New aggregate ranking is wind in Uppsala University’s sails

8 February 2022

Inside the University Main Building.

Uppsala University is the only Swedish university in the top 100. Photo from the University Main Building.

In a ranking that aggregates three of the world’s premier university rankings – QS, THE and ARWU – Uppsala University ranks at 96 as the best Swedish university. The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia is behind this aggregate ranking, which was launched three years ago.

“This is not a ranking using our own indicators, but simply an aggregate of the three top ranking systems that we usually follow and report indicators to, so it’s still quite interesting to see the effect of aggregating different ways of measuring,” says Emma Östlund, controller in the University Administration who has worked with reporting to ranking systems from the University.

Out of the many different university ranking systems that exist, Uppsala has chosen to follow three highly respected ones: QS (Quacquarelli Symonds), THE (Times Higher Education) and ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities). The latter is also known as the Shanghai ranking. These three rankings each emphasise different things and use different indicators in their measurements. They measure everything from citations, Nobel prizes, external research funding and the percentage of teaching staff with doctoral degrees, to reputation and the proportion of international students and employees.

Aggregating three rankings

The University of New South Wales has developed its Aggregate Ranking of Top Universities (ARTU) by aggregating three rankings that are seen as those that most often interest international students and researchers looking to expand their horizons in the world, or those seeking an university-based cooperation partner.

Rankings for 2000 universities around the world have been used. At the top are Harvard, Stanford and MIT in the USA, followed by Oxford and Cambridge in the UK. Uppsala University is the only Swedish university in the top 100, but it should be noted that the Karolinska Institutet is not ranked in QS and is therefore not included in this aggregate ranking.