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On 15 August 2023, ShanghaiRanking Consultancy released its Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) 2023. The rankings list the top-1000 universities from across the world based on a set of six indicators focusing primarily on research excellence. ARWU purports to offer insights into the global higher education landscape, using factors such as alumni and staff awards, number of articles published in key journals, and per capita performance.
This year’s publication shows a number of key takeaways. Once again U.S. institutions maintain their strong performance in the top tiers. Eight U.S. universities are listed amongst the top-100. An interesting shift, also noted in a recent article from UWN’s global edition, is the progress of mainland Chinese universities. For the first time they outnumbered U.S. institutions in the top-1,000—albeit by a small margin (191 vs. 187). Moreover, also for the first-time, two Chinese universities, Central South University and Nanjing University, were ranked amongst the top-100.
The performance of continental European universities remains relatively stable. 32 European universities are in the top-100 (including eight from the UK). France's Paris-Saclay University moved up one position (to 15th) and remains the highest ranked of Continental Europe, followed by ETH Zurich (20th).
In Oceania, the University of Melbourne remains the leading institution, a position it has held for over a decade). Seven Australian universities are among the ARWU’s top-100.
Finally, sub-Saharan Africa is also represented in the top-1000, with eight universities from South Africa (and four in the top-500), one from Ethiopia and one from Ghana.