Leading a Young University to Success - Taylor’s University Shares Its Story at the QS Asia Conference in Taiwan

QS is one of the world’s best-known university ranking agencies, and Taylor’s University was recently invited to speak at the 13th QS-APPLE conference about the reasons behind its rise in the Asian rankings.

Prof Hobson (PVC-GE at TU) speaking at the 13th QS-APPLE Conference in Taiwan
Rankings have become a fact of life for universities, but the validity of being able to encapsulate the complexity of a multi-faceted institutions in a single number is hotly debated. Even Ben Sowter, the Head of QS Intelligent Unit has acknowledged that, “The brutal simplicity of rankings is both their strength and their downfall”. The 13th QS Asia-Pacific professional leaders in education conference and exhibition (QS-APPLE) conference was recently held in Taichung (Taiwan).

It opened with the QS Squared Debate, which put forward the simple proposition that “Rankings are a reasonably accurate measure of a university’s global and regional quality and standing”. While the motion was defeated, the reality remains that rankings are now a fact of life. Of course, one significant advantage of rankings is that they are able to overcome the common perception that older universities are better, simply because they have had more time to build-up their ‘reputation’. The established university in Singapore is the National University of Singapore (NUS) but  Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has now overtaken it in the rankings.

As Professor Bertil Andersson, the VC/President of NTU put it, “Without the rankings, no one would have believed that NTU was as good as or better than the more established NUS”. Professor Perry Hobson, the PVC for Global Engagement was invited to be part of a plenary colloquium session on “Leading a Young University to Success”. Sharing the stage with Professor Bertil Andersson VC/President of NTU (Singapore), was Distinguished Professor Chun-Wei Remen Lin of Asia University (Taiwan), Emeritus Professor Eui-Ho Suh of Daegu-Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology (S. Korea) and also Prof Hobson. He spoke about the underlying reasons for the rise of Taylor’s University in the rankings and the strategies that TU has used. As he pointed out “TU initially was ranked in the 201-250 category of the QS Asia University Rankings, rising to #179 the following year, and then jumping to #150 this year. 

Furthermore, our Faculty of Hospitality, Leisure and Food has recently been ranked at #29 in the QS World Subject Rankings for Hospitality and Leisure
”.  He went onto add that, “the reality is that we are just 7-year old university, and yet in Malaysia we are now the ranked the #8 university in the country – leap-fogging many of the more established and publically-funded universities.  As has been the case with NTU, the rankings have allowed us to highlight our capacity and capabilities”.  He also added that “The rise in the rankings has promoted other universities to come and visit the Lakeside campus to see what we have achieved”.  Furthermore, in 2016 Taylor’s University was presented with its QS 4-Stars at the 12th QS-APPLE Conference that was held in Putrajaya where Prof Hobson also contributed to a QS conference session on ethical recruitment  practices - (Global Matters 2018)