Education is a very important part of the modern world. There are many rankings that assess universities that provide tertiary education. The QS ranking is one of such ratings and is one of the most famous. The University of Sydney has been an integral part of the QS rankings and has been in a prime position for many years.
The University of Sydney
The University of Sydney was founded in 1850 on the model of Cambridge and Oxford Universities. In particular, the main building of the university is an exact copy of the building of Christ College in Oxford and symbolizes adherence to British academic traditions.
The University of Sydney is the oldest and one of the best universities in Australia and Oceania and is part of the Group of Eight (the union of eight leading universities in Australia). It is famous for its high level of teaching and scientific research. The University of Sydney was founded on the idea that academic ability should be the only criterion for selecting students, not religion or social status.
The main priority of the university was named – to become the first university in the world in which students will be admitted only for academic success. Also, the University of Sydney was one of the first in the world to open its doors to women, much earlier than Oxford and Cambridge did. According to Zhou et al. (2020), the University of Sydney is the oldest and most prestigious university in Australia, controlled by the Department of Education due to its innovative and technically applied nature of teaching. Due to the fact that the education system in Australia is built by analogy to the British, the graduate degree from the University of Sydney is highly regarded.
The QS World University Rankings
The QS World University Rankings is one of the most authoritative university rankings. University Ranking (QS) was first published in November 2004 under the combined brand THE-QS. Since 2010, the QS rating has been published independently. The QS World’s Best Universities Ranking includes only those universities that offer all levels of education: bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral studies. In addition to the world ranking, QS publishes a ranking of universities under 50, subject and industry rankings, regional rankings, a ranking of university graduates (QS Graduate Employability Ranking), a ranking of the best student cities, and a ranking of national education systems. QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) is a British company that conducts research on higher education around the world. Based on their results, QS annually compiles a ranking of the best universities in the world.
The QS Ranking Criteria
QS has several main criteria:
- Academic Reputation.
- Employer Reputation.
- Faculty/Student Ratio.
- Citations per faculty.
- International Faculty Ratio.
- International Student Ratio.
The Academic Reputation Index is the centerpiece of the QS rankings, with a weight of 40%. It is based on already known data about the higher education institution and on two surveys conducted by QS itself. The first study was conducted among 50 thousand employers, and the second – was among 100 thousand academic authorities. Regardless of the location of the university, both foreign and local scientists are interviewed to maintain neutrality.
- Reputation among employers 10% – invitations to participate in the survey is sent to companies in all industries with a size of one hundred employees and above.
- The ratio of the teaching staff to the number of students is 20% – the source of these data is not only the information of the universities themselves but also the data of state organizations.
- The citation rate of scientific publications is 20% is the ratiothe number of citations of research studies received, and the number of faculty and researchers. It was created in order to determine the impact of university staff on the academic environment. Since 2007, citations have been counted based on Scopus bibliometric database. Materials published over the past five years are taken into account.
- The share of foreign teachers is 5% – teachers who work full-time or part-time and spend at least one semester at the university are taken into account.
- Share of foreign students 5% – reflects the degree the attractiveness of the educational institution in the international arena. Students who are citizens of countries other than the country of study are taken into account (Lane, 2021).
The University of Sydney was ranked 40th in the Global Ranking and 2nd in the QS World University Rankings 2021 – Top 10 Universities in Australia in 2021 (Lane, 2021). The university has 150 research centers, a large laboratory for nano-research, and the Nanostructural Analysis Network Organization based on the university premises. The University of Sydney is a member of the prestigious associations: Group of Eight, Association of Pacific Rim Universities, Association of Commonwealth Universities, and Worldwide Universities Network (Lane, 2021). The University of Sydney pays great attention to the support and development of sports.
There is a multifunctional sports hall, opened in 2011, an indoor sports complex, an Olympic-standard swimming pool, playing fields, and grounds. The university has more than 200 student clubs and organizations and 43 sports clubs (Zhou et al., 2020).
The University of Sydney has an excellent reputation. Its graduates are highly regarded by employers in Australia and abroad. At the same time, according to Hou and Jacob (2017), Harvard graduates are always a priority due to the high ranking and exceptional reputation of the university. Harvard ranks 3rd in the QS ranking, in the University of Sydney is ranked 40. At the same time, the University of Sydney has significantly better indicators in terms of the International Faculty Ratio and International Student Ratio. The University of Sydney offers the largest exchange program in Australia – students can study at one of 250 partner universities in over 40 countries (McManus et al., 2021). However, the university has a significantly lower Faculty / Student Ratio (Lane, 2021).
Improvement of Faculty / Student Ratio
Today, academic education at a university is the most important way of socializing and adaptation of a person in a constantly changing society. The influence of the teaching staff on students consists in the process of purposeful influence on the intellectual, spiritual, physical, and cultural development of the individual. Therefore, an increase in the number of faculty in relation to students will not only increase the university’s ratings but also possibly have a qualitative impact on the educational process. As a specialist with a certain set of knowledge and skills, a certain worldview, attitudes, and values, characteristics of professional behavior, a lecturer not only transfers knowledge and professional skills to the student but also introduces him to a certain learning culture.
The ratio of faculty and students affects the attention that each of them will receive and can directly affect the satisfaction and quality of knowledge. Currently, the University of Sydney has established the Center for English Studies (CET), which provides students with access to the resources and facilities of the Center (Lane, 2021). However, it is a controversial claim that even the most advanced technology can replace experienced professors who have tremendous knowledge and emotional intelligence that allows them to understand students and present knowledge in exactly the format that suits each individual student.
The fewer faculty there are at the university, the larger the classes and the less individualized the approach. An individual approach to the educational process of a university presupposes such a system of the pedagogical activity, which includes an accurate pedagogical diagnosis of the individual characteristics of students and a realistic assessment of their abilities for their further development.
Hou, Y. W., & Jacob, W. J. (2017). What contributes more to the ranking of higher education institutions? A comparison of three world university rankings. International Education Journal: Comparative Perspectives, 16(4), 29-46. Web.
Lane, C. (2021) Top universities in the world 2021. QS Quacquarelli Symonds Limited 1994 – 2021. Web.
McManus, P., Connell, J., & Ding, X. (2021). Chinese tourists at the University of Sydney: Constraints to co-creating campus tourism?. Current Issues in Tourism, 1-11. Web.
Zhou, W., Berrio, J. S., De Alvis, C., Shan, M., Worrall, S., Ward, J., & Nebot, E. (2020). Developing and testing robust autonomy: The university of sydney campus data set. IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems Magazine, 12(4), 23-40. Web.