Ratings FAQ

What is QS I·Gauge ?

QS I·GAUGE is a brand incorporated in India as an independent private-sector initiative specialised in rating colleges and universities. It brings together the global expertise, experience and reputation of UK based QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), along with deep local knowledge of luminaries from Indian higher education.

Based on the globally recognised QS Stars University rating system developed by QS, QS I∙GAUGE has been adapted to capture the reality of the dynamic Indian higher education sector, while at the same time maintaining the strict quality standards that are synonymous with the QS brand.

QS I∙GAUGE is a comprehensive and independent rating system for Indian colleges and universities. Consisting of seven primary indicators and five secondary indicators, ranging from Teaching and Learning, Employability and Social Responsibility to Research and Innovation, the QS I·GAUGE rating provides a unique 360-degree perspective of Indian institutions of higher learning.


How is QS I∙GAUGE different to QS Stars?

QS I∙GAUGE is a rating system that has been developed taking into consideration the diversity and dynamism of the Indian higher education sector, by experts from India and abroad. QS Stars was used as a base to develop this system and customise it for Indian context. India has a unique higher education sector, with over 40,000 colleges which are affiliated by universities – so they do not award their own degree and hence cannot be evaluated by QS Stars.

Likewise, over 800 universities in India (private, public, deemed etc) are difficult to capture in an international system like QS Stars; and hence QS responded to a call from within India to create a system that not only understands the landscape in the country, but also prepares colleges and universities to aspire for an international rating or even rankings in the future.

QS I∙GAUGE is not meant to replace QS Stars, but to complement it on a national level in India. QS Stars will always remain an international benchmark, while QS I∙GAUGE is positioned as a national rating system which will give a boost to thousands of institutions which desire to improve quality and upgrade themselves to the next level.

Though this initiative we look forward to working more closely with Indian institutions and to help the future generation of Indian students make more informed choices about their destination of higher education.


Who operates QS I∙GAUGE?

QS I∙GAUGE is operated by QS-ERA India Private Limited, formed in a revolutionary joint-venture between QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd. of the United Kingdom and India’s ERA Foundation.

QS maintains complete operational control and supervision of the processes. Each rating produced is strictly monitored for quality control by the QS Intelligence Unit in London. This is the same team that produces the authoritative QS World University Rankings (since 2004) and related regional and subject rankings, as well as the globally recognised QS Stars university ratings system. Close supervision by QS IU ensures the independence, quality and integrity of the ratings, leading to their global recognition.

Learn more about the organisation.


What is the role of the QS I∙GAUGE Advisory Board?

The rigor and integrity of our ratings are guided by an International Advisory Board, which comprises of luminaries in the higher education field – from both India and overseas. The advisory board comprises of individuals with impeccable credentials that will envision and lead the setting of global best standards in evaluation. This advisory board meets periodically and form the road map for the progress of QS I∙GAUGE. They also review the progress of the ratings, and comment on any enhancements and improvements which should be incorporated to make this system truly India- centric. Click here to view the advisory board list.


What is the typical process for institutions to participate?

After completing the paperwork, the following is a typical workflow:

  • QS I∙GAUGE analyst based at our office in Bangalore will provide the institution with all the required data submission guidelines, forms, links etc.
  • Submission timeline of 6 weeks is provided, with a possibility for an extension.
  • After successful submission, QS I∙GAUGE requires 8 weeks to process, verify and authenticate the submission. Participating institutions can seek clarifications on criteria and sub-criteria to the analysts at QS I∙GAUGE
  • Institutions are requested to submit appropriate evidence(s) for respective criteria and sub-criteria for the institution to audit and validate the self-reported data. In select instances, additional evidence(s) will be requested to the participating institutions.
  • The entire process would be handled by full-time QS IGAUGE analysts, with significant experience in handling data, who have been through a stringent hiring process and thoroughly trained by QS Intelligence Unit - London
  • All the audits will be verified by the QS Intelligence Unit - London to ensure the highest quality of data validation.


Why QS I·Gauge ?

QS I·GAUGE as a Tool for Institutional Advancement

The strategic and systematic management of quality improvement in higher education requires comprehensive and tangible performance data and ideally, reliable benchmarks for peer-group comparisons. This is exactly what the QS I·GAUGE ratings process delivers.

By conducting what amounts to an institutional audit based on global standards but benchmarked against the performance of Indian peers, the leadership of a university or college gains concrete data on its performance through QS I·GAUGE. Sometimes that data does not match with managements’ expectations, and sometimes it highlights hidden strengths that the institutional leadership was initially unaware of. But in all cases it provides a foundation for further institutional transformation and upgrading.

QS I·GAUGE can function as an institutional score card, and institutions receive a detailed and confidential report on their strengths and weaknesses, providing a roadmap for their further development. As the QS I·GAUGE rating is re-assessed every 3 years it is an invaluable tool for institutional research and planning.


QS I·GAUGE as a Tool for Institutional Branding

The QS brand is synonymous with quality and independence. It is trusted globally by students, their parents and a diverse set of other stakeholders, including government, the corporate sector and other universities. Therefore institutions that undergo the QS I·GAUGE rating send a strong signal to their various audiences: that they take their performance seriously and that they are open and transparent about their data, allowing an external evaluation by QS. Although many institutions will not gain top scores in every category, the QS I·GAUGE process allows institutions to highlight the categories in which they are particularly strong.

Institutions that successfully compete the QS I·GAUGE rating are licensed to use the rating results (and its various registered and trade-marked logos) for a period of three years on all their websites and publications. This allows institutions to communicate their ratings in a highly effective way, building credibility for their own brand while informing their target audiences. Institutions will also be listed on the QS I·GAUGE website.

The QS Stars rating has been used by institutions in many creative ways, including in magazine ads, bus ads and billboards, as well as on websites, business cards, recruitment brochures, etc. We anticipate similar usage of the QS I·GAUGE logo’s.