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BlueSky Ranking Of University Rankings 2022/23 – North America

When QS Quacquarelli Symonds and Times Higher Education partnered to publish their first THE-QS World University Ranking in 2004, Harvard University ranked #1. Nearly twenty years later, Harvard is still at the top, but not in either of the rankings that QS and THE now publish separately. In 2022/23, the rankings dominance that Harvard continues to enjoy is in the two other major global university rankings, published by US News and ARWU Shanghai.

The BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings aggregates the performance of the world’s leading academic institutions across all four major global rankings. Each of them uses a different methodology and measures different things with the inherent limitations of each assessment, so doing particularly well in one ranking and less well in another is reflected in the overall average score.

And for the regional results for North America, Harvard is the only member of the fabled Ivy League schools to make the top 5. Of the four others, MIT is just across the Charles River while the three others are all in California.

Five years ago, Stanford held the top spot when combining the results of all four world university rankings, but in 2022/23 shares #2 with MIT. UC Berkeley has made the most significant gain among the top 10, climbing an impressive 4 places to #5. This strong performance is matched by Canada’s top ranking institution, University of Toronto which also rose 4 places to share #13 with UCLA.

University of British Columbia and McGill University complete the trio of Canadian schools in the North American top 25, while further down the league table the the University of Alberta has also progressed in the past 5 years, climbing 6 places to #42.

University of Southern California, Emory University and Vanderbilt University have also made significant advances.

Among those that have lost ground since 2018, Duke University is down 5 places to #20 compared to other US and Canadian schools, as are the University of Wisconsin-Madison at #27. Ohio State, Purdue University and Rice University saw the biggest falls of 8 places, followed by the University of Colorado – Boulder down 6 places.

There are winners and losers in every ranking of course, and all of the institutions in the top 50 are leading lights for European research, academic reputation and learning. But in a competitive higher education landscape, the BlueSky Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 highlights fascinating regional and international shifts over the past five years.

Don’t forget to check out results for the rest of the world:

Global Top 100: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Global

Europe Top 50: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Europe

Asia & Oceania Top 30: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Asia & Oceania

BlueSky Ranking of the University Rankings 2022/23 – North America

Rank in N.America 2022/23Rank in N.America 2017/18Institution NameCountryTHE 2023QS 2023USNews 2022/23ARWU 20225-year Change
12Harvard UniversityUSA25111
21Stanford UniversityUSA3332-1
23Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSA51231
44California Institute of TechnologyUSA66990
59University of California, BerkeleyUSA827454
65Princeton UniversityUSA716166-1
77Columbia UniversityUSA1122780
88Yale UniversityUSA91811110
96The University of ChicagoUSA13102210-3
1011University of PennsylvaniaUSA141315151
1110Johns Hopkins UniversityUSA15241014-1
1212Cornell UniversityUSA202021120
1317University of TorontoCanada183418224
1313University of California, Los AngelesUSA214414130
1514University of Michigan-Ann ArborUSA23251928-1
1616Northwestern UniversityUSA263224300
1720New York UniversityUSA243931253
1818University of California, San DiegoUSA325320210
1919University of WashingtonUSA26806170
2015Duke UniversityUSA25502531-5
2121University of British ColumbiaCanada404735440
2225University of Texas at AustinUSA507243373
2323McGill UniversityCanada463154730
2426Washington University in St LouisUSA5711832272
2527University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSA6910241292
2624University of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUSA48857449-2
2722University of Wisconsin-MadisonUSA81836333-5
2828Carnegie Mellon UniversityUSA28521181250
2936University of Southern CaliforniaUSA6513480537
3030University of California, Santa BarbaraUSA6414967570
3129Georgia Institute of TechnologyUSA388851175-2
3137Brown UniversityUSA6163129996
3335University of California, DavisUSA63102731252
3431Boston UniversityUSA7110870125-3
3534University of MarylandUSA1041645750-1
3633University of Minnesota Twin CitiesUSA1011855744-3
3732Ohio State UniversityUSA11214055125-5
3847Emory UniversityUSA82155721259
3945Vanderbilt UniversityUSA9819978646
4041University of PittsburghUSA14418145821
4138Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA1519384125-3
4248University of AlbertaCanada118110136926
4344McMaster UniversityCanada85152138901
4443University of California, IrvineUSA952358461-1
4540Purdue University – West LafayetteUSA12712914083-5
4649University of FloridaUSA15118898943
4739Rice UniversityUSA147100180125-8
4842University of Colorado, BoulderUSA1483177051-6
4953University of California Santa CruzUSA1923751051754
5057University of California San FranciscoUSA110016197
BlueSky Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – North America

University Rankings Methodologies

Each of the major university rankings uses a different methodology and weights the use of different data to produce their league tables, so it is important to understand what is being measured. In simple terms:

THE – the performance indicators are grouped into five areas: Teaching (the learning environment); Research (volume, income and reputation); Citations (research influence); International Outlook (staff, students and research); and Industry Income (knowledge transfer).

Teaching (30%); Research (30%); Citations (30%); International Outlook (7.5%); Industry Income (2.5%).

QS– six indicators looking at four broad categories: research reputation, the learning and teaching environment, research impact, and internationalisation. 

Academic Reputation (40%); Employer Reputation (10%); Citations per Faculty (20%); Faculty Student Ratio (20%); International Student Ratio (5%); International Faculty Ratio (5%)

ARWU – considers every university that has any Nobel Laureates, Fields Medalists, Highly Cited Researchers, or papers published in Nature or Science. In addition, universities with a significant amount of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded (SCIE) and Social Science Citation Index (SSCI) are also included.

Quality of Education (10%); Quality of Faculty (40%); Research Output (40%) Per Capita Performance (10%)

US News – calculates the rankings using 13 indicators and weights that U.S. News chose to measure global research performance.

Global Research Reputation (12.5%); Regional Research Reputation (12.5%); Publications (10%); Books (2.5%); Conferences (2.5%), Normalized Citation Impact (10%); Total Citations (7.5%); Number Of Publications Among 10% Most Cited (12.5%); Percentage Of Total Publications Among 10% Most Cited (10%); International Collaboration – Relative To Country (5%); International Collaboration (5%); Number Of Highly Cited Papers Among Top 1% Most Cited In Respective Field (5%); Percentage Of Total Publications Among Top 1% Most Highly Cited Papers (5%) 

About the author

Matt Symonds is Chief Editor of BlueSky Thinking. He is the S of QS, co-founding QS Quacquarelli Symonds, publishers of the QS World University Rankings and numerous business school rankings. 

In 2010 Matt was the media consultant for Times Higher Education to support the launch of their own THE World University Rankings, and has subsequently worked for THE and WSJ for business school rankings.

Matt writes about Higher Education and management for Forbes, BBC, Times of India and formerly The Economist and Bloomberg.

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