QS BRICS University Rankings 2019 Methodology

Discover the top universities from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa with the QS BRICS University Rankings 2019.

Discover the top universities from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa with the QS BRICS University Rankings 2019. Containing the best universities from the five BRICS countries, this year’s BRICS University Rankings is once again topped by Tsinghua University. Tsinghua is part of an all-Chinese top five in this year’s table, with Zhejiang University climbing one place to fifth since last year. This year, the BRICS University Rankings was prefaced by the release of our first-ever QS World University Rankings by Location and separate tables for both mainland China and India. To get more insights into these study destinations, check out the tables here and here. The BRICS ranking is compiled using eight different indicators, including the ratio of faculty to students, the proportion of academic staff with a PhD and the institution’s reputation among academics and employers. More information about the methodology can be found here. Want to share your thoughts on this year’s ranking? Has this helped you make your mind up about where to apply? Tweet us @TopUnis and let us know!

Craig OCallaghan

Updated September 13, 2021 Updated September 13

Launched in 2013, the QS BRICS University Rankings is an annual ranking of the top universities in the five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.The project, developed by QS in collaboration with Russian news agency Interfax, emerged from a desire to better highlight and track progress made by each of the five BRICS countries in the higher education field, and to facilitate comparison of universities in nations that share certain key socio-economic dynamics.

 

With these aims in mind, and following extensive consultation with experts in each country, eight indicators were selected to be used in the methodology. Some are the same as those used to create the overall QS World University Rankings®, while others are included to reflect priorities and challenges that are more specific to universities in the BRICS countries, such as recruiting more highly qualified academic staff.

The eight indicators used to create the BRICS ranking are:

Academic reputation (30%)

This is based on analysis of QS’s major global survey of academics, who are asked to identify the top-performing universities in their own field of expertise.

Employer reputation (20%)

This is based on QS’s major global survey of graduate employers, who are asked to identify the universities they perceive as producing the best graduates.

Faculty/student ratio (20%)

This reflects the number of students enrolled per full-time academic faculty member employed. The aim is to give an indication of commitment to teaching and student support.

Staff with a PhD (10%)

Based on the proportion of academic staff members with a PhD, this indicator aims to assess how successful universities have been in recruiting highly qualified faculty members – a major priority for many institutions in the BRICS countries.

Papers per faculty (10%)

Calculated using data from Scopus, this indicator assesses research productivity, based on the number of research papers published per academic staff member.

Citations per paper (5%)

Again calculated using the Scopus database, this indicator aims to assess research impact, based on the frequency with which an institution’s research is cited by other researchers.

International faculty (2.5%)

This score reflects the percentage of faculty members at the university who are international, to show how successful each institution has been in attracting academics from further afield.

International students (2.5%)

This last indicator reflects the percentage of students enrolled at the university who are international, giving a further indication of each institution’s global appeal.

The overall results of the QS BRICS University Rankings are published in an interactive online table, which allows users to compare universities’ performance on individual indicators, or view those with the highest combined scores. To access the full functionality of the table, you first need to log in or register as a site member – this is free and allows you to access exclusive content and resources.

This article was originally published in November 2017 . It was last updated in September 2021

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As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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