Academic Ranking of World Universities 2019


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On August 15, the latest edition of the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking, was published. Considered one of the most objective rankings, it takes into account the universities’ bibliometric indexes and the prevalence of prestigious awards among their graduates and staff. Last year, ITMO University made its debut in the ranking; in 2019, it has retained its position in the 801-900 range.

The ARWU (Academic Ranking of World Universities) is compiled by the independent organization ShanghaiRanking Consultancy annually since 2003. Its prestigious status is explained by the ranking’s clearly-defined and transparent selection criteria.

The ARWU ranking includes four key criteria: Quality of Education, defined by the number of Nobel- and Fields-winning alumni; Quality of Faculty, determined by the number of Nobel- and Fields-winning staff and the number of highly-cited researchers; Research Output, determined by the number of articles published in Nature or Science or indexed in SCIE and SSCI; the last criteria, Per Capita Performance, indicates the work efficiency of each university employee, meaning that the total score gained in the first three criteria is divided by the number of scientists and professors employed at the university.

In the newest ranking published on August 15, ITMO University has retained its position in the 801-900 range. The key factors that defined its performance were the articles published in major scientific journals: three articles in Science and three in Nature, published in 2016, 2017, and 2018. These include:

With each year, the number of articles by ITMO researchers published in highly-indexed journals grows higher. Will that affect ITMO University’s performance in the next year’s ranking? According to Ilya Kuftiryov, the head of Rankings Research Center at ITMO, future improvements are likely to be caused by the increase in the number of articles indexed by Web of Science and published in Nature or Science.

Another possible growth driver is the involvement of highly-cited researchers.

The 2019 ARWU also includes other Russian universities such as the Lomonosov Moscow State University, St. Petersburg State University, Novosibirsk State University, and the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. The No. 1 spot has been held by Harvard University for 17 years in a row, followed by Stanford University and Cambridge University. Also in the top 10 are MIT, UC Berkeley, Princeton University, Oxford University, Caltech, and the University of Chicago. The most highly-represented countries in the ranking are the USA, China, and the UK.

In the summer of 2019, the agency ShanghaiRanking Consultancy published its Global Ranking of Academic Subjects (GRAS). ITMO University, which had debuted in this ranking a year prior, entered the top 100 of the Automation and Control subject ranking and retained its positions in the subject fields Materials Sciences & Technology and Nanosciences & Nanotechnologies.


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