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UNSW awarded five stars in new university rating system

QS Press Office

London 30 May 2011: The University of New South Wales has become the first Australian institution to be awarded five stars in the new QS Stars™ ratings system, a comprehensive evaluation based on 30 indicators conducted by QS, the higher education information provider behind the QS World University Rankings®.

UNSW Vice Chancellor, Professor Fred Hilmer, was awarded the QS Stars™ certificate at the recent Universitas 21 annual meeting in Sydney. A number of other Australian universities have subscribed to the system which will assist their international branding and student recruitment, and improve their management and dissemination of performance data.

By measuring institutional performance across a broad range of indicators against pre-set international standards, the star ratings system is able to assess performance at a level of detail that no world ranking exercise can match. Universities are awarded an overall rating out of five stars, but also receive ratings in 30 assessed areas, giving prospective students a far more comprehensive overview of institutional strengths and weaknesses.

QS Vice President for Strategy, John Molony, says, 'The QS Stars rating system complements the world, regional and subject rankings by offering prospective students a more granular view of a given  institution. The QS World University Rankings® are established as a prime reference tool for internationally mobile students; However the need to collect data that is consistent across the world's higher education systems places limitations on rankings that the ratings system doesn't face. The ratings system is able to take into account the diversity of institutions and recognise excellence regardless of size, shape or mission.'

UNSW plans to use the QS Stars as a quality mark that will enhance the institutions brand internationally.

Molony says that in times of intense competition for internationally mobile students and academics, other Australian institutions are seeing a similar opportunity. 'Australian universities generally have performed well in the QS world rankings since their inception in 2004, and QS Stars is an opportunity to reinforce that message with an international audience. Universities that are highly ranked will also stand out in the ratings system, while others will now have the opportunity to shine a light on strengths in narrower areas.  This all means that students will have more and better information to assist with their choice of study destination.'

The ratings system involves the QS Intelligence Unit collecting and analysing data on 30 indicators grouped in  eight categories - Research, Teaching, Internationalisation, Community Engagement, Graduate  Employability, Infrastructure, Innovation and Knowledge Transfer, and a Specialist area of the institutions own choice. Stars are awarded in each of the eight categories along with a composite overall rating.

Apart from a star rating, participating universities are issued with a development report which provides detailed analysis of the institution's performance in each of the areas measured.

 In addition to UNSW, a number of institutions in the following countries have started the evaluation process to be rated by QS: India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UAE, UK and USA, including Kings College London, Ohio State University and  Nanyang Technological University in Singapore,

The system is also being applied by government authorities in Indonesia as a mechanism for driving performance improvement across their higher education sector.

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For further information: Simona Bizzozero Head of Public Relations QS m: +44(0)7880 620 856 t: +44 (0) 20 7284 7248 e: simona@qs.com w: www.qs.com


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