World University Rankings 2018: now starring a cast of thousands

A global ranking featuring 1,000 institutions is a milestone. How did we get here, asks Phil Baty

September 5, 2017
The numerals 1000 on a pedestal
Source: iStock

Browse the full results of the World University Rankings 2018


Welcome to the THE top 1,000. This is the 14th annual edition of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, but the first to feature a total of 1,000 institutions – compared with just 200 universities when we first published the analysis in 2004.

Our top 1,000 represents no more than 5 per cent of the 20,000 or so higher education institutions in the world. This prestigious group is drawn from THE’s comprehensive and growing database, which contains hundreds of thousands of data points on more than 1,500 leading global research universities, selected for analysis on the strength of their record in international research and on their global academic reputation (see our methodology for the full entry criteria).

The THE 1,000 have all been assessed across THE’s balanced range of 13 separate performance metrics, covering the full range of a university’s core activities: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. They have all been evaluated by their academic peers through THE’s annual Academic Reputation Survey, which draws on more than 20,000 survey responses from senior scholars from more than 140 countries.

So making the top 1,000 represents a real achievement in itself. We congratulate all ranked institutions and commit to working with those not on the list to understand their relative performance.


Download a copy of the World University Rankings 2018 digital supplement


This milestone in global rankings has been made possible by THE’s substantial investment in data and data analytics over the past two years. Our growing team of data experts, backed by our award-winning journalists and expert commentators, are delivering ever more rich and insightful analyses of global higher education. They are increasingly working with the best research universities in the world to provide international benchmarks and strategic insights, in addition to the publication of an expanded range of university rankings and wider, data-driven analyses.

We recognise the great weight placed on our work. The THE rankings attract tens of millions of people to our website, www.timeshighereducation.com, and reach tens of millions more across the world’s media. They are trusted by students and their families to help with one of the most important decisions of their lives – who to entrust with their higher education. They are used by faculty to assess career options, university leaders to set strategic goals, and by national policy analysts and policymakers at the highest levels of government to monitor nations’ strength in the global knowledge economy.

So I’m delighted to confirm that this year’s World University Rankings results, as they were last year, have been audited and signed off by PricewaterhouseCoopers. THE opened up its methodological description, its data capture and data-handling process, and the calculation of the rankings themselves, to PwC audit. The results we publish in this supplement today have been fully replicated, independently, by PwC’s team.

We are delighted to be pioneering and promoting the very highest standards of transparency and accountability in all our data work. 


Countries/regions represented in the top 200

Country/region    

Number of institutions in top 200

Top institution

Rank

United States

62

California Institute of Technology

=3

 

 

Stanford University

=3

United Kingdom

31

University of Oxford

1

Germany

20

LMU Munich

=34

Netherlands

13

University of Amsterdam

59

Australia

8

University of Melbourne

32

China

7

Peking University

=27

Switzerland

7

ETH Zurich – Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich

=10

Canada

6

University of Toronto

=22

France

6

Paris Sciences et Lettres – PSL Research University Paris

=72

Sweden

6

Karolinska Institute

=38

Hong Kong

5

University of Hong Kong

40

Belgium

4

KU Leuven

47

South Korea

4

Seoul National University

=74

Denmark

3

Aarhus University

=109

 

 

University of Copenhagen

=109

Finland

2

University of Helsinki

90

Italy

2

Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna

=155

Japan

2

University of Tokyo

46

Singapore

2

National University of Singapore

=22

Spain

2

Pompeu Fabra University

140

Austria

1

University of Vienna

=165

Luxembourg

1

University of Luxembourg

=179

New Zealand

1

University of Auckland

192

Norway

1

University of Oslo

146

Republic of Ireland

1

Trinity College Dublin

=117

Russian Federation

1

Lomonosov Moscow State University

194

South Africa

1

University of Cape Town

171

Taiwan

1

National Taiwan University

=198

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