ANNOUNCEMENT: World University Ranking QS 2024 (1)

Sustainability drives Spanish universities in the latest university rankings.

ANNOUNCEMENT: World University Ranking QS 2024 (1)

Sustainability drives Spanish universities in the latest university rankings

LONDON, June 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- QS Quacquarelli Symonds, global specialists in the analysis of higher education, have published the 20th anniversary edition of the *international ranking of most consulted universities in the world. This unique ranking system is the only one of its kind that incorporates employability and sustainability factors. For the twelfth consecutive year, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) maintains its reign at the top. The University of Cambridge holds firm at number 2, while the University of Oxford ranks 3.

The QS World University Rankings 2024 shows exceptional international collaboration between Spanish universities, as well as excellent levels of sustainability, both in their management structure and in the design of their study plans, which highlights the national focus towards the Sustainable Development Goals and the creation of a better future for their students and society in general.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the ranking and to reflect the increased availability of data and changing priorities of students and society in general over the past two decades, QS has made the biggest methodological improvement since its inception, introducing three new indicators: Sustainability, Labor Results and International Research Network, and adjusting the weighting of some existing indicators, namely, Academic Reputation, Employer Reputation and Teacher-Student Ratio.

The full QS methodological breakdown for the World University Rankings can be found here.

QS Senior Vice President Ben Sowter said: "The QS World University Rankings 2024 represents a major step in the evolution of the exercise, marking the most significant innovation in its methodological paradigm since its inception two decades ago. More than ever, aligns with Gen Z and Alpha priorities, providing institutions with a single lens through which to assess their performance in areas paramount to shaping a brighter future for generations to come."

Executive summary: Spain

Sowter said: "This year's ranking highlights Spain's remarkable achievements in international collaboration and sustainability. Its institutions embrace a global mindset, foster partnerships and prioritize sustainable development to forge a better future."

And he adds: "However, Spain faces the challenge of improving the quality and contemporary relevance of its research production. In this way, and by promoting the employability of its graduates through partnerships with industry and experiential learning opportunities, Spain can continue to reinforcing its position as a key player on the world scene of higher education."

QS World University Rankings: Spain in the spotlight

At the indicator level, Spanish institutions obtain excellent results in the new indicators of QS, International Research Network, which assesses the level of cross-border research and Sustainability of an institution. Their institutions experience challenges in Employment Outcomes, which measures the employment rate of graduates and their career outcomes.


The best performance of Spain in this edition of the classification occurs in the new QS metric, Sustainability, in which four Spanish institutions are among the 100 best in the world, the majority in Continental Europe and the sixth in the world.

This metric uses the same methodology as the QS World University Rankings Sustainability, with overall scores determined by your performance in two categories:

investigative prowess

Spain shines for its highly collaborative research agenda, with QS's International Research Network indicator representing its second highest average score per institution. Two Spanish universities are among the top 100 in the world for this indicator, including the national leader, the Universitat de Barcelona, ​​which, once again, ranks 23rd.

Despite this intensity of collaboration, Spanish universities struggle to generate high-impact, influential research. The Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona produces the research with the greatest impact in Spain, according to Citations by Faculty, in which it ranks 145th worldwide. It is the only Spanish university that is among the top 200 in the world in this indicator.

Data from QS Research Partners in Elsevier Scopus show that:


Spain is ranked best in any single indicator by IE University for its International Student Ratio, suggesting that it is exceptionally attractive to foreign students. It is the fourth university in the world in this indicator.

Spain obtains less positive results in the international ratio of teaching staff, in which Ramon Llull University and IE University occupy positions 153 and 154 respectively.

world reputation

Two Spanish institutions are among the 100 best in the world in Academic Reputation, according to the expert opinion of 144,000 international academics. The University of Barcelona ranks 83rd and the Complutense University of Madrid 96th.

Among the 98,000 global employers surveyed by QS, Spain is the least successful, with no university in the top 100. In this metric, the Complutense University of Madrid is the best situated.


The Complutense University of Madrid is also a national leader in employment results, which highlights its strength in improving the skills of its students and their preparation for work. However, its ranking of 106 on this indicator suggests room for improvement.

teaching capacity

A similar trend is observed in the QS measure of class size and availability of resources, Faculty per Student Ratio, in which the University of Alcalá occupies the first national position, ranking 189th.



You will find detailed methodological information in the QS World University Rankings 2023 methodology (

Full rankings can be found at

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