World University Rankings 2018: results announced

Here is a new list . If you try to understand the methodology reading public sources (as I do now), read. (Friend from CEU, you are not listed, since :universities are excluded from the World University Rankings if they do not teach undergraduates”.

“The Times Higher Education World University Rankings are the only global performance tables that judge research-intensive universities across all their core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. We use 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons, trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.”

Of course, there are out of blue weighting factors. As concerns the large categories, their numerical values were set as:

Teaching (the learning environment): 30%

Research (volume, income and reputation): 30%

Citations (research influence): 30%

International outlook (staff, students, research): 7.5%

Industry income (knowledge transfer): 2.5%.

If you dig a little deeper you will see the role of reputation surveys.

Dear Reader: How do you see the adopted method from the perspective of objectivity-subjectivity?





11 thoughts on “World University Rankings 2018: results announced”

    1. Kedves Gyuri, nagyon köszönöm, örülök, h segitesz. Hallottamm róla, de nem dolgoztam fel még az anyagot. Személyesen nem ismerem Fábri Gyuri, tudom, h mindenki így hívja. Aha. hasznos lenne, ha ki kérném a véleményét. Mégegyszere köszönöm! Barátságal, Péter


  1. Does the first factor include teacher evaluation by students, or some sort of student feedback? Not sure what is meant by subjectivity in the question, but this came to my mind. (With the first few minutes of internet search I haven’t found the answer.)


  2. As we develop computational literacy in the decades to come, perhaps we will adopt “personalized rankings” just like we do of “personalized medicine”: each and everyone will be able to weight the factors (rank=30% teaching + …) and write their own equations (or have a website write it for them with sliders) to see their unique customized rankings depending on their own priorities. This is in effect what cognition tries to accomplish when selecting a University or buying a new computer the plain old way, with the limits we know inherent in the manipulation of high dimensional state spaces. Then the information source or authority would change its role, it would have to spend more time explaining why the factors matter so that the user can make an informed decision when adjusting the weights. Do you think dear Peter that those multitudinous rankings would be as successful and popular as their rigid counterparts? Would they be more/less useful? How will they affect the users (me trying to find a good University)? Human stakeholders in the ranked entities (those Universities)? And the people who commit resource to set up those rankings (Times Higher Education ranking said Universities)?


    1. Emmanuelle: Thank you. “Personalized ranking” is a fantastic idea! (or at least close to way of my thinking). Since one of the main questions asks how to handle the “objectivity – subjectivity” dilemma, the concept you suggest might lead to a method to set subjectively the parameters of an objective framework . Thanks again! We should continue to think on it.


    1. Yes, adding innovation, whatever that means, could be an interesting dimension. Currently too much fuss about soft parameters like “student satisfaction” or “teaching”. But the same question rearises again – how do we measure it?


  3. I am an undergraduate Computer Science student and am currently applying to PhD programs in Machine Learning. Personally, I heavily referenced the rankings when choosing the schools to apply to and to not apply to. I consulted several different lists, including the “Best Graduate Programs: Artificial Intelligence” list on the U.S. News site. Since there are hundreds of colleges, I wanted a way to narrow my initial search. So I used such rankings as a starting point. Instead of considering all schools, I considered the top 40 or so schools. I then considered location, which is more subjective since I have personal preferences that may not be shared by everyone (i.e. I enjoy the rainy, misty weather of the Pacific Northwest). Then, from this narrowed search, I selected schools who had professors and research labs who interested me. In my experience, the use of rankings were used as a filter to complement my personal preferences in order to select schools that would fit a wide range of criteria I was looking for.


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