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A comprehensive guide to university rankings for international students

A comprehensive guide to university rankings for international students

With all the different university ranking lists, it is hard to know where to start. And if you are looking for just one answer to the question “what is the best university?”, finding a single, clear-cut answer is unlikely. While university rankings help compare universities, it is important to consider what you value most when you apply for foreign universities. For example, do you want to study in a specific country? Or maybe you are looking for the best institution for your degree subject. 

With so many different ranking systems, it can be difficult to select the best one for your needs. By understanding each system’s methodology and the resulting list of top universities, you can choose the guide that fits your priorities. University rankings can help you compare universities around the world and apply for foreign universities that correspond the most with your need. Our abroad education consultants will help you to better understand the ranking systems and their difference.

World University Rankings 

To be eligible for the Times Higher Education’s World University Rankings, a university must meet the requirements for being both research-intensive and focused on teaching undergraduate students. More specifically, it must publish over 150 articles per year. The 2022 ranking includes over 1,700 top universities, evaluated based on their teaching quality, research output, ability to transfer knowledge, and international outlook. 

More universities and countries are getting added to this list every year. The World University Rankings give international students a clear idea of which universities are performing well globally. The results come from 13 indicators, such as research and teaching reputation surveys, staff-to-student ratios, and the share of international students.

QS World University Rankings 

The Quacquarelli Symonds’ university ranking list is a highly respected source that was originally compiled in collaboration with Times Higher Education. In 2010, they started partnering with Thomson Reuters to create another separate ranking list. 

Every year, 400 universities from around the world, are ranked on six different criteria in four broad faculty areas. Those areas are Arts and Humanities, Engineering and Technology, Life Sciences and Medicine, and Natural Sciences.

Academic Ranking of World Universities 

The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) is an annual publication by the Center for World-Class Universities, Graduate School of Education of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. ARWU evaluates more than 2,500 universities every year and publishes the top 1,000.

ARWU ranks universities using six objective indicators, including Nobel Prizes and Fields Medals won by alumni and staff, the number of highly cited researchers selected by Clarivate Analytics company, the number of articles published in journals of Nature and Science, articles indexed in Science Citation Index Expanded or Social Sciences Citation Index via the Web of Science, and per capita performance. 

CWTS Leiden Ranking 

The CWTS Leiden Ranking provides insightful data regarding the 1300 top universities worldwide. What sets this ranking apart from others is its advanced bibliometric indicators. The Leiden Ranking only focuses on the research done exclusively at universities. 

Research is signified by publications, and data collected from these publications form the foundation of the Leiden Ranking. This also allows for the independence of the ranking, as it does not rely on data submitted directly by universities. The Leiden Ranking also provides multiple indicators so you can examine the performance of universities from different perspectives.

If you want to apply for foreign universities, you need to choose the best one. Our abroad education consultants can help you with choosing and applying to universities. Also, we provide professional advising services and support for each student during their studies.

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A comprehensive guide to university rankings for international students