Shanghai Rankings Reveal Rising and Declining University Systems

The Shanghai Rankings, officially known as the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), are the oldest of the global university rankings and their methodology has remained stable over two decades, aside from some adjustments to the Highly Cited Researchers indicator. University ranks are based entirely on objective data derived from third party sources.

There are six indicators:

  • The number of alumni winning Nobel prizes (excluding literature and peace) and Fields medals (10% weighting)
  • The number of staff winning these awards (20%)
  • Number of Highly Cited Researchers listed by Clarivate, primary affiliations only (20%)
  • Number of research articles in Nature and Science published between 2018 and 2022 (20%)
  • Number of articles in the Science Citation Index-Expanded and the Social Science Citation Index in 2022 (20%)
  • Productivity per Capita based on the weighted scores of these indicators divided by the number of full-time academic staff (10%).

In the current rankings, Harvard holds first place, followed by Stanford, MIT, Cambridge, and Berkeley. It is, however, now in second place for Awards behind Princeton and for Productivity per Capita behind Caltech.

These rankings continued to be dominated by the United States at the upper levels but overall, China is now the country with the greatest representation, with 191 universities from the mainland compared to 187 from the USA.

Over the last two decades South Korea, Australia, China, Saudi Arabia, and Brazil have increased their presence while that of Canada, the USA, the UK, Germany and Japan has declined.

The countries with more than five universities in the top 500 are:

1 United States 120
2. Mainland China 86
3. United Kingdom 38
4. Germany 31
5. Australia 24
6= Canada 18
6= France 18
8. Italy 16
9= Netherlands 12
9= Japan 12
11. South Korea 11
12. Sweden 10
13. Spain 9
14= Switzerland 7
14= Belgium 7
16= Austria 6
16= Saudi Arabia 6


















The editors decide on the publication of comments on the site.