Top ten global trends in The QS World University Rankings 2016-17

By Rudra Narayan Sahoo, Mumbai: The Thirteen edition of The QS World University Rankings is released globally on Tuesday (6 September 2016). There are many surprises and new trends in the global education systems are visible in the latest global ranking table. Spanning from the impact of Brexit on the UK and major shake in Top Ten to Asia’s success and investment a key differentiator are major trends that have surprised global students and education community.

The global ranking table is led by the USA based Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The others among the top three are Stanford University (2nd, US) and Harvard University (3rd, US). Now, SkillOutlook presents the top ten global trends in The QS World University Rankings 2016-17, which will have profound impact on the decisions of the international students and their community.  

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1. The US top performer:  US institutions hold all top-three places for the first time since the inaugural rankings of 2004. In the Top 200 space, the US dominates, with 48 institutions, ahead of the UK (30), and the Netherlands (12). Now, it is a fact that the US a dominated player in the international higher learning education system.

2. The UK is a loser: Institutions in the UK have posted a decline in rankings, with the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London both falling down the rankings.  It may be premature to conclude that Brexit has adversely affect the UK’s potential as a student destination as the QS data was collected before June 23 for this year’s rankings while most of QS indicators track average of five years’ data. However, Brexit will damage the UK’s reputation a student destination going forward due to emigration issue.

3. Blows for Western Europe:  France, Portugal, Germany, and Italy posted a fall in their ranking tally. Confirming this trend and commenting on the latest QS global ranking, Ben Sowter, Head of Research, QS, said: “Institutions in countries providing high levels of targeted funding, whether from endowments or the public purse, rise. Conversely, Western European nations making or proposing cuts to public research spending lose ground to their US and Asian counterparts.”

4. Silverlinings in Russia and South Korea:  Universities in Russia and South Korea have made steady gains in the university rankings, with 11 and 16 institutions in the top 500, respectively. For both of these nations, investment in higher education recently is a key factor for brining success for their higher education institutions.

5. Asia shapes up: The most interesting trend that is visible in The QS World University Rankings 2016-17 is the success of Asian countries. China made gains as Tsinghua (24th) has achieved its highest-ever position . Singapore continues to lead the region, with the National University of Singapore coming top of the continent in 12thplace globally. In the Top 200 space, Japan has 8 universities and China has 7.

6. Investment is the key differentiator: Investment in education and academic research activities appears to be a key differentiator this year’s rankings.  On the one hand Russia and South Korea emerged as gainers while Western Europe nations were losers. It is an established fact that quality education is strongly correlated with education budget and investments in the higher learning system.

7. Problems in Latin America: Although Latin America has achieved a top-100 institution for the first time in a decade, Overall, the countries in the region were losers in the university rankings this year.  The Universidad de Buenos Aires comes 85th, the second-highest rank ever achieved by a Latin American university.

8. Australia and Canada make progress: Australia and Canada have increased their representation in the top 200, with nine universities each, one more than last year.  The reputation as a student destination is strengthening in both the countries.

9. India declines: At 152 place, Indian Institute of Science (IISC) Bangalore was the top university in India, but drops out of the top 150. Nine of the 10 Indian universities (including major IITs) ranked 700th or above posted a drop this year. The only one exception is IIT Madras, which has broken into the global top 250 after a five-place rise.

10. Surprise change in top ten:  The most surprise in the top ten trend  in The QS World University Rankings 2016-17 is changes seen in the top ten of the world’s Universities. University of Cambridge dropped to 4th rank while Imperial College London fell to 9th place in the top ten ranking tally. Eth Zurich of Switzerland advanced to 8th spot in the ranking table.

To read other stories related to The QS World University Rankings 2016-17, readers can click on the below links:

QS World University Rankings 2016-17: IISC Bangalore slips to 152 while IIT Madras improves position

Exclusive: The World’s Top Twenty Universities ranked by QS World University Rankings 2016-17 

Sunday Special: Seven key trends to be watched out for India in the QS World University Rankings 2016-17

 

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