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QS I∙GAUGE Methodology

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What criteria does QS I∙GAUGE use when rating colleges and universities, and why?

Pursuing higher education goals with so much diversity in terms of institutions and individual aspirations is a tough task. Ranking and rating systems have a significant role in such decision making.

Many have criticized the methodology used in rankings and other assessments, arguing that universities are different from one another and therefore, need to be assessed on a range of categories that recognize the university’s distinct strengths. That is where rating systems come into the picture. The advantage with rating systems is that they bring out the real state of the institution’s overall health/condition over a wide range of categories, ranging from Teaching and Learning, Employability and Social Responsibility to Research and Innovation.

Indian Higher education system, with its distinct characteristics and strong presence, needs such an assessment for colleges and universities. QS I∙GAUGE rating, through the following criteria, brings together the key pillars which make any Indian institution, a world-class university or college. It considers several factors that might not surface in rankings and other assessments. The following criteria, the basis for QS I∙GAUGE rating, were selected as the key pillars of what makes a world-class institution for higher education.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching is a crucial contributor in inspiring the next generation of potential workforce for different sectors. Typical method to assess this indicator includes collation of student feedback on the institution’s teaching quality, faculty-student ratio and the rate of degree completion.

Faculty Quality

Active teaching and learning process get stimulated by a diverse group of educationists and academicians who bring a holistic outlook for students to strengthen the students’ knowledge and subject-wise expertise. This makes faculty from a strong research background and/or a market experience, highly preferable for students across domains. Effective indicators are faculty with Ph. D degree, with work experience outside academia and exposure to external projects. A good pedagogical training program to maximum faculty members further marks an improved quality assurance. The faculty feedback towards the institution is also a crucial parameter.

Employability

Graduate employability is the true assessor of an institution’s effort towards placement related activities. Common indicators in this area are campus employers’ presence, employment rates and career services support. The active involvement of students in forums/clubs encouraging extracurricular participations also boosts the employability at the institution.

Student Diversity

The more diversity an institution incorporates in terms of culture and economic background, the more inclusive and comprehensive the atmosphere is in a university or college. The institution should be pro-active in providing opportunities for exchange programmes with foreign universities. There should be considerable institutional contributions towards scholarships for students in terms of fee relaxation.

Facilities

An institution’s infrastructure is an indicator of the availability of adequate campus facilities that are necessary for a healthy study environment. Facilities such as sporting, IT, library and medical facilities, accommodation and food quality available to the students are considered within this criterion.

Social Responsibility

This feature measures how seriously the students and/or faculties at an institution engage themselves in charity work and relief/awareness programs initiated by the institution. This exhibits the institution’s interest in serving the society by investing in the local community and encouraging environmental awareness.

Accreditation

National accreditations and recognitions awarded to universities and colleges add to the credibility of the institutions and are vital in assessing their performance.

Arts & Culture

Students with interest in artistic pursuits look for institutions encouraging artistic endeavours and cultural programs. Effective indicators are the number of concerts and exhibitions organized by the institution and the number of credits and cultural awards achieved by the faculties and students. Additionally, cultural investment done by the institution is also accounted for.

Faculty Diversity

The presence of faculties from foreign universities is a good experience for the students on the teaching methods in institutions outside India. Similarly, the faculties visiting foreign universities is a boost for their progress and an added advantage for the students. Diversity amongst faculties represents the institution’s motive towards expansion within the country and beyond.

Entrepreneurship

Countries today heavily rely on innovative ideas to bolster their economic development, and new entrepreneurial ventures and start-up initiatives help in achieving this goal. Universities and Colleges are one of the biggest sources of budding entrepreneurs. The institution plays a major role in providing the right guidance and training programmes for the students to pursue this line as a career option. Along with training programs, QS IGAUGE rating checks the percentage of faculty and alumni with entrepreneurship experience, and the aspirations of students in terms of likeliness to pursue a start-up.

Research

Research is a crucial measure of the institution’s performance on the global scale. Indicators considered here include assessments of research quality amongst the faculties at the institution, productivity (i.e. number of papers published), citations (i.e. how recognized and referred to are the papers of the respective faculties) and funding obtained for research projects. This is of higher interest for students aiming at pursuing doctoral studies.

Innovation

Nowadays, universities and colleges contribute a great deal towards investment in creating intellectual property, legalising and commercialising the patents and formation of spin-off entities. Also, the faculty involved in external consultation is considered as such experiences contribute significantly towards motivating the students.

For more in-depth information about QS I∙GAUGE Rating Methodology, visit the QS I∙GAUGE website.

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Written by Aishwarya G.

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good topic