Internationalization of higher education is an expanding and unstoppable global process. Today millions of students prefer to study abroad instead of in their home countries. A person can choose a university or program to study relatively easy within their national borders. Friends, parents, colleagues are there to help them make their decision.
However, when it comes to getting an education abroad, the story is quite different. At present there are over 26,000 higher education institutions in existence and more are being established. In addition, it's almost impossible to more or less objectively compare universities across countries, let's say New Zealand or Iceland, Bolivia or Malaysia, France or Russia and so on based on narrow data samples.
As a result, so called World University Ranking are becoming crucially important. Because ranking allows you to compare completely different education systems based on the same scales, the same data.
On April 9th the Round University Ranking (RUR) World University Ranking was released for 2018. RUR Ranking compares university performance using 20 indicators grouped into 4 areas like teaching, research, international diversity and financial sustainability.
Nevertheless, overall rankings are limited in their scope. If a potential student chooses universities according to specific subjects, then special subject-oriented rankings are a better choice for finding the best university.
RUR Technical Sciences 2018 was designed specifically to address key stakeholders' requests in Technical Sciences. This ranking evaluates universities not as comprehensive structures, but instead only technical & engineering-oriented majors and departments. In total, 52 narrow subjects are included in the definition of "Technical Sciences", such as Mechanical Engineering, Mining & Metallurgy, Nanoscience's & Nanotechnologies and so on.
This year 584 universities representing 68 nations took part in RUR Technical Sciences World University Ranking 2018. The US remains the rankings undisputed leader with 110 participating universities. America even improved its result by adding + 5 positions. Russia surprisingly occupied second place in the world with 56 universities compared to 37 last year. The UK rounded out the top three with 54 participants (compared to 68 last year). Such a distinct drop for the UK in terms of its representation might partly be the result of Brexit and all the connected processes related to higher education.
The full list of top countries by number of participating institutions:
1. USA — 110
2. Russia — 56
3. UK — 54
4. China —39
5. Japan — 32
6. Taiwan — 26
7. Australia — 21
8. Canada — 17
9. Italy — 17
10. Spain — 16
11. Germany — 15
12. Republic of Korea — 14
World TOP-10 universities by Technical Sciences
The distribution of higher education institutions within the first ten remained almost unchanged compared to the 2017 academic year. Nine out of the ten universities have maintained their leading positions in the global top ten. Only Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL) left the ranking and University of South Australia entered Top-10 for the first time.
RUR Global TOP-10 in Technical Sciences 2018
1. Harvard University, USA (same as the previous year)
2. University of Oxford, UK (same as the previous year)
3. Northwestern University, USA (+6 positions)
4. Stanford University, USA (+4)
5. University of Cambridge (+2), UK
6. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA (-2)
7. ETH Zurich, Switzerland (-1)
8. Princeton University, USA (-5)
9. King's College London, UK (-18)
10. University of South Australia, Australia (-6)
In Asia, Peking University holds the top spot. This year the Chinese leader is #13 in the world compared to #18 last year. Second place in Asia is held by South Korea's Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) at #15 (#14 last year). Another Chinese participant — Tsinghua University entered the TOP-20 the first time and occupies the 19th position this year.
As previously mentioned China is absolute leader among BRICS nations in terms of overall intuitional performance with 7 universities in the TOP-100 and 5 in TOP-200. Russia has shown some success and its leaders have also improved their ranks: Lomonosov Moscow State University is #115 (+34), ITMO University #159 (+31), Tomsk State University (+50). There are no Russian universities in the World TOP-100. However, the overall dynamics are good and Russia has every chance of getting 2-3 universities in the TOP-100 in the next 3-5 years.
Among Indian universities, the undisputed leader is Indian Institute of Science participating in the rankings the first time and is #34 on the list. All Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) campuses are present in the ranking with IIT Delhi holding spot #129 (+36), IIT Kharagpur #134, IIT Bombay #169 (+56).
Unlike Russia, Chinese and Indian, Brazilian universities have demonstrated a relative decline in rankings among the TOP-3 universities.
TOP-3 Brazilian Universities in RUR Technical Sciences 2018:
- #168. University of Sao Paulo (-23)
- #224. State University of Campinas (-35)
- #297. UNESP — Universidade Estadual Paulista (+5)
South African universities occupied lower positions compared with leading Brazilian universities, but overall performance is positive:
TOP-3 South African Universities in RUR Technical Sciences 2018:
- #300. University of Cape Town (+18)
- #391. Stellenbosch University (+25)
- #394. University of Witwatersrand (-3)
RUR Technical Sciences World University Ranking Methodology
Like RUR Overall Ranking, RUR Technical Sciences is based on 20 indicators grouped in 4 dimension areas:
- Teaching (40%);
- Research (40%);
- International Diversity (10%);
- Financial Sustainability (10%).
All the raw data comes from Global Institutional Profiles Project (GIPP) by Clarivate Analytics. It is a special data survey with more than 1,000 higher education institutions worldwide. This database unifies three different data sources such as:
- Institutional Data (provided directly by institutions): number of academic staff, number of students, institutional income, etc. In total, this group provides 56% of overall institutional score.
- Bibliometric Data: number of publications, citations and all other related metrics from internationally recognized Web of Science Core Collection. In general, it provides 26% of the final score.
- Reputation Data: a special reputation survey aimed at assessing institutional brand and its recognition; it is held annually among top cited researchers worldwide. This indicator group provides 18% of the final university assessment.
About RUR World University Ranking
RUR is the first regularly updated World University Ranking published in Russia in partnership with a world-recognized provider of Web of Science Core Collection — Clarivate Analytics. RUR Ranking is designed as an evaluation system aimed at providing sufficient information about universities' performance to address stakeholders' personal tasks: Students, Academic community, University management, Policy makers.