About us

Media Registration

Press releases

Articles and commentaries

Image gallery


QS Scholarships

Latest research and presentations

Get the newsletter

Latest Press Releases

World University Rankings 2014 - Global Press Release

Science and Technology Innovation Drives Leadership of MIT, Cambridge and Imperial in QS World University Rankings 2014 http://www.topuniversities.com/rankings2014 #QSWUR

The global emphasis on high-impact scientific and technological research is the key driver of leadership in the QS World University Rankings.


The rankings are, for the third year, led by MIT which increased year-on-year citations per faculty by 14%. Imperial College also reported a 14% increase in this metric compared to 11% by Cambridge and 2% by Harvard.  The average increase in this dimension amongst the top 10 was 7%.  Caltech remains the world’s top university for research citations.


All the top ten institutions achieve excellence in academic reputation, employer reputation, student faculty ratio or measures of international faculty and students. The performance of Imperial College in citations per faculty has helped it become the biggest climber in the top 10, leapfrogging Harvard, UCL and Oxford to rank second equal in the world, tied with University of Cambridge.



Global Top Ten 








Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)





University of Cambridge





Imperial College London





Harvard University





University of Oxford





UCL (University College London)





Stanford University





California Institute of Technology (CALTECH)





Princeton University





Yale University



© QS Quacquarelli Symonds 2004-2014 www.TopUniversities.com/rankings2014





A total of 31 countries are represented in the top 200; where the US is the dominant nation, with 51 institutions, ahead of the UK (29), Germany (13), the Netherlands (11), Canada (10), Japan (10) and Australia (8).


The top ten fastest risers since 2009 are: MIT, Sungkyunkwan University (Korea), EPFL (Switzerland), Stanford, LMU München, Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Korea University, Zhejiang University (China), Queen Mary, University of London and ETH Zurich. Eight of these institutions feature key strengths in science and technology.


“In the wake of the recession, both governments and private sector funding source are placing greater emphasis on high-impact STEM research, much of which takes place in specialist institutions,” says QS head of research Ben Sowter. “Tech-focused institutions are increasingly the focal point of a global race for innovation. With budgets from public sources increasingly coming under strain, institutions seem more focused than ever on potentially lucrative research in science, technology and medicine.”


For a decade QS rankings have shed light on the continued evolution of higher education, helping to guide practitioners, along with the students that QS strives to serve.




Follow us Twitter.jpg@worlduniranking  Icon_fb.jpg www.facebook.com/universityrankings


For more information and requesting interviews with QS experts please contact:

Simona Bizzozero
Head of PR
+44 (0) 7880620856
[email protected]


Natasha Marie Levanti
Public Relations Officer
+44 (0) 207 284 7207
[email protected]


Notes for the editors


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 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 recognize universities as the multi-faceted organizations they are and to provide a global comparison of their success against the notional mission of remaining or becoming world-class.  Now in their 10th year, the QS World University Rankings 2014/2015 rank the world’s top 863 universities (out of over 3,000 considered) adding 100+ new universities into the current list of the world’s best institutions.  The QS World University Rankings are based on four key pillars, research, teaching, employability and internationalization and the methodology consists of six indicators: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), and faculty student ratio (20%), citations per faculty (20%), international students (5%) and international faculty (5%).

This year, 63,676 academic and 28,759 employer responses contributed towards the results, making both surveys the largest of their kind in the world.


Global impact of the QS World University Rankings


IREG approval

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 Observatory on Academic Rankings and Excellence (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. More information on its correct usage is available here.


The Global Innovation Index

The QS World University Rankings has been used as one of the indicators for the GII since 2013. The QS ranking is the only ranking of its kind to be used for the study.  The GII is co-published by Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO, a specialized agency of the United Nations).  The annual report consists of a ranking of world economies’ innovation capabilities and results.


The Bank of Communication Sea Turtle Index

The Bank of Communications Sea Turtle Index was developed and produced by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which benchmarks the potential returns—academic, financial and social—on an international undergraduate education in 80 cities worldwide. These were chosen first by clustering the top 300 universities from the QS World University Rankings into major cities, allowing for richer data and greater regional diversity in results. EIU analysts then used OECD statistics on the percentage of international students going to each country to decide on the number of cities to feature per country.


Scopus Database from Elsevier

QS Rankings use citation data from Scopus which is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature and quality Web sources. Its unique database contains abstracts and references from over 18,000 titles from more than 5,000 international publishers, ensuring broad interdisciplinary coverage. Scopus is a trusted source of bibliometric data, also used by many other organisations including: the OECD, the Australian Research Council, iFQ (Institut für Forschungsinformation und Qualitätssicherung) and ISTEP (National Institute of Science and Technology Policy of Japan).


QS experts available for interviews


Ben Sowter, head of research
Ben is fully responsible for all major QS research projects and has been actively involved the collection, compilation and analysis of all the data used in the QS World University Rankings since its initial inception in 2004. He is also the co-author of UNESCO publication, “Rankings and Accountability in Higher Education: Uses and Misuses”, a book which showcases the views of twenty academics and university rankers. Ben can offer commentary on the implications of the rankings results for individual countries and insight into possible future trends.


Christina Zhang, regional commentator- China and UK
Christina was voted the UK’s National Union of Students (NUS) International Students’ Officer from 2010-2012 and has won many prestigious awards such as “British Council International Student of the Year” and “Female Young Achiever of the Year”. Prior to joining QS, Christina was working in the House of Commons, advising MPs on UK national policies on business and economic affairs as well as supporting the Chair of the Parliamentary Labour Party BIS (Business, Innovation and Skills) Group. She is an expert on the Chinese higher education system and can also comment on topics related to the needs of international students.


Hilol Nag, regional commentator- Middle East and Africa

Hilol is a senior consultant with the QS Intelligence Unit. His expertise lies in comparative higher education systems, analysing policies, issues, challenges and implementation initiatives. He regularly advises universities around the world, with a focus on the Middle East and Africa, on areas such as strategic planning, research strategy, internationalisation, faculty and student recruitment, branding and employer relations.


Martin Juno, regional commentator- Latin America

Martin joined the QS Intelligence Unit in November 2010 and is the key project manager of the QS University Rankings: Latin America. Prior to joining QS, Martin has worked at Fundación Global (Global Foundation), a prestigious think-tank based in Argentina for almost 10 years as an economic researcher and analyst, leading several research projects and outreach programs.


External commentators


John O’Leary
John is an executive member of the QS Global Academic Advisory Board and has been involved in the World University Rankings since their establishment in 2004. He is a UK-based education journalist, editor of the Times Good University Guide and formerly editor of Times Higher Education Supplement and education editor of The Times.


Martin Ince
Martin is the convenor of the QS Global Academic Advisory Board. He is a British science and education journalist who has been involved in the World University Rankings since 2004. He was formerly deputy editor of the Times Higher Education Supplement and advises universities in Europe and Asia on rankings issues.

rss RSS   email Email