Latin America University Rankings 2017: why the no-shows?

There are good reasons why some big names are missing from our roster

July 20, 2017
A podium constructed out of wood
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Browse the full results of the Latin America University Rankings 2017 

We must be completely transparent: a number of notable Latin American universities that should be ranked are missing from our table.

Argentina’s national flagship institution, the University of Buenos Aires, does not feature, for example. Nor does the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. Readers will no doubt notice other prominent absentees.

Why are they missing? It all comes down to data. Times Higher Education cannot and will not rank universities without having sufficiently rich and rigorous data to do the job properly. To do so would be irresponsible.

Universities have been excluded for three main reasons. Here we list some key absentees and explain why they don’t appear in our analysis.

No data submitted

Times Higher Education’s global university rankings depend on one thing above all: the voluntary cooperation of universities across the world. Our rankings are based on a range of data sources, including our annual global Academic Reputation Survey and bibliometric analysis of millions of research publications, but the foundation of the rankings is our global institutional data portal.

Each year, more than a thousand of the world’s leading research-led universities provide information about themselves to THE’s online data portal. This allows us to create the World University Rankings and all the regional spin-offs. It has also made it possible for us to collect many hundreds of thousands of data points on the world’s best universities – all using common data definitions to allow for unprecedented global benchmarking.

Download a copy of the Latin America University Rankings 2017 digital supplement

Submitting data is voluntary and entirely free of charge, but institutions that do not supply data cannot appear in our rankings. As well as those mentioned already, there were other institutions that we would have liked to have had in our database but that declined to submit data. Among the many regional institutions that chose to remain silent were Peru’s Cayetano Heredia University and its National University of San Marcos; Cuba’s University of Havana; Mexico’s Mexico Autonomous Institute of Technology; Paraguay’s National University of Asunción; Costa Rica’s National University of Costa Rica; Argentina’s National University of La Plata (UNLP) and its Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina; Ecuador’s Pontifical Catholic University of Ecuador; Uruguay’s University of the Republic; Panama’s Technological University of Panama; Bolivia’s Universidad Mayor de San Andrés; and Colombia’s Universidad del Valle.

Insufficient data submitted

Our rankings employ the most comprehensive methodology in the world, with 13 separate performance indicators covering the full range of an institution’s core missions: teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. To rank institutions, we require a minimum amount of data, on staff and student numbers and on resources, across a range of subject areas. The table below lists the institutions that have joined our global data project but that have not yet submitted enough data to be included in the rankings. We thank them for their engagement and hope to work with them to secure their place in the analysis in due course.

Institution Country
Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral Ecuador
Federal University of Itajubá Brazil
Federal University of Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys Brazil
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul Brazil
Federal University of Santa Maria Brazil
Ibero-American University Mexico
National University of San Martín Argentina
Pontifical Catholic University of Peru Peru
State University of Western Paraná (Unioeste) Brazil

Insufficient publications

While we plan to develop the Latin America University Rankings to put more emphasis in future on teaching and learning, and on student success, these rankings are derived from the World University Rankings, where research performance is central. Our flagship research indicator examines the number of citations accrued by an institution’s publications. For this analysis, we require institutions to have published at least 200 papers indexed by the Scopus journal database within a five-year window. The table below lists those institutions that have joined our global data project but that have fallen short of our publication criterion. We thank them for their engagement and hope to work with them to recognise their strengths beyond research. 

Institution Country
Universidad Acción Pro‑Educación y Cultura (APEC) Dominican Republic
Anáhuac University Mexico
University of the Andes Chile
Andrés Bello Catholic University (UCAB) Venezuela
Buenos Aires Institute of Technology (ITBA) Argentina
University of Celaya Mexico
CETYS University Mexico
FECAP – Fundação Escola de Comércio Álvares Penteado Brazil
Universidad de La Salle Colombia
Latin American University of Science and Technology (ULACIT) Costa Rica
University of Monterrey Mexico
University of Montevideo Uruguay
Metropolitan University Venezuela
Universidad del Norte Paraguay Paraguay
ORT Uruguay University Uruguay
Universidad de Palermo (UP) Argentina
Simón Bolívar University Colombia
Torcuato Di Tella University Argentina
University of Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago

To join Times Higher Education’s global data project, and for all methodological enquiries, please contact

Footnote: In February 2018, Times Higher Education updated the 2017 Latin America University Rankings to include the previously excluded University of the Andes, Chile. Details of the change are here.

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Reader's comments (2)

The Universidad Nacional de Córdoba (UNC) appear far away from the firsts places in the merit order in the Latin American ranking. Its position seems be not representative of his academyc history and its scientist performance. Best regards, JLB
Erratum: *of Its academyc history...