In the ever-expanding world of higher education, one organization has stood the test of time as a beacon of guidance and information for students interested in studying abroad. Established in 1990 by Nunzio Quacquarelli, this organization, known as QS, has grown from its humble origins to become a global force in the field of education. Through its annual rankings, QS provides a comprehensive evaluation of universities around the world, taking into account factors such as academic reputation, research impact, and internationalization. But QS doesn't stop there - it also offers rankings for specific academic disciplines, assesses sustainability efforts, ranks MBA and business master's programs, and even hosts international recruitment events. With its dedication to providing valuable insights and accurate assessments, QS has become a trusted authority in the higher education community.


QS was established by Nunzio Quacquarelli in 1990 with the goal of providing guidance and information to students interested in studying abroad. Over time, the company expanded its offerings in higher education and, in 2004, partnered with THE to create the THE-QS World University Rankings. The need for international university rankings was emphasized in a 2003 review of university-industry collaboration in the UK. The idea for the rankings was credited to John O'Leary, then-editor of THE, and QS was chosen to supply the data for the rankings. In 2009, THE decided to produce its own rankings, citing weaknesses and favoritism in the original methodology. However, QS retained the intellectual property and continued to develop and refine the rankings. Today, QS has a global presence and offers a variety of products and services in student recruitment, events, and consulting.


QS releases the QS World University Rankings annually, typically in June. The 2023 edition included 1418 institutions across 100 locations. The rankings consider multiple factors, such as academic reputation, employer reputation, research impact, and internationalization. The methodology is reviewed every year to ensure it remains relevant. Some of the key indicators used in the rankings include academic reputation, faculty-student ratio, and citations per faculty. QS also publishes regional rankings for specific areas like the Arab Region, Asia, Latin America, and emerging Europe and Central Asia. These rankings consider additional metrics tailored to each region.

QS World University Rankings by Subject

The QS World University Rankings by Subject evaluate universities based on their performance in specific academic disciplines and broad faculty areas. The rankings cover more than 50 academic disciplines, including business, mathematics, medicine, law, and more. The methodology considers indicators such as academic reputation, employer reputation, citations per paper, and international research networks.

QS Best Student Cities

The QS Best Student Cities rankings compare cities around the world based on their appeal and benefits to students. The rankings consider factors such as university rankings, student mix, desirability, employer activity, and affordability. The QS Best Student Cities rankings aim to provide insights into the student experience in different cities and help students make informed decisions about where to study.

QS World University Rankings: Sustainability

Recognizing the importance of sustainability in higher education, QS launched the QS World University Rankings: Sustainability in 2022. These rankings evaluate universities' sustainability performance based on indicators related to environmental impact and social impact. The indicators assess factors such as sustainable institutions, sustainable education, sustainable research, equality, knowledge exchange, impact of education, employability, and quality of life. The rankings aim to provide a resource for universities, students, academics, and policymakers to assess sustainability efforts and identify best practices.

QS MBA and Business Master's Rankings

In addition to university rankings, QS provides rankings for MBA programs and business master's degrees. The QS Global MBA Rankings evaluate MBA programs based on factors such as reputation, employability, and return on investment. The QS Business Master's Rankings rank master's programs in various business-related subjects. QS also releases rankings for specific career options, such as finance, business management, business analytics, marketing, and supply chain management.


The QS World University Rankings have been recognized as authoritative and trusted within the higher education community. Universities in the UK and Asia-Pacific region have expressed positive views on the rankings, citing their value in assessing research quality, teaching, and employability. However, the reputation surveys used in the rankings have also faced criticism for their low response rates and potential biases. Some critics argue that the rankings place too much emphasis on reputation and overlook other important factors. Concerns have also been raised about the methodology and indicators used in the rankings, particularly in the arts and humanities fields.


QS organizes a range of international student recruitment events, including the World MBA Tour, World Grad School Tour, World University Tour, and Connect Events. These events provide opportunities for prospective students to meet with admissions staff, receive guidance, and learn about scholarships. QS also offers 1-on-1 interviews with admissions staff through the QS Connect MBA and QS Connect Masters events.

QS Stars

QS Stars is an auditing service offered by QS that provides in-depth information about institutional strengths and weaknesses. It evaluates universities based on various categories, including teaching, employability, research, internationalization, facilities, online/distance learning, and more. Universities receive a rating from zero to five stars based on their performance. QS Stars ratings provide a comprehensive assessment of universities' capabilities and help students identify institutions that excel in specific areas.

In a rapidly evolving global landscape of higher education, QS has established itself as a trusted source of guidance and information for students around the world. From the prestigious QS World University Rankings to the innovative QS Best Student Cities rankings, QS continues to provide valuable insights into the ever-changing world of academia. By recognizing the importance of sustainability and offering comprehensive rankings in various academic disciplines, QS remains at the forefront of shaping the future of higher education. Whether you're a prospective student seeking the best institution or a university aiming to enhance its strengths, QS is there to guide you on your educational journey. With its diverse range of events and its auditing service, QS Stars, QS truly stands as a beacon of excellence and opportunity in the realm of higher education.