QS Stars

QS Stars is a rating system that provides a detailed look at higher education institutions, focusing on specific topics such as teaching strength, graduate employability, research strength, inclusiveness and online learning.

In 2021 La Trobe University achieved five-plus stars in the QS Star overall ratings as well as five-star ratings in eight categories, the maximum number possible. We achieved five-star ratings in the following categories:

  • Teaching
  • Employability
  • Research
  • Internationalisation
  • Online Learning
  • Arts and Culture
  • Inclusiveness
  • Specialist criteria - sports-related subjects.

We are one of only five Australian universities to achieve an overall rating of five-plus stars in QS Stars.


Universities are evaluated on dozens of indicators across at least eight categories. After the assessment, universities are awarded with an overall star result, based on the number of points achieved.

Indicators for each category:

  • Teaching: Typical indicators in teaching quality assessments are collation of student feedback through national student surveys, further study rate and student faculty ratio.
  • Employability: Common indicators in this area are surveys of employers, graduate employment rates and careers service support.
  • Research: Indicators considered here include assessments of research quality amongst academics, productivity (i.e. number of papers published), citations (i.e. how recognised and referred to those papers are by other academics) and awards.
  • Internationalisation: Effective indicators could include the proportion of international students and staff, the numbers of exchange students arriving and departing, the number of nationalities represented in the student body, the number and strength of international partnerships with other universities and the presence of religious facilities.
  • Online/Distance learning: Indicators such as student services and technology, track record, student faculty engagement, student interaction, commitment to online and reputation of the university.
  • Arts and Culture: Effective indicators are the number of concerts and exhibitions organized by the institution, the number of credits and cultural awards and cultural investment.
  • Inclusiveness: This area looks at the accessibility of the university to students, particularly at scholarships and bursaries, disability access, gender balance and low-income outreach.
  • Specialist Criteria: This category looks at accreditations and discipline rankings in a particular field – in this case, sports-related subjects.

More information on our QS Star rating is available from the QS website.