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QS University Rankings: Asia – Methodology

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Published annually since 2009, the QS University Rankings: Asia highlights the top universities in Asia each year. The methodology used to create the ranking is similar to that used for the QS World University Rankings®, but with some additional indicators and adapted weightings.

This set of criteria, developed in consultation with regional experts and stakeholders, is designed to reflect key priorities for universities in Asia, drawing on as much available data as possible to facilitate meaningful comparison.

The nine indicators used to compile the QS University Rankings: Asia are as follows:

1. Academic reputation (30%)

This is assessed using data from the large global survey of academics conducted by QS each year. The results of this survey, which asks academics to identify the leading universities in their own subject area, also feed into other rankings and reports produced by QS, including the QS World University Rankings and the QS World University Rankings by Subject. The aim is to give an indication of which universities hold the strongest reputation within the international academic community.

2. Employer reputation (10%)

This is again assessed using the results of a major international survey, this time of graduate employers, who are asked to identify the universities they perceive as producing the highest-quality graduates. The results of this survey are again used to inform a number of other QS research projects, reflecting the importance of employability and employment prospects for today’s university applicants and graduates.

3. Faculty/student ratio (20%)

This indicator assesses the ratio of full-time academic staff members employed per student enrolled. The aim is to give an idea of how much contact time and academic support students at the institution may expect to receive.

4. Citations per paper (15%)

Using data from the Scopus database of research publications and citations, this indicator assesses the number of citations per research paper published, for each university. The aim is to give an idea of the impact each institution’s research is having within the research community.

5. Papers per faculty (15%)

Also based on the Scopus database, this indicator assesses the number of research papers published per faculty member. This provides an indication of the overall research productivity of the university.

6 & 7. Proportion of international faculty (2.5%) and proportion of international students (2.5%)

The final four indicators all aim to assess how ‘international’ each university is, reflecting the fact that internationalization is a major priority both for universities in Asia and in every world region. These two indicators, also used in the QS World University Rankings, assess the proportion of staff and students at the university who are classed as ‘international’.

8 & 9. Proportion of inbound exchange students (2.5%) and proportion of outbound exchange students (2.5%)

These last two indicators, not used in the global ranking, offer additional insights into the internationalization activity at universities in Asia, assessing the relative size of each institution’s inbound and outbound student exchange programs.

To see which universities in Asia boast the strongest performance for each of these nine indicators, visit the latest edition of the QS University Rankings: Asia.

Written by Laura Bridgestock

The editor of, Laura oversees the site's editorial content and student forums. She also edits the QS Top Grad School Guide and contributes to market research reports including How Do Students Use Rankings?

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The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) ranks 235 (QS World university rankings), 13 (QS BRICS rankings) and 38 (QS Asia rankings) whereas the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) ranks 222 (QS world university rankings), 15 (QS BRICS rankings) and 41 (QS Asia rankings)....How come IIT-B is 13 place ahead of IIT-D in World rankings but 2 places below in BRICS rankings and 3 places places below in Asia rankings?

Citations per paper (15%) and Papers per faculty (15%) to measure impact (quality) vs. productivity (quantity). The question is whether the emphasis should be on quality or quantity. Obviously your methodology does not consider the quality of publications and the journals they are published in. Hence, it may be possible for some institutions to obtain full 15% of the productivity by publishing low quality articles. My argument is that emphasis should be given to quality and impact rather than quantity. Hence at least 20% for impact and at most 10% for productivity.
Thank you

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