The fourth issue of The Three University Missions ranking features 1500 universities representing 97 countries and territories. The list has expanded by 300 over last year. Like last year, U.S. universities dominate the top of the list. Their positions were challenged: Cambridge University entered top 3, followed by Oxford University ranked fourth. Oxbridge pushed last year’s bronze medalist, University of Pennsylvania, to fifth rank.
European and Asian account roughly for a third of the featured list each, followed by North America, Latin America, Oceania, and Africa.
The compilers updated the ranking methodology with a few adjustments, among which, notably is adding a new third mission indicator named Transparency, which is supposed to represent a university’s informational openness.
The ranking’s third mission indicators – metrics aimed to evaluate a university’s societal impact – are reported to have responded to the pandemic-induced changes. The ranking compilers observed significant fluctuations , in particular, in the size of global audience of the universities’ websites, and expectable overall growth in the number of massive open online courses.
The third mission leaderboard has shown a richer geographical diversity in contrast to more conservative Education and Research subrankings.