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Significance of QS World University Rankings in shaping higher education

Blog Date
April 12,

In the dynamic landscape of higher education, the QS World University Rankings have emerged as a pivotal tool for students, educators, and institutions alike. Published annually since 2004 by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a leading global higher education analyst, these rankings provide a comprehensive assessment of universities worldwide.

This article delves into the intricacies of the QS World University Rankings, exploring their methodology, impact, and the significance they hold in shaping the higher education system.

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What is QS World University Rankings?

The QS World University Rankings is an annual publication that provides a comprehensive assessment of universities around the globe. It is compiled and published by Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a renowned international education organization and one of the leading global higher education analysts. The rankings are widely recognized and respected within the academic community and serve as a crucial reference for students, educators, and institutions worldwide.

The primary purpose of the QS World University Rankings is to offer a comparative analysis of universities based on a set of key performance indicators. These indicators cover various aspects of university life, including academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty-to-student ratios, international diversity among faculty and students, and research impact. The rankings are designed to help prospective students make informed decisions about where to pursue their higher education and to assist universities in identifying areas for improvement and strategic development.

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Methodology for QS World University Rankings

The QS World University Rankings employ a robust methodology to evaluate universities across various parameters. The key indicators include Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty/Student Ratio, International Faculty Ratio, International Student Ratio, and Citations per Faculty. Each of these factors contributes to a university’s overall score, reflecting its academic prowess, global impact, and commitment to fostering a diverse and vibrant learning environment.

  • Academic reputation

One of the cornerstones of the QS rankings is a university’s academic reputation. This indicator is determined through a global survey of academics, capturing their perceptions of the academic quality of institutions. The opinions of experts in different disciplines play a crucial role in shaping a university’s standing in this category.

  • Employer reputation

The employability of graduates is a pivotal aspect of higher education, and the QS rankings recognize this by incorporating an employer reputation indicator. Employers worldwide are surveyed to gauge their opinions on the quality of graduates from various universities, shedding light on the real-world impact of academic programs on students’ career prospects.

  • Faculty-student ratio

The ratio of faculty members to students is a vital measure of a university’s commitment to personalized education. A lower ratio suggests smaller class sizes and potentially more individualized attention, enhancing the overall learning experience for students.

  • International faculty and student ratios

In an increasingly interconnected world, universities with diverse faculty and student body often rank higher. The international faculty and student ratios highlight the extent to which a university attracts talent from around the globe, fostering a multicultural and cosmopolitan academic environment.

  • Citations per faculty

Research output and impact are crucial components of a university’s global standing. The citations per faculty indicator assesses the influence and reach of a university’s research by measuring the average number of citations received per faculty member. This reflects the institution’s contribution to advancing knowledge and innovation in various fields.

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Global impact and recognition

The QS World University Rankings carry significant weight in the global higher education landscape. For students, the QS rankings serve as a valuable resource during the decision-making process for higher education. Prospective students often use these rankings to identify institutions that align with their academic and career goals. The detailed breakdown of indicators provides a nuanced view of a university’s strengths, allowing students to make informed choices about where to pursue their studies.

For universities, a spot on these rankings is a testimony to their academic excellence, research contributions, and commitment to producing graduates who are highly sought after by employers. The recognition garnered through these rankings can attract top-tier faculty, researchers, and students, creating a positive feedback loop that further enhances the institution’s standing.

Impact on institutional strategies

The QS World University Rankings not only reflect the current state of higher education but also influence the strategies of institutions striving to climb the ranks. Universities actively work to enhance their academic reputation by investing in faculty development, research initiatives, and collaborations. The emphasis on employability encourages institutions to forge stronger connections with industries, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared for the demands of the workforce.

Improving faculty/student ratios involves strategic planning for resource allocation and optimizing class sizes to create a more engaging learning environment. Similarly, the push for internationalization prompts universities to actively recruit faculty and students from diverse backgrounds, fostering a global community within their campuses.

The rankings, therefore, serve as a catalyst for continuous improvement and innovation within the higher education sector. Institutions that consistently perform well in the QS rankings often exhibit a commitment to excellence, adaptability, and a forward-looking approach to education.

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Top-ranked institutions in QS World University Rankings

Top universities in the world

1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2University of Cambridge
3University of Oxford
4Harvard University
5Stanford University
6Imperial College London
7ETH Zurich
8National University of Singapore (NUS)
9UCL, London
10University of California, Berkeley (UCB)
Source: QS World University Rankings 2024

Top Asian universities

Rank (Asia)InstitutionRank (World)
1National University of Singapore (NUS)8
2Peking University17
3Tsinghua University25
4Nanyang Technological University (NTU)26
5The University of Hong Kong26
6The University of Tokyo28
7Seoul National University41
8Zhejiang University44
9Kyoto University46
10The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)47
Source: QS World University Rankings 2024

Indian institutions in QS World University Rankings

Rank (World)InstitutionRank (Asia)Rank (South Asia)
149Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay401
197Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi462
225Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore584
271Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur595
278Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kanpur636
285Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras533
364Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati11112
369Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Roorkee11614
407University of Delhi40911
Source: QS World University Rankings 2024

Manipal Universities in QS World Rankings

QS World Rankings feature three Manipal institutions – Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and Manipal University Jaipur (MUJ), and T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI), the premier business school under MAHE. All these institutions are offering their online programs through Online Manipal.

MAHE is ranked #951-1000 in QS World University Rankings 2024. In Asian University, MAHE has 210th rank and among South Asia, MAHE celebrates 37th rank. At Online Manipal, MAHE offers MBA, MSc in Data Science, MSc in Business Analytics, PGCP in Business Analytics, and PGCP in Logistics & Supply Chain Management.

Manipal University Jaipur is listed in the QS World University Rankings in the latest 2024 edition. It is ranked 258 in among South Asian University and 801+ in Asian University Rankings. Through Online Manipal, MUJ is offering online MBA, MCA, MCom, MA JMC, BBA, BCA, and BCom.

TAPMI has 150+ rank in Master in Finance and Master in Management.

QS ranks of institutions under Online Manipal

Rank (World)InstitutionRank (Asia)Rank (South Asia)
951-1000Manipal Academy of Higher Education21037
Manipal University Jaipur801+258
InstitutionWorld University Rankings
Masters in FinanceMasters in Management
T.A. Pai Management Institute (TAPMI)150+150+
Source: QS World University Rankings 2024


In conclusion, the QS World University Rankings play a pivotal role in shaping the higher education landscape globally. As a comprehensive and widely recognized assessment, these rankings offer valuable insights for both institutions and students. While not without its criticisms, the methodology employed by QS provides a nuanced evaluation of universities, considering academic reputation, employability, faculty-student ratios, and global impact.

For universities, a favorable position in the QS rankings is a testament to their commitment to academic excellence and global engagement. It serves as a benchmark for continuous improvement and strategic planning, driving institutions to enhance their research output, faculty quality, and internationalization efforts.

For students, the QS rankings serve as a valuable tool during the decision-making process, helping them identify institutions that align with their academic and career aspirations. The rankings, however, should be considered alongside other factors, such as campus life, extracurricular opportunities, and personal preferences.

As the higher education landscape continues to evolve, the QS World University Rankings are likely to remain a key influencer, guiding institutions and students towards excellence and success in the ever-competitive world of academia.

From India, Manipal Universities have secured high rankings in QS World University Rankings. You can check out more details at the Online Manipal.


Information related to companies and external organizations is based on secondary research or the opinion of individual authors and must not be interpreted as the official information shared by the concerned organization.

Additionally, information like fee, eligibility, scholarships, finance options etc. on offerings and programs listed on Online Manipal may change as per the discretion of respective universities so please refer to the respective program page for latest information. Any information provided in blogs is not binding and cannot be taken as final.

  • TAGS
  • Manipal Academy of Higher Education
  • Manipal University Jaipur

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