Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! QS Regional Rankings, ARWU Subject Rankings and new releases and rankings from Thomson Reuters

(19 June 2016) Despite all the debates over the value and impact of rankings, updates of existing rankings, embellishments to existing rankings and new rankings keep coming.

QS Regional Rankings

QS  released four regional rankings on 15 June 2016. It is not surprising that National University of Singapore (NUS) remains number one in Asia with six universities from Singapore and Hong Kong in the top ten.

Each region has its own methodology. All include 30% academic reputation and 20% employer reputation.  Other indicators common across all four regions, but with different weightings, are the bibliometric indicators citations per paper and papers per faculty, faculty to staff ratio and staff with PhDs

Asia – 350 universities from 17 countries, an increase from the 300 universities in 2015: Methodology includes 20% size normalized papers and citations.  See QS Asian Rankings for Table 1 (JNF) for a list of the top university in each country and Table 2 (JNF) for the tops in Asia by individual metric.

Arab region – 200 universities with a list of 22 countries: Methodology includes10% size normalized papers and citations and 10% web presence from Webometrics.  Not all countries have entries.  Examples are Syrian Arab Republic and Yemen, which are not even included in the Top Global list. Top University: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (World rank: 199)

EECA – Emerging Europe and Central Asia (new in 2016): 200 universities from 24 countries:  Methodology includes 15% size normalized papers and citations and 10% web presence from Webometrics.  Russia dominates the list with 50 universities. Top University:  Lomonosov Moscow State University (World rank 101)

Latin America – 300 universities from 19 countries; Methodology includes15% size normalized papers and citations and 5% web presence from Webometrics.  Brazil leads the region with 90 ranked universities. Top university:  Universidade de São Paulo (World rank 143)

We can see, in Table 2 (JNF) that the rankings differ from the rankings for the same universities in the World’s Top University rankings, since the methodology differs.  For example, Singapore Management University is 60 in the 2016 Asia regional rankings and does not have a composite score in the World Rankings.

Country coverage also differs.  Brunei and Vietnam are not in the 2015/2016 World Rankings. Iran is not included in any regional ranking but it is in the Top Universities list

ARWU new Engineering subject field rankings

ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) added Shanghai Ranking’s  Global Ranking of Academic Subjects – 2016 with seven new subjects in the category of Engineering.  The rankings are accompanied by a list of Most Cited Researchers developed for Shanghai Ranking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2016 by Elsevier.  Four Asia-Pacific universities are in the top 10 in Civil Engineering and in Energy Science and none in Mechanical Engineering as shown in Table 3 (JNF).  Tsinghua is in the top 5 in Asia Pacific and the top 15 in the world for all categories.

The methodology for these new categories differs significantly (a term I do not use lightly) from the existing rankings for the Engineering field, in metrics used, weightings applied and data sources. The new methodology will not be applied to the 2016 ARWU rankings that will be released in August (email confirmation 16 June 2016).


Thomson-Reuters released the 2016 Journal Citation Reports with 11,365 journals.  The new release covers 81 countries, 234 subjects and an additional 239 titles. Cultural Studies has the highest number of new titles. It also suppressed 18 titles, most based on a high percent of self-citations.

Ruth’s Rankings 15 introduced Reuters Top 100 World’s Most Innovative Universities.  This week T-R released Reuters Europe’s Most Innovative Universities.  According to the press release, the common characteristic of these universities is that “Nearly all of them emphasize practical research and applied science, as opposed to pure academics. Technical universities and colleges dominate Reuters’ first-ever ranking of Europe’s top 100 innovative universities. Germany leads the list with 24 universities, followed by the UK with 17.  Emphasis is on patents.  Ireland, with three universities on the list has the highest number per capita of any country in Europe.  Number one is the Belgium university KU Leuven. Metrics include patents filed, patents cited and commercial impact.


What is most important to remember about all of these rankings is to check the methodology to see if they are relevant to your university.

Ruth’s Rankings News Flash! is written by Ruth A. Pagell, currently an adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii.   Before joining UH, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University.  She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, including contributing articles to ACCESS –