What is QS Stars?
QS Stars is an opt-in university rating system. Participating universities are evaluated in a broad range of categories, receiving a Star rating out of five for each category, as well as an overall rating. The aim is to help prospective students get an in-depth picture of the strengths of different universities – covering everything from research and employment outcomes, to social responsibility and inclusiveness.
How are universities rated?
There are 11 possible categories in which universities can be rated. Five of these are mandatory, covering the core areas of teaching, research, internationalization and employability, as well as excellence in a specialist field. Institutions can choose whether to have their learning environment assessed based on either campus facilities or online/distance learning provision. Finally, they choose two of four optional categories: innovation, arts and culture, social responsibility, or inclusiveness.
For details on how each category is assessed, click here.
How is QS Stars different to a university ranking?
Like a university ranking, QS Stars can be used to compare universities. However, the QS Stars rating system provides a much more in-depth assessment, going into much greater detail and drawing on more extensive data. And instead of receiving a ranking position (i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd), universities are given a Star rating out of five.
How many universities have been rated?
Since the QS Stars university rating system was launched in 2010, more than 275 universities in 45 countries have been rated.
Who is QS Stars for?
QS Stars is intended to help prospective students gather information, in order to decide which university is best for them. The fact that each university is awarded a Star rating for multiple categories means students can quickly identify the strongest points of an institution, as well as searching for universities with high ratings in the areas that matter most to them. For universities, QS Stars provides a means of showing off strengths in more detail than is possible through the rankings, as well as identifying areas for improvement.
How can QS Stars be used?
The full QS Stars university ratings can be explored in an interactive online table, which allows users to filter the results by location, overall Star rating, and specific categories. Use this table to identify QS Star-rated universities in the countries you want to study in, and view the results in specific categories by using the yellow dropdown list in the left-hand column. You can then click on a university’s name for more information, including star ratings for all categories the institution has been rated for.
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This article was originally published in October 2016 . It was last updated in September 2021