Dr. Brian Poole, Majan University College’s Associate Dean (Learning, Teaching and Research) recently gave a paper at QS Worldwide 2019, a conference organised by the leading global higher education company Quacquarelli Symonds at Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty, Kazakhstan. The conference, which was officially opened by the Deputy Prime Minister of Kazakhstan, Berdibek Saparbayev, took place on September 19th and 20th 2019. Participants from more than forty countries addressed current issues in higher education, including internationalisation, quality assurance and evidence-based strategic decision-making. The conference took place at a time of change in higher education in Kazakhstan, where the sector is becoming progressively more market-driven with an internationally open outlook. Dr. Brian’s paper, presented as part of the conference’s Theme One (Strategies for University Excellence), focused on the pros and cons of using the percentage of academic staff with a doctorate as a key performance indicator or as a measure contributing to university ranking systems such as that provided by QS. The session highlighted a variety of features that differentiate doctorates one from another, such as research doctorates versus taught doctorates, doctoral assessment systems, and the rigour and integrity of the procedures through which doctorates are awarded in various countries and universities.