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Five of the Best Universities for Teaching: QS Stars

Five of the Best Universities for Teaching: QS Stars main image

Discover five of the world’s best universities for teaching quality, according to the QS Stars university rating system.

One of the major touchstones of quality for any university is its standard of teaching, yet it is an area that university rankings have always found difficult to measure.

The QS Stars test for teaching hinges on four criteria: overall student satisfaction, satisfaction with teaching, the proportion of undergraduates who go on to further study, and student-faculty ratio.

Here we take a closer look at five star-rated universities that demonstrate particular strength in the teaching category.

King’s College London, UK

(5 QS Stars overall; 5 for teaching)

King’s College London underlines its long-established reputation as one of the UK’s top institutions by scoring 5 QS Stars for its high teaching standards.

KCL achieved over 83% for student satisfaction, rising to over 85% satisfaction with teaching standards. A healthy 20% of KCL students go on to further study, reflecting positive learning outcomes. King’s also has ample teaching resources, with a low student-faculty ratio for a university of its size.

Past and present KCL faculty include 10 Nobel Prize winners, and students often enjoy access to some of the best minds in their field of study.

“Kings’ students are taught by staff at the forefront of their fields who bring their research into the curriculum. Our students learning and careers also benefit from our central London location and our close connections with the UK’s professional, political, legal, commercial, scientific and cultural life,” says Professor Eeva Leinonen, vice-principal (education), King’s College London.

Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

(5 QS Stars overall; 5 for teaching)

Formed in 1991, NTU is a young but upwardly mobile university, and in 2011 became the first university in Asia to be awarded 5 QS Stars.

The university also achieved the maximum rating for teaching, scoring highly both for its resources and levels of student satisfaction. With 3,300 teaching faculty serving a student body of 25,853, NTU comfortably meets the international benchmark score for teaching resources.

Strong on internationalization, NTU is extremely diverse at both student and faculty levels, and has forged academic partnerships with some of the top universities in the world including Cambridge University in the UK and Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

Close industry co-operation (with companies such as Thales, Rolls Royce) helps NTU students develop the skills required to be job-ready on graduation.

University of Technology Sydney, Australia

(5 QS Stars overall; 5 for teaching)

UTS aims to become one of the world's leading universities in the field of technology by 2018. To achieve this target, the university follows what it calls the UTS Model of Learning. “It lays down three important elements of our educational offering,” says Professor Peter Booth, Senior Deputy Vice-Chancellor, UTS.

These three distinguishing features are: making education more 'practice-oriented' for increased interface and exposure with the relevant industry; enhance international mobility of students and impart them with education which is globally relevant; and, finally, learning which is integrated with 'cutting edge technology to equip graduates for life-long learning'.

Internationalization is also a key priority for the university. The BUiLD (Beyond UTS International Leadership Development) is one of several schemes devoted to offering an international learning and student experience.

Under this program, more than 1,000 students of the university are offered 100 offshore opportunities. UTS’ practical approach to learning has earned it a reputation for producing industry-ready graduates. UTS’ 82% student satisfaction score suggests that these innovations are having a positive impact on the student experience.

Gulf Medical University, UAE 

(3 QS Stars overall; 4 for teaching)

Gulf Medical University came into existence in 2008 and has already been recognized as a centre of excellence by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, UAE.

Its international stature is affirmed by its inclusion in World Health Organizations' World Directory of Medical Schools. The university offers accredited courses in medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and allied health services among others.

“Excellence in teaching has always been GMU’s strength,” says Prof Gita Ashok Raj, Provost, Gulf Medical University.

The university enjoys a healthy level of student satisfaction with teaching and a balanced student-teacher ratio. It has a diverse student population, drawn from 38 nations, and a good percentage of students participating in planned training programs at other institutes within and outside the country.

University of Limerick, Ireland

(4 QS Stars overall; 5 for teaching)

It may be a young university, but the University of Limerick is certainly well practised at keeping its students happy, with a near-perfect overall student satisfaction rate of 98%, and a similarly impressive 92% of students satisfied with teaching standards. 

These scores, alongside a healthy student-faculty ratio, see the university win the maximum five-star rating for teaching.

“The University of Limerick provides an innovative and dynamic teaching and learning environment which is dedicated to providing an outstanding student experience”, says Professor Don Barry, President of the university.

“We have been pioneering in our provision of world-class teaching—for example through Problem-Based Learning techniques—together with outstanding student learning support facilities in our dedicated Centre for Teaching and Learning.”

He adds that the University of Limerick is also home to a range of unique practice-orientated learning facilities including Europe’s first Virtual Trading Floor equipped with the latest trading software, a purpose-built courtroom, a fully equipped newsroom and a suite of pedagogy laboratories.

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