UU rises ten places in ‘global reputation ranking’ for universities

Foto DUB

For the annual World Reputation Rankings by British journal Times Higher Education, over ten thousand scientists from all across the globe rank the universities they think are best. Utrecht University, the University of Amsterdam, TU Delft and Leiden University once again make the top 100.

Utrecht University and the University of Amsterdam perform significantly better than they did last year. The University of Amsterdam jumps to the shared rank of 51-60, while Utrecht climbs to the shared rank of 81-90. Last year, both universities were ranked ten places lower. The lower half of the list is ranked in groups of tens, because the differences are so small between individual universities.

Wageningen University showed up out of nowhere on places 61-70 in 2015, but dropped to the bottom of the list last year. This year, Wageningen is no longer present in the top 100.

Watch out for Asia
“The decline of Wageningen University fits a wider trend,” Phil Baty, editor of Times Higher Education, says. “Western institutions give way to Asian universities, who gain more and more prestige. The Netherlands has to watch out for the ‘brands’ gaining prominence in Asia.” He also points out three prestigious French universities that have dropped off the list this year.

It’s not a surprise that once again, Harvard University holds the top spot. The United States appear most often on the list, with no less than 41 ranked universities, followed by the United Kingdom (10 ranked universities), China, Germany, Japan (all have six mentions), and the Netherlands with four universities – more than large countries like Australia, Canada, and France.

The World Reputation Rankings 2017 are based on a questionnaire filled out by over ten thousand experienced scientists from 137 countries. They were asked to name a maximum of fifteen universities that they consider to be the best in their field. Times Higher Education claims they’ve also paid heed to geographical factors, so the list would not end up based entirely on the Western world.

A university’s reputation is one of the twelve criteria that make up the annual THE World University Rankings, which will be published in the fall. One of the other criteria measured for that list is the number of scientific publications.

According to editor Baty, it’s impossible to mess with the Reputation Rankings results. Thousands of academics across the entire world cannot be persuaded to change their opinions easily, he said in a 2015 interview. “You can’t really do much besides truly performing well. That’s the beauty of this ranking: it’s very simple, and can’t be manipulated.”