Rating universities on global engagement: QS Stars | Top Universities

Rating universities on global engagement: QS Stars

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Craig OCallaghan

Updated May 15, 2024



QS Stars: Global engagement

The world is more interconnected than ever. Borders blur as ideas, information, and people traverse the planet. To thrive in this environment, universities need to equip their students with the skills and experiences to be successful on a global scale. Not just academic excellence, but also intercultural understanding and a global mindset – precisely what employers look for in today's job market. 

Previously known as Internalisation, to measure how well a university facilitates its global engagement efforts, QS Stars looks at few different areas: 

International collaborations OR International research network 

Institutions can choose one of these indicators. This indicator carries the maximum number of points. 

International collaboration 

Imagine having the opportunity to participate in programmes co-created with leading institutions from around the world. International partnerships contribute to campus diversity, creating a more inclusive and dynamic academic environment. You’ll build your network while being exposed to different academic systems and methodologies. 

If a university has 100 joint-degree programmes and/or university research collaborations yielding publications in Scopus™ in the last five years according to the latest QS World University Rankings, then it will be awarded top marks for this indicator. 

International research network 

Here, the focus is on the university's established network of research partnerships that produce published works. Breakthroughs happen when diverse minds come together. This could involve partnerships with other universities, research institutions, businesses and joint academic projects around the world.   

If a university has 50 locations for research OR partnerships yielding publications in Scopus™ in the last five years according to the latest QS World University Rankings, then it will be awarded top marks for this indicator. 

International faculty 

Learn from academics who bring a wealth of global knowledge and perspectives to their teaching, enriching your classroom experience and exposing you to new ways of thinking. 

International faculty often have connections around the world, providing you with networking opportunities that can lead to study-abroad programmes, collaborative projects, or even future employment. 

Universities will be awarded maximum points with faculties that has at least 20% international faculty members. 

International students 

A diverse student body creates a vibrant learning environment with classmates from different cultures. But the benefits go beyond academics. As your classmates become friends, you’ll broaden both your social circle and perspective. Through these interactions, you'll encounter new ways of thinking and experience different cultures, enriching your understanding of the world. Plus, a diverse student body helps you build a professional network. The connections you make with classmates from various backgrounds and industries can be invaluable down the road. 

Universities will be awarded full points if 20% of their students are international. 

International support centre 

Whether you’re an international student or an exchange student, a dedicated support centre ensures a smooth transition to your new life abroad, offering essential services like immigration assistance, language courses, and cultural events. You’ll adjust to your new surroundings more easily and feel supported throughout your studies. 

Full points are awarded to universities that have an international support centre with at least one FTE staff plus evidence it provides or organises the following:  

  1. Events for international students (freshman day, buddy programme) 

  1. Immigration/visa support  

  1. Language support classes/language competency courses 

  1. Maintains a dedicated webpage 

  1. Scholarships dedicated to international students only  

International diversity OR overseas campus 

International diversity 

 A diverse international student body creates a vibrant learning environment. From picking up new languages through everyday conversations with classmates to understanding different perspectives in class discussions, you'll be exposed to a wealth of cultures. This fosters not only cultural understanding but also innovation, as professors and students with varied backgrounds approach problems and research from fresh angles. 

Universities that have 50 nationalities in a student body will be awarded full points. 

Overseas campus  

Institutions with overseas campus gives you the opportunity to study abroad and immerse in another culture without the complexities of navigating entirely different university systems. You can build an international network that can benefit their academic and career pursuits. 

Universities that have an overseas campus will be awarded points. 

Member of regional or international university networks 

Whether you're collaborating on groundbreaking research or immersing yourself in new cultures through exchanges, international university networks connect you to a world of academic possibilities. These networks act as knowledge hubs, enriching your education with shared resources and opening doors to international internships and careers. Universities within the network benefit too, fostering collaboration and elevating their academic standing through shared expertise. 

Full points are awarded to universities with international university network and regional network. 

So, you've familiarised yourself with the factors QS Stars considers when evaluating a university's global engagement. But how can you use this information to make an informed decision? Head over to QS Stars to explore rated universities and filter by your interests to find your perfect fit.