14 June 2018
The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings started in 2004. There have been several methodological tweaks, but the number and weighting of the indicators has remained unchanged since 2005. There are six indicators: academic survey (40% weighting), employer survey (10%), faculty student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (10%), international faculty (5%), and international students (5%). In the top twenty there are eleven US and five British universities. Asia is also well represented with the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore and Tsinghua University, China, in 11th, 12th and 17th places respectively. The best European institution is Switzerland’s ETH Zurich.
The upper levels of these rankings are still dominated by English speaking universities. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is in first place followed by Stanford University, Harvard University, California Institute of Technology (Caltech), and the University of Oxford.
Several British universities have improved noticeably since last year. Edinburgh University has risen five spots to 18th place ahead of the Universities of Pennsylvania and Michigan. There were also significant improvements by the University of Birmingham, Southampton, Lancaster, and Exeter.
One dramatic change was that of the University of Malaya, Malaysia, which reached 87th place exceeding its previous best rank in 2004.
In contrast, some universities in France, Germany and Japan slipped down the rankings.