15 August 2018

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), usually known as the Shanghai Rankings, is the oldest global ranking. The methodology is straightforward, and the indicators are all derived from databases accessible to the public.

There are six indicators:

  • Alumni who have won Nobel Prizes for Chemistry, Physics, Physiology and Medicine, and Economics and Fields Medals for Mathematics (10% weighting)
  • Faculty who have won these awards (20% weighting)
  • Researchers included in the list of Highly Cited Researchers published by Clarivate Analytics (20% weighting)
  • Articles in journals in the Science Citation Index - Expanded and the Social Science Citation Index (20% weighting)
  • Publications in Nature and Science (20% weighting)
  • Productivity; the weighted scores of these five indicators divided by the number of full-times senior faculty as determined by official national statistics (10% weighting).

These rankings are usually very stable from year to year with very modest and gradual changes at the top. This year’s top ten is the same as last year’s. There are, however, some modest changes further down. The leading Chinese universities continue to make significant progress. Tsinghua University has risen from 48th to 45th place and Peking University from 71st to 57th.

The United States continues to dominate these rankings, holding 16 of the top 20 places and 139 of the top 500. China (including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) has 62 universities in the top 500, the UK 39, Germany 36 and Australia 23. The US has increased its representation in the top 500 compared to 2017 when it was represented by 135 universities.

Harvard continues to hold the top spot for all indicators except for productivity, where the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) is first.


Academic Ranking of World Universities

IREG Initiatives

The purpose of "IREG Inventory of International Rankings" is to collect and make available on the IREG Observatory on Academic Ranking and Excellence website information on the current state and scope of this important group of rankings.


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.


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.


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

Building university visibility - Ranking conference in Poland

„Perspektywy” Education Foundation in close cooperation with the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland (CRASP) and the Polish Accreditation Commission organized a conference “Polish Universities in International Perspective - Rankings and Strategic Management of a University”. The third conference under the same title was held in Warsaw on 3rd and 4th December 2018.

Moscow Third University Mission Conference

"The Third University Mission" international conference, dedicated to the cooperation between universities and society  attended by over 260 delegates from 23 countries was held in Moscow November 30 and December 1. The conference was timed to the release of the new issue of Moscow International University Ranking "The Three University Missions". The conference was chaired by Viktor Sadovnichy, Rector of the Lomonosov University and Waldemar Siwinski, Vice President of IREG Observatory on Academic Rankings and Excellence. "The Moscow Ranking opens a new generation of academic rankings", said Luiz Claudio Costa, President of IREG Observatory, honorary guest of the Conference.  "Almost all of the existing rankings are based mainly on indicators of research and institutional reputation. It is time for a new generation of rankings that try to look more closely to the link between university and society."

The 4th International Workshop on UI GreenMetric World University Rankings (IWGM)

UI GreenMetric World University Rankings is pleased to hold The 4th International Workshop on UI GreenMetric (IWGM) in collaboration with Universitas Diponegoro on 8-10 April 2018. The venue for the event will be in Universitas Diponegoro, Tembalang, Semarang, Indonesia.

This year’s International Workshop on UI GreenMetric will address the theme of “Universities, Impacts and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” and provide the forum to share the best practices in creating a sustainable condition in universities. The attendees will be senior officers (rectors, vice-rectors, sustainability directors, deans, directors, respectful professors) from participating universities which have shown outstanding performance in 2018 UI GreenMetric World University Rankings, environment experts, student leaders and other participants The workshop is expected to offer a platform for exchanging information and cooperation in dealing with sustainability issues.

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