Roar writer Diya Nadeem on KCL’s decreasing QS ranking, what’s behind it, and what it means for students.
As the time comes near for prospective students to finally hear back from their university offers and make the big decision, many turn their attention to the university rankings. Over the past few years, King’s College London’s QS ranking has been slowly decreasing. This begs the question – Is King’s College London not what is once was?
According to the Guardian, the QS rankings are said to be 99% accurate. Therefore, many students consider these rankings when making decisions regarding their future studies. This year, in 2022, King’s College London has been ranked 35th worldwide. Yet, in 2015,Â King’s was rated 16th worldwide – so how has KCL’s ranking decreased this significantly over the course of 7 years?
QS rankings take a number of things into consideration when ranking universities: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio, international students ratio, and overall score.
King’s teaching has received a ranking of 57.6 by Times Higher Education, a considerably lower score than achieved in other categories. After a wave of three UCU strikes this academic year, students across London have expressed their fear of failing:
“33 DAYS OF STRIKE ACTION JUST THIS YEAR HAS SPANNED ACROSS 9 WEEKS. tHAT’S NINE WEEKS OF COLLECTIVE CONTENT STUDENTS HAVE MISSED THIS YEAR. nOT TO MENTION THE MARKING BOYCOTT LAST YEAR THAT LASTED FROM jAN TO mAY (tHE WHOLE ACADEMIC YEAR) ON TOP OF COVID DISRUPTION.”
– @IZZLEMANIZZLE (TWITTER)
Universities are feeling the effects of strikes and COVID-19, as students claim they have “negatively affected their learning experience.” As a result, Student satisfaction and academic reputation has been progressively decreasing. Due to academic reputation being the highest weighting factor in determining overall ranking (40%), KCL’s ranking has been steadily decreasing.
Despite a lower ranking, KCL’s overall score has increased by two points since 2021. Employer reputation and citations per faculty have increased by 5.1 and 7.5 accordingly. Interestingly, KCL’s subject rankings have increased for most subjects, despite its overall decrease in QS rankings. Subjects rankings have only decreased for Dentistry from 5th to 9th position, Geography from 23rd to 26th, and Communications and Media Studies from 23rd to 29th between 2021 and 2022.