Today, one of the most significant rating out there, QS World University Ranking, is compiled by the consulting company Quacquarellu Symonds (QS). It was founded in 1990, defining for itself the role of a guide in the educational services market. QS’s business has been helping young people find programs for undergraduate, graduate, business school, and doctoral studies. The first ranking of universities QS World University Ranking was compiled in 2004. Since then, QS has become one of the leaders among rating agencies.
QS has developed the following indicators for its rating:
1. Academic reputation (40%) is determined using global research: in the course of the survey, scientists express their opinion about the educational institutions in which the research in their field is conducted at the highest level. Information is taken for the past three years. Participants in such a survey, of course, cannot vote for their own universities. The main advantage of assessing academic reputation with this method is that it provides a more objective picture for various fields of knowledge than citation research.
2. Reputation among employers (10%), this indicator is also based on global surveys. In the process of research, respondents are asked to name the universities that graduate the most trained specialists of one specialty or another. Invitations to participate in the survey are sent to companies of various industries, where the number of employees reaches one hundred employees. Respondents can be either HR directors or top managers directly working with university graduates.
3. The ratio of teaching staff to the number of students (20%) - this indicator is calculated by the ratio of the number of researchers (teachers) to the number of university students. The source of this data is not only the information provided by the university itself, but also the data of state organizations. In the absence of an international standard that allows assessing the quality of teaching, this indicator gives an idea of how well universities are staffed by teachers to ensure work with small groups, which means to pay maximum attention to each student.
4. Citation index (20%) - this indicator is designed to assess the quality of university research results. As a rule, the more references of other scientists to the published results of a particular study, the more significant this study is. Therefore, the more often the work of university scientists is cited, the higher its scientific reputation. QS collects this information using the base— Scopus. Scopus is by far the largest bibliographic and abstract database in the world. Scopus indexes 18,000 technical, medical, and humanities scientific publications published by 5,000 publishers. Data is taken over the past five years. In order for large universities not to have unjustified advantages, a relative indicator is calculated: citation per one researcher.
5. The proportion of foreign students (5%) is the most accessible statistic to reflect the degree of attractiveness of an educational institution in the international arena. Students who are citizens of other countries and study at the university for at least a semester, while not being exchange students, are considered. The very presence of foreign students is not yet an indicator of the quality of education, but a clear correlation has been highlighted between the international popularity of the university and its high rating points for ranking indicators.
6. The proportion of foreign teachers (5%) is an indicator in itself not difficult to calculate, but very important, since participation of foreign teachers in the educational process not only indicates the high international status of this university, but also gives students the opportunity to get acquainted with various scientific schools. The university, constantly attracting foreign scientists to work, thus accumulates the best practices of research and teaching.