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Rating Universities on Innovation: QS Stars

Rating Universities on Innovation: QS Stars main image

Innovation is one of the criteria assessed by the QS Stars university rating service for universities. But how can this be measured?

While a lot of research done at universities involves things that necessarily remain within the academic realm, there is no shortage of work carried out for non-academic purposes. Universities have historically played a crucial role in driving industry through innovation, and particularly in areas such science and technology links with the non-academic world remain central to their mission.

This measure rewards universities whose work goes beyond the confines of academia. Scores from three criteria go towards a university’s score in innovation and knowledge transfer:

Patents (20 points)

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.

A good way to measure this is the number of patents that are registered with national and international patent offices. Fifty or more and we will award full points.

Spin-off companies (10 points)

Much of the work done in universities is easily marketable, and therefore it is 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 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 (20 points)

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.

QS Staff Writer's profile image
Written by QS Staff Writer

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4 Comments

'Employer Reputation' in the top left yellow box. You can then see how the universities you're interested in scored in the global employer survey.

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.

Hi Morad. Innovation is one of the indicators used in the QS Stars rating system, but not the QS World University Rankings. So you can compare two universities on innovation only if they have opted in to be rated by QS Stars. You can see the UK universities rated so far, and their innovation scores, here: https://www.topuniversities.com/qs-stars?location_depth_tid=United%20Kingdom&field_qs_stars_rating_value=&field_courses_tid=

Employer reputation is one of the indicators used to compile the QS World University Rankings. To compare two universities on this, use the main rankings table (https://www.topuniversities.com/university-rankings/world-university-rankings/2013) and select 'Employer Reputation' in the top left yellow box. You can then see how the universities you're interested in scored in the global employer survey.

Hope this helps.

URGENT QUERY

is it possible to compare two courses or two subjects within two universities (UK) based on just Innovation or employability?

Please help

Morad