London-based QS, which issues the rankings annually, compared 980 international colleges and universities, culled from 4,000 considered for possible inclusion on the list.
“We are incredibly proud of the strides Boston University continues to make among our peer institutions, as evidenced by this latest gain in the QS World University rankings,” says Jean Morrison, University provost. “From the productivity of our professors to our reputation both in academics and as an employer, BU this past year performed among the very top one percent of universities in the world. It is a notable distinction and a reflection of the hard work of our talented faculty and staff and their commitment to excellence.”
QS collects and publicizes information on global higher education. Its World University Rankings, first published in 2004, are based on institutions’ proportion of international faculty and staff (a proxy for how attractive to these groups a school is, according to QS), the student-to-faculty ratio, the average number of academic citations per faculty member, and the institution’s reputation among employers and academics globally, which QS measures in annual surveys.
Among those indicators, BU did best in its reputation with employers: it was 98th among all the universities in the QS rankings. Although the University fell in that category from last year’s ranking, and also in its academic reputation and faculty citations, it rose in student-faculty ratio and in its proportions of international faculty and students.
QS also publishes a separate evaluation of universities by various academic subjects. The latest such report gave BU a shout-out as “among the world’s elite institutions” in 36 subjects, notably in life sciences (41st out of 1,117 institutions ranked), arts and humanities (63rd), natural sciences (94th), social sciences and management (96th), and engineering and technology (166th).