The fifth edition of U-Multirank has been published at the beginning of this month, showing a higher diversity than ever in the international league tables landscape. So, what is new compared to last year?
The biggest updates include increases in:
- the number of higher education institutions (HEIs) ranked, from about 1 500 to 1 614 institutions currently, and from 95 countries. The ranking now includes 5 153 faculties and more than 12 500 study programmes.
- the number of subject fields from 16 to 21, each with its own Teaching and Learning ranking. They include ‘the student opinion’, based on responses from more than 100 000 students that study at present at the institutions included in the rankings.
- the number of readymade rankings, from two in 2017 to six at present. The readymade rankings focus on diverse areas of excellence: Research and Research Linkages, Economic Engagement, Applied Knowledge Partnerships, Teaching and Learning, International Orientation, and Universities of Science and Technology. These rankings are also provided across the 21 subject areas.
In addition, U-Multirank now includes 18 national rankings, showing the strengths and weaknesses of national higher education systems and publishes global Top 25 universities lists, highlighting 225 of the highest top scores by universities. According to the latest figures, the highest percentage of top positions is held by US-based universities (18%), followed by HEIs from the UK (13%), France (8%), Germany (4%), Chinese Taipei (4%), Spain (4%), and from Japan (4%), respectively. All in all, Europe seems to rank highest in the global Top 25 lists, achieving 56% of the overall top scores, followed by Asia (21.7%) and US/Canada (18.6%). The top performance of European universities is clearest when looking at Student Mobility, where European universities achieve 24/25 of the top positions, or Interdisciplinary publications (19/25). In contrast, Asia performs best in International Joint Publications and Patents awarded, achieving 10/25 and 9/25 of the top positions. In turn, the US is strongest in Top-cited and Research-Publications, with 15 and 13 of the top 25 positions respectively.
Other new features this year are: the new web design (with features like ‘Study in’), which aim to make navigation easier for students, and the possibility to now download the U-Multirank data, allowing universities to analyse their performance against global benchmarks.
As in the past, U-Multirank provides users with customisable rankings that aim to cover the full diversity of higher education systems. Its multi-dimensional approach compares the performance of HEIs across a range of dimensions, grading each of them from ‘A’ (very good) to ‘E’ (weak). The tool allows different types of users to identify each university’s strengths and weaknesses, based on the important criteria for the respective users.
U-Multirank is funded, for the period 2017-2019, by the Bertelsmann Foundation, the European Union's Erasmus+ Programme and the Santander Group. It is developed and implemented by an independent consortium led by the Centre for Higher Education (CHE) in Germany, the Center for Higher Education Policy Studies (CHEPS) at the University of Twente and the Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) from Leiden University, the Netherlands, as well as Fundación Conocimiento y Desarrollo (FCYD) in Spain.