World University Rankings 2021 by subject: engineering methodology

October 19, 2020

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

The subjects used to create this ranking are:

  • General engineering
  • Electrical and electronic engineering
  • Mechanical and aerospace engineering
  • Civil engineering
  • Chemical engineering

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 engineering ranking are:

  • Teaching: the learning environment
    30 per cent
  • Research: volume, income and reputation
    30 per cent
  • Citations: research influence
    27.5 per cent
  • International outlook: staff, students and research
    7.5 per cent
  • Industry income: innovation
    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 research papers over the five years that we examine.

For the 11 subject rankings, the publication thresholds are different. For engineering, the threshold drops to 500 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 4 per cent of its academic staff working in the engineering discipline in order to include it in the subject table.

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

For engineering, we expect an institution to have either at least 4 per cent of its academic staff in the engineering discipline or at least 40 academic staff in the engineering discipline.

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

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