Talk to us arrow

hipchat Call
text.skipToContent text.skipToNavigation

QS World University Rankings 2021

Globally recognised and produced by Quacquarelli Symonds, a higher education publisher, the QS World University Rankings has consistently based its ranking methodology on six key metrics. 

They include Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation, Faculty/Student Ratio, Citations per faculty, International Faculty Ratio and International Student Ratio. Each metric contributes a percentage towards an institution’s final score. 

Academic Reputation (40%) 

With a weightage of 40%, the Academic Reputation metric is based on the Academic Survey - a collation of expert opinions from 94,000 higher education individuals regarding teaching and research quality - and is touted as the world’s largest survey of academic opinion. 

Faculty/Student Ratio (20%) 

QS considers measuring faculty/student ratio as the most effective proxy metric for teaching quality, as it relates to how institutions are able to facilitate meaningful access between students and lecturers. The ranking methodology also recognises that a high number of faculty members will represent a lower teaching burden.  

Employer Reputation (10%) 

This metric is based on responses to the QS Employer Survey, where employers are asked to identify institutions from which they source “the most competent, innovative and effective graduates.” 

Citations per faculty (20%) 

In order to calculate the Citations per Faculty metric, QS quantifies the total number of citations received by all faculty member-produced papers from an institution - across a five-year period.  

QS performs a normalisation of citations as well, given that different academic fields have variant publishing cultures. This year alone, the ranking provider assessed 74 million citations from 13.5 million papers (excluding self-citations). 

International Faculty Ratio and International Student Ratio (5% each) 

Institutions that score well for these metrics are those that are capable of attracting faculty members and students from all over the world. An internationalised higher education sector provides the community with a multicultural environment, allowing for exposure to cultures and beliefs, besides raising students to develop international sympathies and global awareness. 

Below, we’ve compiled the top universities in each destination - Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Ireland, the UK and USA. If you’re keen to find out more on what it means to study abroad in any of these countries, fill in your details and make a free appointment with one of our friendly counsellors! 


QS Top 10 Universities in Australia 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1The Australian National University   31 
2The University of Sydney   40 
3The University of Melbourne   41 
4The University of New South Wales (UNSW)  44 
5The University of Queensland   46
6Monash University     55 
7The University of Western Australia 92
8The University of Adelaide   106
9University of Technology Sydney   133 
10University of Wollongong   196


QS Top Universities in New Zealand 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1The University of Auckland   81
2University of Otago   184
3Victoria University of Wellington   223 
4University of Canterbury     270 
5Massey University     272 
6University of Waikato   375 
7Lincoln University   387 
8 Auckland University of Technology (AUT)  437  


QS Top 10 Universities in Canada 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1University of Toronto   25 
2McGill University    31 
3University of British Columbia  45
4Université de Montréal   118 
5University of Alberta   119 
6McMaster University   144 
7University of Waterloo   166 
8Western University   203 
9Queen’s University at Kingston   246
10University of Calgary   246 


QS Top 10 Universities in the UK 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1University of Oxford   
2University of Cambridge    
3Imperial College London 
4UCL  10
5The University of Edinburgh   20 
6The University of Manchester   27
7King’s College London   31
8The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)  49 
9University of Bristol   58 
10The University of Warwick  62 


QS Top Universities in Ireland 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin  101 
2University College Dublin   177 
3National University of Ireland Galway   238
4University College Cork   286
5Dublin City University   439 
6University of Limerick   511-520 
7Maynooth University   701-750 

Technological University Dublin 



QS Top 10 Universities in USA 2021 

RankUniversityGlobal Rank
1Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)  1
2Stanford University  2
3Harvard University  3
4California Institute of Technology (Caltech)  4
5University of Chicago  9
6Princeton University  12
7University of Pennsylvania   16
8Yale University  17
9Cornell University  18
10Columbia University  19


If you’re ready to chase your goals, fill in your details and we’ll help you get to a top institution. 




Please select a level of study

Enter subject, choose from the list or hit search

  • Start typing, choose from the list or hit search

  • Enter subject, choose from the list or or hit search

Please type and select an institution

  • Type 3 characters of a university name and select from the list

  • Enter a university or school name and select from the list