QS University Rankings Workshop attracts 270 university leaders in Kuala Lumpur

 'Oxford slips in international university ranking as Asian rivals 'snap at heels', read The Guardian newspaper's headline when this year's QS World University Rankings were published.

With a record level of interest in the QS World University Rankings (over 5 million people have viewed results on Topuniversites.com alone in 2009) 270 Asian, African, European, North American and Middle-Eastern university heads and strategists flew to Kuala Lumpur recently to attend QS University Rankings Workshops. Delegates were intent on learning about global rankings in general, networking with peer universities and providing feedback to representatives of several ranking organisations.

A common message from delegates and speakers alike was that world rankings have stimulated change, and the QS rankings, in particular, have become a practical tool for strategic planning and target setting for performance improvement, within universities around the world.

Dr Kevin Downing of City University of Hong Kong, who has seen the institution improve its ranking performance steadily to become a top 200 university in 2009, says:  All rankings are controversial. Nevertheless, QS World University Rankings provide a well accepted measure of the current activity and quality of universities around the world. As such they are proving extremely useful to university leaders seeking to benchmark their performance at an international level. Many senior managers of leading universities around the world now include the QS rankings in their strategic plans because they provide useful, practical targets.

The Workshops, held in association with Asia's largest international education conference, QS-APPLE (Asia Pacific Professional Leaders in Education), enabled the university leaders to hear from rankings and globalisation experts from seven countries. They presented on key topics that included:

  • Putting rankings into perspective
  • Determining the future of university rankings
  • Using rankings to set targets for improvements in university performance
  • Benchmarking against global peer institutions
  • Latest developments in university evaluation

QS has pioneered a robust and practical ranking of the world's universities that, since inception in 2004, has enabled universities to benchmark themselves against their global peers. Responding to the extraordinary level of interest in the QS World University Rankings, QS is undertaking a global outreach to international university leaders through an extended program of QS University Rankings Workshops in 2010:

London in March 2010 - alongside QS Top Universities Fair

Riyadh in May 2010 - prior to QS-MAPLE (Middle East & Africa Professional Leaders in Education Conference)

Warsaw, May 20th - QS World & Eurasian University Rankings Conference

Kansas City in June 2010 - alongside the NAFSA Conference

Nantes, France in September 2010 - alongside the EAIE Conference.

QS Asia office will also conduct a road show of University Rankings Workshops hosted by universities in thirty Asian and Middle Eastern cities during 2010. Some of the countries to be visited next year include: China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Singapore, New Zealand, India, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE (Dubai), Oman, Jordan and Egypt.