Science and technology innovation drives leadership of MIT, Cambridge and Imperial in QS World University Rankings 2014/15

world-rankings-QSThe global emphasis on high-impact scientific and technological research is the key driver of leadership, say researchers in compiling the data for the QS World University Rankings, which are—for the third year—led by MIT.

The QS World University Rankings, an annual league table of big-name universities, are compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit in consultation with an international advisory board of academics (such as Ben Sowter, co-author of the UNESCO publication, “Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses”; Hilol Nag, global higher education advisor with a focus on the Middle East and Africa; Christina Zhang, consultant on UK national policies on business and economic affairs for the House of Commons and advisor on Chinese higher education systems; and many others). [More information on the Rankings’ methodology can be found here.]

The purpose of the rankings, said QS in a statement, has been to recognize universities as the “multi-faceted organizations they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class.” Now in their 10th year, the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015 rank the world’s “top” 863 universities (out of over 3,000 considered) adding more than 100 new universities into the current list of the world’s “best institutions.”

The Rankings are based on four pillars: research, teaching, employability and internationalization; and the methodology consists of six indicators: academic reputation (40 percent), employer reputation (10 percent), faculty student ratio (20 percent), citations per faculty (20 percent), international students (5 percent) and international faculty (5 percent).

This year, 63,676 academic and 28,759 employer responses contributed towards the results, making both surveys the largest of their kind in the world, explained QS.

This year, the world’s best universities, as ranked by QS, all have an innovation focus concerning technology and science.

“In the wake of the recession, both governments and private sector funding sources are placing greater emphasis on high-impact STEM research, much of which takes place in specialist institutions,” says QS head of research Ben Sowter. “Tech-focused institutions are increasingly the focal point of a global race for innovation. With budgets from public sources increasingly coming under strain, institutions seem more focused than ever on potentially lucrative research in science, technology and medicine.”

(Next page: Universities’ world rankings)


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