QS Survey Contacts Procedure and FAQs
QS invites institutions to supply both academic and employer contacts who will be sent the relevant reputational survey. The results of these surveys are an integral part of QS's approach to evaluating performance in the university sector.
Note: Academic contacts are unable to vote for their own institution.
PROCESS FOR SUBMITTING YOUR CONTACTS AND COMMUNICATING WITH THEM.
We can accept contacts by one of two methods. We encourage universities to use our list submission process. This allows institutions a greater degree of control over the curation of their network.
1) Via a CSV uploaded to our QS HUB platform. You must use the pre-defined templates found here:
2) Via our sign-up facilities:
Universities cannot use both methods. You must signal to the team whether you will use contact list submissions, or sign-up facilities.
You must use our template email when seeking consent from potential respondents or when sharing the sign-up platform with them. They should at no point feel coerced into participating or being influenced by your institution.
In order to comply with data protection guidance and to be seen to be following fair procedure, you must use the “Consent email for contact lists” email template found here:
This email template should be sent on its own and not accompany any other communication from the university.
Contact lists are limited to 400 contacts for each list. It's at the university's discretion as to the ratio of domestic vs. international contacts they supply.
You must use the pre-defined CSV templates to upload your lists onto our QS HUB platform QS HUB. Submitted email addresses must use English characters only. When you upload your list, you will be required to indicate that you have the appropriate consent before you are able to submit their details to us. You must obtain the consent of those based in the EU and QS strongly advises you to take the same approach for all contacts.
If you would rather use our survey sign-up facility where individuals who consent can give us their details themselves, then you must use the relevant “Consent email for Sign Up” template emails found here:
This email template should be sent on its own and not accompany other communication from the university; we ask that the template is used to ensure transparency and neutrality in how universities approach contacts for our reputational surveys.
A university may contact any number of individuals to access the sign-up facility. However, the number of individual contacts from a university’s contact list will be capped at 400. QS will send a notification once a university exceeds 350 responses, at which point the university should cease contacting further participants.
If a university misses the data collection deadline for submitting their lists, or sends out links to the sign-up facility too late, QS cannot guarantee that their contacts will receive the survey in time to be able to reply before the cut-off date for analysis.
Survey responses received after the deadline will not be lost but will be counted in the following year’s analysis.
NUMBER OF CONTACTS
A university may submit up to 400 contacts to be surveyed for each of our reputation surveys - Academic, and Employer, taking the total number of contacts to 800 per institution.
List A should be uploaded in HUB.
In addition, institutions that participate in the business school rankings may submit an additional 400 + 400 contacts to be surveyed (taking the total for the parent institution to 1600 contacts). Contacts stemming from List B will only feed into the analysis for the relevant business school rankings, and not back into our wider rankings suite. It is important, therefore, that the contacts provided in this list are relevant and targeted towards Graduate Management Education and business-related disciplines.
List B must be emailed to email@example.com, indicating that it is for the purposes of the business school rankings. We aim to allow an upload feature for this in future.
SELECTION OF CONTACTS
QS will use your contact list or contacts received via sign-up for two years – the year of submission and one additional year. Therefore, you do not need to resend us contacts sent last year.
|Employers||Anyone involved with hiring decisions at a company. You can have multiple people at one company because different managers may recruit for different positions or have a different perspective on which universities produce good graduates. It is not a good idea to submit info@ or other generic email addresses as in our experience emails sent to such addresses are usually ignored. If you are unsure of someone’s job title, these can be left blank but submissions with too much missing data may be rejected as suspicious.|
Academic respondents need to have knowledge of research in their field of expertise. Often this will mean they are an academic, but this could also be research or library staff. It is unlikely that administrative staff would meet this criterion. They should be currently active in their field.
A university found to be in breach of QS’ guidelines by seeming to coach responses for the institution from contacts (for example by deviating from the prescribed templates without seeking guidance and permission from QS) or engaging in another unethical practice may be subject to sanctions. These could range from exclusion from the rankings for a cycle, the removal of that year’s nominations or other measures which QS deem reasonable. We have had to implement the use of prescribed email communication templates to ensure compliance with data protection legislation and to ensure transparency and neutrality in how universities approach contacts for our reputational surveys.
Note: every year we have institutions that are subject to sanctions. We hope yours will not be one of them.