Comparing QS Asian University Rankings with QS World
The table below outlines the methodological differences between the QS
World University Ranking and the QS Asian University Rankings.
In the QS World University Rankings, the exercise is centred on large comprehensive institutions that are leaders in their own countries but have a global focus.
The Citations per Faculty indicator takes into account the strength
of an institution’s research, factored against the number of faculty
members to take the size of institution into account. For the QS Asian
University Rankings, the objective is to reach the next tier of institutions
in each country – institutions whose principal focus may not be global
competitiveness. Much of the research carried out in these institutions,
however strong, is published in the local language. The Scopus database
accepts non-English language content but fundamentally, citations in any volume are an English language phenomenon. For the Asian University
Rankings, the bibliometric data has been separated into Papers per
Faculty, which is a productivity measure that should take into account
ALL sources in Scopus independent of language and Citations per Paper,
which provides an average quality rating for each paper.
Internationalisation is a far more complex notion than is reflected by
the inclusion of just two indicators in the QS World University Rankings.
Due to problems with the availability of data, developing a richer picture
at a global level is challenging but in this narrower geographic area we
can include additional factors. For many countries with first languages
other than English, an exchange, rather than full-time undergraduates,
is a key aspect of institutions’ approach to internationalisation. The QS
Asian University Rankings, therefore, include additional indicators for
inbound and outbound exchange students. Future additional measures
of internationalisation, such as faculty exchange and international
partnerships, are likely to take effect in these regional rankings before
becoming practical at a global level.
The two bibliometric indicators provide a richer picture on research
productivity and quality. Drilling down to a less well-known set of
universities also means that the results of the Peer Review Survey tail
off more quickly than they do in the QS World University Rankings. The
combination of these factors explains a reduced weighting for the Peer
Review and an increase in that for the bibliometric factors.
Impact and effects
In combination with additional responses to surveys and updated data
from universities and third parties, these changes in methodology have
some inevitable effects on the results of the QS Asian University Rankings
when compared side-by-side with the QS World University Rankings.