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US dominates new ‘aggregate’ uni ranking

A new world university ranking system released last week – touted as being a ‘truly global view’ of university rankings – placed 16 US institutions in the top 20. The new  “Rankometer”  is compiled by Singapore-based AppliedHE.

Stanford topped the inaugural Rankometer which combines some of the biggest rankings globally. Photo: Pixabay

US universities dominated the rankings taking 16 of the top 20 positions

This new ranking combines the world’s most influential university rankings into a single and transparent benchmark, simplifying university comparison for students, parents, employers and other stakeholders, it claims.

“We believe that it provides a simpler and more balanced perspective on university quality”

It brings together what are considered to be the most influential rankings systems across the globe – the World University Rankings published by QS (UK), Times Higher Education (UK), Shanghai Rankings (China), Leiden University’s CWTS (The Netherlands) and CSIC’s Cybermetrics Lab (Spain), which publishes the Webometrics ranking.

To ensure transparency, independence and scientific rigour, the system was developed with the guidance of the AppliedHE Ranking Advisory Board which is made up of Kevin Downing from University of Hong Kong, Aigerim Shilibekova at University of Canada West and Kingsley Bolton at Sweden’s University of Stockholm.

Speaking at the launch, Mandy Mok, CEO & founder of AppliedHE, said the Rankometer removes biases and the narrow focus of different individual rankings by aggregating the figures.

“This is our first ranking and it will be the first of many that will add value to higher education professionals and the common man on the street or in these days of Covid-19, the common man behind the screen,” she said.

“We believe that it provides a simpler and more balanced perspective on university quality, something that we hope will help students and parents and employers and all the non-ranking experts make decisions about universities.”

Rankings were first launched in 2003 and have become an important feature of the global higher education landscape.

According to Mok, they have been a game changer.

“World university rankings matter a great deal in higher education, [and are] used by students and parents to decide where to study, then used by employers to decide whom to hire, they’re used by governments to issue visas, and they used to make decisions on research funding, collaborative partnerships, etc…,” she said.

“The way in which universities university rankings are designed can have the great influence in shaping higher education policies.”

“To some extent, the university rankings agencies have become the rule makers and universities have become the rule takers.”

Chair of the AppliedHE Ranking Advisory Board, Kevin Downing, said that combining the five leading global rankings creates a much more comprehensive and stronger analysis of global ranking than any single ranking system on its own.

“By combining all of those rankings, what we’ve tried to do is come up with a more complete personality or hopefully a more complete measure of an institution’s strengths.”

US universities dominated the rankings taking 16 of the top 20 positions, with Stanford, Harvard and MIT ranked first, second and third respectively.

The UK’s University of Oxford was ranked fourth and the University of Cambridge fifth.

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