Saturday, August 14, 2010

Long Term Trends in the Shanghai Rankings

The Shanghai Rankings are noted for their methodological stability. Whereas frequent changes combined with the insertion and removal of errors produced wild fluctuations in the THE-QS rankings, the ARWU have remained essentially the same since they started. The Shanghai index never aroused as much public interest as the now defunct THE-QS league table but over the long run it is more likely to reveal real and significant trends.

If we compare the 2004 rankings with those just announced there are some noticeable changes over six years. Cambridge and Oxford have each slipped a couple of places while Imperial College and University College London have moved up a bit, although not as high as their implausible position in THE-QS. Tokyo has slipped from 14th to 20th and Kyoto from 21st to 24th. The leading Australian university has also fallen.

Russia has stagnated with only two institutions in the top 500 in 2004 and 2010. India has fallen back with the University of Calcutta dropping out of the rankings. The rising stars for scientific research are Mainland China (8 in 2004 and 22 in 2010), South Korea (7 in 2004 and 10 in 2010), Brazil (4 in 2004 and 6 in 2010) and the Middle East (none in 2004 and 4 from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Iran in 2010).

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