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Find out how the QS University Rankings: Latin America is created using eight indicators.

Published annually since 2011, the QS University Rankings: Latin America shines a spotlight on the top universities in Latin America based on eight 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 eight indicators used, and the weighting given to each when calculating a university’s overall score. Find out more from the QS Intelligence Unit.



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%) & papers per faculty (5%)

Calculated using data from Scopus, these two indicators reflect the impact of an institution’s research. The first considers the average number of citations per paper published, and the second reflects the number of papers published per faculty member. The Scopus database covers research published in all languages, as long as an abstract is available in English.

International research network (10%)

Included for the first time in 2016, this indicator assesses the degree of international openness in terms of research activity for each evaluated institution. It considers the distinct count of international peer institutions collaborating in one or more papers indexed by Scopus in a five-year period (2010 to 2014 for the 2016 rankings).

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 (5%)

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 – this is free and allows you to access exclusive content and resources.

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1 Comment

Two suggestions:

They could include extension activities.

And also give more importance to employability than academic reputation.

Thank you.

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