QS have just published the latest edition of their subject rankings, which are heavily biased towards research. The indicators, the weighting of which according to subject and field, are academic reputation, employer reputation, citations, H-index, and international research network.
This year’s rankings are dominated as usual by the two New England schools, Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT) and Harvard. MIT holds the first place for five Engineering and Technology and four Natural Sciences disciplines while Harvard leads for eight subjects in the Social Sciences. The UK still has strengths in the Arts and Humanities where Oxford, Cambridge, and the Royal Colleges of Art and Music hold six first places between them.
It is noticeable that Chinese universities have fallen significantly in this year’s rankings. In the broad field category of Natural Sciences, Peking University has fallen from 17th to 21st place, Tsinghua from 15th to 23rd, University of Science and Technology China from 37th to 60th, and Fudan University from 43rd to 70th.
This is in contrast to the performance of Russian and French universities in the Natural Sciences which have generally improved their rank since last year.