The phenomenon of university rankings is gaining increasing attention on a global scale. It is a method for comparing the quality of the many hundreds of universities around the world. The universities are judged by their academic performance, publications, reputation, collaboration with industrial partners and the quality of the education, among other things. The rankings are used by the media, governments, prospective students, staff, universities and stakeholders.
The 4 most important international rankings are:
- the Times Higher Education Ranking
- the QS-ranking
- the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/Shanghai)
- the CWTS Leiden Ranking.
The 2 most important national rankings are:
- Keuzegids Hoger Onderwijs (Dutch only)
- Elsevier beste studies (Dutch only)
Internationally, the Times Higher Education Ranking and the QS-ranking are regarded as leaders in terms of assessing universities at both academic education and research level. In the general Times Higher Education and QS rankings TU/e has been in the top 20% worldwide for years. The equally recognized Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU/ Shanghai) targets only the assessment of research and not the quality of the education. ARWU determines the position in the ranking, and in the related subsidiary rankings, by looking at aspects like the number of alumni and staff that have won a Nobel Prize or a Fields Medal, the number of highly-cited academics and the number of publications in Nature or Science.
The CWTS Leiden Ranking assesses universities only in respect of measurable facets that are related to academic publication output (a bibliographic analysis), ignoring other indicators like reputation, financial viability or quality of education. Since 2016 the CWTS Leiden Ranking no longer publishes a ready-made ranking list, but provides a multidimensional perspective on the website. A list is compiled by selecting indicators. TU/e scores well above the global average with the share of publications in the top 1% and the 10% for most cited,
The Keuzegids compares the quality of programs at Dutch educational institutions. These are programs at MBO, HBO, Universities and Master's programs. The ranking is based on a number of sources, including the National Student Survey (NSE), VSNU and the Association of Universities of Applied Sciences (study success), ROA (labour market) and NVAO (accreditations). They do not use all the questions from the NSE, only ten core subjects they consider important and incorporate them into their own scores.
Elsevier Best Studies also compares the quality of bachelor's and master's programs at Dutch colleges of higher education and universities. They, too, partly rely on the NSE. In addition, they use data on, among other things, binding study advice, returns, switchers, the student population, the most frequently chosen follow-up programs and the cost price of a second study. If this applies, a program of study states on which components the Dutch-Flemish Accreditation Organisation assesses an 'excellent' or 'insufficient'.