BlueSky Ranking Of University Rankings 2022/23 – Global
In the past two decades university rankings have become an integral part of the higher education landscape, and whatever you think of them the reality is that millions of prospective students, alumni and staff will consult them to assess the impact of a school’s standing in the international market. Some governments now use global university rankings as part of points-based immigration programs, or as a standard for academic partnerships.
As the S of QS, my name is associated with the QS Quacquarelli Symonds rankings, and I subsequently helped Times Higher Education to launch their own THE World University Rankings in 2010. With the Academic Ranking of World Universities, ARWU (also known as the Shanghai Ranking) and US News which began publishing the Best Global Universities ranking in 2014, these four major rankings are the most influential. Beyond them there are countless other league tables based on social and economic impact, scientific papers, human resources indexes, innovation, teaching and career outcomes.
There will always be a great deal of debate about the distorting effects of rankings, and the methodologies they each adopt. The Big Four primarily measure the research performance of universities, with biases towards English-language journals and a limited assessment of teaching quality. The ARWU does not adjust for the size of an institution, which means that larger universities typically rank higher than smaller institutions with the same quality of research. The use of reputational surveys is also questioned, and critics fear that universities may focus too much attention and resources on research and activities that are rewarded by rankings.
At the end of the day, how much should we read into the fact that ten places separate two world-class institutions in Pennsylvania and Paris? And how do the rankings help students and graduates to identify the best places both globally and locally to study their field of interest?
The four main rankings have all developed an extensive array of subject rankings to provide a more detailed assessment of the best universities in the arts & humanities, business & economics, education, engineering, law and social sciences, life sciences and medicine, the natural sciences and psychology. To broaden geographic scope and highlight institutions that are committed to greater impact to tackle environmental, social and governance challenges, both QS and THE publish regional tables and have devoted considerable time and effort to develop rankings that measure impact and sustainability.
BlueSky Thinking will be looking at each of these initiatives, but as we reach the end of the calendar year we have compiled the results of the big four university rankings of the last 12 months, and compared them to the same league tables of 2017/18. The idea of the BlueSky Ranking of University Rankings is to aggregate the performance of schools across multiple rankings. Each ranking 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.
Don’t forget to check out results with 5-year performance comparison for the rest of the world:
N.America Top 50: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – North America
Asia & Oceania Top 30: BlueSky Thinking Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 – Asia & Oceania
BlueSky Ranking of the University Rankings 2022/23 – Global
|Global Rank 2022/23||Global Rank 2017/18||Institution Name||Country||THE 2023||QS 2023||USNews 2022/23||ARWU 2022||5-year Change|
|2||3||Massachusetts Institute of Technology||USA||5||1||2||3||1|
|4||4||University of Cambridge||UK||3||2||8||4||0|
|4||5||University of Oxford||UK||1||4||5||7||1|
|6||6||California Institute of Technology||USA||6||6||9||9||0|
|7||11||University of California, Berkeley||USA||8||27||4||5||4|
|11||13||Imperial College London||UK||10||6||13||23||2|
|12||8||The University of Chicago||USA||13||10||22||10||-4|
|13||15||University of Pennsylvania||USA||14||13||15||15||2|
|15||12||Johns Hopkins University||USA||15||24||10||14||-3|
|19||18||University of California, Los Angeles||USA||21||44||14||13||-1|
|19||22||University of Toronto||Canada||18||34||18||22||3|
|21||19||University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||USA||23||25||19||28||-2|
|24||25||University of Edinburgh||UK||29||15||34||35||1|
|25||26||New York University||USA||24||39||31||25||1|
|26||23||University of California, San Diego||USA||32||53||20||21||-3|
|26||27||University of Melbourne||Australia||34||33||27||32||1|
|27||34||National University of Singapore||Singapore||19||11||26||71||7|
|28||24||University of Washington||USA||26||80||6||17||-4|
|30||29||King’s College London||UK||35||37||33||48||-1|
|31||50||Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris||France||47||26||48||40||19|
|32||28||University of British Columbia||Canada||40||47||35||44||-4|
|33||30||The University of Tokyo||Japan||39||23||81||24||-3|
|34||49||Nanyang Technological University, Singapore||Singapore||36||19||30||88||15|
|35||35||University of Manchester||UK||54||28||63||38||0|
|36||45||The University of Sydney||Australia||55||41||28||60||9|
|37||43||The University of Queensland||Australia||53||50||36||47||6|
|39||39||University of Texas at Austin||USA||50||72||43||37||0|
|40||63||University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong||31||21||55||96||23|
|43||48||Technical University of Munich||Germany||30||49||79||56||5|
|46||47||Australian National University||Australia||62||30||62||79||1|
|47||41||Washington University in St Louis||USA||57||118||32||27||-6|
|51||42||Shanghai Jiao Tong University||China||52||46||89||54||-9|
|51||115||University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill||USA||69||102||41||29||64|
|54||32||École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne||Switzerland||41||16||69||125||-22|
|55||37||University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||USA||48||85||74||49||-18|
|56||31||University of Wisconsin-Madison||USA||81||83||63||33||-25|
|57||93||Chinese University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong||45||38||53||125||36|
|61||51||University of Copenhagen||Denmark||114||82||42||39||-10|
|62||62||University of Amsterdam||Netherlands||60||58||39||125||0|
|64||70||University of Zurich||Switzerland||82||83||67||59||6|
|65||52||University of Bristol||UK||76||61||93||81||-13|
|66||77||Seoul National University||South Korea||56||29||129||98||11|
|67||45||Carnegie Mellon University||USA||28||52||118||125||-22|
|68||66||University of Southern California||USA||65||134||80||53||-2|
|68||109||University of Science and Technology of China||China||74||94||102||62||41|
|70||55||University of California, Santa Barbara||USA||64||149||67||57||-15|
|71||53||Georgia Institute of Technology||USA||38||88||51||175||-18|
|73||83||University of Glasgow||UK||82||81||74||125||10|
|74||65||University of California, Davis||USA||63||102||73||125||-9|
|75||79||Humboldt University of Berlin||Germany||86||131||61||–||4|
|76||76||University of Groningen||Netherlands||75||145||88||66||0|
|78||64||University of Maryland||USA||104||164||57||50||-14|
|79||100||University of Oslo||Norway||126||101||89||67||21|
|80||61||University of Minnesota Twin Cities||USA||101||185||57||44||-19|
|81||99||University of Southampton||UK||108||78||104||104||18|
|82||95||Free University of Berlin||Germany||91||118||87||–||13|
|83||108||University of Adelaide||Australia||88||109||74||125||25|
|84||151||King Abdulaziz University||Saudi Arabia||101||106||65||125||67|
|85||86||University of Western Australia||Australia||131||90||83||99||1|
|86||74||University of Helsinki||Finland||110||106||99||92||-12|
|88||103||University of Birmingham||UK||108||91||89||125||15|
|89||155||Hong Kong Polytechnic University||Hong Kong||79||65||100||175||66|
|91||59||Ohio State University||USA||112||140||55||125||-32|
|94||81||Erasmus University Rotterdam||Netherlands||80||208||65||87||-13|
|95||113||University of Bern||Switzerland||94||120||107||125||18|
|96||89||Wageningen University & Research||Netherlands||59||124||89||175||-7|
|97||132||City University of Hong Kong||Hong Kong||99||54||120||175||35|
|98||77||University of Pittsburgh||USA||144||181||45||82||-21|
|99||68||Pennsylvania State University||USA||151||93||84||125||-31|
|100||107||London School of Economics and Political Science||UK||37||56||236||125||7|
What is striking in the 2022/23 results is the remarkably consistent performance of 9 universities from the US East and West Coasts and the UK. Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Oxford, Cambridge, CalTech, Berkeley, Princeton and Yale were all in the top 10 of the ARWU ranking of 2003 and the QS ranking of 2004, andnearly twenty years later they still dominant the global league tables.
In the world of business education and the MBA we refer to the M7 – HBS, Stanford GSB, Wharton, Chicago Booth, Columbia, MIT Sloan and Northwestern Kellogg. Whether the M of M7 stands for ‘Magnificent’ or ‘Magic’, these are all prestigious and influential US business schools.
At a global university level, the Ivy League makes way for the U9 – Unshakeable and seemingly Unequaled.
But beyond the top 10, the academic landscape is shifting. Almost a quarter of the top 100 are from Asia Pacific, with six universities from China including Tsinghua and Peking University among the top 25.
And while the UK continues to shine with twelve universities, continental Europe is catching up fast. Who knew that The Netherlands is such a higher education powerhouse, with six of the top 100 universities in a country with a population of 17.5 million. Switzerland, with a population of only 8.7 million similarly impresses with four institutions. And France, which did not feature in any of the world university rankings as recently as ten years ago now has three national champions.
Comparing the 2022/23 Ranking of Rankings results to those of 2017/18 there are a significant number of winners and losers in the 5-year period.
Scandinavia: Karolinska Institute +127 places (major shift in the QS ranking); University of Oslo +21 places
France: emergence of several mega-universities, including Sorbonne University +95 places; Université Paris-Saclay +74 places; Paris Sciences et Lettres (PSL) +19 places
China / Hong Kong: Zhejiang University +72 places; Hong Kong Polytechnic University +66 places; University of Science and Technology of China (+41 places); Chinese University of Hong Kong +36 places; Fudan University +35 places; City University of Hong Kong +35 places; University of Hong Kong +23 places; Peking University +18 places; Tsinghua University +15 places
Saudi Arabia: King Abdulaziz University +67 places
Australia: UNSW Sydney +25 places; University of Adelaide +25 places; Monash University +18 places; University of Sydney +9 places; University of Queensland +6 places
UK: University of Southampton +18 places; University of Birmingham +15 places; University of Glasgow +10 places; LSE +7 places; Imperial College London +2 places to #11 in the world
Germany: Free University of Berlin +13 places; Technical University of Munich +5 places; Humboldt University +4 places
USA: Ohio State University -32 places; Penn State University – 31 places; University of Wisconsin-Madision -25 places; Carnegie Mellon University -22 places; University of Pittsburgh – 21 places; Boston University -20 places; University of Minnesota -19 places; Georgia Institute of Technology -18 places; University of Illinios at Urbana -18 places
Switzerland: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – 22 places
Netherlands: Leiden University -15 places; Erasmus University -13 places
UK:University of Bristol -13 places; University of Warwick – 9 places;
Scandinavia: University of Helsinki -12 places; University of Copenhagen -10 places
Look out for the three regional Ranking of University Rankings 2022/23 for Europe, Asia Pacific and North America on the BlueSky Thinking site.
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 Ration (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.