QS Latin America University Rankings Methodology

QS Latin America University Rankings Methodology

Discover the top universities in Latin America with the QS Latin America University Rankings 2023.

This year’s QS Latin America University Rankings features 428 institutions – up from last year’s 418, making it our biggest Latin American rankings to date.  
The major locations represented in the rankings include Brazil (98 universities), Mexico (64 universities) and Colombia (62 universities), which account for more than a half of all ranked universities between them. 

Chile’s Pontificia Universidad Católica and Universidade de São Paulo in Brazil hold the top two spots in the rankings for the fifth year running, whilst Tecnológico de Monterrey and Universidad de Chile maintain last year’s third and fourth places respectively.

Craig OCallaghan

Updated September 22, 2022 Updated September 22

The regional ranking uses five basic criteria: research impact and productivity, teaching commitment, employability, online impact and internationalization. The method retains key indicators of the global ranking, such as Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, and Faculty to Student Ratio, but also considers a set of performance metrics carefully tailored for the region. The following metrics are used:

Academic Reputation (30%)

Taken from the annual survey conducted by QS designed to evaluate the perceptions of academics from around the world regarding teaching and research quality at the best universities. In doing so, it has grown to become the world’s largest survey of academic opinion, and, in terms of size and scope, is an unparalleled means of measuring sentiment in the academic community. This year, over 130,000 responses were recorded globally.

Employer Reputation (20%)

The Employer Reputation metric is based on over 75,000 responses to the QS Employer Survey, and asks employers to identify those institutions from which they source the most competent, innovative, effective graduates. The QS Employer Survey is also the world’s largest of its kind.

Faculty to Student Ratio (10%)

This is the ratio between the number of academic staff and number of students. A higher number of teachers per student is an indirect indicator of the commitment of the institutions to high-quality teaching.

Staff with PhD (10%)

This indicator attempts to assess the quality of training of the academic staff, detecting the proportion of them that have reached the highest level of education in their area of expertise.

This is an indirect measure of the commitment of universities to high-quality teaching and research.

International research network (10%)

Using data provided by Scopus, this indicator assesses the degree of international openness in terms of research collaboration for each evaluated institution. To calculate this indicator the Margalef Index, widely used in the environmental sciences, has been adapted to produce a score that gives an indication of the diversity of an institution’s research collaborations with other institutions in different locations of the world.

Citations per Paper (10%)

This ratio measures the average number of citations obtained per publication, and is an estimate of the impact and quality of the scientific work done by universities. Data indexed by Scopus is also used. To avoid anomalous results, only the institutions producing more than 100 papers in the last five years are evaluated.

The paper and citation counts are normalized, ensuring that citations achieved in each of the five broad faculty areas are weighted equally.

For the QS Latin America University Rankings 2022 we analysed papers from a five-year window of 2015-2019, and citations from 2015-2020.

Papers per Faculty (5%)

This indicator seeks to determine the average number of scientific publications (papers) produced per faculty and evaluates the research productivity of the institutions. The data is extracted from Scopus (www.scopus.com). The paper count is normalized, ensuring that citations achieved in each of the five broad faculty areas are weighted equally.

Web Impact (5%)

This indicator seeks to assess the effectiveness with which institutions are making use of new technologies. Baseline information is provided by the Ranking Web of Universities (www.webometrics.info), although the results are refactored to exclude the Excellence indicator, which is already considered in the metrics related to scientific research.

This article was originally published in June 2016 . It was last updated in September 2022

Written by

As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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