Times Higher Education World University Rankings
|Publisher||Times Higher Education|
|Website||Times Higher Education World University Rankings|
Times Higher Education World University Rankings are annual university rankings published by British Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. The publisher had originally collaborated with another UK organization, Quacquarelli Symonds (QS), to announce the THE–QS World University Rankings during 2004-2009 after which QS has published its rankings with the old methodology as QS World University Rankings, while Times has adopted a new one with citation database supplied by Thomson Reuters since 2010. The publication now comprises the world's overall, subject and reputation rankings with two regional league tables, Asia and BRICS & Emerging Economies rankings, that serve as an extension using exactly the same criteria as those in the world's overall table. Today, Times Higher Education World University Rankings is one of the three most influential and widely observed international university rankings, along with the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), and is praised for reducing the weighting of the subjective reputation factor in the main rankings; however, it is also criticized for undermining non-English instructing institutions and being commercialized.
- 1 History
- 2 Methodology
- 3 Global rankings
- 4 Regional rankings
- 5 Notes and references
- 6 External links
The creation of the original Times Higher Education-QS World University Rankings was credited in Ben Wildavsky's book, The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World, to then-editor of Times Higher Education, John O'Leary. Times Higher Education chose to partner with educational and careers advice company QS to supply the data.
After the 2009 rankings, Times Higher Education took the decision to break from QS and signed an agreement with Thomson Reuters to provide the data for its annual World University Rankings from 2010 onwards. The publication developed a new rankings methodology in consultation with its readers, its editorial board and Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters will collect and analyse the data used to produce the rankings on behalf of Times Higher Education. The first ranking was published in September 2010.
Commenting on Times Higher Education's decision to split from QS, former editor Ann Mroz said: "universities deserve a rigorous, robust and transparent set of rankings – a serious tool for the sector, not just an annual curiosity." She went on to explain the reason behind the decision to continue to produce rankings without QS' involvement, saying that: "The responsibility weighs heavy on our shoulders...we feel we have a duty to improve how we compile them."
Phil Baty, editor of the new Times Higher Education World University Rankings, admitted in Inside Higher Ed: "The rankings of the world's top universities that my magazine has been publishing for the past six years, and which have attracted enormous global attention, are not good enough. In fact, the surveys of reputation, which made up 40 percent of scores and which Times Higher Education until recently defended, had serious weaknesses. And it's clear that our research measures favored the sciences over the humanities."
He went on to describe previous attempts at peer review as "embarrassing" in The Australian: "The sample was simply too small, and the weighting too high, to be taken seriously." THE published its first rankings using its new methodology on 16 September 2010, a month earlier than previous years.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings, along with the QS World University Rankings and the Academic Ranking of World Universities are described to be the three most influential international university rankings. The Globe and Mail in 2010 described the Times Higher Education World University Rankings to be "arguably the most influential."
In 2014 Times Higher Education announced a series of important changes to its flagship THE World University Rankings and its suite of global university performance analyses, following a strategic review by THE parent company TES Global. 
Criteria and Weighting
The inaugural 2010-2011 methodology is 13 separate indicators grouped under five categories: Teaching (30 percent of final score), research (30 percent), citations (research impact) (worth 32.5 percent), international mix (5 percent), industry income (2.5 percent). The number of indicators is up from the Times-QS rankings published between 2004 and 2009, which used six indicators.
A draft of the methodology was released on 3 June 2010. The draft stated that 13 indicators would first be used and that this could rise to 16 in future rankings, and laid out the categories of indicators as "research indicators" (55 percent), "institutional indicators" (25 percent), "economic activity/innovation" (10 percent), and "international diversity" (10 percent). The names of the categories and the weighting of each was modified in the final methodology, released on 16 September 2010. The final methodology also included the weighting signed to each of the 13 indicators, shown below:
|Overall indicator||Individual indicators||Percentage weightings|
|Industry Income – innovation||
|Teaching – the learning environment||
|Research – volume, income and reputation||
|Citations – research influence||
The Times Higher Education billed the methodology as "robust, transparent and sophisticated," stating that the final methodology was selected after considering 10 months of "detailed consultation with leading experts in global higher education," 250 pages of feedback from "50 senior figures across every continent" and 300 postings on its website. The overall ranking score was calculated by making Z-scores all datasets to standardize different data types on a common scale to better make comparisons among data.
The reputational component of the rankings (34.5 percent of the overall score – 15 percent for teaching and 19.5 percent for research) came from an Academic Reputation Survey conducted by Thomson Reuters in spring 2010. The survey gathered 13,388 responses among scholars "statistically representative of global higher education's geographical and subject mix." The magazine's category for "industry income – innovation" came from a sole indicator, institution's research income from industry scaled against the number of academic staff." The magazine stated that it used this data as "proxy for high-quality knowledge transfer" and planned to add more indicators for the category in future years.
Data for citation impact (measured as a normalized average citation per paper), comprising 32.5 percent of the overall score, came from 12,000 academic journals indexed by Thomson Reuters' large Web of Science database over the five years from 2004 to 2008. The Times stated that articles published in 2009–2010 have not yet completely accumulated in the database. The normalization of the data differed from the previous rankings system and is intended to "reflect variations in citation volume between different subject areas," so that institutions with high levels of research activity in the life sciences and other areas with high citation counts will not have an unfair advantage over institutions with high levels of research activity in the social sciences, which tend to use fewer citations on average.
The magazine announced on 5 September 2011 that its 2011–2012 World University Rankings would be published on 6 October 2011. At the same time, the magazine revealed changes to the ranking formula that will be introduced with the new rankings. The methodology will continue to use 13 indicators across five broad categories and will keep its "fundamental foundations," but with some changes. Teaching and research will each remain 30 percent of the overall score, and industry income will remain at 2.5 percent. However, a new "international outlook – staff, students and research" will be introduced and will make up 7.5 percent of the final score. This category will include the proportion of international staff and students at each institution (included in the 2011–2012 ranking under the category of "international diversity"), but will also add the proportion of research papers published by each institution that are co-authored with at least one international partner. One 2011–2012 indicator, the institution's public research income, will be dropped.
On 13 September 2011, the Times Higher Education announced that its 2011–2012 list will only rank the top 200 institutions. Phil Baty wrote that this was in the "interests of fairness," because "the lower down the tables you go, the more the data bunch up and the less meaningful the differentials between institutions become." However, Baty wrote that the rankings would include 200 institutions that fall immediately outside the official top 200 according to its data and methodology, but this "best of the rest" list from 201 to 400 would be unranked and listed alphabetically. Baty wrote that the magazine intentionally only ranks around 1 percent of the world's universities in a recognition that "not every university should aspire to be one of the global research elite."
The methodology of the rankings has been refined during the 2011-12 rankings process, the details of the new methodology can be found here. Phil Baty, the rankings editor, has said that the THE World University Rankings are the only global university rankings to examine a university’s teaching environment, as others focus purely on research. Baty has also written that the THE World University Rankings are the only rankings to put arts and humanities and social sciences research on an equal footing to the sciences.
In November 2014 the magazine announced further reforms to the methodology after a review by parent company TES Global. The major change being all institutional data collection would be bought in house severing the connection with Thomson Reuters. In addition research publication data would now be sourced from Elsevier's Scopus database.
The reception to the methodology was varied.
Ross Williams of the Melbourne Institute, commenting on the 2010–2011 draft, stated that the proposed methodology would favour more focused "science-based institutions with relatively few undergraduates" at the expense of institutions with more comprehensive programmes and undergraduates, but also stated that the indicators were "academically robust" overall and that the use of scaled measures would reward productivity rather than overall influence. Steve Smith, president of Universities UK, praised the new methodology as being "less heavily weighted towards subjective assessments of reputation and uses more robust citation measures," which "bolsters confidence in the evaluation method." David Willetts, British Minister of State for Universities and Science praised the rankings, noting that "reputation counts for less this time, and the weight accorded to quality in teaching and learning is greater."
Times Higher Education gives much importance to citations on their ranking. This has been criticised for undermining universities that do not use English as their primary language. Citations and publications in a language different from English are harder to come across. Thus, such a methodology is condemned for being inappropriate and not comprehensive enough. A second important disadvantage for universities of non Anglo-Saxon tradition is that within the disciplines of social sciences and humanities the main tool for publications are books which are not or only rarely covered by citations records. The rankings are also criticized for being commercialized.
- For the rankings before the year of 2010, see the articles about results of the THE-QS World University Rankings:
- THE–QS World University Rankings, 2004
- THE–QS World University Rankings, 2005
- THE–QS World University Rankings, 2006
- THE–QS World University Rankings, 2007
- THE–QS World University Rankings, 2008
- THE–QS World University Rankings, 2009
Times has also provided rankings by subjects. Various academic disciplines are sorted into six categories which are "Arts & Humanities"; "Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health"; "Engineering & Technology"; "Life sciences"; "Physical sciences"; and "Social sciences", each of which gives the positions of the top 100 tertiary institutions, according to the latest rankings.
Such rankings are released annually, along with the major overall rankings.
100 under 50 universities
Times has provided rankings of THE 100 Under 50 universities since 2012 to judge the world's top 100 tertiary institutions that are under 50 years old. This ranking adopts the same 13 separate indicators as the World University Rankings but the weighting is different.
Since March 2011, Times Higher Education has released an additional type of rankings called the "World Reputation Rankings" which are a subsidiary of the major world university rankings and rank the top 100 universities by reputation based on a global survey. Such reputation rankings are independent of the main rankings.
Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed said of the new rankings: "...Most outfits that do rankings get criticized for the relative weight given to reputation as opposed to objective measures. While Times Higher Education does overall rankings that combine various factors, it is today releasing rankings that can't be criticized for being unclear about the impact of reputation – as they are strictly of reputation."
Asia University Rankings
In April 2013, Times Higher Education released its first university rankings dedicated to the Asian higher education sector. However, unlike the QS Asian University Rankings whose methodologies are different from the QS World University Rankings, the Times Asia University Rankings use exactly the same criteria as its World University Rankings.
The Asia University Rankings judge world class universities across all of their core missions - teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook, and provide the positions of top 100 Asian tertiary institutes.
BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings
THE BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings only includes institutions in countries classified as "emerging economies" by FTSE, including the "BRICS" nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Hong Kong universities are not comprised in this ranking.
Notes and references
- Ariel Zirulnick. "New world university ranking puts Harvard back on top". The Christian Science Monitor.
- "We're fighting above our weight when it comes to uni rankings". The Australian.
- Indira Samarasekera and Carl Amrhein. "Top schools don't always get top marks". The Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-10-03.
- Andrew Trounson, "Science bias will affect local rankings" (9 June 2010). The Australian.
- Steve Smith (16 September 2010). "Pride before the fall?". Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
- "Global path for the best of British," (16 September 2010). Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
- Holmes, Richard (2006-09-05). "So That's how They Did It". Rankingwatch.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "泰晤士報大學排名 調查方式不周延 (THE Rankings with an inappropriate methodology)" (in Chinese). 《聯合報》 (United News). Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "世界大学主要排名机构介绍 (Introduction of major global university rankings)" (in Chinese). 新浪公司（杭州网） (SINA). Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "指大學排名榜涉商業 恒管校長質疑非可信 (Dean of Hang Seng Management College: Many university rankings are commercialized)" (in Chinese). 《明報》 (Ming Pao). Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Wildavsky, Ben (2010). The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World. Princeton University Press.
- Baty, Phil. "New data partner for World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Mroz, Ann. "Leader: Only the best for the best". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Baty, Phil (10 September 2010). "Views: Ranking Confession". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- 17 February 2010 12:00AM (17 February 2010). "Back to square one on the rankings front". The Australian. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Baty, Phil. "THE World Rankings set for release on 16 September". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Indira Samarasekera and Carl Amrhein. "Top schools don't always get top marks". The Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-10-03.
- Simon Beck and Adrian Morrow (16 September 2010). "Canada's universities make the grade globally". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on 2011-02-13.
- http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/world-university-rankings/news/times-higher-education-announces-reforms-to-world-university-rankings Times Higher Education announces reforms to its World University Rankings.
- "World University Rankings subject tables: Robust, transparent and sophisticated" (16 September 2010). Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
- Baty, Phil. "THE unveils broad, rigorous new rankings methodology". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010.
- Phil Baty, "World University Rankings launch date revealed" (5 September 2011). Times Higher Education.
- Phil Baty. "The top 200 – and the best of the rest" (13 September 2011), Times Higher Education.
- THE Global Rankings: Change for the better. Times Higher Education (2011-10-06). Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
- "GLOBAL: Crucial to measure teaching in rankings". Universityworldnews.com. 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
- Baty, Phil (2011-08-16). "Arts on an equal footing". Timeshighereducation.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-19.
- "Times Higher Education announces reforms to its World University Rankings". timeshighereducation.co.uk. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2014-11-21.
- "Global university rankings and their impact," (2011). "European University Association"
- "Changingpublication patterns in the Social Sciences and Humanities 2000-2009".
- "THE World University Rankings (2014-2015)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World University Rankings (2013-2014)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World University Rankings (2012-2013)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World University Rankings (2011-2012)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World University Rankings (2010-2011)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "TIMES Higher Education University Rankings by subjects (2013/14)".
- "Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 universities". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2013.
- John Morgan. "Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings". Times Higher Education.
- Scott Jaschik. "Global Comparisons". Inside Higher Ed.
- "THE World Reputation Rankings (2014)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World Reputation Rankings (2013)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World Reputation Rankings (2012)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "THE World Reputation Rankings (2011)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Phil Baty. "Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings". Times Higher Education.
- "THE Asia University Rankings (2012-13)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- Times Higher Education website
- Times Higher Education - Asia University Rankings
- The top 100 universities 2010 – how the Times Higher Education ranks them – The Guardian
- University rankings dominated by US, with Harvard top – BBC
- Interactive maps comparing the Times Higher Education, Academic Ranking of World Universities and QS World University Rankings