In recent years there has been growing interest in the ranking of universities by subject or programme. This trend may be more helpful for students and other stakeholders than general rankings of entire universities.The Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings of universities by subject has just been published. Altogether there are 44 subject rankings plus five broad subject area rankings. QS notes that although the USA is still leading at the very top it is steadily losing ground to Australia, China and Europe.
Because the data used in the QS world and regional rankings is not available at subject level only four indicators are used: the survey of academic opinion, the survey of employer opinion, citations per paper, and H-Index. These are given different weights for each discipline. In Art and Design 90% of the total weighting is for the academic survey but for Veterinary Sciences citations and H-Index account for 60% of the total score.
The rankings are generally dominated by English speaking universities. US and British schools hold first place for 28 and 13 subjects respectively. The USA has 234 top ten placings followed by the UK with 137, Switzerland with 22 and The rankings are disappointing for Africa, where the great majority of ranked universities are from South Africa and Egypt, and the Middle East, which has 145 universities ranked, with the largest numbers located in Saudi Arabia and Iran.