Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Shanghai Rankings 2004-2013

One sign of the reliability of the Shanghai Academic Ranking of World Universities is that at the top there is little change from year to year. It is difficult to get excited about Tokyo slipping one place to join University College London in 21st position although I must admit the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich moving up two whole places is rather intriguing.

These rankings are best used to study changes over a few years. Since 2004, according to data provided by the Shanghai rankers, the following countries have increased their membership of the world's elite of the top 100 universities

Australia          +3
Israel                +2
USA                 +1
Switzerland      +1
Netherlands      +1
Denmark          +1
Belgium           +1

These countries have seen universities leave the top 100.

Germany        -3
Japan              -2
UK                 -2
Sweden          -1
Italy                -1
Austria           -1


At the very top there is no sign of the erosion of English speaking dominance (academically I think Israel can be classed as English speaking). If anything, it is being extended although with a shift from the UK to the US and Australia.

Looking at the top 500, which we might consider to include world class research universities, the picture is different. From 2004 to 2013 the following changes occurred.

China                      +26
Australia                  +5
Saudi Arabia            +4
South Korea             +3
Portugal                    +3
Brazil                       +2
New Zealand            +2
Spain                        +1
Sweden                     +1
Turkey                      +1
Malaysia                   +1
Slovenia                    +1
Iran                            +1
Egypt                         +1
Croatia                       +1
Chile                          +1
Serbia                        +1
Mexico                      +1


USA                         -21
Japan                        -16
Germany                    -5
UK                             -5
Italy                            -4
France                        -2
India                           -2
Switzerland                -1
Netherlands                -1
Denmark                    -1
Hungary                     -1



Here the big story is the relative decline of the US, Northern Europe, Japan and India and the rise of China and, to a lesser extent, Australia, Korea, Southwest Asia, Southern Europe except Italy and Latin America.

There is very little sign of any Asian renaissance outside Greater China and Korea and maybe the Middle East. India has actually lost ground over the last decade and there is now only one institution from the whole of South Asia and central Asia.

     

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