The University of New South Wales, Sydney, has created an aggregate ranking that combines the results of three well-known global rankings to create an aggregate score, or Aggregate Ranking of Top Universities (ARTU).
ARTU is based on the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings, the QS World University Rankings, and the Academic Ranking of World Universities (Shanghai Rankings). The recent update is based on an analysis of over 2000 universities of which 400 are ranked.
The ranking is based on aggregating the ordinal ranks of universities in the three rankings which gives a more stable and accurate score than calculating their total score.
The rankers argue that this is fairer and more accurate method than looking at any specific ranking because of the noticeable differences between the rankings even at the very top. For example, Harvard University is in first place in the Shanghai rankings but fifth in the QS world rankings while Caltech is second in the THE rankings but is ranked ninth by Shanghai. The most glaring difference may be the University of California Berkeley which is fifth in Shanghai but 32nd in QS, mainly because of a poor faculty student ratio.
The leading world universities according to ARTU are Harvard in first place, followed by Stanford, MIT and Oxford joint third, and Cambridge in fifth place.
The first edition of ARTU identified nine universities as rising rapidly between 2014 and 2019. Six of these are in China, two in Australia and one in Singapore. Within the top 100 the rising stars are:
- Tsinghua University, China (54th to 23rd)
- Peking University, China (66th to 28th)
- Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (83rd to 36th)
- Monash University, Australia (76th to 54th)
- University of New South Wales, Australia (79th to 55th).