals (20%)
Researchers highly cited in 21 broad subject categories (20%)
Articles published in Nature and Science (20%)
Articles indexed in Science Citation Index – Expanded and Social Sciences Citation Index (20%)
Per capita academic performance of an institution (10%).
ARWU ranks over 1800 universities each year and publishes its top 1000.
Times Higher Education World University Rankings
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings ranks universities in the areas of teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international perspective. THE Rankings editor Phil Baty notes that the Times rankings were exceptionally comprehensive. “We use 13 separate performance indicators to judge world-class universities based on all of their key missions, including teaching and research, using strict global standards,” said Baty. The performance indicators are grouped into five areas:
Teaching (30%) – Includes a reputation survey and measures the ratio of staff to students, the ratio of PhDs to Bachelor’s degrees, the ratio of PhDs awarded to academic staff, and institutional income.
Research (30%) – Includes a reputation survey and measures research revenue and productivity
Research citations (30%)
International perspective (7.5%): measures the proportion of international students and staff and international collaboration
Industry Income (2.5%) – Measures how much research income an institution earns from industry compared to the number of academic staff it employs.
Who looks at the university rankings?
Increasingly, employers (especially multinational organizations) are using rankings to obtain graduates. In this way, attending a high-ranking university can help in a competitive job market. A university with a history of innovation and strong ties to the industry can also be extremely helpful in building experience before entering the workforce and helping to secure a position after graduation.
However, college rankings are not everything. In addition to the rankings, there are also many other things that you should be aware of. A university with a wide range of study options, excellent student and support services, diverse clubs and societies, modern educational facilities, a positive culture, and an innovative learning environment are essential.
How to know what suits you
A good way to find out more about a university is to attend open houses and other events for prospective students. This way you can meet students and alumni, professors and other members of the university community. Another option is to contact or visit a student center where the staff should be able to help with any questions you have. You can also get an idea of what a university is like by taking a tour, visiting the campus for a public event or a museum or gallery, or simply visiting their website or social media.
Other things to consider include scholarships (over 700 scholarships worth more than $ 100 million are offered each year, and that does not include college and athletic awards or scholarships). In the same way, opportunities to study abroad or launch a startup are included. You can also learn a lot about an institution based on its alumni, graduate job outcomes, and the relationship it has with employers.
The major global rankings are less likely to highlight these important features. However, most universities offer many opportunities to explore your study options and discover what college life is like. The bottom line: Every ranking is different and each must be taken into account with a variety of other factors, including your individual situation.
All these large groups also publish rankings on topics and employability. Other prominent rankings include the top world university rankings from US News & World Report. So what college rankings are important? It depends on you. Despite getting their results in different ways and from different sources, all of the top rankings are generally consistent when it comes to results for Australian universities, many of which rank relatively high overall.
The Case of Australia
In fact, Australia outweighs its weight, according to Dr. Richard Cook, director of external benchmarking at the University of Sydney. “Despite the many differences between world rankings and their methodologies, Australian universities consistently rank among the best institutions globally,” said Dr Cook. “Australia’s strength in higher education is unparalleled despite its relatively low population.”
He should also keep in mind that with more than 20,000 universities around the world, the top-ranked universities tend to be exceptional. “The ARWU rankings value historical prestige and reputation, taking into account the Nobel prizes, which may have been won 100 years ago, and are primarily focused on research in the natural sciences,” said Dr. Cook. “The best universities in this ranking are dominated by the oldest and largest universities in the world.”
The Difficulties of the Times Higher Education Ranking
While the Times Higher Education ranking provides more information about how teaching is perceived in a university, it can be difficult to interpret, explained Dr. Cook. “QS rankings can give a good indication of how a university is perceived, but they lack nuance when it comes to measuring student experience,” he, too, said. “However, the QS employability ratings can provide an alternative perspective with more focus on student experiences and outcomes.”
If you have a good idea of the subject you would like to study, subject classification can be a good starting point. If you’re unsure of what to study, or want flexibility or exposure to the latest multidisciplinary research, it can be helpful to search for universities with a large number of top-ranked subjects. Employability and graduate rankings can also be a good starting point for learning about colleges with a focus on exposing college students to job opportunities and related experiences on and off campus. You can also check national classifications on teaching and learning like QILT (Quality Indicators of Learning and Teaching).
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