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.
Every year TU/e is included in a large number of international rankings. Each ranking has its own methodology and assesses universities around the world by its own criteria and indicators.
This information determines the position of the university on the lists. The reputation of the research and education, for example, as well as the number of academic and scientific publications and amount of citations from them by others count towards the position as does the educational performance. Differences in perspective per ranking create a variation of TU/e positions (such as the reputation of the university, research income per member of staff, number of PhD’s gained or citations per member of staff).
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.
Apart from the rankings that receive a lot of international media attention, there is a group of lesser known or emerging international ranking lists. A newcomer is the RUR (Round University Ranking); this ranking uses data from the databroker Thomson Reuters and ranks institutions by subjects like education, research, international diversity and financial sustainability. In 2016 TU/e was ranked 80th and thus had a ‘Diamond League’ position.
Compared to the general rankings the profile of TU/e is more distinctive in subject-specific rankings due to the fact that TU/e is a technology university and not a broad university. In various global ‘discipline’ rankings TU/e scores well and within its own domain is first or second among the Dutch universities (for example, in engineering, computer science, chemistry or architecture).
An alternative to the most popular general rankings (Times Higher Education, QS) is the U-Multirank. The European U-Multirank consortium does not draw up a standard ranking but scores A to E (A being the best) according to individual indicators. In 2016 TU/e had eight A scores. Only two other Dutch universities scored higher. Eindhoven was praised for the specific areas of Research, Knowledge Transfer and International Orientation.
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.