Times Higher Education World University Rankings

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Times Higher Education World University Rankings
WUR logo large.jpg
Editor Phil Baty
Categories Higher education
Frequency Annual
Publisher Times Higher Education
First issue 2010
Country  United Kingdom
Language English
Website www.thewur.com

Times Higher Education World University Rankings is an annual publication of university rankings by Times Higher Education (THE) magazine. It had previously collaborated with Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) to announce THE–QS World University Rankings from 2004 to 2009 before the partnership was terminated and both started to publish their own league tables. THE chose to co-operate with Thomson Reuters and created a new ranking system. The publication now comprises the world's overall, subject and reputation rankings, alongside two regional league tables, Asia and BRICS & Emerging Economies. Times Higher Education World University Rankings is considered as one of the most widely observed university measures.[1][2][3] It is praised for having a new improved methodology but undermining non-English-instructing institutions and being commercialized are the major criticism.[4][5][6][7]

History[edit]

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,[8] 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.[9]

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."[10]

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."[11]

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."[12] THE published its first rankings using its new methodology on 16 September 2010, a month earlier than previous years.[13]

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.[1][14] The Globe and Mail in 2010 described the Times Higher Education World University Rankings to be "arguably the most influential."[15]

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.[16]

Methodology[edit]

Criteria and weighting[edit]

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.[17]

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).[18] The names of the categories and the weighting of each was modified in the final methodology, released on 16 September 2010.[17] The final methodology also included the weighting signed to each of the 13 indicators, shown below:[17]

Overall indicator Individual indicator Percentage weighting
Industry Income – innovation
  • Research income from industry (per academic staff)
  • 2.5%
International diversity
  • Ratio of international to domestic staff
  • Ratio of international to domestic students
  • 3%
  • 2%
Teaching – the learning environment
  • Reputational survey (teaching)
  • PhDs awards per academic
  • Undergrad. admitted per academic
  • Income per academic
  • PhDs/undergraduate degrees awarded
  • 15%
  • 6%
  • 4.5%
  • 2.25%
  • 2.25%
Research – volume, income and reputation
  • Reputational survey (research)
  • Research income (scaled)
  • Papers per research and academic staff
  • Public research income/ total research income
  • 19.5%
  • 5.25%
  • 4.5%
  • 0.75%
Citations – research influence
  • Citation impact (normalised average citation per paper)
  • 32.5%

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.[17] 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.[17]

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."[17] 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.[17]

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.[17] 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.[17]

The magazine announced on 5 September 2011 that its 2011–2012 World University Rankings would be published on 6 October 2011.[19] 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.[19]

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."[20]

The methodology of the rankings has been refined during the 2011-12 rankings process, the details of the new methodology can be found here.[21] 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.[22] 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.[23]

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.[24]

Reception[edit]

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.[4] 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."[5] 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."[6]

Criticism[edit]

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.[25] Citations and publications in a language different from English are harder to come across.[26] Thus, such a methodology is condemned for being inappropriate and not comprehensive enough.[7] 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.[27] The rankings are also criticized for being commercialized.[7]

Global rankings[edit]

Overall[edit]

Times Higher Education World University Rankings—Top 50[Note 1]
Institution 2010-11[28] 2011-12[29] 2012-13[30] 2013-14[31] 2014-15[32]
United StatesCalifornia Institute of Technology 2 1 1 1 1
United StatesHarvard University 1 2 4 2 2
United KingdomUniversity of Oxford 6 4 2 2 3
United StatesStanford University 4 2 3 4 4
United KingdomUniversity of Cambridge 6 6 7 7 5
United StatesMassachusetts Institute of Technology 3 7 5 5 6
United StatesPrinceton University 5 5 6 6 7
United StatesUniversity of California, Berkeley 8 10 9 8 8
United KingdomImperial College London 9 8 8 10 9
United StatesYale University 10 11 11 11 9
United StatesUniversity of Chicago 12 9 10 9 11
United StatesUniversity of California, Los Angeles 11 13 13 12 12
SwitzerlandSwiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich 15 15 12 14 13
United StatesColumbia University 18 12 14 13 14
United StatesThe Johns Hopkins University 13 14 16 15 15
United StatesUniversity of Pennsylvania 19 16 15 16 16
United StatesUniversity of Michigan 15 18 20 18 17
United StatesDuke University 24 22 23 17 18
United StatesCornell University 14 20 18 19 19
CanadaUniversity of Toronto 17 19 21 20 20
United StatesNorthwestern University 25 26 19 22 21
United KingdomUniversity College London 22 17 17 21 22
JapanThe University of Tokyo 26 30 27 23 23
United StatesCarnegie Mellon University 20 21 22 24 24
SingaporeNational University of Singapore 34 40 29 26 25
United StatesUniversity of Washington 23 25 24 25 26
United StatesGeorgia Institute of Technology 27 24 25 28 27
United StatesUniversity of Texas at Austin -- 29 25 27 28
United StatesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 33 31 33 29 29
GermanyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität München -- 27 31 30 29
United StatesUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison 61 45 48 55 29
CanadaUniversity of British Columbia 30 22 30 31 32
AustraliaThe University of Melbourne 36 37 28 34 33
SwitzerlandÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 48 46 40 37 34
United KingdomLondon School of Economics and Political Science 86 47 39 32 34
United KingdomUniversity of Edinburgh 40 36 32 39 36
United StatesUniversity of California, Santa Barbara 29 35 35 33 37
United StatesNew York University 60 34 31 30 38
CanadaMcGill University 35 28 34 35 39
United KingdomKing's College London 77 56 57 38 40
United StatesUniversity of California, San Diego 32 33 38 40 41
United StatesWashington University in St Louis 38 41 44 42 42
Hong KongThe University of Hong Kong 21 34 35 43 43
SwedenKarolinska Institute 43 32 42 36 44
AustraliaAustralian National University 43 38 37 48 45
United StatesUniversity of Minnesota 52 42 47 46 46
United StatesUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 30 43 42 47 46
ChinaPeking University 37 49 46 45 48
ChinaTsinghua University 58 71 52 50 49
South KoreaSeoul National University 109 124 59 44 50

In addition, THE also provides 100 Under 50 Universities with different weightings of indicators to accredit the growth of institutions that are under 50 years old.[33]

Subject[edit]

Various academic disciplines are sorted into six categories in THE's subject rankings: "Arts & Humanities"; "Clinical, Pre-clinical & Health"; "Engineering & Technology"; "Life Sciences"; "Physical Sciences"; and "Social Sciences".[34]

Reputation[edit]

Regions with universities included in the reputation league tables.

THE's World Reputation Rankings serve as a subsidiary of the overall league tables and rank universities independently in accordance with their scores in prestige.[35]

Scott Jaschik of Inside Higher Ed said of the new rankings: "...Most outfits that do rankings get criticised 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 criticised for being unclear about the impact of reputation – as they are strictly of reputation."[36]

Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings—Top 50[Note 1]
Institution 2011[37] 2012[38] 2013[39] 2014[40] 2015[41]
United StatesHarvard University 1 1 1 1 1
United KingdomUniversity of Cambridge 3 3 3 4 2
United KingdomUniversity of Oxford 6 6 4 5 3
United StatesMassachusetts Institute of Technology 2 2 2 2 4
United StatesStanford University 5 4 6 3 5
United StatesUniversity of California, Berkeley 4 5 5 6 6
United StatesPrinceton University 7 7 7 7 7
United StatesYale University 9 10 10 8 8
United StatesCalifornia Institute of Technology 10 11 11 9 9
United StatesColumbia University 23 15 13 12 10
United StatesUniversity of Chicago 15 14 14 14 11
JapanThe University of Tokyo 8 8 9 11 12
United StatesUniversity of California, Los Angeles 12 9 8 10 13
United KingdomImperial College, London 11 13 14 13 14
SwitzerlandSwiss Federal Institute of Technology Zürich 24 22 20 16 15
CanadaUniversity of Toronto 17 16 16 20 16
United KingdomUniversity College London 19 21 20 25 17
United StatesThe Johns Hopkins University 14 18 19 18 18
United StatesUniversity of Michigan 13 12 12 15 19
United StatesCornell University 16 16 17 17 20
United StatesNew York University 51-60 34 29 27 20
United KingdomLondon School of Economics and Political Science 37 29 25 24 22
United StatesUniversity of Pennsylvania 22 19 18 22 23
SingaporeNational University of Singapore 27 23 22 21 24
RussiaLomonosov Moscow State University 33 -- 50 51-60 25
ChinaTsinghua University 35 30 35 36 26
JapanKyoto University 18 20 23 19 27
United StatesCarnegie Mellon University 28 37 26 29 28
United KingdomUniversity of Edinburgh 45 49 46 46 29
United StatesUniversity of Illinois at Urbana Champaign 21 23 24 23 30
United KingdomKing's College London 61-70 61-70 61-70 43 31
ChinaPeking University 43 38 45 41 32
United StatesUniversity of Washington 26 28 27 31 33
United StatesDuke University 36 33 31 30 34
GermanyLudwig-Maximilians-Universität München 48 42 44 46 35
CanadaMcGill University 29 25 31 33 35
CanadaUniversity of British Columbia 31 25 31 33 37
GermanyHeidelberg University 81-90 71-80 71-80 61-70 38
United StatesUniversity of California, San Francisco 34 31 40 32 38
United StatesUniversity of Wisconsin-Madison -- 27 30 28 38
GermanyHumboldt University of Berlin 71-80 61-70 71-80 71-80 41
United StatesUniversity of California, San Diego 30 36 34 40 41
AustraliaThe University of Melbourne 45 43 39 43 41
United StatesUniversity of California, Davis 38 44 48 51-60 44
SwedenKarolinska Institute 51-60 51-60 61-70 51-60 45
United StatesUniversity of Texas at Austin 31 32 27 33 46
United StatesNorthwestern University 40 35 37 37 47
SwitzerlandÉcole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 71-80 61-70 51-60 49 48
United StatesGeorgia Institute of Technology 39 41 38 38 49
United KingdomUniversity of Manchester 61-70 51-60 47 51-60 50

Regional rankings[edit]

Asia[edit]

Times Higher Education Asia University Rankings — Top 10[Note 1]
Institution 2012-13[42] 2013-14[43] 2014-15[44]
JapanThe University of Tokyo 1 1 1
SingaporeNational University of Singapore 2 2 2
Hong KongThe University of Hong Kong 3 3 3
ChinaPeking University 4 5 4
ChinaTsinghua University 6 6 5
South KoreaSeoul National University 8 4 6
Hong KongThe Hong Kong University of Science and Technology 9 9 7
South KoreaKorea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology 10 8 8
JapanKyoto University 7 7 9
SingaporeNanyang Technological University 11 11 10

BRICS and emerging economies[edit]

THE's BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings only includes universities in countries classified as "emerging economies" by FTSE, including the "BRICS" nations of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. Hong Kong institutions are not comprised in this ranking.

Times Higher Education BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings — Top 10[Note 1]
Institution 2014[45] 2015[46]
ChinaPeking University 1 1
ChinaTsinghua University 2 2
TurkeyMiddle East Technical University 9 3
South AfricaUniversity of Cape Town 3 4
RussiaLomonosov Moscow State University 10 5
TaiwanNational Taiwan University 4 6
TurkeyBoğaziçi University 5 7
TurkeyIstanbul Technical University 7 8
ChinaFudan University 8 9
BrazilUniversity of São Paulo 11 10

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Order shown in accordance with the latest result.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Ariel Zirulnick. "New world university ranking puts Harvard back on top". The Christian Science Monitor. Those two, as well as Shanghai Jiao Tong University, produce the most influential international university rankings out there 
  2. ^ Indira Samarasekera & Carl Amrhein. "Top schools don't always get top marks". The Edmonton Journal. There are currently three major international rankings that receive widespread commentary: The Academic World Ranking of Universities, the QS World University Rankings and the Times Higher Education Rankings. 
  3. ^ Philip G. Altbach (11 November 2010). "The State of the Rankings". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 27 January 2015. The major international rankings have appeared in recent months — the Academic Ranking of World Universities, the QS World University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (THE). 
  4. ^ a b Andrew Trounson, "Science bias will affect local rankings" (9 June 2010). The Australian.
  5. ^ a b Steve Smith (16 September 2010). "Pride before the fall?". Times Higher Education World University Rankings. 
  6. ^ a b "Global path for the best of British," (16 September 2010). Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
  7. ^ a b c Holmes, Richard (2006-09-05). "So That's how They Did It". Rankingwatch.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Wildavsky, Ben (2010). The Great Brain Race: How Global Universities are Reshaping the World. Princeton University Press. 
  9. ^ Baty, Phil. "New data partner for World University Rankings". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  10. ^ Mroz, Ann. "Leader: Only the best for the best". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  11. ^ Baty, Phil (10 September 2010). "Views: Ranking Confession". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  12. ^ 17 February 2010 12:00AM (17 February 2010). "Back to square one on the rankings front". The Australian. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  13. ^ Baty, Phil. "THE World Rankings set for release on 16 September". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  14. ^ Indira Samarasekera and Carl Amrhein. "Top schools don't always get top marks". The Edmonton Journal. Archived from the original on 2010-10-03. 
  15. ^ 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. 
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i "World University Rankings subject tables: Robust, transparent and sophisticated" (16 September 2010). Times Higher Education World University Rankings.
  18. ^ Baty, Phil. "THE unveils broad, rigorous new rankings methodology". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 16 September 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Phil Baty, "World University Rankings launch date revealed" (5 September 2011). Times Higher Education.
  20. ^ Phil Baty. "The top 200 – and the best of the rest" (13 September 2011), Times Higher Education.
  21. ^ THE Global Rankings: Change for the better. Times Higher Education (2011-10-06). Retrieved on 2013-07-17.
  22. ^ "GLOBAL: Crucial to measure teaching in rankings". Universityworldnews.com. 2010-11-28. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  23. ^ Baty, Phil (2011-08-16). "Arts on an equal footing". Timeshighereducation.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-12-19. 
  24. ^ "Times Higher Education announces reforms to its World University Rankings". timeshighereducation.co.uk. 2014-11-20. Retrieved 2014-11-21. 
  25. ^ "Global university rankings and their impact," (2011). "European University Association"
  26. ^ http://www.cwts.nl/TvR/documents/AvR-Language-Scientometrics.pdf
  27. ^ "Changingpublication patterns in the Social Sciences and Humanities 2000-2009" (PDF). 
  28. ^ "THE World University Rankings (2010-2011)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  29. ^ "THE World University Rankings (2011-2012)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  30. ^ "THE World University Rankings (2012-2013)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  31. ^ "THE World University Rankings (2013-2014)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  32. ^ "THE World University Rankings (2014-2015)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  33. ^ "Times Higher Education 100 Under 50 universities". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 2 October 2013. 
  34. ^ "TIMES Higher Education University Rankings by subjects (2013/14)". 
  35. ^ John Morgan. "Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings". Times Higher Education. 
  36. ^ Scott Jaschik. "Global Comparisons". Inside Higher Ed. 
  37. ^ "THE World Reputation Rankings (2011)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  38. ^ "THE World Reputation Rankings (2012)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  39. ^ "THE World Reputation Rankings (2013)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  40. ^ "THE World Reputation Rankings (2014)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  41. ^ "THE World Reputation Rankings (2011)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  42. ^ "THE Asia University Rankings (2012-13)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  43. ^ "THE Asia University Rankings (2013-14)". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  44. ^ "Asia University Rankings 2015 Results". Times Higher Education. Retrieved 12 June 2015. 
  45. ^ "THE BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2014". Times Higher Education. 2014. Retrieved 14 March 2015. 
  46. ^ "THE BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2015". Times Higher Education. 2015. Retrieved 4 April 2015. 

External links[edit]