QS lists top-performing unis while U-Multirank doesn’t

QS has a list

Five Australian universities are in the world top 50, with seven in the first 100, as measured by ranking agency QS in its 2019* World University Rankings.

The leaders are ANU-24 (20 last year), UniMelb-39 (=41), UniSydney-42 (=50), UNSW-45 (45), UoQ-48 (=47), Monash U– =59 (60), UWA-91 (93).

The University of Adelaide is lowest ranked of the Group of Eight, as usual in most rankings at 114, down five spots from last year.

But there is less a gap than a chasm between UniAdelaide and next placed UTS at =160, up 16 places on last year.

Other big improvers include, UniTasmania, up 26 places, to 287, Swinburne U, which rises from the 421-430 bracket to =387 and Flinders U which moves up a mountain from the 551-600 group to =478.

Most universities only move marginally from last year but Murdoch U dropped from the 501-550 group to 591-600 and La Trobe U slipped 37 places to =397.

QS says Australian institutions improvement is impeded by declining faculty to student ratios and their global recognition (or lack of it).

The ratings agency bases its findings on international students and faculty (5 per cent each), research citations per staff member (20 per cent), teacher/student ratio (20 per cent) survey of employer opinions 10 per cent) and a survey of academic opinions (40 per cent). The academic survey “collates the expert opinions of over 70,000 individuals in the higher education space,” QS states.

The global top ten is much the same as last year with MIT now surpassing Harvard U, being the world number one for seven consecutive years.

*QS started badging its ranking for the year ahead in 2017. It works for social media metrics.  

The many measures of U-Multirank

Where QS keeps it simple with opinion surveys the fifth issue of U-Multirank, released yesterday, is fiendishly complicated. Just like the first four.

The European system is designed for people who want to compare similar universities across the world on a range of attributes at institution and discipline level. And it is not, that’s NOT, NOT, NOT designed to be the basis of a top to bottom ranking. In fact, U-Multirank goes to a bit of effort, quite a bit, to make doing that too hard.

Instead of scores, universities are compared on coloured dots of different densities, ranging from very small, for weak to largish for very good. And users can compare university performance on teaching and learning (four criteria), research (ten), knowledge transfer (two), international orientation (two) and regional engagement (two) or by 18 subjects.

None of which cannot be summed into a single score. Well users, could create their own system by attributing values to the dots  but why would anybody bother when they could look at QS instead?

There are 29 Australian  and five NZ universities in in the new edition. So how do they compare? Well, there are more big dots than small ones.







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