Rating Universities on Social Responsibility: QS Stars | Top Universities

Rating Universities on Social Responsibility: QS Stars

By Staff Writer

Updated April 8, 2021 Updated April 8, 2021

Find out how the QS Stars university rating system assesses universities' social rsponsibility by measuring how seriously a university takes its obligations to society by investing in the local community and environmental awareness.

There are countless intangible ways in which a university benefits the society beyond its walls, as well as the society within them.

However, a good university will also seek to benefit it more directly, and particularly in developing nations this role is often central to a university’s mission.

This is measured using four criteria:

Community investment and development (20 points)

Universities are key part of modern communities, and inevitably gain from the cities and regions in which they are based. This is, of course, a two-way process, and a university’s locale will also profit from the establishments based there – both financially and in more intangible ways.

A good university will take this social responsibility very seriously, and will aim to directly improve the area in which it is based. We award full points for social respnsibility to universities which invest 1% of their turnover, or US$2 million, in community projects within 200km of an affiliated campus.

Charity work and disaster relief (10 points)

In many ways, an interest in supporting charities and disaster relief campaigns is similar to an institution’s investment in community. Support and awareness of external issues is a great way to get students involved in their global environment and offers a chance for institutions to contribute profits for the benefit of society. Universities that donate as much as US$2 million or 1% of their annual turnover to national or international causes and charities will receive a top score in this area.

Regional human capital development (10 points)

Regional human capital development can mean one of two things. One looks at the proportion of graduates employed within the region, while the other looks at the proportion of students who are from the region. Universities with a high score in this area are likely to have a strong regional community that students wish to develop and be a part of – to the betterment of that region’s economy. If this proportion lies at 50% the institution in question receives top marks, with points awarded on a scale down to 30%.

Environmental impact (10 points)

The importance of impacting positively on the environment is greater than ever before, particularly within educational institutions focused on developing the next generation of leaders and industry experts. To be awarded full points for environmental impact, universities must offer each of the following: a sustainability webpage, an energy conservation program, a water conservation program, a recycling program and a transportation policy.

See which universities have the highest rating for social responsibility >

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in April 2021

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