Privacy Policy | Top Universities

Privacy Policy

Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd (“QS”) is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using any of our websites then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.QS may change this policy from time to time.

Changes to our policy will be updated on our Websites and/or Services only. You should check our policy from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any modifications. This policy was last updated on May 24 2018.

What information we collect

We may collect the following information:

  • Name and job title
  • Gender and date of birth
  • Contact information including email address
  • Demographic information such as postcode, preferences, and interests
  • Other information required or relevant to registrations for our events and/or products
  • Other information relevant to customer surveys and/or offers

All data collected by QS is stored in a one database environment, regardless of which QS site you contacted us through.

Due to the communications standards on the internet, when you visit our Websites or Services we also automatically receive the URL of the site from which you came and the site to which you are going to when you leave our Websites or Services.

QS receives the internet protocol (“IP”) address of your computer, your computer operating system and type of web browser you are using, email patterns, your mobile device and mobile operating system (if you are accessing our Websites or Services using a mobile device), as well as the name of your ISP or your mobile carrier.

What we do with the information we gather

We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:

By providing information to QS for the purposes of becoming a Site User, creating your QS User account or adding any additional details to your QS User profile, you are expressly and voluntarily accepting the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy and QS’s User Agreement that allow QS to process information about you.

Supplying information to QS, including any information deemed “sensitive” by applicable law, is entirely voluntary on your part. You have the right to withdraw your consent to QS’s collection and processing of your information at any time, in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy and the User Agreement, by changing your Settings, or by closing your account, but please note that your withdrawal of consent will not be retroactive.

In order to become a QS User, you must provide us the following information to create an account: first name, last name, email address and password. Without this minimal amount of information, you cannot create an account. QS may request other information from you during the account creation process, (e.g., gender, location, etc.) that QS uses to provide better, more customized marketing services such as updates, better ads, and more valuable information. You acknowledge that this information is personal to you, and by creating an account on our websites, you allow QS and selected third parties, to identify you and to allow to use your information in accordance with our User Agreement.

This means we’ll:

create a profile about you to help us understand you as a customer and tailor the communications we send you; tell you about other products and services you might be interested in; try to identify products and services you’re interested in; and


We’ll send you information (about the products and services we provide) by phone, post, email, text message and online banner advertising. We also use the information we have about you to personalise these messages wherever we can as we believe it is important to make them relevant to you. We also check that you are happy for us to send you marketing messages before we do so. In each message we send, you also have the option to opt out.

We’ll only market other organisations’ products and services if you have said it is OK for us to do so.

You can ask us to stop sending you marketing information or withdraw your permission at any time.

  • Details of the products and services you’ve bought and how you use them 

We use the following for marketing and to identify the products and services you’re interested in.

Your contact details. This includes your name, of birth and email address. Information from cookies and tags placed on your connected devices.

We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorized access or disclosure, we safeguard and secure the information we collect online via electronic and managerial procedures.

To protect any data you store on our servers, QS also regularly audits its system for possible vulnerabilities and attacks. However, since the internet is not a 100% secure environment, we cannot ensure or warrant the security of any information you transmit to QS. There is no guarantee that information may not be accessed, disclosed, altered, or destroyed by breach of any of our physical, technical, or managerial safeguards.

Links to other websites

Our websites may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.

What we use cookies for

QS use cookies to check whether or not you are logged in and to identify which of our high availability servers you are looking at. We also use cookies to help collect analytics data to constantly improve your on-site experience. It is your legal right to opt-out of this data collection if you so wish.

Like most websites, we use cookies and web log files to track site usage and trends, to improve the quality of our service, to customize your experience on our Websites and Services, as well as to deliver QS and third-party advertising to Site Users and QS Users both on and off our Websites and Services. A cookie is a tiny data file which asks permission to be placed on your computer’s hard drive. Once you agree, this small file resides on your computer, mobile phone, or other device, and allows us to recognize you as a Site User or QS User when you return to our Websites or Services using the same computer and web browser. A cookie in no way gives us access to your computer or any information about you, other than the data you choose to share with us. You can remove or block cookies using the settings in your browser, but in some cases doing so may impact your ability to use our Websites or Services.

In the course of serving advertisements or optimizing the services to our Site Users or QS Users, we may allow authorized third parties to place or recognize a unique cookie on your browser. Any information provided to third parties through cookies will not be personally identifiable but may provide general segment information (e.g. your industry or geography or information about your professional or educational background) for the enhancement of your user experience by providing more relevant advertising. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. Our Websites and Services do not store unencrypted personally identifiable information in the cookies.


To support the services we provide at no cost to our Site Users and QS Users, as well as provide a more relevant and useful experience for our Site Users and QS Users, we target and serve our own ads and also ads from third-parties.

We target ads to Site Users and QS Users based on general profile information or on non-personally identifiable information inferred from a Site User’s or QS User’s profile (e.g. industry, school, gender, age, nationality, or other relevant information). QS does not provide personally identifiable information to any third party ad network.

Third party advertisers may use cookies to track the number of anonymous users responding to their campaigns. We will not have access to or control of cookies placed by third parties.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by modifying your browser preferences. You can accept all cookies, be notified when a cookie is set, or reject all cookies.

Exponential Interactive, Inc, as our partner, have a legitimate interest to collect and profile personal data in the form of IP address and cookie ID from users on our website in order to provide targeted online advertising and ad measurement. For more details, access requests or complaints, please review their privacy policy or contact their data protection officer via [email protected] . If you would like to opt out of Exponential’s advertising, please use this link:

Admedo, as our partner, have a legitimate interest to collect and profile personal data in the form of IP address and cookie ID from users on our website in order to provide targeted online advertising and ad measurement. For more details, access requests or complaints, please review their privacy policy ( or contact their data protection officer via [email protected] . If you would like to opt out of Admedo advertising, please use this link:

We may also show you advertising on our site based on your behaviour on other sites. Behavioural retargeting allows us and some of our advertising partners to show you ads based on your browsing patterns and interactions with a site away from our site. Our behavioural retargeting partner is Criteo. To read their privacy policy and to opt out of their services, please click here:  

Removing a cookie

Removing a cookie varies depending on which browser you are using.

Firefox To remove a cookie, Right Click on the page you are looking at and select ‘View Page Info’. A dialogue window will then open. Choose the security tab from the top of the window and then choose ‘View Cookies’. You are then able to remove any cookies you wish from your machine. To prevent cookies from being set on your machine, chose ‘Menu->Options’. A dialogue window will open. Choose ‘Privacy’ from the tabs at the top and choose the checkbox that says ‘Do not allow sites to track’.

Internet Explorer To prevent a current page from tracking choose ‘Tools -> Safety -> Tracking Protection’ from here you can set your preferences for analytics tracking. Choose ‘Tools -> Internet Options -> Privacy’ From here you can set your preferences for the types of cookies that you will accept and from where.

Safari To prevent tracking if you are using Safari choose ‘Tools -> Preferences -> Security’ and then choose your preferences from the ‘Accept Cookies’ section.

Chrome To manage your cookie options in Google Chrome choose ‘Tools -> Settings -> Advanced Options -> Privacy -> Content Settings’. Then choose the options that you would like for cookies on your machine and then select ‘Ok’ to save.


We use two analytics packages in order to constantly improve your browsing experience on,, and some of our other web properties.

These packages are:

Google Analytics IBM CoreMetrics

1 Tranley Mews



United Kingdom

Phone: +44(0) 207284 7200

Email: [email protected]

Although you should submit a request in writing, if you would like to speak to someone in person, you can contact the Data Protection Officer using the following details:

Data Protection Officer

QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd

We may need to ask you to provide:

proof of your identity proof of your home address any information that we reasonably need to locate the information you have requested (for example the website or event you registered for)

Under the law any individual has a right to ask for a copy of the personal information held about them. This means that you can ask for the information that the QS holds about you. This is known as the right of ‘subject access’.

When making a request you will need to give us:

a request in writing (by post or by email) Right to access personal information

To opt out of Google Analytics data collection, you will need to remove all cookies which begin with two underscore characters. Examples include:

__utma __utmb __utmc __utmz


Rights concerning the processing of your personal information

i) Right to restrict processing of personal information

In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website.

We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.

You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:

You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we are able to determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate; We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead. We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims; You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.


For contact details of national data protection regulators in the EU and EEA, please use the following link:

You should be aware that from 25 May 2018 onwards, the EU or EEA regulator you first contact may not be the regulator that deals with your complaint. They may refer your complaint to another data protection regulator, and a number of regulators may work together to determine the outcome of your complaint. The overall handling of your complaint will be dealt with by a “lead supervisory authority”, which will be allocated during the complaint handling process.

If you live outside the EU or EEA, and the data protection issue you are concerned about relates to the processing of personal data in the country you live in, you may be able to complain to your national data protection or privacy regulator. Details of some national data protection or privacy regulators are detailed in the above link. Alternatively, you may be able to find details of your national privacy or data protection regulator by searching the internet.

If you have a concern about how we have processed your personal data, many data protection/privacy regulators will ask that you contact us first, outlining your concerns, allowing us to try and put the issue right, prior to contacting them with your complaint or concern.

If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:

Data Protection Officer

QS Quacquarelli Symonds Ltd

1 Tranley Mews



United Kingdom

Phone: +44(0) 207284 7200

Email: [email protected]

vii) Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)

If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.

Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the UK data protection regulator, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO can be contacted using the following details:

Information Commissioner’s Office

Wycliffe House

Water Lane






Email: [email protected].

If you live in a country or territory located in the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA), and you think that some, or all, of the issues you are concerned about have taken place in your country of residence, you can complain to your national data protection regulator.

If you have provided your information to QS, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly-used and machine-readable format.

There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact: [email protected]

vi) Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information

If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.

Right to data portability

You have the right to object to QS processing your personal data in the following circumstances:

Personal information used for direct marketing

If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.

v) Right to object to processing

In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that QS securely deletes or destroys your personal information:

If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it. The processing is based on consent - if you have previously given your consent to QS collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. If you think QS has processed your personal information unlawfully.

If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.

We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.

iii) Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate

You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate.

If we find that personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.

iv) Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”) ii) Processing you think is unlawful
Your obligations

As a Site User or QS User, you have certain obligations to other Site Users and QS Users. Some of these obligations are imposed by applicable law and regulations, and others have become commonplace in user-friendly communities of like-minded members such as QS:

a) You must, at all times, abide by the terms and conditions of the then-current Privacy Policy and User Agreement. This includes respecting all intellectual property rights that may belong to third parties (such as trademarks or photographs). b) You must not download or otherwise disseminate any information that may be deemed to be injurious, violent, offensive, racist or xenophobic, or which may otherwise violate the purpose and spirit of QS and its community.


Any violation of these guidelines may lead to the restriction, suspension or termination of your account at the sole discretion of QS.

  • c) You must not provide to QS and/or other Site Users and/or QS Users information that you believe might be injurious or detrimental to your person or to your professional or social status.
  • d) You must keep your password confidential and not share it with others.