Rankings: Where’s the Student Perspective?

The student perspective on university rankings

Following the launch of the QS World University Rankings® 2015/16 earlier this week, the international higher education community has been busy celebrating, analysing, promoting and probing the results and their wider implications.

Twitter alone has been buzzing with #QSWUR posts, images and headlines – from MIT celebrating its fourth year at the top, to India’s Economic Times highlighting the exciting new ground being broken by the Indian Institute of Science.

But while the views and voices of the higher education media and professionals are clearly available to read and debate, the perspectives of students tend to remain relatively unheard – despite the fact that they are, arguably, the most important rankings audience and user group.

The QS World University Rankings were initially developed with prospective international students in mind, and they retain the core purpose of providing a useful resource for those engaged in choosing an institution abroad.

In recognition of the current blind spot in our understanding of how students use and perceive rankings, QS launched a dedicated project earlier this year. Starting with a series of focus groups in Europe, this initiative is now being rolled out across the world.

For an overview of perspectives on university rankings among students in Europe, read our preliminary report. To find out more about the project and how you could get involved, contact us.

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