International top employers reveal world’s best 250 universities for graduate employability

The Global Employability University Ranking and Survey (GEURS) reveals the world’s top 250 universities for producing employable graduates according to recruiters. It is produced and owned by the higher education HR consultancy Emerging and published exclusively by Times Higher Education (THE).

Digital skills have become the most important factor to employers since the Covid-19 pandemic

View the full table on THE’s website here:

Editorial analysis on this year’s results can be found here:

View the full table on Emerging’s website here:

View the full methodology here:

Credit: “Global Employability University Ranking and Survey (GEURS)”

Fhe full table can be seen here at Times Higher Education:

The employers that took part provided around 800,000 graduate jobs or placements in 2022-2023 in total.

The survey, now in its 12th year, incorporated 98,014 votes from employers worldwide on which universities teach the key skills that students need to thrive in the workplace.

In 2017 Emerging introduced the concept of drivers which allows analysis of the motives behind each university’s votes. The six drivers are: academic excellence, specialisation, focus on work expertise, graduate skills, digital performance and internationality.

Key findings from this year’s results:
•Digital skills have become the most important factor to employers since the Covid-19 pandemic.

•Subject specialisation and work expertise closely follow graduate skills as important drivers of performance.

•The top 10 universities are located in the US, UK, Japan and Singapore but 44 countries and regions are represented in the ranking including China, France, India, Spain, South Korea, Germany and Israel.

•The US is home to the top three universities and turns around its ten-year decline across the ranking.

•Universities in mainland China are seeing a steady rise throughout the ranking due to strengths in graduate skills and work experience.

•In Europe, Spain is the highest climber of the last two years.

•There are 19 new universities in this year’s ranking from Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Germany and France.

•Florida Institute of Technology is the highest climber this year, climbing 85 places to 76.
New countries in this year’s ranking include Egypt, Estonia and Colombia.

Sandrine Belloc, Managing Partner, Emerging commented:
“Since its inception in 2010, the GEURS has been more than a yearly specialised ranking. The GEURS is also a survey in which, year after year, employers worldwide are questioned extensively on several subjects: on their recruitment processes, their relationship with universities, or the skills they are looking for in graduates.

“Emerging’s research has always shown that reputation, academic excellence, and employability are the three fundamentals for employers when assessing a university.

“In view of the shifts and transformations which we observe in the corporate marketplace and in how employers assess universities, employability remains an essential criterium, and a key factor for both students and their parents who wish to estimate the value of a degree, and for the universities who need to refine their curriculum to successfully educate their future graduates and stay competitive in a changing world.

“Today, 92% of respondents to the survey believe universities should do more to increase digital skills. Digital skills are not the exclusive concern anymore of computer science faculties and their students, any university digital plan needs a transversal approach that includes all stakeholders.”

Seeta Bhardwa, Editor, THE Student said:
“When students and their parents are looking to choose a university, they want to know that their chosen institution is going to prepare them for the world of work. This ranking helps students to find which universities around the world are teaching students the key skills they need to enter employment and succeed in the workplace. It’s interesting to see that digital skills are now the number one factor that employers look for in graduates and universities should incorporate this into the curriculum as a result.”

>GEURS 2022/Summary of results country by country
United States
After a steady decline from a dominating position in 2011 when US institutions tended to monopolise the top positions (and 50 per cent of all universities were American), to their lowest representation in the overall employability ranking (22 per cent) in 2020, US universities are enjoying a post-Covid bounce back. With employers attaching an increased importance to digital literacy skills, American universities seem to be at an advantage. Our latest research for Digital Leaders in HE, published in May 2022, clearly shows that employers worldwide overwhelmingly favoured American institutions for the digital skills of their graduates. The progression of top US institutions in this years’ Employability ranking seems to confirm this trend. The leaders in this pack tend to be universities with a strong record in digital skills and learning, like Arizona State University, Florida Institute of Technology, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of California, Berkeley, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

German universities traditionally perform well in this type of ranking, as their institutions have always been focused on employability, with significant vocational learning and strong ties to companies. This year, however, the share of votes of German institutions has declined slightly for the first time, to 6.75 per cent, which puts them in 4th place.

United Kingdom
The UK has 14 universities featured in the top 250, which is one fewer than in 2021, but has increased its share of votes with 6.89 per cent; the UK seems to have slowed its declining trend in the GEURS ranking since its inception in 2010. The top universities are all members of the Russell Group such as University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, London School of Economics and Political Science and Imperial College London. Non Russell Group universities have performed less well. They have been affected by strong competition from other English-speaking academic systems from the rise in tuition fees, Brexit, and above all, by their reluctance to engage in employability as a measure of university success.

Australia and Canada
The English-speaking challengers to US and UK institutions, in Australia and Canada, traditionally attract millions of international students. Both countries remain in the top 10 in the Global Ranking and are among the most represented countries this year. Year after year however, Australia has declined from a prominent position with only one university represented in the top 50: the Australian National University 35th position. Canada, on the other hand, preserves its historical presence with 11 universities present, of which three feature in the top 50, and with a newcomer, the University of Quebec, entering the ranking in 196th position this year. The University of Toronto successfully positioned itself among the top 20 of the GEURS ranking.

With 18 universities in the GEURS ranking, French institutions perform well in terms of employability. But although many institutions improve their position in this year’s edition, France’s position is not as strong as it may seem at first glance as only five of its institutions rank in the top 50. However, Centrale Supelec enters the ranking’s top 20 in 18th position and seven other institutions — Essec Business School, Paris Saclay University, ESCP Europe, Arts et Métiers ParisTech, Ecole des Ponts ParisTech, Télécom Paris and Centrale Lyon — rise up the ranks. Finally, newcomers to the ranking in 2021, Aix Marseille University, Sorbonne University and Paris Saclay University all improved their position this year.

For the size of the country and its economic power, the number of Chinese universities in the ranking (11) is still small compared to 18 from France, 20 from Germany and 14 from the UK. Nevertheless, Mainland Chinese institutions in the GEURS ranking mirror a rise seen across other rankings in recent years: four universities have entered the top 250 in the last four years and have now secured ranks in the top 200. Four Chinese universities have entered the top 50 ranks, with two of them championing their way in particular: Tsinghua University climbs +10 ranks to 27th position and Peking University finds itself ranked 14th . Mainland China’s performance in the GEURS employability ranking since 2010 echoes that of its progress in the THE World University Rankings 2021, which for the first time saw the research quality of China’s middle ranking universities begin to converge with those of the US.

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