Korea University


QS Subject Rankings 26 areas Entered the top 100

QS World University  Rankings 2020 69th First among local private  universities for 6 consecutive years.


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KU ranked 83rd in the QS World University Ranking 2020
  • Writer : Communications Team
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  • Date : 2019-06-26

KU hasn’t stopped leaping ahead

KU ranked 83rd in the QS World University Ranking 2020

KU, 1st among private universities in Korea, shows a steady uptrend for six consecutive years



Once again, KU saw steady improvement in its placing among world universities. Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), a world-renowned university rating agency in the UK, ranked Korea University as the 83rd best university in the world in 2020. This rank was achieved in competition with European universities with hundreds of years of history and American universities with multibillion dollar budgets.


KU took the highest place among private universities in Korea for the fifth year in a row. Compared to 2014, when the university was ranked 145th, it is 62 places higher, maintaining an upward trend for six consecutive years. Since it entered the top 100 for the first time in 2016, it has seen a steady improvement in its world ranking.


For the rankings, a total of 1,210 universities in 94 countries were assessed based on the following six criteria: academic reputation, employer reputation, faculty/student ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.


Regarding academic reputation, KU ranked 86th, five places higher than last year. This indicates that KU’s constant effort to give full support to its various research projects, to strengthen its international research network and to publicize its outstanding research results has been highly recognized. Sending newsletters to major researchers to inform them of KU’s outstanding research performance and strengthening the network by utilizing the PURE portal are also expected to be driving forces behind the university’s research growth.


For the international student ratio, KU ranked 317th, four places higher than the previous year, continuing its steady upward trend in the ranking. KU currently has approximately 5,000 international students from 126 countries enrolled, which makes it the biggest global campus in Korea. The number of international students enrolled in courses has more than doubled in four years, from 1,065 in 2014 to more than 2,400 in fall 2018. KU has made efforts to become a global campus by offering annual summer and winter campuses, to which prestigious professors and students from world-class universities are invited. So far, more than 2,500 students from 300 universities in 50 countries have come to KU to attend lectures in the KU International Summer Campus and International Winter Campus programs. KU’s Global Service Center plays a central role in providing integrated services to international students in order to help them complete their studies without difficulties. KU has also increased the number of scholarships for international students who have been invited by the Korean government and reformed some of the scholarship systems, such as KU Global Friends, created for its international students. Such efforts have not only resulted in a larger number of international students, but also have led to attracting diverse and excellent global students.


Regarding employer reputation, KU is ranked 59th, maintaining its high position. As well, in other university assessments conducted by Korean rating agencies, KU has succeeded in maintaining the top position in terms of graduates’ social reputation and their employability. In the survey conducted by QS, KU again ranks highest among private universities in Korea, outperforming Yonsei University (80th) and Sungkyunkwan University (87th). It seems that hosting Career Odyssey Festivals, the largest of all on-campus job fairs in Korea, and offering consulting services related to the future career path of KU students through a network of employed graduates and an internship system comprising excellent firms have been highly appreciated.


Like last year, the first, second and third places in the QS rankings were taken by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University and Harvard University. Among the private universities in Korea, Sungkyunkwan University is ranked 95th, followed by Yonsei University (104th) and Hanyang University (150th).


In the QS World University Rankings by Subject released last February, KU placed in the top 100 in 26 subject areas, which is the highest number among private universities in Korea, and in the top 50 in 4 subject areas. These significant achievements clearly demonstrate that KU has become one of the top universities in the world.


Rankings of top five private universities in Korea in 2018 and 2019

▲ Rankings of top five private universities in Korea in 2019 and 2020


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