How the rankings
Based on factual and perceptual scores, 160 varsities were part of the INDIA TODAY- Nielsen survey
INDIA TODAY partnered with The Nielsen Company for the third survey to determine India’s top universities in the arts, science and commerce streams. Only universities that offer postgraduate courses in arts, science and commerce were considered. Institutions of national importance which specialise in only one area of knowledge such as engineering, medicine, law or journalism have not been included in the survey. For this reason, premier institutes such Indian Institute of Technology ( IIT), All India Institute of Medical Sciences ( AIIMS) or National Institute of Technology ( NIT) have been excluded from the list. To determine the ranks, a formula based on a perception score ( from an in- depth interview conducted among academic experts) and an objective score ( factual data furnished by universities) was evolved.
Step 1 In- depth interviews were conducted with experts to ratify the parameters on which universities were judged in the later stages of the study. The parameters include reputation, quality of academic input, faculty, research publications/ projects, infrastructure, placement opportunities, and enrolment for higher education.
Step 2 Desk research was conducted to generate the list of universities for the survey. Secondary data sources like the Internet, published reports, and the Association for India Universities Handbook were also used. A comprehensive list of more than 160 universities was drawn up.
Step 3 337 experts ( deans, registrars, readers and professors) were shown the list of 160 universities and were asked to rate them on identified parameters. These experts were not allowed to rate their own university. They were then asked to distribute 100 points across the listed parameters. Each parameter was assigned a weight based on the average importance given by the experts. Hence the most important parameter got the maximum weight and the least, the minimum. The overall perceptual score of a university was calculated on the basis of the ratings given by the experts on the five key parameters weighted by their importance. The universities were then ranked based on their overall perceptual scores. Thus at the end of this exercise, a list of top 75 universities was generated.
Step 4 We tried to collect factual information from these 75 shortlisted universities and 50 universities have shared the data. Factual information was collected on parameters such as infrastructure, placements, academic input, research and publication, as well as faculty. Universities that did not provide the data were not considered in the final ranking process.
Step 5 We arrived at the weightage of perceptual and factual information based on the expert opinions after Step 3. To get the overall score, a weightage of 50 per cent was applied to the overall perceptual score and 50 per cent to overall factual scores. After assigning these weights, the score was indexed to 100. Thus the methodology of ranking provides a comprehensive picture of each university rated.