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Graduates reveal what makes a top university

Published: Thursday, 30 July 2015   Category: All Graduate Jobs News

A university’s position in the world rankings is far more important than the quality of teaching, say graduates. 

The QS World University Rankings – an annual publication of university rankings – spoke to 519 students from the UK and across the world to discover what was most important to them. 

Most of those involved in the research were postgraduates and demonstrated strong preferences for international acclaim and employability prospects at a university.

Improving employment prospects 

62% of students said it was extremely important for a university to be internationally known in order to improve the employment prospects of graduates. 

Those questioned also noted that if they were to compile their own ranking report of universities around the world, 33% would base it on employability while 20% would focus on the quality of graduate teaching. 

Parisian student Rachida said she would like to know the names of employers which graduates from her university had secured jobs with while Milan-based learner Jacubo said universities should advertise their most successful alumni rather than their most famous or prominent professors.

The name and reputation of the university itself was also deemed highly important; even more so than the course studied in some instances.

One student from the USA said the university name mattered because it goes on your CV while an Italian PHD graduate said that he would accept an offer from Harvard “no matter what” the course.

Surprisingly, the survey also found that many students don’t take the time to understand the methodology behind current university rankings which can often result in confusion. 

As a result, students are calling out for increased transparency in how universities are measured against one another and for top-level results to be made quick and easy to understand.

The report recommends universities focus on the importance of employment outcomes for current students in their marketing messages in order to address these demands. 

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