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QS World University Rankings approved by IREG - Observatory on Academic Rankings and Excellence

“QS is committed to the pursuit of best practice in international university rankings. We are, naturally, pleased to be the first international ranking to be IREG Approved.” -Ben Sowter

For immediate release

QS Quacquarelli Symonds is the first compiler of global and regional university rankings to receive the “IREG Approved” label for three of its research outputs.

The International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) Executive Committee, at its meeting in Warsaw on 15th May 2013, decided to grant to QS the rights to use the “IREG Approved” label in relation to the following three rankings: QS World University Rankings, QS University Rankings: Asia, and QS University Rankings: Latin America. The decision has come at the end of a thorough audit* process and the approval will last until 31 December 2016.

IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence - founded in 2004 by UNESCO and the Institute for Higher Education Policy - opens its audit procedure for national, regional and global university academic rankings, the IREG Ranking Audit, on a voluntary basis. 

The purpose of the audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify that the rankings under review are compiled professionally and with a transparent methodology. Successful organisations also need to show that they observe good practices and respond to a need for relevant information from a range of stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.

“QS is committed to the pursuit of best practice in international university rankings. We are, naturally, pleased to be the first international ranking to be IREG Approved.” says Ben Sowter, QS head of research. “Beyond the result itself, it signals the willingness to open our systems and processes up to external, independent scrutiny and exhibit the same transparency we demand of universities”
“We are proud and honoured to have received the IREG approval” adds Nunzio Quacquarelli, managing director of QS. “It is a testimony to the vision, dedication and sheer passion that our team has put into pioneering the evaluation of universities at a global, regional and subject level”.

Quacquarelli continues “Since the inception of  the World University Rankings in 2004, QS has focussed on  criteria that are relevant to millions of international students and their parents” 

Martin Ince, convenor of the QS Global Academic Advisory Board says: “I have always been proud of the broad acceptance of the Rankings by students and other communities around the world, and confident of the rigour with which they are compiled. I am delighted that IREG, the world’s leading body for independent rankings assessment, agrees with us that they are a valuable and high-quality contribution to world higher education.”
The third edition of the QS University Rankings: Latin America will be published on Tuesday 28th May 2013 followed by the fifth edition of the QS University Rankings: Asia on Tuesday 11th June.

The tenth edition of the QS World University Rankings will be published on Tuesday 10th September 2013.
The QS rankings are published on TopUniversities.com 

*The idea of ranking audit is rooted in the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions. The IREG Ranking Audit Manual was adopted by the Executive Committee of the IREG Observatory in November 2011 and is available at www.ireg-observatory.org .


Media contacts:

Simona Bizzozero, Head of PR, QS
m: +44(0)7880 620 856
t:  +44 (0)  20 7284 7248
e: simona@qs.com 

Vickie Chiu, PR Manager, QS
t:  +44 (0)  20 7284 7292
e: vickie.chiu@qs.com 

Notes for editors

The International Ranking Expert Group (IREG) was founded in 2004 by the UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES) in Bucharest and the Institute for Higher Education Policy in Washington, DC. It is upon this initiative that IREG’s second meeting (Berlin, 18 to 20 May, 2006) has been convened to consider a set of principles of quality and good practice in HEI rankings - the Berlin Principles on Ranking of Higher Education Institutions.

QS Quacquarelli Symonds
Since 1990, QS has become established as the world’s leading network for top careers and education. Producers of the QS World University Rankings®, QS’s innovative research, events, publications and university solutions provide new ways of bringing universities into contact with the best and brightest students worldwide.

QS World University Rankings® 
The QS World University Rankings ® is an annual league table of the top 600 universities in the world and is arguably the best-known and respected ranking of its kind. Compiled by the QS Intelligence Unit in close consultation with an international advisory board of leading academics, the QS World University Rankings ® is widely referenced by prospective and current students, university professionals and governments worldwide. The purpose of the rankings has been to recognise universities as the multi-faceted organisations they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class. The rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalisation. 

Ben Sowter
Sowter is the Head of Research at QS, QS Intelligence Unit. He holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Nottingham, where he was also awarded the Union Prize for outstanding contribution to the student union and served as chairman of the Nottingham University Debating Society. Ben is fully responsible for the operational management of all major QS research projects and is actively involved in all the collection, compilation and tabulation of all the data that lead to, amongst others, the World University Rankings research in which he has been involved since its initial inception in 2004. A frequent contributor to the press, Ben’s opinion on global education trends and his expertise is used regularly by major global publications.


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