Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile: International measurements of university quality

The rector refers to the importance of rankings to compare the work and quality of universities, nationally and internationally. The British company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) produces the QS World University Rankings, one of the most recognized and used measurements worldwide. “Universities have a great responsibility to contribute to the development of society, by permanently evaluating the needs of the environment and the ways to contribute to its cultural and material growth, through joint work with those who have been part of their classrooms” , says Ignacio Sánchez in a column published by El Mercurio.

“It is important to highlight that our country has a significant number of universities among the best institutions in Latin America. Undoubtedly the rankings have a great value in informing students, teachers, researchers and society. They are instruments that compare university work and quality, which are carried out at a national and international level. The evaluation of these focuses on the teaching activity, on the creation of new knowledge, on the contribution to society and on institutional solidity. Its results highlight the work and dedication of the communities of each university, that is, professors, students, professionals and administrative personnel, so its achievements represent a common effort.

There are different measurements at the international level, each with strengths and weaknesses. The British company Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) has been preparing the QS World University Rankings since 2004 , considering more than 1,300 institutions since this year. It is one of the most recognized and used university rankings internationally. This year the 18th version of this study is published, which considers six indicators with different weights, such as academic reputation (40%), reputation among employers (10%), teacher / student ratio (20%), citations per teacher (20%). ),% of international teachers (5%) and% of international students (5%).

“Undoubtedly, rankings have great value in providing information to students, teachers, researchers and society. They are instruments that compare university work and quality, which are carried out at a national and international level” – Rector Ignacio Sánchez.

The reputation indicators are associated with the surveys applied by QS to academics and employers around the world. In the current version of the ranking, more than 130,000 responses from academics and more than 75,000 responses from employers from various countries were considered. Globally, the 2022 ranking is again led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , followed by the University of Oxford , and Stanford along with Cambridge occupy third place. Of the top 20 universities in the world, 9 are from the United States, 5 from the United Kingdom, 2 from Singapore, 2 from Switzerland and 2 from China. At the Latin American level, the University of Buenos Aires leads(69), with 3 other Latin American institutions among the 150 best in the world, UNAM (105), U. Sao Paulo (121), and UC (135). At the national level, twenty universities are considered, the UC is followed by the University of Chile (183) and the University of Santiago (487).

Universities are institutions that must be constantly updated, and in this change, their students play a fundamental role. Thus, in the coming years, these instruments should be enriched with new indicators, such as the evaluation of teaching innovation; the implementation of inclusion policies for students with fewer access opportunities and for those with special educational needs; the transfer of research to society through patents and licensing; the development of continuing education and collaboration between universities for a harmonious growth of the system.

“Within the development axes of a quality university is to promote internationalization, through a greater academic exchange of students and professors that allows having a joint work and a broad and global view of higher education” – Rector Ignacio Sánchez.


On the other hand, within the development axes of a quality university is to promote internationalization, through a greater academic exchange of students and professors that allows for joint work and a broad and global view of higher education. The lines to be developed include promoting and strengthening work in the sciences, humanities and arts, areas of development of a university that project its academic work. Of course, the commitment to Latin America must always be present, especially through the creation of university work networks. Another crucial aspect to evaluate should be the link between the institutions and society through their contribution to solving pressing problems in our country. as well as the linking of universities with their graduates and with the territory and regions in which they are located. The importance of this commitment has been very evident in this serious pandemic, our institutions have been key in proposing responses and solutions in the different areas that we have faced.

“The lines to be developed include promoting and strengthening work in the sciences, humanities and arts, areas of development of a university that project its academic work” – Rector Ignacio Sánchez.


Universities have a great responsibility to contribute to the development of society, by permanently evaluating the needs of the environment and the ways to contribute to its cultural and material growth, through joint work with those who have been part of its classrooms. This is a permanent challenge that identifies us as universities in constant search of quality at the service of our communities ”.

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