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Elite HEIs ebb in QS employability rankings

The US scooped five of the top-10 spots in the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019, while elite UK institutions slipped down the rankings since last year.

The University of Cambridge was the highest-ranked UK institution in the QS GER. Photo: richardpeterkirk/Pixabay

Western European Universities were better represented in the rankings than Asian institutions

For the first time, the world leader in providing graduates with a successful career is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, stealing the crown from Stanford University, which shared second position with UCLA.

“The promise of a clear focus on a good career is an attractive pull factor for prospective students”

Harvard in fourth position is then followed by two Australian institutions, Sydney and Melbourne Universities, before the University of Cambridge.

The only Asian university in the top-10 is China’s Tsinghua University in ninth position.

Generally, western European universities were better represented in the rankings than Asian institutions, taking up 144 and 102 spots respectively in the top 500.

The trends for UK universities are not clear-cut, QS explained in a statement. Of the 52 entrants, 18 rose up the rankings and 16 remained stable, while 14 dropped. However, nine of those drops were limited to the “upper echelons” of the table.

“It is clear that the [UK’s] very top institutions are losing ground,” Qs research director Ben Sowter said in a statement.

“Universities occupying tiers below them [are] aware that the promise of a clear focus on a good career is an attractive pull factor for prospective students, and a means of competing in international performance evaluations such as this one.”

With employability increasingly a top of mind concern for all students, Sowter explained, it is important that students have access to relevant information to make the right choice.

“[The rankings] indicates that those universities that have excellent research profiles and global reputations aren’t invariably those that do most to nurture student employability,” he said.

QS used five indicators to map the employability potential of graduates from different institutions: employer’s reputation, alumni outcomes, partnership with employers per faculty, employer-student connection and graduate employment rate.

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