The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, has recently published their list of the top 500 universities in the world. Many research institutions in the Netherlands that offer higher education for international students improved their overall positions. They also excelled in specific subjects and fields of sciences.
The Shanghai Ranking (ARWU) is an annual ranking that has been published since 2003. It uses six objective indicators to rank more than 1200 universities across the globe. These indicators include the number of highly cited researchers chosen by Thomson Scientific, the number of articles published in Nature and Science journals, and per capita performance based on the size of an institution.
Top 10 in ARWU 2014
In 2014, American universities continued to dominate the ranking with Harvard University topping the list for the 12th time in a row. There were only 2 institutions from other countries in the top 10 this year, both of which were British universities. Oxford was in 5th place and Cambridge tied for 9th.
Results of Dutch universities
The 2014 results showed an overall improvement for the Dutch higher education system. 4 Dutch research universities have made the top 100, one more than last year, and all 13 were placed among the best 500 universities in the world, compared with just 12 in 2013.
Each university is assessed in comparison with other universities around the world in broad and specific subject fields. Some Dutch academic universities improved their scores this year from last year’s results, especially in the fields of Medicine and Social Sciences. The highlights are as follows:
1. Utrecht University improved its positions in Natural Sciences and Mathematics (40th from 42nd), Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (51-75 from 101-150), Social Sciences (51-75 from 76-100), and in the Economics/Business subject (101-150 from 151-200). In the overall rating list the university fell by five positions and became 57th worldwide.
2. Leiden University improved in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (30th from 35th) and Social Sciences (76-100 from 151-200). Its overall position was 77th, three places lower than in 2013.
3. The University of Groningen continues to climb in the overall list, ranking 82nd in 2014, which is 10 positions higher than last year. For the first time in the ranking’s history, this university was rated in the field of Engineering, Technology and Computer Sciences (in the 101-150 group). It also improved in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (76-100 from 101-150).
4. VU University Amsterdam made the most noticeable progress from last year’s ranking, becoming precisely 100th in the overall list. Its improvements in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (40th from 48th) and Social Sciences (47th from 76-100) contributed to this result.
5-7. Radboud University Nijmegen maintained the same ranking range as last year overall (101-150) and in almost all other fields. The university did improve their score in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics (101-150 from 151-200) and Social Sciences (101-150 from 151-200) fields.
5-7. The University of Amsterdam climbed the rankings in three fields, these being Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy (37th from 43rd), Social Sciences (39th from 50th), and Physics (51-75 from 76-100). Its overall position was the same as last year (in the 101-150 group).
5-7. The University of Wageningen has rankings in just two broad subject fields. In Life and Agricultural Sciences, the institution maintained almost the same result as in 2013 (33rd vs 32nd), which is still 7 spots higher than the 2012 ranking. The school was ranked in the Social Sciences field for the second time, though its results decreased from 101-150 to 151-200. Even with the institution’s focused specialisation, it still ranked in the 101-150 range overall.
8. Erasmus University substantially rose in the Social Sciences field (44th from 51-75) and in Economics/Business (28th from 44th). It maintained its position in the overall list (in the 151-200 group).
9-10. Delft University of Technology and the University of Maastricht remained in the 201-300 group, as in 2013. TU Delft, focused on Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences, remained in the 101-150 range in this category. The University of Maastricht improved its results in Clinical Medicine and Pharmacy and Social Sciences (76-100 from 101-150 in both categories).
11-12. Eindhoven University of Technology, rated 301-400 overall, rose from the 51-75 group to 46th this year in the Engineering/Technology and Computer Sciences field.
11-12. The University of Twente (301-400) was ranked in the Social Sciences category for the first time in the ARWU, scoring in the 151-200 group.
13. Tilburg University remains in the top 100 in Social Sciences and also improved its results in the fields of Economics and Business for the second year in a row, moving from 47th to 45th. This progress made it possible for the university to be included as one of the top 500 research universities in the world in this year’s ranking.