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QS University Rankings: Latin America - Methodology

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Published annually since 2011, the QS University Rankings: Latin America shines a spotlight on the top universities in Latin America based on seven key indicators. The methodology is adapted from that used to compile the QS World University Rankings®, with several additional criteria included to enable more in-depth comparison based on regional priorities. Below is a brief overview of the seven indicators used, and the weighting given to each when calculating a university’s overall score.

Academic reputation (30%)

A staple of all the QS university ranking sets, the academic reputation score is calculated based on the results of a major global survey of academics conducted each year. Respondents are asked to name the universities they perceive to be producing the best work in their own field of academic expertise.

Employer reputation (20%)

Recognizing the importance of perceptions within the global labor market, the second indicator draws on the perspectives of graduate employers. This is again taken from a major global survey, with respondents asked to identify the institutions they would prefer to recruit from.

Faculty/student ratio (10%)

This indicator assesses the number of full-time academic staff members employed relative to full-time student enrolment numbers. The aim is to give an idea of each institution’s commitment to teaching and student support, in lieu of any reliable method of assessing teaching quality.

Citations per paper (10%)

Calculated using data from Scopus, this indicator reflects the impact of an institution’s research, by considering the average number of citations per paper published.

Papers per faculty (10%)

A second indicator dedicated to research, this time the score reflects the number of papers published per faculty member. This is again based on the Scopus database, which covers research published in all languages, as long as an abstract is available in English.

Proportion of staff with a PhD (10%)

This indicator was included as a result of extensive consultation prior to the launch of the first QS University Rankings: Latin America in 2011, when the proportion of staff with a PhD was identified as a particularly significant benchmark for universities in the region. It’s calculated based simply on the percentage of faculty members who hold a PhD or equivalent.

Web impact (10%)

Finally, the ranking provides an insight into the Latin American universities with the strongest online presence, based on the Webometrics ranking. This indicator is one approach to assessing institutions’ commitment to engaging with a global audience and promoting themselves internationally.

The overall results of the QS University Rankings: Latin America are published in an interactive online table, which allows users to compare universities’ performance on individual indicators, or view those with the highest combined scores. To access the full functionality of the table, you first need to log in or register as a site member.

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