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QS rankings: is the University of Puerto Rico in or out?

The University of Puerto Rico is not on the list of the top 700 educational institutions in the Britain’s Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) ranking, despite QS claims earlier.

Ben Sowter, the head of the QS Intelligence Unit, said on 5 September this year that the university will feature for the first time among the top 601+ universities worldwide.

The university was, however, not included on the list published on 12 September 2011.

Sowter said the omission was due to a technical problem with the QS website, which resulted in “new entries being omitted from online results.”

“My earlier assertions were correct and the missing institutions should be reflected in our online tables soon,” he said. However, Research Caribbean has not seen any alteration in the list of the top 700 or so universities on the QS list.

Simona Bizzozero, the head of public relations at QS, said the university should have been included in the list by last Thursday night when the technical problems were expected to have been resolved.

However, by the weekend, the list still did not reflect the change.

If and when it happens, it would mean that the University of Puerto Rico will be the first Caribbean university to make it to the QS list of the top universities worldwide.

The QS rankings use research, teaching and employability to evaluate universities and compare one to another.

The rankings assess the ratio of students to faculty to indicate the level of teaching resources and “individual attention a student will receive” at the university.

Employers are also surveyed to assess if a university’s graduates meet the needs of the labour market.

Organisations such as the International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean have in the past criticised such rankings saying they “do not take into account the social and economic context of developing countries.”

The University of Puerto Rico is among three universities omitted from the list, despite appearing in the QS pre-publiciation material.

The other two are both from North Africa, with one in Morocco and the other in Egypt.