Students can use the rankings of universities, measured by various ranking systems, to explore the high education options that could exist beyond their own countries` borders. Whether students and their families, who are truly concerned about their children`s educational success, clearly understand how the ranking systems work is a highly debatable point. Surprisingly, some scholars believe that the individual ability is of higher significance as opposed to a degree from a “brand” name university with a high World University Ranking. For instance, Nello Angerilli (2013) stated that the degree might provide a head-start in some cases; however, individual capacity is the ultimate determinant of success.
On the other hand, it is an undeniable fact that University Rankings have a great impact on education. As ACU's centenary media partner, Ms Simpson-Miller said: "University rankings are one way of animating the academy towards remaining relevant. Any country, if it is to become and remain strong, must have a strong university base."
"It has been said that university rankings may provide concrete benefits. When such rankings are sensitively handled, they tend to strengthen the culture of transparency...they also tend to improve competition among universities. In truth, they allow students to make informed choices for university placement. Additionally, ranking systems often invite quality assurance procedures within universities", she added.
In fact, college rankings emerged to meet the demands of post-industrial society, particularly in the United States, in the early part of the twentieth century (Davis, 2016). He continues that reputation factors collected through surveys emerged as replacements for verifiable academic indicators by the second half of the twentieth century. Global rankings which are based on a combination of reputational factors and bibliometric indicators pulled from database, e.g., Thomson Reuter’s Web of Science and Elsevier’s Scopus, emerged toward the end of the twentieth century (Davis, 2016).
Rankings by the Quacquarelli Symonds World University Rankings (QS), viewed as one the most widely read university rankings all over the world, also depend on reputation surveys. QS designed its rankings in order to assess performance based on what it considers to be the key aspects of a university`s mission, i.e., teaching, research, nurturing employability, and internationalization. According to QS World University Ranking, Mahidol University has the highest ranking in Faculty Student criteria among other indicators, strongly correlating with the level of teaching quality. Academic Reputation, based on an internal academic survey, and Employer Reputation, based on a survey on graduate employers, are the next high rankings, respectively. Regarding QS Asian University Rankings, Mahidol University ranks the highest in Faculty Staff with PhD criteria in relation to other indicators. The next highest indicator is International Research Network, which assesses the degree of international diversity in terms of research collaboration. Considering QS Ranking by Subject, Mahidol University ranks 122 in Life Science and Medicine.
The other most widely observed university ranking is Times Higher Education World University Ranking (THE). THE contains the following categories of indicators: Research indicators, institutional indicators, economic activity/ innovation, and international diversity. According to THE Asian University Ranking, Mahidol University was ranked the first in Thailand in 2016-2017 and 2019. Furthermore, Mahidol University fared best among Thai universities in 2019.