QS (Times Higher Education Supplement until 2009)

(June 2017) Significant change: the reference years of the rankings from 2014 to 2017 have been changed
Until now, the reference year of the ranking was the year of its publication. This year (2017) the QS published its ranking under the reference of “2018” and renamed the rankings since 2014 with the date following the year of their publications. We have adjusted accordingly our years (which means that the “Ranking 2015” became the “Ranking 2016”).


From 2004 to 2009 the Times Higher Education and Quacquarelli Sysmonds ( QS) published annually a joint ranking under the name ” Times Higher Education Supplement ( THES) Rankings” .

In 2010 these two institutions have stopped their collaboration but continue to publish a separate r anking : QS have kept the 2004-2009 methodology and publishe this ranking as the QS World University Rankings ( which also include the THES rankings from 2004 to 2009 ) and the Times produce a new type of ranking : the Times Higher Education World University Rankings .

The QS produces a worldwide ranking of universities based on five qualitative and quantitative indicators. The ranking list was compiled for the first time in 2004. In addition to a global ranking, rankings by scientific fields were made. The QS ranking list includes a global Peer Review:  academics from five continents have nominated leading universities in the fields in which they are considered experts. The QS ranking list is based on the reputation of the universities among scholars in each discipline. In 2004, this Peer Review accounted for 50% of the total number of points for each university. Since 2005, the QS ranking list introduced an employer survey as a new criterion to assess the employment rate of current graduates. The employer survey was carried out among recruiters at international corporations. Recruiters were asked to identify the best universities they prefer to recruit graduates from.  A 10% weighting was given to their responses. This means that the weighting given to the Peer Review indicator was somewhat reduced. However, at 40%, it remained the most important indicator. From 2007 to 2011 the weighting of the various indicators has remained unchanged. However, the following changes were made: a different database was adopted (change from Thomson Scientific to Scopus); a “mathematical” fix was introduced to reduce distortions in the scale used; and finally, the experts conducting the peer review can no longer make reference to their own institution.

Indicators and Weight in the QS Ranking

Criterion IndicatorWeight
20042005 – 2017 
Academic Peer Review1. Composite score drawn from peer review survey (which is divided into five subject).50 %40 %
Employer review2. Score based on responses to employer survey.
Respondents were asked which universities had the best qualified graduates.
10 %
Citations per Faculty3. Citation rate per staff member according to Thomson Scientific (2004-2006) or Scopus (2007-2011) databases.20 %20 %
Faculty Student Ratio4. Number of students per teacher as an indicator of the conditions of education.20 %20 %
International Students5. Number of foreign students enrolled in the university.5 %5 %
International Faculty6. Number of foreign researchers and professors employed by the university.5 %5 %

Source: QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited

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