Welcome to the University Education Evaluation WikiEdit

Hi there!

The purpose of this wikia is to share the investigations we made for our IT final project; in it you will be able to find information about the prestigious Quacquarelli Symonds University ranking such as the criteria it is based on and the reasons for them to grade based on it; our personal proposal to achieve a better way of evaluation for universities, and many other aspects that will represent reliable information for students choosing universities. Please feel free to comment, feedback and/or contact us if you have any doubts, comments or concerns.

We hope it actually helps! Thanks for visiting! :)

University RankingsEdit


World university rankings are dominated by UK and the United States occupying the first 13 spots and more than half of the ranking of the top two hundred universities. United States occupies 77 colleges of the top 200 hundred and California Institute of technology took the top spot for the second year in a row. While Britain host 31 of the top 200 with London alone counting with more than Japan or South Korea respectively (London six, Japan 5 and South Korea 4.) Many European Institutions saw their downfall during a decline in investments during economic recessions. But Sweden, Denmark and Norway improved this year. The data is compiled from Thomson Reteur, taking into account Institution reputation among academics, the staff to student ratio and the amount of research founding coming from industries, and how frequently research is cited by academics. However Asian universities are catching up with their competitors of Britain and the United States taking into account from reputation to research funding. This publication was published the end of September of the present year. The top institutions in Japan South Korea and Singapore generally rose in their annual index published by Britain’sHigher Square Educational magazine continuing a power shift from west to east. (Best Universities, par 1-10)'Edit

Quacquarelli SymondsEdit


Quacquarelli Symonds (QS)- Is a British company specializing in education and study abroad. Nunzio Quacquarelli founded the company in 1990. Today QS has 200 employees and operates all around the World having offices in London, New York, Boston Washington D.C., Paris, Singapore, Stuttgart, Sidney, Shangai, Johannesburg, and Alicante. It provides services for undergraduates, graduates, masters, Ph.D., MBA, and executive MBA candidates. It offers publications and events to widen the scope of study abroad. The other two are Times Higher Education World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities.


The QS World university ranking  (Quacquarelli, Par 1)

How did they come up with this evaluation?

There was a highlight of international ranking in December 2003, the idea for the rankings was credited in Ben Wildavsky's book to Jhon O leary (Then editor of Times Higher Education.) Then they choose to partner with educational and careers advice company QS to supply data. From where they did partnership from 2004 to 2009. The major information complied comes from the online surveys, from Scopus, and from an annual information gathering exercise carried out by QS itself. QS Collects data from universities directly, from their websites and publications, and from national bodies. The data re aggregated into columns according to its Z-score an indicator that shows how far an indicator is from the average. QS Latin America rankings came up in 2011, this criteria was developed in consultation with experts in Latin America, and the web visibility ranking comes from Webometrics. (QS, par 1-5) They come with the criteria trying to answer what was the most important aspects in a University rank, therefore they made a survey to active academicians, around the world, giving this aspect the most importance. Then they thought about what will happened if when the students graduates so they decided to create a criteria named student employability. They also thought that the commitment for teaching was important. Afterwards they thought that an important aspect was to count the number of times a university is cited from peer-reviewed literature. Lastly they wanted to consider its global presence having in consideration the amount of international students as well as its professors.

QS world Universities ranking is regarded as one of the three most influential and respected university rankings around the world.  QS often rate the universities in stars, with a range of performance indicators. Such as research quality, graduate employability, careers service support, teaching quality, infrastructure such as sports facilities and medical care, student society and accommodation, IT and libraries, international appeal, innovation and knowledge transfer, and community involvement. (Par 3)

QS also provides regional rankings such as the QS Asian University Rankings, and the QS Latin American University Ranking. Both which are independent of and different form major world ranking’s due to differences in the criteria and weighting used to generate them. (QS World, par 1)

Methodology of the major rankings. The first ranking that produced was in September 8, 2010. (Par 8)

Academic Peer Review. This is an opinion survey which weights 40% and it is the most controversial part of the evaluation. Using a combination of purchased mailing lists and applications and suggestions, asking academicians around the world to name 20 universities they know about without considering their own, that are best know in their field. 33,744 people of over 140 countries. (Par 9)

Faculty student ratio. It is used in various ranking systems such as  a replacement for teaching commitment, QS has admitted that it is least than satisfactory. It weights 20%. (Par 10)

Citations per faculty. Citations of public research are among the most widely used inputs to national and global university rankings. It uses citation data from Scopus and from Elseiver. The number of academicians in a university to produce the score from this measure divides the total number of citations.

QS has accepted the presence of some data collection errors regarding in citations per faculty in the previous years. Scopus has more non-English language and smaller circulation journals in its database. Citations and publications that are not made in English are difficult to come across. English is the most popular language for citing. This part weights 20% of the evaluation.

Recruiter review. It samples recruiters who hire graduates as global or significant national scale. It surveys 16,875 from over 130 countries in 2011 rankings. The survey has the belief that employers track graduate quality, making this a barometer of teaching quality a problematic thing to measure. This part weights 10% of the evaluation. (Par 15)

International Orientation. This section weights 10% intending to capture it’s internationalism. Half on their international students and the other five on the international staff. This is into interest because we can measure if the university is putting effort into being global, and if students around the globe are considering attending to these institutions. (Par 16)

The information used to compile the ranking comes from online surveys, Scopus and from annual information gathering exercise carried out by QS itself.  QS collect data from universities directly, from their websites and publications, and national bodies. (Par 17)


Universities in Latin AmericaEdit

According to QS University ranking ITESM is the second best school in Mexico after UNAM and the seventh best University in Latin America. QS for Latin America takes in consideration the following principles.  (UNAM e ITESM, par 2)

·      Research work

·      How the graduates do in their professional lives.

·      Education resources.

·      Presence in the Internet, between others. (Par 5)

Rankings revealed that despite the leaders in the region come from Brazil and Latin America; Mexican graduates are considered the most successful in Latin Americas labor opportunities. The vast majority of Latin American businessmen consider ITESM as number one university in the quality of their graduates, considering UNAM as number 3. (Par. 6-8)

Regardless, great part of the scholars of the region rated UNAM as the number one university in scholar prestige. Danny Bryne told that Latin American Universities are getting through very radical changes thanks to the increase of demand in higher education, a renewed economy and the internalization of the society. We are getting before of Chile and Brazil in the sector of studies publications and percentage with professors with Phd. (Par, 9)


The basic ways in which universities are ranked around the globe vary depending on the regions of the world from where they are from; these vary depending on the factors that they take into consideration when ranking, the basic ones are:

  • URAP (University Ranking by Academic Performance).

  • Ranking Web of Universities (which depends on the university’s presence on the Web).

  • By subject (which depends on the specialist strengths of the university in their speciality areas).

  What we consider that is missing in order for these rankings to become more accurate would be adding to the key factors of the evaluation whether or not the universities have different facilities for their students to develop beyond the academic part and whether or not there is some kind of retribution for their development outside the academic matters; with this we are reffering to aspects such as the universities sport department (do they have representative teams for sports?, what sports can you find in the universities?, are the installations the best?, what is the support that university gives to their sport representatives?, do they offer any scholarship as reward for their sport representatives achievements?, and so on and so forth; these are now a days more common in universities, but for example, ranking a university should also consider more of the artistic side (does the university cover the seven arts?, Is there a representative team for any of these activities? [singing, dancing, paint, music, literature, theatre, architecture], does the university count with stages/forums/theatre/etc?, are there any scholarship or retribution for the artistic department?, and so on and so forth): supporting the artistic side of their students when not being in an arts university should be considered as an asset for universities because it talks about letting the creativity of their students flow and therefore creating a more open environment for everyone in which people can develop freely and innovate since there exists an impulse for their minds.

  To compliment what said before, as well as improve other aspects of the universities, the money or budget that they have reflects directly on the development of their students, so therefore, the budget of universities and their management of it should become as important as any other aspect taken into consideration when grading any university’s development.

  According to Forbes magazine, the level of impulse that universities offer for the entrepreneurship should be considered a key factor for giving universities a ranking, this due to the fact that for the present life, we are lacking people bold enough to create new businesses in order to create jobs for the future generations; this for example would position TEC de Monterrey even higher than what is considered now a days (also because even its mission is exactly that).(Forbes)

  Finally, even though is already considered when ranking, we consider that the employability that universities offer should have a bigger weight on the ranking of any universities, because at the end of the day, students want to make sure that wherever they end up studying they will graduate and sort of have a future granted “it has also produced a guide to how much graduates can expect to earn according to discipline” (topuniversities), so the higher the university’s job opportunities or offerings, the better it should result for the applicants to want to be there and therefore grow its prestige.

Evaluating a University comes down to student grades only?

We think that the grades of the students are very important fact for this kind of studies, but it is not the most important, and we believe they cannot take only the grades into consideration to evaluate a university.

Sometimes there are students who get good grades but they cheat because they copy in exams, they deliver bad jobs and the teachers give them good grades. So the grades can evaluate any university only if students are honest and teachers are demanding, therefore the grades are very uncertain to define the quality of any university.

First, as we mentioned before the grades of the students are very important, but nowadays there are too many things more important that big enterprises take into consideration than just having excellent grades. The most significant thing that the enterprises look for at the time of hiring, is people that is able to give the firm essential things and people that can do different things than others. There are other things that are important, some of these are: to continue studying, be flexible, know how to work with others, study and be aware of the new necessities, two or more languages, experience, etc. Those things are more significant than the grades.

Secondly, in Latin America there is a high unemployment rate, and if the students don’t have some competitive advantage in order to win a job to their competitors they will be part of the rate of unemployed people and their grades are not going to save them. So in order to evaluate a university they need to take other things into considerations instead of just caring about the grades, because in this world the grades are the least important in terms of competition.

Can a series of universities be evaluated in real time?

Evaluating real-time university is complicated, because the aspects that are considered to evaluate are not obtained at the time. The resources and reputation of a university are accumulated and over time the university acquires prestige. The experience of students within their periods of study is very important, this is a very complex data covering professional practices, high quality programs and student satisfaction with the services and installations.

Evaluate any university is a process, which is defined by the time, each university must face a series of requirements and these are evaluated by a good quality control. For example: The installations must be professionally evaluated, where the quality should be excellent.

Considering that all aspects are ready, you can evaluate the universities, and according to the results will show the best universities in the world.

Do going to College guarantee success?

Lets analyze the subject in another perspective. What if you don’t attend college at all. Would you still be successful? According to an article written by Erika Andersen, in Forbes, getting a college degree doesn’t guarantee success neither having a college degree guarantee’s failure. She has three kids, one’s getting a Masters of science in teaching, one starting medical school and the third dropped out of college in his sophomore year, and he was about to open his own café and bar in Brooklyn. She explains that wisdom, insight and intelligence aren’t a function of how many years you spent in school.

Erika gave a life experience to put this into context, long ago when she worked in HR for Taco Bell, she had to create a core management curriculum for store managers, and the director of the area was in charge of recommending hiring requirements for the position. He was absolutely committed that a minimum requirement was four year college degree, thinking that by logic this people would be more committed, and would have a higher level of intelligence necessary for the job. She didn’t agreed explaining the could be two applications for a job. The first one a 23 white year old with a year of experience working as a retail sales clerck with his four year college degree with unenthusiastic references. The second a 31 year old black high school graduate who had spent 8 years in food service and the past two as manager, having excellent references. After she made the question of who would he hire? He grudgingly accepted that the second one would be better in every other measure.

She put in plain words that we assume that college degree is necessary when the truth is that it’s not even helpful. (With exceptions such as the med school.)

She believes that for many people college is not the best way of learning including her. From her personal experience she quit college and made a wonderful and successful life for herself.

Her son told her that college was a waste otd time and money and then after quitting school he learned by creating relationships with a wide variety of people with the experience and skills he wanted; by reading, by conversations and observations.

(Do you really, par 1-8)

Should you evaluate a university in terms of percentage of graduate students? Or should you evaluate it in terms of $USD/year they make after graduate?

Firstly, we believe that in order to make a ranking of universities such as the one Forbes did, both questions are important to be considered. First of all it is good to mention that it is not only important to calculate the percentage of graduate students, but also it is significant to estimate the percentage of unemployment on those students. Nowadays there are a lot of competitors outside, and your graduate certification is not going to assure you a job, so it doesn’t matter how many graduates the university has, if they don’t give them the weapons to compete in the real world.

Some interesting fact that it is essential to consider, is that the average of unemployment rate of the countries in which the top ten universities of Latin America are located, is 6.325% being Mexico the lowest, followed by Brazil, Chile and Colombia. According to this data we can say again that it doesn’t matter how many graduates you have, if they are going to be part of the percentage of unemployment rate. (Brazil unemployment, par 1)

Secondly, as we were saying, the other question is important to study too, because it is related to the first one. It is related because sometimes universities have a lot of graduate students, but it can happen that those graduates are not being well paid or in extreme cases they don’t have a job.

To put it together we believe that these two factors must be considered in an evaluation since it doesn’t matter that the university has 3000 graduates a year if 40% are unemployed. And the other way around a university wouldn’t be that productive if it has only 10 graduates but they win a lot after they graduate. If we can see the things in this perspective we would say that quality of the graduates it’s better than the quantity since the few good graduates can generate thousands of jobs for the country, while the others will only struggle to subsist for themselves.

India Universities’ lacking Quality and Quantity

There are some countries like India that they need to increase their university and vocal training capacity. India needs around 1500 university, which in the moment it only covers a third. The institution of Applied Economic and Social Research at the University of Melbourne, ranked India 49 out of 50 in its 2013 ranking of national higher education system. For all this India counts with world class engineering and management institutions. Where the last year nearly half a million completed the entrance applications for fewer than 10,000 places. No wonder why this more and more higher educational establishments and investors want to enter to India’s educational sector and capture slice of this opportunity. Many of Indian universities don’t warranty degrees, and many of international investors on education are finding difficulty to enter thanks to India’s non profit policies in the sector for foreign investors. Both way some institutions decide to enter and Indian universities twin up in order to be able to afford degrees to their students. Either way some investors and institutions can benefit from less regulated sectors such as the adult learning, particularly vocational skills, and assessment centres, online learning, professional certification, training schools, and language schools to name a few. A number of studies, including by IT’s India’s association NASSCOM and MacKinsey indicate that a significant portion of college graduates are not readily employable, and furthermore a substantial portion of  school leavers lack the means to get to professional colleges in the first place. IT educational market is estimated to be worth 300,000 million pounds alone, and the hospitality training market is another major market due that it is out of the government reach, and regulations are smother for international investors. (Stretch, par 1-19)

Which KPI's would apply to evaluate a university?

·   Overall average of the first partial

·   Overall average of the second partial

·   Overall average of the third partial

·   Overall average of the semester

These are the first KPIs that can help us to know what is the overall average of each generation; eventually we can make comparisons between generations to know what generation has fared better.

·   Top 10 averages for each generation

·   Number of students with an average over 85

These two KPIs help us to know which are the most competitive students internally, with the results of these indicators the university can offer scholarships to keep students in their institution. Students with an average greater than 85, will have the opportunity to have international experiences and this would help enrich their knowledge.

·   Percentage of students who complete a career

·   Percentage of students who do not finish a career

·   Semester with the lowest average

·   Semester with the highest average

·   Generation with the best average

·   how many languages dominate students with the best grades?

These KPIs help us understand the quality and consistency of the institution or university, knowing what are the most difficult semesters; the institution can focus on the weaknesses of students to improve. Knowing more than two languages ​​and have a good average allow the students to have a higher level of international competitive.

Controversies in University rankings

According to an article published by Zoran Radojicic and Veljko Jeremic the issue of ranking higher education institutions has drawn many education as of late however few of them incorporate quality dimensions rather than absolute number of publish papers, awards gained etc. After an evaluation they concluded that quality indicators such as “Excellence Rate” and “Normalized Impact” are far more important than gross number of published papers.  (Par 1)

According to them the most cited ranking list is the Academic Rank of World Universities (ARWU.) After the first reveal in 2003 it attracted a great deal of criticism. One of the potential weaknesses frequently elaborated is the absence of scientific quality indicators such as high quality papers. Thus the latest reveal of the SCImago Institutions Rankings World Reports which quantifies the research of 3402 leading institutions around the world has attracted much attention. The SIR approach integrates a quantity and various quality variables.  (Par 2)

·      Output indicator. Measure of the quantity or size of the publication output of an institution.

·      International Collaboration.

·      Normalized Impact. Compares the scientific impact of the institution with the world average. So if we take as 1 average. A 0.8 score implies a 20% below average performance. Whereas a score of 1.3 implies that there is a 30% above average.

·      High-Quality Publications. Is the ratio of publications of an institution, in what the SCImago team takes as the most influential scholarly journals of the world. Those ranked in the first quartile as in categories as ordered by SCImago Journal Rank.  

·      Specialization Index.

·      Excellence rate. Indicates the percentage of scientific output of an institution that is included into the set formed by 10% of the most cited papers in their respected fields. This indicator serves as a high quality output of the research institutions. (Par 3)

University of Belgrade is placed 338th of gross number of published papers, on the other hand applying the I-distant method on six variables the university slips into 1407 place huge difference mostly because of its poor qualitative indicators.  (Par 11)

For many institution ranking serve as a marketing tool for universities to showcase their educational or research excellence.

Why do we deserve the extra 15 points

The reason that we deserve the extra 15 points is that we had a deep research in the subject we didn’t only answered what we were asked for but we also covered other controversial subjects that we were really passionate to know about. Since we are students studying in college we had the trigger to know why did ITESM was a good school? Studying in the seventh best University of Latin America would aid us in something to succeed? What are Universities taking into consideration quality or quantity of graduates? What is happening in other universities around the world? What can a graduate from MIT say about the advantages of studying in one of the leading institutions? This and many other subjects were covered in our report, in order to answer ourselves all this questions that we had with students around the world and the opportunities they have.


This project helped us to realize how fortunate we are to be in ITESM installations but also helped us realize how far we are from having top school in the 200 best institutions, we realized that many of the education and advances in students preparation is shifting from the west to the east. We were happy to be able to choose this subject and we are looking forward to present our investigation to the class next wednesday.


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