Of all the Belgian universities in the QS ranking, VUB comes out strongest on quality of education, determined by the ratio of students to staff. QS agrees that a high number of lecturers per student is attractive for scientists to teach at the VUB. The international attractiveness for academic staff is also shown by the good score in the international faculty ratio category. Incidentally, VUB was able to report more international students to QS this year.
The Belgian universities have all fallen slightly in this year’s QS ranking, with the only exception being ULB. UHasselt has been included in the ranking for the first time. As usual, KU Leuven is Belgium’s highest-ranked university, at 84 (down from 80), followed by UGent at 135 (previously 130) and then UCL at 189 (previously 167). VUB is in 200th place, down from 195, UAntwerp is at 238 (was 223), followed by ULB at 250 (was 251). ULiège follows further behind at 451 (was 429) with newcomer UHasselt at 456. UMons is currently ranked in the group 651-700.
In response to the rankings, VUB points out that it combines subjective indicators with ‘objective’ indicators, but does not provide clarity about the choice or combination of indicators, or the weighting coefficients. Indicators that gauge by reputation determine 50% of the final result.
The rankings of the participating universities are also very volatile. Moreover, it is noticeable that a university can fall in ranking while its percentile score improves: for example, VUB has fallen slightly in absolute terms from 195 to 200, but in relative terms its percentile has risen from 18.2% to 16.9%. This puts VUB among the top 17% best universities in the world, according to QS.
QS World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by higher education analysts Quacquarelli Symonds (QS). The overview is compiled in collaboration with Elsevier publishers. As it is the only international ranking that has received the approval of the International Ranking Expert Group (IREG), the QS ranking is considered one of the three most read university rankings in the world, along with the Academic Ranking of World Universities and Times Higher Education World University Rankings.