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International Rankings

International Rankings

Note: While these sites may contain information of value to you, the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library (SSHEL) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign do not endorse the sites or the information they contain. For more information and current research on rankings, we encourage you to read some of the articles listed in our College Rankings Bibliography and to see our Caution and Controversy page. For questions or comments, please contact Nancy O’Brien.

The rankings are organized by global rankings, which evaluate universities from multiple continents, and more specific rankings for universities within Asia and Europe.


Academic Ranking of World Universities
Methodology: This site offers an explanation of its methods on a page titled Ranking Methodology.
This site, created by the Institute of Higher Education at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, ranks the top universities throughout the world. The site also narrows the ratings further, creating lists for the top 100 universities in America, Europe, and Asia. The rankings are based solely on academic or research performance, using five criteria: the number of nobel laureates, highly cited researchers, articles published in Nature and Science, articles in Science Citation Index-expanded and Social Science Citation Index, and academic performance per faculty at each university.

Best Global Universities Rankings
Methodology: This site offers an explanation of its rankings on its methodology page.
Users can click on the name of a school to find more information, such as how the school’s academic departments are ranked and other general statistics about the school.

Bloomberg Business Week Best B-Schools
Methodology: This site provides an explanation of its methods after the rankings information.
Business Week offers its business school rankings, including international B-Schools at this site.

Financial Times Global MBA Rankings
Methodology: This site offers an explanation of its rankings under the “Methodology ” tab. Methodology explanations are available for all seven types of business school rankings.
Based on surveys completed by both school officials and alumni, the Financial Times of London ranking of MBA programs offers its assessment of the top 100 MBA programs in the world. The rankings are based on relative status in three broad areas: value, diversity, and research. The main component considered as a measure of value is alumni salary. Diversity of faculty and students and availability and use of international opportunities are taken as important measures of a program’s diversity. A program’s research ranking is measured by the amount of publications in forty international and practitioner journals. In addition to listing the top programs worldwide, the rankings are broken down further to identify the top programs in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Asia and Australia. This site also contains an archive of past rankings.

Guardian‘s Guide to Universities
Methodology: See How to Use the Guardian University Guide.
This site ranks universities in several different subject areas (e.g. Art and Design, Engineering, Medical Sciences). While heavily UK-oriented, the rankings include listings for schools in the US, Canada and Germany. The Guardian‘s main education site includes subject-oriented news items and much more.

Leiden University Ranking
Methodology:  The rankings are ordered based on the evaluation of citations from Thomson Reuters’ Web of Science, as explained on the site’s Methodology page.
These rankings from the Centre for Science and Technology Studies of Leiden University offer ratings for an international list of universities and a list of European universities.  The site offers results for a variety of rating methods in each category.

Maclean’s Universities Ranking
Methodology: This site offers an explanation of its methodology here.
This site contains information on the Maclean’s annual study of Canadian institutions of higher education. Rankings are provided for three groups of institutions: medical-doctoral (broad range of PhD programs and focus on research), comprehensive (significant research activity and wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs), and those focusing primarily on undergraduate education. The schools are evaluated in many areas, including faculty, classes, finances, libraries, reputation, and student body.

QS World University Rankings
Methodology: The methodology for this ranking can be found on the WUR Methodology page.
QS ranks the top universities across the globe. The Top 300 world universities are free to view, with over 700 total evaluated. Each university in the rankings links a brief school description and statistics.

Times Higher Education World University Rankings
Methodology: Please find the Times Higher Education World University rankings methodology here.
The Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings provides definitive lists of top universities from around the world. Universities are ranked based on their core missions of teaching, research, knowledge transfer, and international outlook. In addition to the World University Rankings, THE has also ranked Latin American universities, Asian universities, and the top 150 institutions that are under fifty years old.

Methodology: This site offers an explanation of its methods on a page titled Methodology.
First appearing in 2014, U-Multirank takes a multi-dimensional and user-driven approach to interfacing with international-rankings data from institutions of higher education around the world. The project is backed by the European Union and involves a consortium of groups led by the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies in the Netherlands, the Centre for Higher Education Development in Germany, and others. The goal of the site is, within an international context, to mirror the variety of institutions of higher education and the range of factors in achievement and excellence they display. At present, coverage spans more than 850 institutions, 1200 faculties, and 5000 programs of study from 70 countries worldwide. It includes whole-institution rankings as well as field-specific rankings for physics, electrical and mechanical engineering, and business studies. More subjects are expected to be added in the coming years.  

UniRank Colleges and Universities Rankings
Methodology: According to UniRank, “The ranking is based upon an algorithm including three unbiased and independent web metrics: Google Page Rank, total number of inbound links and Alexa Traffic Rank.” For more information see their About Us page.
Located in Australia, this site ranks the top 200 colleges and universities around the globe based on their websites’ popularity and usage; it does not measure the schools or their programs by quality of education or services. The site offers rankings by worldwide and geographic region. It provides user-created profiles for each school listed, but note the site recommends visiting the institution’s websites for updated/accurate information.

Webometrics: Ranking of World Universities
Methodology: This site offers an explanation on its Methodology page.
This site ranks academic web sites rather than the institutions. According to the site, “Webometric indicators are provided to show the commitment of the institutions to Web publication and to the worldwide Open Access to knowledge. The rankings should not be used for comparison purposes nor for choosing University. … The ranking is based on a combined indicator that takes into consideration the volume of the published material on the web, and the visibility and impact of these webpages measured by the sitations (site citations) or links they received (inlinks). It is derived from the Web Impact Factor.”