What are the QS World University Rankings?
The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings, which were first published in 2004, list more than 800 of the world’s top universities, based on six key performance indicators. The aim is to allow students to compare the best-performing universities in the world, sorted comprehensively by region, country and subject area.
What criteria are followed to determine the rankings?
Six key indicators, of different weights, cumulatively determine an institution’s overall score. The academic reputation of the university carries the maximum weight of 40 per cent, citations per faculty and student-to-faculty ratio carry 20 per cent weights each, employer reputation accounts for 10 per cent weightage, and international faculty ratio and international student ratio account for 5 per cent each.
What is new with respect to India in the rankings this year?
For the first time, two Indian institutes have found a place in the top 200 list of the world’s best universities. The Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, has been ranked 147th, and the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D), 179th. IIT-D was ranked 235th last year; IISc is a new entrant in ranking list. Overall, there are 14 Indian unviersities in the rankings this year.
How has IIT-D improved its ranking?
IIT-D’s own assessment is that the improvement is “primarily based on the quality of faculty and the research output” over the past five years. An indication of this is the fact that IIT-D has secured the 36th rank based on ‘globally based citations per faculty’. It, has, however, fared poorly in criteria such as the faculty-student ratio, international faculty, and international students.
What about IISc, Bengaluru?
The absence of undergraduate courses had thus far kept IISc from fulfilling a key condition to be on the list. The institute met this criterion this year — the first batch of students admitted to a four-year undergraduate programme, Bachelor of Science (Research), graduated. Some changes in the QS methodology too has been a factor in the ranks obtained by the Indian institutes this year.