24 October 2017

The US News has long been famous for its rankings of America’s Best Colleges and has recently embarked on the ranking of global universities.

The Best Global Universities ranking is entirely devoted to research. There are 13 indicators: Global research reputation (12.5%), Regional research reputation (12.5%), Publications (10%), Books (2.5%), Conferences (2.5%), Normalized citation impact (10%), Total citations (7.5%), Number of publications among the 10% most cited (12.5%), Percent of publications among the 10% most cited (10%), International collaboration (5%), Number of highly cited papers among the 1% most cited (5%), and Number of highly cited papers among the 1% most cited (5%).

The United States and the United Kingdom dominate the top levels of the rankings. Harvard is in first place, followed by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford and Berkeley. Oxford and Cambridge are in fifth and seventh place and the top ten are completed by California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Columbia, Princeton and Johns Hopkins.

The top universities in various regions are:

  • Africa; University of Cape Town
  • Asia; National University of Singapore
  • Australia/New Zealand; University of Melbourne
  • Europe; University of Oxford
  • Latin America; Universidade de São Paolo.

The USA and Europe continue to lead the subject rankings.  Harvard holds first place in in eleven subjects including clinical medicine, economics and business, and social science and public health.  The University of California Berkeley is top for chemistry and environmental science and ecology, Caltech for geosciences and space science, MIT for physics, and University of California Davis for plant and animal science. European universities held the lead for agricultural science, arts and humanities, and mathematics.

It is noticeable that Asian universities are making great strides in engineering, computer science and materials science. In engineering, six out of the top ten places are now held by Asian institutions, Tsinghua University, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Harbin Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University and the University of Malaya while Tsinghua University leads for computer science and NTU for materials science.

US News


IREG Initiatives

With the fast development of science and technology, as well as the internationalization of scientific activities, international academic awards have been more and more popular and influential. Numerous international academic awards have been established to provide individuals with incentives and motivation for new academic work and to reward past excellent academic accomplishments.


The purpose of the IREG Ranking Audit, conducted by independent experts, is to verify and attest that ranking under review is done professionally, with a transparent methodology, observes good practices and responds to a need for relevant information of various stakeholders, in particular students, higher education institutions, employers and policy makers.


National and international academic rankings play ever increasing role as a barometer of quality of higher education institutions. The purpose of "IREG Inventory of National Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


The purpose of the IREG Guidelines for Stakeholders of Academic Rankings is to provide recommendations for appropriate interpretations, uses and applications of rankings by potential interested parties, including students and parents, institutions of higher education, policymakers, quality assurance and funding organizations, employers and the media. Specific recommendations have been formulated for each group of stakeholders.


News from IREG Members

The worldwide ranking UI GreenMetric Workshop in Bologna

This Bologna workshop is aimed to highlight the commitment of Italian universities towards a sustainable 360° approach. UI GM Chairperson, Riri Fitri Sari, will showcase the ranking’s structure and indicators in details. Italian participants are warmly invited to ask questions and raise issues concerning the specificity of the Italian universities to fit into the UI GreenMetric ranking. The Alma Mater Studiorum assumes the role of National Network Hub for UI GM in the framework of this event that will also host experts from RUS (Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo Sostenibile).

Ranking conference in Warsaw

Polish universities feel, they deserve a better place in international rankings. To discuss what can and should be done to improve the quality of research, rectors of best universities in the country gathered 1-2 December in Warsaw at the conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective – Rankings and Strategic Management of University” organized by Perspektywy Education Foundation jointly with the Conference of Rectors (CRASP) and Polish Accreditation Commission (PAC).

Conference on Universities’ Reputation

Spanish Universidad de Navarra organizes the International Conference BUILDING UNIVERSITIES' REPUTATION Understanding the Student Perspective – Key to a Reputation Strategy, Pamplona, Spain 30-31 March 2017. www.unav.edu/bur

Report on Activities of IREG Observatory 2015-1016

Dr. Jan Sadlak, President of IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence at the General Assembly held in Lisbon on 6 May 2016 presented a detailed report on activities of the organization, the President and members of the Executive Committee in the period: May 2015 – May 2016.

You may ready the report HERE.

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