08 June 2017

The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings have just been published ahead of the usual schedule.

These rankings, which date back to 2004 when QS had a partnership with the Times Higher Education Supplement, include six metrics: citations per faculty (20%), faculty student ratio (20%), international faculty (5%), international students (5%), employer survey (10%) and academic survey (40%). Bibliometric data are derived from the Scopus database.

There have been no changes in methodology this year so the rankings are fairly stable. Although the US and the UK continue to dominate the upper reaches of the rankings – with nine out of the top ten places – other regions are now rising steadily.

Asian universities have continued to do well. One remarkable achievement is Nanyang Technological University in Singapore which is now in eleventh place compared with 39th in the 2014-15 rankings and ahead of the National University of Singapore. There are now six Chinese universities in the top 100 compared with four last year, although top ranked Tsinghua university slipped back one place.

Leading Russian universities such as Lomonosov Moscow State University, St Petersburg State University and Novosibersk State University have made significant gains.

The Arab Region is another area of growth. There are now three Saudi universities in the top 400, all of which have improved since last year, in addition to one each from Egypt, Lebanon, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.

The top five universities overall are:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA
  2. Stanford University, USA
  3. Harvard University, USA
  4. California University of Technology (Caltech), USA
  5. University of Cambridge, UK.

The top universities for each indicator are:

Academic reputation; Harvard University, USA

Employer reputation; Harvard University, USA

Faculty student ratio; Baylor College of Medicine, USA

Citations per faculty; King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia

International faculty; American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

International students; INSEAD, France.


IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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