The rankings have also seen a number of institutions which aren’t represented highly in the overall World University Rankings climb up the table, including two from Australia making the top 10.
Stanford University, which holds on to the top spot this year, is followed by UCLA – up from 15th last year – and Harvard University, making it a 1,2,3 for US institutions.
“We want to reward universities for being proactive, for placing employability at the top of the agenda”
The University of Sydney is once again in fourth place, while Massachusetts Institute of Technology comes in fifth.
The top five are followed by the University of Cambridge (6th), the University of Melbourne (7th), the University of Oxford (8th), the University of California Berkeley (9th), and Tsinghua University (10th).
Institutions from eight countries make the top 20, including Japan’s Tokyo University in 14th place, and the University of Hong Kong in 20th.
This compares with the World University Rankings top 20, which consists of institutions from just five countries.
“We don’t want this ranking to measure reputation alone,” said Jack Moran, education writer at QS.
“We want to reward universities for being proactive, for placing employability at the top of the agenda,” he told The PIE News.
The ranking’s methodology measures employer reputation, alumni outcomes, partnerships with employers per faculty, employer/student connections, and graduate employment rate.
“It’s perhaps also true that universities that don’t have highly prestigious global brands are seeking to emphasise the quality of the employment prospects they offer to potential graduates, which incentivises them to engage in the sort of behaviours and initiatives that this project rewards,” Moran commented.
Universities from Latin America and the Middle East make an appearance in the top 50 in the employability rankings, which they don’t do in the World University Rankings. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile places at 37th, along with the American University of Beirut at 41st.
And the rankings also include six institutions from Germany in the top 100 – double the number in the overall top 100 university rankings.
Four of Australia’s universities feature in the top 50 in the rankings, just one fewer than the UK’s five universities. After the universities of Sydney and Melbourne in fourth and seventh, respectively, comes The University of New South Wales (36th) and The University of Queensland (49th).
“The precise way in which students value employability does differ by region”
“If Australian universities are ranked highly, it is because they also ensure that desirable employers are frequently on campus, are committed to innovative, student-centered teaching methods, and foster strong research links with industry,” commented Ben Sowter, research director at QS.
Employability is an increasingly important aspect for international students, as they seek out a high return on investment for undertaking their higher education study abroad.
“[It’s] at the forefront of the minds of students in all regions, at all levels, whether it’s expressed as a desire to gain the international experience employers covet, or a keenness to develop entrepreneurial skills,” said Moran.
“The precise way in which students value employability does differ by region – but it’s indisputably a key driver of international study.”