Rating universities on teaching: QS Stars | Top Universities

Rating universities on teaching: QS Stars

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Craig OCallaghan

Updated Feb 29, 2024



QS Stars

Choosing where to pursue your degree is one of the most important decisions you'll make as a student. When weighing up your options, teaching quality should be a top priority. After all, your teachers and mentors directly influence your learning experiences, academic outcomes, and future success. And when you're surrounded by passionate and knowledgeable educators, their enthusiasm shines, igniting your own curiosity and motivation to learn beyond the classroom. 

Looking for an institution where the quality of teaching always comes first? Find a university with 5 QS Stars in Teaching, for example De Montfort University in the UK.  

A high QS Stars teaching rating indicates a university with dedicated staff who support students in reaching their full potential.   

QS Stars uses the below following criteria to measure teaching quality.  

Faculty-student ratio 

Faculty-student ratio is the number of teachers to students. A lower ratio usually means smaller classes, more one-on-one time with professors, and a more personal learning experience., personalized learning and attention.  

Institutions will earn points if they have one faculty member for every ten students.  

Overall student satisfaction OR satisfaction with teaching 

Want to know which universities have the happiest students? Student feedback provides genuine insight into the quality of day-to-day teaching. Institutions can choose to be assessed by QS Stars in their overall student satisfaction, or their student satisfaction with teaching. 

For both, QS analysts will use national student satisfaction surveys and our own QS data to uncover what students truly think about their university. Because really, who better to evaluate teaching quality than the students themselves? 

Completion OR Further study 

QS Stars measures two student outcome metrics for teaching quality: completion rates and graduates pursuing further study. 

Completion rates? It's all about the percentage of students who actually make it to graduation. High rates mean the university's got great support, awesome teaching methods, and well-structured programmes. Institutions receive points only if at least 90% of students graduate within the expected time frame. 

And further study? We are looking at graduates who decided to enrol in other educational programmes. Quality teaching is like the ultimate motivation for students to keep the education train rolling. Points are awarded to institutions if they have undergraduate students who further their studies within a year of graduating. 


Similar to completion, high retention rates mean students are happy, engaged and sticking around. Supportive and inclusive environments created by good educators contribute to higher retention rates.  

Institutions are awarded points for maintaining a 90% first-to-second year retention rate. 

Learning management system (LMS) 

An LMS is a tool that makes your learning materials (think readings, assignments, and multimedia resources) accessible whenever you need them. When a university uses a quality LMS like Canvas, Moodle, or Blackboard, it's a sign they're committed to making your learning journey smooth and efficient.   

Institutions are awarded points if they have an LMS that: 

  • is available from anywhere and at any time (including mobile access) 

  • has an embedded communication tool 

  • is operated by trained staff 

  • has a feature for reporting and analytics to track progress 

  • is used for at least 90% of the institution's programmes 

Academic consultation hours 

Academic consultation hours are the time each week when your professors are ready for one-on-one talks. Just like the faculty-student ratio, having more of these hours means smaller groups, more personalised attention, and a chance to build strong connections with your professors. 

Ready to thrive? Don’t settle for anything less. Choose a university where outstanding teaching set you apart. Find your QS Stars-rated university today. 

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