Latin America University Rankings 2021: results announced

Institutions are lagging behind global peers on prestige and funding levels

July 13, 2021
Christ, The Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
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Browse the Latin America University Rankings 2021 results


The reputation of Latin America’s universities among the global academic community has been declining in recent years, despite the region making gains on research quantity and quality, according to an analysis of Times Higher Education rankings data.

The Latin America University Rankings 2021 is topped by the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile for the third consecutive year, while Brazil’s University of São Paulo and University of Campinas once again complete the top three.

But while the top of the ranking appears very stable, analysis of the underlying data reveals the areas where universities in the region are improving and deteriorating compared with their peers in the rest of the world.

Overall, universities in Latin America are improving at a faster rate than the global average. The average score for universities in the region in the THE World University Rankings increased from 19.9 to 23.0 between 2018 and 2021, a 16 per cent rise, while the average score for universities outside the region increased from 37.1 to 39.7, a 7 per cent rise. 


Download a free copy of the Latin America University Rankings 2021 digital supplement


Latin American institutions’ progress is largely driven by a significant increase in its average scores for research publications per staff and field-weighted citation impact. Universities in the region have also been improving at a faster rate in other, perhaps more surprising areas, such as industry income per academic and share of international students.

However, there are also several areas where Latin American universities not only lag behind the rest of the world, but are declining: these include institutional income, research reputation and teaching reputation.

This sets Latin American institutions apart from universities in developing countries more broadly, where rising prestige has been a key factor in their overall improvement in recent years.

The Latin America University Rankings 2021 include 177 institutions from 13 countries. Brazil is the most-represented nation with 67 universities.


Latin America University Rankings 2021: top 10

2021 rank 2020 rank Institution Country
1 1 Pontifical Catholic University of Chile Chile
2 2 University of São Paulo Brazil
3 3 University of Campinas Brazil
4 4 Monterrey Institute of Technology Mexico
5 =5 Federal University of Minas Gerais Brazil
6 8 University of Chile Chile
7 7 Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) Brazil
8 13 Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul Brazil
9 =5 Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) Brazil
10 12 Federal University of Rio de Janeiro Brazil

ellie.bothwell@timeshighereducation.com

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