Rankings consultancy


A higher and more competitive ranking helps to enhance a university's reputation and brand value. And a school with a strong reputation is more likely to attract top-quality students, faculty, and staff, as well as more funding from donors and corporate partners.

We assist business schools and universities in improving their positions in various international rankings, such as the Financial Times, QS World University Rankings, and U.S. News & World Report.

What makes us ideally qualified to increase your ranking?

Our founder, Matt Symonds is the S of QS Quacqaurelli Symonds, publishers of the QS World University Rankings and numerous business school rankings. He has also been a journalist for The Economist, BBC, Forbes and Bloomberg, and is recognised as an industry expert for the visibility and brand reputation of the world’s leading universities and business schools. 

In 2009/10 he was the media consultant for Times Higher Education to support the launch of their own THE World University Rankings,  and has subsequently worked for THE and the Wall Street Journal for business school rankings.

In the past ten years, Matt has worked with many universities and business schools from the UK, Europe, North America and Asia to improve the collection and presentation of institutional data, and ensure the strategic engagement of alumni to achieve favourable survey participation. His work has enabled each institution to significantly improve their ranking positions over a 3-year period, including several schools that subsequently achieved ranking positions among the top 15 in the world, eight schools ranked in the mid and lower tiers whose ranking improved by between 10 and 35 places, and three schools who were able to rank for the first time.

What does the rankings consultancy process entail?

Rankings consultancy is intended to insightfully and effectively review the institutional and program data the school has submitted previously, and quickly identify key areas to strengthen for the next surveys, including strategic alumni engagement. 

The FT methodology for the Executive MBA ranking, for instance, relies on two annual online surveys, one for institutional data with a range of weighted factors based on gender and international diversity among students and faculty, ESG, and a faculty research rank, and a second survey of at least 20 alumni who completed the program 3 years previously focused on salary, career progress, work experience and aims achieved. The most recent alumni survey accounts for 50% of the total weight with 25% for the two previous alumni cohorts. 

  For each ranking we would undertake a separate review and process, for example:

  • Initial review of surveys submitted in previous years. 
  • Initial session with senior staff and members of the rankings subcommittee for discussion of specific survey data, and how to report student data (nationalities, etc.) 
  • Dedicated session with rankings subcommittee on alumni surveys - how the school communicates with alumni to explain the survey, guidance on reporting salary and other financial rewards, reporting career advancement, cultural approach to levels of satisfaction / aims achieved, etc. 
  • Provision of a written summary with recommendations for the next survey, and actions for impactful alumni engagement. 
  • Work with rankings subcommittee to finalise and submit the required information for the next ranking.


We can help your school identify areas of improvement and develop a customised strategy to enhance your performance in international rankings.

Contact us today in confidence to learn more about how we can help you improve your rankings and achieve your institution’s goals.

Please email Stephanie Mullins-Wiles at smullins@bluesky-pr.com or call +44(0)1582 790 700 and choose the option for BlueSky Education.