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K-State Today

March 18, 2020

Kansas State University earns five stars in worldwide university rating system

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

Kansas State University recently earned a five-star rating in the QS Stars, or Quacquarelli Symonds, world rating analysis.

The agency audits and rates universities worldwide. Each QS Star-rated university is listed at topuniversities.com, where students can filter by Star ratings. According to QS, universities that display exceptional performance and quality standards are awarded a five-star rating.

Grant Chapman, associate provost for international programs, said QS is a choice reference for international students, scholars and other global interests for evaluating institutions on a world scale. Students and their families not only look at rankings but at the more broadly-gauged comparisons that they can filter by star rating.

"International students and sponsors have many options to choose from, not only within the U.S. but worldwide," Chapman said. "The five-star rating is important for Kansas State University particularly when it comes to international reputation, especially with international students, partners, sponsors and funding agencies. The use of global rankings as a reference and stars ratings provide a comparison at a deeper level."

QS Stars is an opt-in audit opportunity for institutions to show greater depth and breadth than can be demonstrated in more typical rankings criteria that commonly include publication and citation numbers, student/teacher ratios, number of doctoral degrees conferred, among others. While these criteria are included in the ratings, they are accompanied by criteria evaluation that drill down more deeply.  

In addition to the overall rating, K-State earned the highest five-star rating in all submitted areas.

Core areas: 

• Teaching.
• Employability.
• Research.
• Internationalization.
• Facilities, including many areas such as sporting provisions, accommodation, IT infrastructure, libraries, medical support on campus and student societies.

Advanced criteria areas:

• Arts and culture.
• Innovation, which includes patents, industrial research and spin-off companies.

Specialist criteria category:

• Agriculture and forestry.

K-State also ranked in the top 50 in the world for agriculture and forestry. 

"The five-star QS rating means that an external international organization has looked at tangible evidence supporting the academic and research quality as well as the overall learning environment at Kansas State University," Chapman said. "The standards are set at the highest international level and assist K-State as we strive to be a truly global university."

The Office of International Programs spearheaded the report which took six months to complete. The comprehensive Stars audit included just under 100 data points, with several hundred evidence requirements, Chapman said.

Many faculty, staff and administrators including the president and provost’s offices, colleges, departments and other academic and nonacademic units submitted data and other information such as photos, video footage, plans and lists.

"This was a very large undertaking and we thank our many partners across the university," Chapman said. "Without the good will and cooperation of the campus community, it would not have been possible to provide the detailed level of evidence required for all areas."

The honor is designated by QS Stars badges on webpages. Read more and view all of the Stars badges

Contact Bev Earles, associate director of planning and analysis, Office of International Programs, for more information at earles@k-state.edu.