August 07, 2013
Interfax, QS announce launch of BRICS University Rankings
The Interfax Information Services Group and the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) company, a renowned leader in the sphere of academic rankings, have launched a project to create the BRICS University Rankings (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).
Interfax faces a rather ambitious task which is to create a ranking system that would comply not only with the Berlin principles, the key rules for any international academic rankings, but also be recognized all over the world. The ranking system is based on criteria recommended to the Russian Education and Science Ministry in autumn of 2012 by Russia‘s leading universities. These criteria are divided into three groups: educational activity, research activity and international activity, and then the categories are expanded for a more accurate collection of data from all universities in the BRICS countries.
The methodology of forming the rankings is similar to the existing methodology of assessing the world‘s largest universities developed by QS that has been making global (QS World Universities Rankings, www.topuniversities.com) and regional (QS University Rankings: Asia, QS University Rankings: Latin America) university rankings for many years.
The methodology of assessing universities in the future may be updated and extended on the basis of recommendations of the Russian academic community and Interfax, which has extensive expertise in creating national ranking systems for universities (www.univer-rating.ru).
"We hope that the participation of Russian universities in the new international rankings will help increase the competiveness of Russian universities in the global educational and research areas and their transparency to external assessments," Interfax Deputy Director General Alexei Gorshkov said.
"Russian universities are still not well represented in international rankings although achievements of many of them look quite decent on a global level. The creation of the BRICS University Rankings will help to compare comparable educational systems and increase the recognition of universities of these countries both in the academic community and among students and employers all over the world," QS Regional Director for Eastern Europe Zoya Zaitseva said.
"Our main goal is to reflect the situation in the sphere of higher education in the BRICS countries as accurately and fully as possible, and I hope that jointly we will achieve with this," she said.
It is expected that results of the BRICS University Rankings will be publicized at an international conference in Moscow in 2013.
The methodology of the BRICS University Rankings is based on three indicators: educational activity, research activity and international activity.
The educational activity includes reputational assessments by a panel of international academic experts, reputational assessments by a panel of international employers and recruiters, the ratio of students per one professor, and the share of professors with an advanced academic degree.
The research activity brings together the publication productivity of researchers and professors of a university (the number of scientific articles per one researcher or professor over the past five years), and the quality of scientific publications of a university (the number of citations of one scientific article over the past five years) according to the Scopus bibliographic database.
The international activity comprises the share of foreign professors and researchers at a university and the share of foreign students at a university.
Moreover, it is expected that additional information indices of a university activity will be collected in order to assess it. It is also expected to improve qualitative and quantitative characteristics of international expert panels.
The Interfax Information Services Group is the largest diversified information group in the CIS. Since the early 1990s Interfax has been a key source of information on Russia and the former Soviet Union for the international community. Today Interfax provides political and economic news, fundamental and exchange information, professional solutions for risk management, marketing, investor relations and PR.
Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) founded in 1990 has become one of the world‘s leading providers of information for students and young professionals who choose to pursue further educational programs including bachelor, master, post-graduate and business schools. The company created world‘s best QS World University Rankings and offers new forms of interaction between university colleagues and enrollees from all over the world through online portals, research projects, events and guides.
The QS World University Ranking has become a key guide for many people since it was first introduced in 2004. The rankings developed in close cooperation between the QS research center and the QS academic council is well known to large number of current and future students, university staff, companies, and governments throughout the world. The goal of the rankings is to present the university as a multilateral organization that meets the career needs of its students. The rankings are based on four core parameters: research and educational activity, opinion of employers on graduates and the level of internationalization.
The QS rankings uses the Scopus bibliographic database by Elsevier, which is the world‘s largest bibliographic database of excerpts and citations from scientific literature and electronic sources. The database has excerpts and citations from more than 18,000 articles from more than 5,000 international editions, thus providing the broadest interdisciplinary coverage. Scopus is a trusted source of bibliographic data and is widely used by many organizations, including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Australian Research Council (ARC), Institute for Research Information and Quality Assurance (iFQ, Germany), and others.