By Ruth A. Pagell*
(27 Aug 2020) Shanghai Ranking’s Academic Ranking of World Universities is considered one of the Big Three, along with Times Higher Education and QS. Therefore, Ruth’s Rankings follows it annually to see what if anything has changed. See the links at the end of this article for Ruth’s Rankings ARWU earlier articles.
- What is the most notable change between the 2003 and 2020 rankings?
- Why isn’t Tsinghua ranked higher in the world rankings?
There is one change in the top 20 resulting from the reorganization of French universities. I had been struggling with all the recent rankings in mapping the former French universities, which disappeared from rankings, with their replacements. The changes in French universities became noticeable and confusing when comparing ARWU 2003 with 2020.
Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris, is a collegiate university formed of 25 research and higher education institutions in the Paris area and three national research institutions.
Sorbonne University is a public research university in Paris. Founded in 1150 it was reincarnated in 2018 through the merger of Paris-Sorbonne University, Pierre and Marie Curie University and a number of smaller institutions.
University of Paris was created by the merger of Paris Diderot University, Paris Descartes University and Institut de physique du globe de Paris.
Paris Saclay is the newest and immediately joined the ARWU top 20. It replaces University of Paris-Sud (Paris XI) and in 2025 the Université de Versailles-Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines (UVSQ) and Université d’Évry-Val-d’Essonne (UEVE) will merge with it as well.
Six new universities are in the 2020 top 100 and four of these are French: The other two are Chinese. This brings the total of Asia/Pac universities to 18 with seven from Australia, six from China, three from Japan and two from Singapore. Israel also has a top 100 university. The number of U.S. institutions dropped from 58 to 41. The original 2003 top 100 rankings had five from Japan and two from Australia. There are 206 Asia/Pac universities in the top 1,000. See Table 1 for the top 20 in 2020 and 2003.
The top five countries with institutions in the top 100 are the United States, Mainland China, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. 13 Asia/Pac countries are represented, including Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macau. ARWU incorporates these three locations with mainland China for an overall total and also represents the three regions separately. See Table 2 for country data.
The distribution of institutions by regions has shifted since the early years from American dominance, primarily the United States, to the rise of Europe and the Asia/Pacific regions. See Table 3. The Americas continue to lead the top 500, with Asia/Pacific having the most institutions in the bottom 500 as illustrated in Figure 1 below:
ARWU methodology remains the same. Except for PCP, all the metrics are size dependent.
|Quality of Education||Institutions’ alumni winning Nobel prize or Field Medals||Alumni||10%||http://www.nobelprize.org|
|-Institutions’ staff winning Nobel Prize or Field Medals||Award||20%||-See above|
|– Highly cited researchers¹||Hi Ci||20%||– See Note below|
|Research Output-||-Papers in Nature & Science²
-Papers indexed in SCIE &SSCI
|-N & S
|Proprietary from CA’s Web of Science|
|Per Capita Performance||Scores divided by number of FTE faculty³||PCP||10%||Obtained from national agencies – not the universities|
¹ URL given in methodology does not work. Trying to use the list online is inefficient; best to fill in a form and download the Executive summary: https://recognition.webofsciencegroup.com/awards/highly-cited/2019/
² Article type publications; modified fractional counting based on the order in which names appear
³ Not all countries have this information available, including China.
Some of these categories, such as Nobel prizes, are limited. Tsinghua has no prize winners and very few alumni who have won awards. Tsinghua is 29th. It ranks higher on publications in Nature & Science and in Highly Cited authors than many institutions rated above it and is top five in number of publications.
Academic Subjects use the same 54 subjects as 2019. The world ranking includes 1,000 universities. The subject rankings include 4,000 universities. Universities that specialize in a subject and are not in the top 1,000 can shine in the subject rankings. For example, Singapore Management University, unranked in the world, appears in at least five subject categories, is in the World’s top 50 in three, and second in Asia in Business Administration and in Finance.
The United States dominates Medical and Social Sciences while Asia is most prominent in Engineering.
See Table 4, Top Institutions by subject. Universities highlighted in red indicate changes from 2019
Why use ARWU over rankings such as THE and QS? The focus is on scholarship and outputs. It does not include any metrics based on citations It does not provide student data or any data received directly from the universities. As Chinese universities continue to publish more articles, they will continue to move up but will not get top billing without prize winners.
- Sources of data are provided
- 3,000 non-ranked universities appear in subject rankings
- Data are available for every year from 2003
- Social science fields are well-covered
- The bibliometric data sources are proprietary from Clarivate Analytics except Highly Cited Authors.
- All data except PCP are size dependent.
- There is no list of all the institutions in the subject rankings.
- Social science rankings are based on publications and are NOT rankings of professional schools.
- Arts & Humanities are not included.
ShanghaiRanking’s Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020 Press release http://www.shanghairanking.com/ShanghaiRankings-Global-Ranking-of-Academic-Subjects-2020-Press-Release.html
A list of Ruth’s Rankings and News Updates is here.
*Ruth A. Pagell is Emeritus Faculty Librarian at Emory University, Atlanta, GA Author and speaker. After working at Emory, she was the founding librarian of the Li Ka Shing Library at Singapore Management University and then adjunct faculty [teaching] in the Library and Information Science Program at the University of Hawaii. She has written and spoken extensively on various aspects of librarianship, higher education and bibliometrics as well as contributing articles to ACCESS – https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3238-9674