IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

IIT-Bombay students find fault with ranking agency

Posted on: October 17, 2013

Source: Times of India, Oct 16, 2013

Students at IIT-Bombay have claimed that the QS World University Rankings are not accurate, at least when it comes to their institute.

On at least three parameters, which cover 70% of the weightage given to institutes and universities, IIT-Bombay is ahead of IIT-Delhi. IIT-Delhi still managed to rank higher than the institute in Powai.

The students analyzed the data available for the QS World Rankings in 2012 to find if it gives a true picture. They compared the data available for IIT-Bombay and Delhi and in one of the parameters even compared it with the National University of Singapore (NUS), which is among the top universities in Asia in the rankings.

The agency awards 40% weightage to academic reputation and 10% to employer reputation. In the available data for 2012 on the official QS website, the students found that IIT-B fared better on both the parameters compared to IIT-D.

For academic reputation, IIT-B scored 183 and IIT-Delhi 215. For employer’s reputation, IIT-B was at 65 and IIT-D at 75.

Regarding the student-faculty ratio (SFR), which holds 20% weightage, IIT-B has a better ratio. The fewer the students per faculty member, the higher should be the scorer for this parameter. But according to QS, the normalised scores for SFR are 81.4, 35.4 and 28.9 for NUS, IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay, respectively. The students independently arrived at the SFRs of 17, 18 and 15, respectively, from official sources and said that the normalized scores of QS and the raw data show no correlation. IIT-B’s SFR was better than that of even NUS.

Another parameter, which puts IIT-B’s score way below other IITs, is the ‘citations per faculty’. Students found from the research and development office that “the papers need to specify an affiliated institute where the research was undertaken. IIT-B does not enforce a standard convention for stating the name, and therefore could be counted as different institutes even with variants like IIT-Bombay, I.I.T. Bombay, IIT-Powai and IITB”.

The comparative report is published in the latest in-house print edition of the student magazine, InSight.

“With a lot of media attention to the QS World Rankings, we were very interested in the exact parameters that QS uses for the rankings.However, when we dug up and analyzed the data, we found a lot of inconsistencies, even among the relative ranking of IITs. Our message is that when people use these rankings, they should do so with a pinch of salt,” said Nivvedan, editor of InSight.


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