World University Rankings 2021 by subject: business and economics methodology

October 19, 2020

The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2021 business and economics subject ranking includes a range of narrower subject areas.

The subjects used to create this ranking are:

  • Business and management
  • Accounting and finance
  • Economics and econometrics

Different weights and measures

The subject tables employ the same range of 13 performance indicators used in the overall World University Rankings 2021, brought together with scores provided under five categories.

However, the overall methodology is carefully recalibrated for each subject, with the weightings changed to suit the individual fields.

The weightings for the business and economics ranking are:

  • Teaching: the learning environment
    30.9 per cent
  • Research: volume, income and reputation
    32.6 per cent
  • Citations: research influence
    25 per cent
  • International outlook: staff, students and research
    9 per cent
  • Industry income: innovation
    2.5 per cent

Criteria

Two criteria determine eligibility for the THE subject rankings: a publication threshold by discipline and an academic staff* threshold by discipline.

No institution can be included in the overall World University Rankings unless it has published a minimum of 1,000 relevant publications over the five years that we examine.

For each of the 11 subject rankings, the publication thresholds are different. For business and economics, the threshold drops to 200 papers published in this discipline over the past five years.

There is also an academic staff eligibility criterion. Prior to the 2019 subject rankings, we expected an institution to have at least 5 per cent of its academic staff working in business and economics in order to include it in the subject table.

Since the 2019 subject rankings, we have made a small adjustment to the staff eligibility criterion. An institution needs to have either a minimum proportion of its staff or a minimum number of staff in this discipline to be included in the subject ranking.

For business and economics, we expect an institution either to have at least 5 per cent of its academic staff in the discipline or to have at least 50 academic staff in the discipline.

*Academic staff is defined as the full-time equivalent number of staff employed in an academic post, for example lecturer, reader or professor.

Note: For the 2018 business and economics subject ranking, institutions that did not teach undergraduates were included. For the 2019 and 2020 tables, institutions need to teach at the undergraduate level in order to be included, as per the World University Rankings methodology.

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