18 August 2019
The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), better known as the Shanghai Rankings, is the oldest global university ranking. First published in 2003, it is well regarded for a consistent and transparent methodology. It has usually avoided the volatility that has sometimes undermined other global rankings. The top ten in this year’s ranking is unchanged since 2018 with Harvard in first place followed by Stanford, Cambridge, MIT, and University of California Berkeley. As in previous years Harvard is in first place for all indicators except for productivity per capita where Caltech holds the lead.
Further down the table there is a great deal of movement up and down much of it resulting from the addition of “cross-field” researchers to the lists. Cairo University has jumped 64 places largely as a result of the addition of a single highly cited researcher while Pennsylvania State University has suffered a reduction in its Highly Cited score and fallen from 76th to 98th.
Long term trends have continued. The number of British universities in the top 500 has fallen by three and US by two. The number of Mainland China universities has risen from 62 to 66 and Shanghai Jiao Tong University has entered the top 100.
ARWU has six indicators derived from publicly accessible data:
- Nobel prizes and Fields medals awarded to alumni (weighting 10%)
- Nobel prizes and Fields medals awarded to faculty (20%)
- Highly cited researchers from the lists prepared by Clarivate Analytics (20%)
- Papers in Nature and Science (20%)
- Science and social science papers in the Web of Science (20%)
- Productivity per capita; scores for the above five indicators divided by the number of senior faculty (10%).