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World University Rankings 2010

News, debate, social networking and Times Higher Education’s annual World University Rankings are now all happening in one place at!

We have signed an agreement with Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading research data specialist, to provide all the data for our annual World University Rankings from 2010 and beyond.

We have decided to end our relationship with QS, who will have no further involvement in Times Higher Education's annual World University Rankings.

We will develop a new rankings methodology over the coming months in consultation with our editorial board of higher education experts and Thomson Reuters. But we want your views.

With your help, and with the combined expertise of Times Higher Education and Thomson Reuters, we will publish a revamped and improved Times Higher Education World University Rankings of the top 200 universities, with separate rankings by subject areas, in autumn 2010.

Tell us what you think. What do you think makes up a modern, 21st century world-class university? How would you measure it? What is good about our old (2004-2009) methodology? How would you improve it? Post your views here, and look out for regular updates during the year.

For further info:

• Visit the Global Institutional Profiles Project website

• Read the open letter from Thomson Reuters to university administrators

• Join the effort for more accurate and comprehensive institutional assessment by passing on our postcard

• University heads wishing to join the survey platform group should email Phil Baty

• Keep up to date with all the rankings news on Twitter: THEWorldUniRank

• Join THE’s World University Rankings Facebook group

Readers' comments (37)

  • Good move. I'd suggest that 40 per cent is too high a weighting for a subjective measure like peer review.

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  • Thanks Paul. We have now confirmed major improvements to the reputation survey, with far better targetting and sampling (see for the methodology). However, despite these improvements, which will make the survey more balanced and reliable, we are still likely to reduce the weighting for this subjective measure.

  • Can you do something about obvious bias in favour of UK?

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  • The new and improved reputation survey is being distributed in seven languages, and the results will be weighted to reflect the real geographical distribution of academics around the world, so we will iron out any bias seen in the old QS version of the survey.

  • I find it quite absurd that LSE is ranked 66 because of its relatively low citation score. And seriously Stanford and MIT is ranked below UCL and Imperial?

    How about including something like graduate starting salaries?

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  • One of the biggest problems with the old THE-QS methodology, which we will no longer use, is that the research excellence measure penalised the arts, humanities and social sciences. We are changing this. Because research excellence was previously based on a simple count of citations, those disciplines with higher citation levels, manily in the hard sciences, were unfairly advantaged. The new and improved 2010 rankings will make sure that all citations data is properly normalised to take into account different citation levels between subjects. This is one of the great beauties of having Thomson Reuters, owners of the Web of Science database, as our data partner.

  • I think it's a good idea that you guys want to improve your rankings. Here are some suggestions:

    -careful with the peer review (40% is quite high for something that could be acused of being subjective. Maybe you can increase the number of academics interviewed)
    -I don't understand why you don't take into account the resources the University has at their disposal (you can't really assure academic excellence without money)
    -take into account the jobs students get after graduation
    -I like the employer review : it's definitely a keeper
    -Great that you already thought of subject rankings
    -Maybe take into account a little (5%) the international awards received by academics teaching at that University.

    Good luck.

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  • For the improved 2010 rankings, we will reduce the 40 per cent weighting for reputation and we will be collecting information on a university's resources and income sources.
    We will be publishing six subject tables, up from five published by the old THE-QS rankings.

  • Yes, LSE deserves a higher rank!
    And, maybe you should give less importance to citations!

    And another suggestion/request! Could you publish the rankings of universities which provide distance learning courses? For eg. Harvard Extension School, University of London External System, etc

    Great going!

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  • Bias against the arts, humanities and social sciences will be removed as we will normalise for subject when we measure research excellence through citations.

  • @sjwku International faculty does not directly contribute to quality. However, it signals that the university is likely to be recruiting in the open market instead of appointing cronies. Having said that, I fully agree that attractiveness is not necessarily a good proxy for quality.

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  • We do have concerns about the idea that the proportion of international staff or international students on campus is a proxy for quality. Clearly being able to attract talent from around the world is important, but there is no way to properly assess the quality of those staff or students. We will be looking hard at this as we develop the new methodology and weightings.

  • I would like to see more emphasis on citations and other research-related indicators. These inform how well the faculties are accepted in the academic circle. Let's base everything on academic productivity and excellence. What can we do with small class size and a large body of international students when the professors themselves are stupid?

    It is also important that you do not try to cover up the weaknesses of British universities by those unnecessary indicators. We all know how easy it is for international students to get acceptance to universities in UK and the commonwealth. There's no need to push British universities to the top when your academic excellence is still questionable. Let's face the fact and improve. That's the key.

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  • As Thomson Reuters are our data suppliers for the 2010 rankings and beyond, our use of citations data will be dramatically strenghthened.
    All data will be transparent - nothing will be "covered up".

  • Less weight for peer review - I don't think one can have an informed opinion on more than a few universities. On all other universities, one must rely on prejudice and hearsay.

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  • There are very many improvements to the peer review element (see above) -- which we will no longer call "peer review", as it is a simple opinion survey looking subjectively at reputation. But despite the improvements, we are still likely to reduce the weighting given for reputation.

  • Why do the ranking order of the UK universities in the World List not match the UK list? This inconsistency should be fixed...

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  • Times Higher Education only produces one ranking -- the annual World Universtiy Rankings. Global rankings only use globally available and globally comparable data, so have different methodologies to domestic tables.

  • I am not sure what story is behind your decision. However QS achieved huge business success by WUR. QS WUR seminar on 23 November before QS-Apple conference at Kuala Lumpur is completely full. It seems to me QS ranking is world de facto standard.
    I wish you a good luck from 2010.

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  • QS, publishing in partnership with Times Higher Education, did indeed achieve business success with the THE-QS world university rankings. However, Times Higher Education's reputation and brand depends on producing reliable and respected information on world higher education.
    We are confident that we can publish a more robust and balanced ranking -- respected by the academic community -- by scrapping the old methodology and working with the world's leading research data specialists, Thomson Reuters.
    When our new rankings are published in Autumn 2010, people can judge for themselves.

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