Rankings VS Ratings

By H. Young

Updated June 29, 2022 Updated June 29

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 – such as first, second or third – universities are given a QS Star rating out of five.

When considering universities, what is the difference between rankings and ratings?

RANKING RATING
Who’s the best? Who’s good at what?

The QS World University Rankings® compare

universities to one another and put them in

order.

A rating assesses universities on how they

perform in several areas, similar to the areas

considered in rankings.

Based on how the institutions perform across six indicators, QS produces rankings that are designed to assess universities in four areas: research, teaching, employability and internationalisation.

But rather than comparing institutions against

one another, they are judged on how they

perform against a set standard. QS Stars is an

audit on the strengths and weaknesses of a

university. The university provides QS with

evidence across dozens of indicators.

This evidence is verified and the university is

given an overall score, as well as a score for

each category.

Rankings often include only the top 100 or top 1000 universities across the globe, meaning that smaller or newer universities have a difficult time competing with institutions like Harvard and Oxford.

There is no limit to the amount of universities

that can achieve the highest score overall or in

any category.

Should students be more concerned with whether a university is ranked or rated?

Each can be helpful. A university that appears in rankings can also be rated, and vice versa, although some universities will only appear in one or the other. A rating system can help students identify those universities which may be a good fit, but which did not appear in the top of the rankings. If you want to study in the best universities, you can look at rankings and well as overall results of a rating. But if your concern is to find a university that matches your more specific interests, you should concentrate on ratings.

This article was originally published in June 2022 .

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