25 April 2019
The Education Policy Centre at the Faculty of Education of Charles University in the Czech Republic has published a study by Aleš Bartušek and Jan Koucký, Cross Ranking 2018: Comparing World Higher Education Systems and Institutions, that analyses the relationships between the universities included in three well known global rankings, the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), the QS World University Rankings, and the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings.
Global rankings have become increasingly influential over the last few years. A survey by the European Universities Association in 2014 showed that these three dominated European perceptions of international rankings while Webometrics, HEEACT (now Taiwan National University rankings), Leiden Ranking and Scimago received much less attention.
The Report uses the rankings to provide insight into the development of global higher education systems. It notes that the number of universities included in these rankings has increased significantly since 2011and looks at the relationship between the three overall scores and 17 dimensional or indicator scores in the three rankings.
One significant trend is that since 2012 the number of leading institutions in Europe, China, South Korea and Australia has increased at the expense of North America.
Bartušek and Koucký also the correlations between the various indicators are mostly quite high suggesting that they are reasonably valid. However, some indicators such as the international indicators, faculty student ratio (QS) and Industry Income (THE) have little relationship with other indicators.
The report offers a combined ranking of the top 25 institutions, of which 18 are located in the USA, four in the UK, one in Switzerland, one in Canada and one in Japan, and the top fifty countries led by the USA, the UK, China Germany and Japan.
Cross Ranking 2018