World University Rankings 2015-2016: institutional data collection under way

Times Higher Education has begun building the largest and most comprehensive database of university information in the world as part of reforms to ensure that the flagship THE World University Rankings continue to lead the field for rigour, responsiveness and transparency

March 24, 2015

More than 1,000 globally focused universities are currently being invited to submit their institutional data through a new Times Higher Education-run secure data collection portal, as THE seeks to continue to provide the richest and most sophisticated picture of global higher education available. The first institutional data submissions have already been provided to THE, and institutions must complete the process in the coming weeks if they want to be included in the analysis for the 2015-2016 THE World University Rankings.

To create the World University Rankings and related regional and specialist rankings, THE combines data collected directly from institutions – including staff and student numbers and income figures – with the results of its annual Academic Reputation Surveyand research output analysis provided by Elsevier’s Sci Val analytical tools and Scopus journal database.

THE announced a series of changes to its university rankings portfolio in November 2014. The overall methodology of the annual THE World University Rankings will be preserved and the rankings will continue to use the most comprehensive and balanced performance indicators to evaluate universities across all of their core missions, including research, knowledge transfer, international outlook and – uniquely – the teaching environment. But more of the underlying rankings data will be collected, managed and owned by THE, which will ensure greater transparency and allow for the development, after consultation, of new rankings and analytical services.

The key change is that THE is no longer outsourcing its institutional data collection to third-party supplier Thomson Reuters. All data collection is now managed by a new dedicated in-house team of data analysts at THE, and no third parties are involved in this activity.

The move will ensure that the rankings remain responsive to user needs and that THE continues to innovate in the field of university performance evaluation. It will also broaden the range of performance indicators available, which will capture a wider range of university activities and missions, and take better account of different socio-economic contexts. More than 1,000 institutions are currently taking part in the data collection, but over time the database will be expanded to include a wider range of institutions with a wider range of profiles.

Act now:

Email us at to ensure your university is signed up for data collection and included in the analysis for the THE World University Rankings 2015-2016.

If you have already registered with us, your secure data portal login details should already be with you. If you haven't received them, please do get in touch. The deadline for signing up is fast approaching.

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