Higher Education (THE), working in cooperation with Thomson Reuters, has unveiled its latest university ranking findings, delivering three main products. THE’s World University Rankings exercise examines data across 13 different indicators to calculate the 400 top universities globally. Its World Reputation Rankings aim to provide insight into the 100 universities enjoying the “most powerful global university brands” by virtue of the “expert judgment of senior, published academics”. And the THE 100 under 50 rankings highlight the top 100 universities worldwide that have been in existence for fewer than 50 years.
This year, THE has introduced no methodological changes from its 2011-12 rankings exercise. Five main areas provide the framework for THE’s consideration of university excellence in terms of its World University Rankings. These include:
  • teaching (with a strong emphasis on “the learning environment”)
  • research (as determined by volume of output, income generated and associated reputation)
  • citations (which address issues of  “research influence”)
  • industry income (which considers “how much research income an institution earns from industry, scaled against the number of academic staff it employs”), and
  • international outlook (as determined by the diversity of its students and faculty, and international engagement by faculty in their research and publication activities).

The 100 under 50 rankings are determined by the same 13 indicators as the World University Rankings, but give less weight to reputational factors, whereas reputation is obviously the overriding indicator for the World Reputation Rankings.
In terms of specific results and broader trends, the theme of “Asia rising” raised in September by the 2012/13 QS World University Ranking is clearly reinforced by the THE rankings. THE analysis notes that the world’s longstanding elite institutions in Europe and North America would be wise to look carefully over their shoulders specifically at the ambitious and fast-improving universities of East Asia, but more broadly at an emerging crop of contenders eager for recognition on the global rankings stage.
2012-13 Times Higher Education World University Rankings: