Yonsei University: Yonsei University Ranks 79th in the QS World University Rankings 2022

Yonsei University in Seoul, South Korea is ranked 79th in the QS World University Rankings 2022 released by the UK’s global university assessment agency QS (Quacquarelli Symonds) on June 9, 2021. This six-step climb of Yonsei’s from 85th place last year is viewed by analysts to be notably significant, especially amidst the drops in the ranking of most major universities in South Korea.

The latest assessment was carried out among 6,415 universities worldwide, with the ranking of the top 1,300 universities published by QS. A total of six South Korean universities have been listed within the top 100, with the universities being Seoul National University (36th), KAIST (41st), Korea University (74th), Yonsei University (79th), POSTECH (81st), and Sungkyunkwan University (97th).

Yonsei university had shown a trend of stagnation in the top 100 up till 2019, but following a steep hike to 85th in the global ranking last year, it has been showing rapid growth with Yonsei soaring to be one of the top 80 universities this year.

The QS World University Rankings incorporates six main indicators: academic reputation (40%), employer reputation (10%), citations per faculty (20%), faculty-to-student ratio (20%), international faculty ratio (5%), and international student ratio (5%). With exception of internationalization indicators, which were bound to decline due to the COVID-19 pandemics, Yonsei University has risen year on year in all indicators, including reputation, research, and educational environment, leading to an overall rise in the global ranking.

Considerable Improvement in Research Indicators Due to Continuous Investment and Hard Work

With Yonsei University’s research indicators constantly pointed out as an area of improvement, the continuous investment and research efforts have finally paid off with a major improvement in associated indicators reflected in the recent assessment.

To strengthen the research competitiveness, Yonsei University has established a systematic supportive policy pertaining to the research life cycle. The policy was carried out in the form of implementing a mid to long-term recruitment program to discover and attract leading researchers, along with intensive support for the new faculties through the ‘Yonsei Future Leading Research Project’ since 2014 to accelerate their growth for the maximum output. Furthermore, ‘Yonsei Signature Research Cluster Project’ has been established since 2021, which selects and intensively supports fields that can produce world-class research outcomes.

Currently, the Yonsei Frontier Lab systematically supports international joint research with outstanding researchers abroad to enhance the school’s research capabilities to a world-class level. With continuous international joint research projects through strategic partnerships with renowned universities such as Emory University (USA), the University of Sydney (Australia), Tel Aviv University (Israel), and University of Geneva (Switzerland), Yonsei University is increasing its international cooperative research ratio as it continues its investment to establish a joint research network with the world top 20 universities and its researchers.

Adding on, Yonsei strives to enrich its research ecosystem by strengthening its ‘Research Fund Support Project in Humanities and Social Sciences’ for balanced growth in academic fields, while promoting K-NIBRT and the Graduate School of AI to facilitate the research efforts to pioneer the trending high-tech fields. To take the pole position in the bio-based industry, an emerging key industry in the post-COVID 19 era, Yonsei is establishing a world-class bio-ecosystem centered on industry-academia-institute cooperation with the government, domestic and foreign bio-industry and research institutes. As in this process, Yonsei has constructed of the ‘SL BIGEN Research Hall’ on the International Campus to create a research environment for biopharmaceutical development and production, and plan to complete the largest bio-manpower training center in the Asia-Pacific region by 2023, which can produce about 2,000 biomedical professionals every year through the government support of about 60 billion won for six years.

Yonsei University is also taking steady steps to develop the necessary talents for the era of the fourth industrial revolution through investment in several associated fields, some of them being the Graduate School of Artificial Intelligence worth 9 billion won, Korea Initiative for fostering University of Research & Innovation (KIURI) project under the Ministry of Science and ICT that nurtures future Ph.D. personnel in the field of material/component development of future motor vehicles which worth 6.4 billion won, Makerspace establishment and operation to pioneer the SW fields across areas such as IoT and VR, as well as Smart Construction Technology Development Project. These efforts would be the core foundation of the Yonsei Science Park (YSP), an interdependent cooperative unit among the university, research institute, industry, and the hospital, through which Yonsei plan to create a ‘university-oriented ecosystem of revolution’ that can be attained from the positive cycle of education-research-business.

Excellence in Employer Reputation and Academic Reputation

Yonsei University has achieved a notable achievement with 44th position in global employer reputation and 85th in global academic reputation. As evidenced from the recent QS World University Rankings, Yonseians have been receiving outstanding reviews from the field of academia and industries as they served the community and exercised creativity in their respective professions based on Yonsei’s spirit of ‘Truth and Freedom’.

In the midst of the global turmoil caused by COVID-19, Yonsei University’s efforts to overcome the crisis with the collective wisdom and dedication of all its members have shown the university’s will to nurture talents who could turn this crisis into an opportunity while preparing for the imminent post-COVID era. Marking the 135th anniversary of its foundation last year, Yonsei University declared “Towards Truth and Freedom” as a new vision with three key values: Excellence, Innovation, and Engagement.

To quickly respond to the future and its societal transitions, Yonsei University is pushing for the establishment of departments dedicated to cutting-edge technology, one of them notably being the College of Artificial Intelligence Convergence. Additionally, freshmen entering the university from 2022 would be mandated to take a module from the newly introduced elective category-“Information and Technology”, widening the accessibility of ICT education for all the undergraduate population to nurture creative talents essential in the era of the fourth industrial revolution. Furthermore, additional flexibility in academic systems would be introduced such as the S/U evaluation policy and ‘micro’ major policy to provide a wider pool of learning for the students, fostering innovative talents capable of creative and convergent thinking.

Yonsei University is also taking a conscientious effort to establish ‘LearnUs’, a knowledge-sharing platform that will pioneer educational innovation in the era of new media and digitalization. LearnUs is a revolutionary digital education platform that has been utilized for the regular degree courses since this semester. Yonsei University has introduced plans to expand this into an ‘open online education platform’ for domestic and foreign members of the public from August 2021, opening non-degree online courses with subjects such as the Korean language offered to anyone through this ‘open knowledge channel’. Allowing learning to take place through virtual spaces such as LearnUs would facilitate active interaction with the global market of demand for education, thus giving Yonsei University to assume its role as a pioneer in the global education market.

In November last year, the Multimedia Center, located on the third floor of the Yonsei-Samsung Library, was revamped to the Media Commons, a realistic media-based multi-complex optimized for creative and convergence education. The Media Commons is equipped with state-of-the-art realistic media education facilities such as a multi-media hall for virtual remote lectures, video conferences, and experiential exhibitions, a studio for online lectures, a media collaboration center, and the XR Lab catered for realistic media contents creation and editing. The following transitions allowed Yonsei libraries to be the first university libraries that provide next-generation media services that utilized core digital transformation technology.

Pertaining to students’ career support, Yonsei University has established a systematic platform to support students’ career development through a complete overhaul of the Career Yonsei system in December 2020, while directly providing job information through the establishment of a career lounge on the second floor of the student union building. In addition, flexible academic systems such as start-up leave applications and start-up credit replacements have been introduced to assist the students’ start-up efforts, further addressing the difficulties of aspiring members of start-ups such as potential academic disruptions and study-work balance management. Yonsei University is also developing a curriculum dedicated to practical start-up management, providing start-up spaces such as Y-Valley and BI in the Engineering Hall while offering practical programs in various corporate sites.

Not only the QS World University Rankings and the Nature Index (in which Yonsei has ranked 134th in the world and 3rd in Korea) that focus on global competitiveness centered on growth and performance, Yonsei University has been also ranked 30th (1st in Korea) in the recently released THE World University Impact Rankings 2021, where the universities’ social responsibility to solve global challenges is the main criterion for evaluation. The constant rise in the global ranking from external assessments should be seen as evidence that Yonsei is emerging as a globally renowned university in areas such as social contribution and research outputs. Yonsei University plans to continue its upward trend by fostering “innovative leaders with a community spirit” through educational innovation while strengthening its research competitiveness by discovering outstanding researchers and supporting promising future fields.

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