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Methodology – International

5% 5%

International Faculty Index

Globalisation has had a major influence on the landscape of higher education and whilst, in some ways, universities may at one time have been pioneering in this regard the level to which ease of mobility has affected them is profound. International strategies at universities are much more than simply the numbers of international faculty and students, but these serve as strong measures of institutions with advanced strategies in this area.

The International Faculty Index is simply based on the proportion of faculty members that are international.

Universities based in locations known for attracting high proportions of expatriates perform well here such as those in Hong Kong, Switzerland and UAE.

International Students Index

Similar in nature to the International Faculty Index, the International Students Index is based on the proportion of students that are international.

This measure has attracted some comment – that perhaps it is not a valid measure of quality – and if we were looking at a much larger catchment of universities that may be accurate, there are certainly institutions beyond the scope of this study for which their international student proportion may indicate a lack of quality. However, the International Students Index, although only carrying a weighting of 5% show’s a stronger correlation (with a coefficient of 0.53) than the International Faculty Index.

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Ajay Kumar
    Oct 12 2011

    According to Open Doors, IIE, University of Southern California hosts maximum number of International students in US. However your ranking places USC at 79, below 8 other universities. Why this difference??

    • Oct 13 2011

      Actually, that information correlates perfectly with ours. USC is the institution in the US with the largest NUMBER of international students in the US according to our research also. However, our measure is based on the PROPORTION of international students. In this context, being a much larger institution than some of its rivals, it comes in 9th.

  2. Ajay Kumar
    Oct 11 2011

    Also, what is the number of international students we are looking here because the size of number would be equally important for relevance. Say, the number of international students for 100% marks, to 90% and so on…

    • Oct 13 2011

      The measure is based on the proportion of students that are international, not the number. Data is capped at 30% and scores, after normalization, are scaled against the perfromance of the top institutions.

  3. Ajay Kumar
    Oct 11 2011


    I am still trying to figure out how does the International Faculty and more surprisingly International Students weigh in the University ranking. Though you may say their weights are 5% each only, yet i see them only as skewed parameters, because mobile people (faculty and students) move to only developed nations only. Will appreciate the response.

    • Oct 13 2011

      Firstly, your view on migration is out of date. OECD and UNESCO data shows increasing student migration data at an increasingly diverse range of countries. Secondly, our ranking is designed for prospective international students – it seems only sensible that they would want to know where other students are going. Sure, some destinations are more attractive than others, but that’s part of the equation when the next student makes their decision.

  4. BUNI111
    Sep 19 2011

    Are you really checking the datas ?
    Taking the international faculty criteria as an example how can you consider that ESCP has 100 % international teachers and HEC 98% when their have more than 40% of French teachers among their faculty ?
    Don’t ever rely on declarations : some institutions are really specialized in re ingenering figures to cope with the rankings , they even have a large staff dedicated !
    So please check on the webside the figures you receive , else you’ll loose your credibility .

    • Sep 19 2011

      The figures presented are not percentages but standardized scores – we do check the data in detail. Both ESCP and HEC have highly international faculties and as a result score the maximum (ar almost the maximum) number of points for that criterion.


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