U.S. News has just published its third annual World's Best Universities rankings, which are based on the 2010 QS World University Rankings, developed by QS Quacquarelli Symonds, one of the world's leading resources for careers and education. Quacquarelli Symonds has been publishing world rankings since 2004.
The World's Best Universities rankings include the following lists:
- Top 400 Worldwide
- Top 50 Asian and Middle Eastern Universities
- Top 20 Australian and New Zealand Universities
- Top 20 Canadian Universities
- Top 10 Latin American Universities
- Top 50 British and European Universities
- Top 100 Life Sciences and Biomedicine Universities
- Top 100 Arts and Humanities Universities
- Top 100 Natural and Physical Sciences Universities
- Top 100 Engineering and IT Universities
- Top 100 Social Sciences Universities
In addition to the rankings, the presentation includes in-depth stories of why U.S. News is doing these rankings and how the rankings are done.
- About the Rankings: An explanation of the global trends that influencing students and faculty to reach beyond their own borders.
- Methodology: We evaluate six criteria to determine which universities are the best globally.
- Citations per Faculty Member: Here's how we account for research strength and faculty productivity in these rankings.
- Student-to-Faculty Ratio: This ratio is the chief indicator of teaching quality in the World's Best Universities.
- Academic Peer Review: This indicator has the most weight in the rankings.
- International Students and International Faculty Factors: How a university's international community is used in the World's Best Universities rankings.
- Employer Review: How were the companies that complete these surveys chosen?
- Statistical Scores and Weightings: How weights and statistical scores are determined for the World's Best Universities rankings.
- Subject Area Rankings: Based on a peer survey, we assign ratings in five subject areas.
First, none of the data from the Best Colleges and Best Graduate Schools rankings are used in the World's Best Universities rankings. QS Quacquarelli Symonds does all the data collection and calculations for the world rankings.
Second, the methodology used to compute the World's Best Universities is different in many key areas. The World's Best Universities rankings use six criteria: academic peer review, employer review, student/faculty ratio, citations per faculty member, the proportion of international faculty, and the proportion of international students. The Best Colleges rankings do use peer assessment; it's weighted 22.5 percent in the rankings, compared to a total 50 percent weight in the World's Best Universities Top 400 rankings. The Best Colleges rankings do not use citation analysis of faculty research, and the World's Best Universities rankings do not use student data such as SAT/ACT scores, graduation and retention rates, size of undergraduate classes, alumni giving rates, and financial resources—all of which are key parts of the Best Colleges rankings.