Rating universities on innovation: QS Stars | Top Universities

Rating universities on innovation: QS Stars

By Staff Writer

Updated July 18, 2022 Updated July 18, 2022

The Advanced Criteria categories look at important factors that a university with a solid foundation in the core criteria might target to advance to a higher level of performance and recognition. Since institutions vary in specialisation, this section gives universities the option to select two of the four categories which best showcase their strengths.

Innovation is one of the indicators assessed under the Advanced Criteria category. Institutions are assessed for their innovation based on the following:


One significant way a university’s work can have an impact outside of the academic community is through coming up with innovations with instant practical applications, which can range from niche scientific and industrial fields to day-to-day life.

Universities will be awarded full points for having 50 unique patents that are registered with national or international patent offices.

Spin-off companies

Transformation of technological inventions developed from university research is easily marketable, so it’s common for independent spin-off companies to be founded in order to take advantage of these unique assets.

This indicates that universities are carrying out work that is in demand in the world beyond their own walls, and that researchers are able to profit by the important and innovative work that they are doing – and, perhaps most importantly, that the university is willing to support them.

If five such companies have been established in the past five years and are now operating without support from the university, then maximum points are awarded.

Industrial research

Universities and independent corporations have a mutually beneficial relationship. The former can provide their unique expertise, the latter the capital necessary to engage on large research projects – both can provide facilities to which the other wouldn’t normally have access.

Once again, this is an example of work being done in a university with a direct impact on the real world. This can be work that simply meets the needs of a company or could be work that represents far-reaching and significant progress in a particular field.

For full points here a university must have engaged in joint research projects with ten distinct corporations, which have led to publications in abstract and citation database Scopus over the last five years.


The basic purposes of the incubator are to develop new entrepreneurs, to contribute to the economic and social development of the region, and to transfer technology through the pre-incubation of projects initiated in the university. Full points are awarded for the existence of a university-run incubator as evidenced by the incubator’s website.

This article was originally published in November 2012 . It was last updated in July 2022

Want more content like this Register for free site membership to get regular updates and your own personal content feed.

saved this article

saved this article

Explore Events

Get assisted by higher education experts

Our expert teams can help start your academic journey by guiding you through the application process.

Related Articles Last year

Most Shared Last year

Most Read Last year